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Archive for category Pakistan’s Strategic & Security Focus

May 28: Pakistan Became Nuclear Power By Sajjad Shaukat

      May 28: Pakistan Became Nuclear Power

          By Sajjad Shaukat
















With national zeal and fervour in different parts of the country, Youm-e-Takbeer (The day of greatness) is celebrated every year on May 28 as a national day to mark the conduction of nuclear tests when on the very day in 1998; Pakistan became the first Muslim and the 7th nuclear power in the world.

While showing aggressive designs, on May 11, 1998, the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee surprised the international community by announcing that India has conducted 3 nuclear tests earlier that day. On May 13, 1998, India conducted two more nuclear tests.

However, both the neighboring countries have waged three wars, especially on the issue of the Indian occupied Kashmir, so Pakistan’s arch rival compelled Islamabad to follow the suit. In this regard, it took only 17 days for Pakistan to successfully carry out its five nuclear tests which were done on May 28 and the sixth one on May 1998, at Chaghi in Balochistan in response to five nuclear explosions detonated by India, threatening the security of Pakistan. For the purpose, about five thousands scientists including Dr Samarmand Mubarik and especially Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan had worked day and night and made the defence of the country impregnable.

As regards Pakistan’s atomic experiments, renowned journalist, Majid Nizami said, “Pakistan faced tremendous pressure from India after it detonated five nuclear devices and America in this scenario also did not want Pakistan to become a nuclear power. US President Clinton telephoned the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif five times besides offering him billions of dollars to refrain him from nuclear tests. In this perspective, he further stated, Nawaz was receiving opinion from different sections of society, and in the same connection, he also convened a meeting of the editors wherein he (Majid Nizami) also gave the input.”

New Delhi’s war-mongering strategy against Pakistan could be judged from the fact that in 1974 India conducted first nuclear test at Pokhran Range in Rajhistan so as to pressurise Islamabad.

It is mentionable that when ZulfikarAli Bhutto, (The late) came to power, he paid much attention to the nuclear programme of Pakistan, as he knew that India would apply its coercive diplomacy on Islamabad or could attack our country. In this context, while talking on a TV channel on May 28, 2012, Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan appreciated the efforts of former Prime Minister Shaheed ZulfikarAli Bhutto for providing the opportunity to make the nuclear programme of Pakistan successful.

He also made it clear that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was totally indigenous, but acquired materials from some Western countries.

During many crises such as Kargil issue of 1999 and attack on the Indian parliament by the militants in 2001, New Delhi concentrated its troops across the Pakistan’s border, with the intention to attack Pakistan, while raising a series of false allegations against Islamabad. Pakistan was also compelled to deploy its Army along the Pak-India border. But, India did not dare to initiate a war because of Pakistan’s ‘Nukes.’ Similarly, in the past, Indian rulers had intended to implement their doctrine of limited war in Kashmir, but they could not do so owing to our nuclear weapons.

Particularly, in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks of 2008, India accused Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of supporting the militants. Although Pak diplomats denied Indian self-fabricated story regarding Mumbai catastrophe, but New Delhi adopted a threatening posture against Islamabad. It one again deployed its troops across the Pakistani border. Again, Islamabad also concentrated its military in order to give a matching response to India.

Notably, when US special forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, 2011 in violation of Pak sovereignty—though Islamabad had repeatedly made it clear that its government and intelligence agencies did not know anything about Bin Laden’s whereabouts including any official involvement regarding the 26/11 Mumbai catastrophe, but, New Delhi continued its aggressive style which could be judged from the statement of Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh who claimed on May 4, 2011 that if situation arose, the Indian defence forces were competent to undertake a US-like operation inside Pakistan, which killed Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. Indian army’s Northern Command chief also expressed similar thought.

In this respect, Indian top civil and defence officials clearly said that their country could conduct a US-type military operation or surgical strikes inside Pakistan.

Nevertheless, in the aftermath of Mumbai attack, India left no stone unturned in frightening Pakistan through a prospective invasion. Violation of Pakistan’s air space by New Delhi had created an alarming situation, as Islamabad had also taken defensive steps in response to meet any aggression or surgical strikes by India. Situation was so critical that Pakistan started moving thousands of military troops from the Afghan border and the tribal areas to its border with India. But, India failed in implementing its plans of any military action or aerial strikes on Pakistan due to the fact that the latter also possesses nuclear arsenal which could destroy whole of India.

It is noteworthy that America dropped atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as Tokyo had no such devices to retaliate. After the World War 11, nuclear weapons were never used. These were only employed as a strategic threat. During the heightened days of the Cold War, many crises arose in Suez Canal, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam when the US and the former Soviet Union were willing to use atomic weapons, but they stopped because of the fear of nuclear war which could culminate in the elimination of both the super powers. It was due to the concept of ‘mutually assured destruction’ that the two rivals preferred to resolve their differences through diplomacy.

Political strategists agree that deterrence is a psychological concept that aims to affect an opponent’s perceptions. In nuclear deterrence weapons are less usable as their threat is enough in deterring an enemy that intends to use its armed might.

While both the neighbouring adversaries are nuclear powers, Indians should not ignore the principles of deterrence, popularly known as balance of terror.

In these terms, India is badly mistaken, if it overestimates its own power and underestimates Pakistan’s power. As our country lacks conventional weapons vis-à-vis India, so it will have to use atomic devices during a prolonged conflict which would result into national suicide of the two countries. So India may apply its blackmailing diplomacy on the non-atomic states of South Asia in exerting psychological pressure, but it is useless in case of Pakistan whose deterrence is credible, making its defence invincible, as it possesses a variety of nuclear weapons and missiles which could be used against India as the last option, if the latter attacked our country.

Moreover, it is due to atomic bombs that Islamabad can talk to New Delhi with honour and dignity, discouraging India from casting an evil eye on our motherland.

Furthermore, as Pakistan is the only declared nuclear country in the Islamic World, hence, it has become special target of some western top officials and media persons who continue their propaganda against Pakistan’s nuclear programme. They have especially hired the services of media anchors and writers who work on their payroll and have been creating doubts about the safety and security of Pakistan’s atomic weapons and nuclear plants. Particularly, in 2009 when the heavily-armed Taliban entered Swat, Dir and Buner, US high officials and their media had exaggerated the ‘Talibinisation’ of whole Pakistan, while showing concerns about Pakistan’s atomic arms. In that regard, the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had warned that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. But, when Pakistan’s armed forces ejected the Taliban insurgents out of these areas by breaking their backbone, She started appreciating the capabilities of Pakistan Armed Forces.


Similarly, when terrorists had attacked on Pakistan’s Naval Airbase in Karachi on May 23, 2011, US-led some western countries including India and Israel exploited the situation through disinformation about the security of Pak nukes. And, terrorists’ assault on Kamra Base was successfully foiled by the personnel of Pakistan Air Force, but, a baseless report, published in the New York Times had indicated that suspected militants attacked a major Pakistani Air Force base where some of the country’s nuclear weapons were considered to be stored in the early hours of the militants’ attack. The ex-US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also stated day, “There is a danger of nuclear weapons of Pakistan, falling into hands of terrorists.”

Undoubtedly, Pakistan’s nuclear assets are in safe hands-well-protected and are under tight security arrangements, having the best command and control system.

Nonetheless, May 28 is celebrated as Youm-e-Takbeer by various political parties and social organizations including general masses with a pledge to make Pakistan a stronger country, militarily and economically, among the comity of nations. No doubt, on this very day of 1998, Pakistan became nuclear power.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com


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Why should a nation love its Army? by Ali Raza Mudassar

Why should a nation love its Army? by Ali Raza Mudassar Unknown-21 An army consists of disciplined unique individuals overwhelmed with devotions and ultimate sense of patriotism. The army is the most important living organ of the state that should not only be strong but also active, brave and vigilant. Armies are pride of nations because of their savior role in testing times of nations. They are uniquely motivated people and rich with spirit of utter sense of sacrifice for their fellow citizens and motherland. Madam Noor Jahan (late) has sung a melodious Punjabi song to narrate an unique character of soldiering (Ay putar hattaan tay nahi wikday, ki lab-ni aey wich bazaar kuray? – these great sons are not saleable commodity, what are you looking for in the market?). Nations that do not respect and honour their armies are perished by their enemies because the men can fight only with the strong support of their nations. The famous quote of George Patton – “The wars may be fought with weapons but they are won by men”. There are five fundamental logics that Army must be respected and honoured by nations for their own survival. Firstly, Political Reason. Army is a tangible living organ of the state which provides defense against the internal and external physical threat to the nation. Without strong and motivated soldiers this physical threat cannot be averted and this physical threat has potentials to devastate the existence of the state. A nation state needs a strong and potent force for its survival in this realist world, otherwise continued existence as a nation state is in danger. In 1991, Iraq ruined the Kuwait in matter of few hours because Kuwait was not maintaining strong Army for response. Secondly, Psychological Reason. Motivation is critical factor in psychological mechanism of fighting. It is only motivation which arouses the individual’s feelings and convinces him to fight against the enemies of the country and fellows. Un-motivated individuals are destined to loose or prepared to die dejectedly. Armies only win when they fight with spirit and motivation which comes with love of their countries men. Loves and affection inspire the soldiers to take ultimate step (scarification of life) for the honour and wellbeing of their nation fellows. This motivation is evaporated, if their countrymen are not standing behind them. Motivation is the sole reason of taking bullets on chest with smiling face. If nations don’t love their fellow soldiers then the strongest Army can’t guarantee the survival of state. Soldiers of Islamic state fights because they believe that it is legitimate cause and thousands mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers are praying for them – that gives him inner satisfaction. Thirdly, Islamic Reason.  Soldiering is sacred and Islamic profession. Loving and  respecting own Army is an Islamic tradition. In the state of Medina, when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) along with his companions left for Badr to fight with the enemies of state and Allah, they were seen off by men, women and children with love, affection and lots of prayers to fight well and demonstrate perseverance against the enemy. That exuberance of the people gave unflinching loyalties and strength to remain steadfast against their superior enemy. Finally victory kissed their feet at Badr and again they were received back with love and affection at the gate of Medina. There can’t be any better reason for honouring and respecting the Army of Islamic country. Fourthly, Social Reason. Soldiers are above the controversaries of religion, sectarian, linguistic and ethnicity. Army should be kept aloof from the divisive tendencies which can adversely affect the social fiber of the Army. They have to be kept mentally and physically united to take on the enemy of the nation. Army must not be dragged into internal politics or any other petty conflicts which can cause polarization and fragmentation on any pretext because polarization can generate conflict. Army is symbol of unity for nation and it is only possible if united nation stands behind them after shunning their differences for unity of army. Fifthly, material reason.  Contrarily, Soldiers experience rough life – away from families and loved ones for months and years. They breathe in inhospitable environment, drink dirty water and eat unhygienic food for one reason only – live for nation. Soldiers often sitting alone in their bunkers and are dreaming about the love, affections and honour of their companions and fellow countrymen. They know that the army is responsible for his fellow countrymen, so they sleep peacefully at nights while he stands guard of the country’s frontiers. Solider also knows, if he loses his heart, he will loose honour of his countrymen. And if he loses his life, it will add life to his motherland. In war, there is no substitute for victory and the army strives with all its might to sacrifice their lives for the country. Every citizen of the country should proudly and with gratitude salute each and every man of the army because the patriotism is at peak with army men. The nation ought to reciprocate with lots of love, affection and honour in their larger interest. Let me conclude with outstanding words of Sir Winston Churchill which emphasized on the maintaining robust and live army, ” Armed forces are not like a limited liability company, to be reconstructed from time to time as the money fluctuates. They are not inanimate things, like a house to be pulled down or enlarged or structurally altered at the caprices of the tenant or owner. They are living things, if they are bullied, they sulk, if they are happy, they pine, it they are harried, sufficiently they get feverish, if they are sufficiently disturbed, they will wither and dwindle and almost die, and when it comes to this last serious condition, it is only revived with lots of time, effort and money.” (The writer is a Ph.D Scholar on Peace and Conflict Studies at the National Defence University, Islamabad).

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COAS visits corps headquarters, briefed on Zarb-e-Azb

COAS visits corps headquarters, briefed on Zarb-e-Azb




June 16, 2014 – Updated 2054 PKT 
From Web Edition



North Waziristan - Pakistan Map

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has emphasized that all terrorists along with their sanctuaries must be eliminated without any discrimination.


According to an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release the COAS visited Corps Headquarters Peshawar on Monday where he was given a detailed briefing on the progress of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.


The ISPR adds, that the Army Chief expressed his satisfaction over the preparation and progress of the operation so far, adding that the operation is not targeted against our valiant tribes of North Waziristan but against the terrorists holed up in the Agency who have picked up arms against the state of Pakistan.


IDP Management

Additionally, the COAS directed all concerned to undertake special measures towards diligent management of IDPs in coordination with the relevant civilian agencies.


The Army Chief reiterated that with the support of the nation, operation Zarb-e-Azb will be concluded successfully and comprehensively.


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The Military Bashing – Impact?

The Military Bashing
Waheed Hamid
The Pakistan  Army enjoys a unique position of  love and trust which it has acquired from the people of Pakistan. The Army is looked upon as part of the solution to all problems, a panacea, an “AmritDhara” as most of its ranks from a soldier to a general belong to the class which has its roots in the public. Today we find a definite   effort  to make it  look  as part of all problems.
UnknownThe international media then local media, a few politicians and now unfortunately government officials have joined  the chorus.  Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while talking to a private channel said, Gen. Ashfaque Pervez Kayani has kept himself away from politics but people like Gen. Pasha still exist in the army which need to be purged.
While speaking on Balochistan he criticized the law enforcers more than condemning the terrorist. Hamid Mir of GEO regularly spreads hatred and blame on ISI and the Generals.
On the Karachi situation Nisar,s comments again focused on the army and he did show his reservations on the public appealing to the Army Chief  for peace in Karachi and called it  an insult to the Parliament.
The virus of Army bashing has spread deep and wide forgetting that 150.000 officers and men have been fighting the enemies of state in Swat, Bajaur, South Waziristan and North Waziristan for the last so many  years. Over 5000 soldiers have been martyred and 20.000 injured. How many word of sympathy from political leaders, government functionaries or media, not a single visit by President, the Commander-in-Chief, the Prime Minister, any other minister, senator or MNA, negligible condolence meetings. No good wishes or moral support for soldiers and officers or their bereaved families.
images-2Army knows that it draws moral sustenance from civil society and other pillars. Despite all this army keeps receiving a wave of criticism even from local players which remains far from truth but it dares to remain silent.
The Army has to accept a partial blame of getting into such a  position  . Indifference of the Army has been palpable and conspicuous . It never took cognizance of the changing mode of the civil society and the government. It has never tried to educate the civil society or challenge the recalcitrant and tormentors, cultivate the media or access the establishment, politicians and other stake holders. The simplistic view of only guarding the frontiers and not watching the psychological aspect of warfare hitting the local is a negligence for which it is paying.
However it remains a question that who had to guard their soldiers against such propaganda and is it not asking too much from army to accord physical as well as psychological  protection. 
We find few a Pakistanis playing with the enemies to make us believe that the Army is a financial drag on national economy. It consumes largest chunk of budget at the cost of health, education, infrastructure and civic amenities for the public.
  Dr Farrukh  in his article “Military”holds the figure to prove that major portions are eaten by debt servicing, subsidy to public sector enterprises and Public Sector Development Programmes. He neglected to mention massive leakage through corruption, inefficiency and incompetence. The three services all together is consuming only 17 percent of all government expenditure, and only 2.5 percent of GDP brought down from 3.6 percent over a decade.
pak navy by pak defence blog by mubashir taqiAccording to Dr Farrukh, more than fifty countries are spending greater Coalition Support Fund, while the fact is that Army has received less than two billion Dollars out of ten billion Dollars released by US Government.
  Mubashar Luqman in his program proves India is Pakistan centric through the deployments of Indian army and yet a few Pakistanis criticize Army being India centric. The ratio of defence budget between India and Pak was 1-3 ratio but now this ratio has become 1-6. The reason is that budget was reduced to 18 percent and if we keep doing this under the misperception of the ones who  keep working on personal business interests at cost of national interests will we not compromise on our defence.
A part of  society , bureaucrats, politicians and so called intelligentsia grudge Army’s indulgence in commercial activities.
Facts are twisted, lies fed to the public that commercial enterprises of Army are subsidized by state, that Army is exempted from paying duties and taxes, that such indulgence adversely affects operational readiness. Ayesha Siddiqa was paid by US to write her pack of lies against her own country,s Armed Forces
Army has never tried to defend itself or educate the public. Defense Housing Authorities and Askari Housing Schemes are maligned to no limit. Housing authorities are blamed for acquiring State land at throw away prices. The  land for these schemes are  purchased from open market Housing Schemes provide decent living to retired officers and men. The management skills of these society with clean and fraud less environment tend to raise the prices of plots through open market system. Each army person pays for his plot and its development charges . Army Housing Schemes and Defense Housing Authorities are criticized, yet most dream of living in the areas, because of its clean ambiance, safety and security, civic amenities.
Few know  that Army’s indulgence in commercial activities is motivated by the urge of providing welfare to retired-personnel who retire at an early age of 40-45 years. It does not affect preparedness for war. Officers and men on active duty are not posted to these concerns.
“Great nations know that value of a school teacher is more than a general in peace time and in war a Sepoy assumes priority over vice chancellor of university therefore they invest in both to uphold sovereignty and integrity of the nation”.
To our unfortunate luck we fail to condemn those who are destroying our schools and are ensuring a dark future of the coming generation.
However, we keep falling prey to foreign propaganda in criticizing the ones who are fighting and sacrificing their today for our tomorrow not realizing their job is different. To move towards the bullet when it leaves the enemy’s barrel.

We need maturity as a nation but more so by those in power. People at the top have to develop sense of responsibility and learn to remain quite if they do not know the facts. Trying to demonize your own Armed Forces can have serious consequences for the nation. 
Our media must realize that independence of media does not mean a license to tell lies or become a tool in the hands of our enemies… mh
Fauj sub Khaa Gayee – The Fact is that We collect only 10% of the actual revenue that Pakistan can generate. This forms the backbone of our budget of which in 2012, 16 % went to Defence. If we collected 20% of Revenue, Defence would consume 8% and if we collected 40% this figure would reduce to 4%, and if we collected 80% like Western countries we would be spendind only 2% on Defence. So where is the problem? Defence spending or Tax collection? With Non Tax Payers flooding Parliament do we expect them to focus on Tax Collection while they have a “whipping boy” who does not even whimper…
Waheed Hameed
Waheed has pointed out the current state of Army Bashing so popular and in vogue with our politicians and the Parliament these days  but has not included the effects of this bashing on the morale and psychological state of mind of all soldiers. Include in this the current glee our Anchors and politicians are having at Musharraf,s trial. It is not just for the hatred of Musharraf but it is also for humiliation of an Army Chief. What then is the remedy.? The Army leadership has to think hard and ensure that this great institution of which we are all rightly so proud and which has come to the rescue of the Nation in all calamities and against all dangers is not destroyed. Not by our known enemies but at the hands of those it has helped in coming to power through providing a favorable environment for democracy. Is this the revenge of democracy which the politicians talked about. Despair in the face of continuous attacks and unjustified blame game is a dangerous state.

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A BOOK REVIEW BY DAVID WATERMAN: Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ by Ambassador Dr.Maleeha Lodhi

Pakistaniaat : A Journal of Pakistan Studies Vol. 3, No. 3 (2011)

Unknown-3Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’

Reviewed by David Waterman

Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State.’ Maleeha Lodhi, ed. London: Hurst and

Company, 2011. 391 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-84904-135-5.

Maleeha Lodhi, as the editor of Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State,’ has managed

to assemble some of Pakistan’s most influential academics, writers, economists

and policymakers in one volume, designed to give an insider’s perspective on

Pakistan’s “crisis” from diverse angles, and more importantly, to suggest

solutions regarding Pakistan’s obvious potential for a better future. The book is

not a collection of conference proceedings, but rather the product of a virtual

conference in cyberspace, discussing themes of “governance, security, economic

and human development and foreign policy […] what binds all the distinguished

contributors is their belief that Pakistan’s challenges are surmountable and the

impetus for change and renewal can only come from within, through bold reforms

that are identified in the chapters that follow” (3).

The first few chapters concentrate on Pakistan’s history and the sense of a

Pakistani identity, now that the country has existed in very concrete terms for

sixty-five years or so. Ayesha Jalal suggests that Pakistan’s path toward a

national identity for its heterogeneous people has been interrupted, as its history

has been co-opted for “political and ideological reasons” (11). Pakistan’s position

vis-à-vis India, militant Islam and 9/11 are all important factors in the equation as

well. Akbar Ahmed recalls Jinnah’s role not only in the founding of the nation,

but his continuing legacy in terms of an equilibrium between Islam and the State;

Jinnah’s thoughts are in large part gleaned from his speeches and letters, as he left

no monograph before his death (23). Mohsin Hamid, author of Moth Smoke and

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (filming for the movie has apparently begun),

assumes his mantle of engaged journalist in an essay entitled “Why Pakistan will

Survive.” His argument is best summed up as follows: “we are not as poor as we

like to think” (41), highlighting Pakistan’s strength in diversity, and in economic

terms, Hamid suggests that something as simple as a coherent, fair tax code could

allow the nation to concentrate on schools and healthcare, while cutting the

strings of American aid and its corresponding intervention in Pakistan’s affairs.

Maleeha Lodhi’s own chapter is a detailed overview of contemporary history,

calling attention to political asymmetry, clientelist politics and borrowed growth

David Waterman

as well as security concerns and regional pressures on national unity; ultimately

she calls for a “new politics that connects governance to public purpose” (78).

The essays then move into more political themes, and the first among them

discusses the army as a central element of Pakistani political, and indeed

corporate, life. Shuja Nawaz argues that while the army has historically been a

significant power broker, the generation of commanders from the Zia and

Musharraf eras is about to retire, thus promising the possibility of change,

including the realization that “counterinsurgency operations are 90 per cent

political and economic and only 10 per cent military” (93). Saeed Shafqat also

discusses the political role of the military, saying that while elections are of

course essential to democracy, more attention needs to be paid to the rule of law

and the incorporation of cultural pluralism (95), never forgetting the role of

various elites within the process; he suggests that the emergence of coalition

politics is a hopeful sign. Islam’s role in politics is the focus of Ziad Haider’s

essay, tracing its evolution from Jinnah’s comments through the Munir report,

Islamization under Zia and Talibanization to the “This is Not Us” movement

(129) and the hope that moderate Islam represents the future of Pakistan. A

chapter entitled “Battling Militancy,” by Zahid Hussain, continues the discussion,

tracing the development of jihadist politics given the situation in Afghanistan.

The focus then shifts to economic policy, beginning with Ishrat Husain’s

insistence that economic policies cannot remain sound without solid institutions

behind them; he cites the long-term nature of economic progress, while successive

governments seem interested only in short-term horizons (149-150). Meekal

Ahmed follows the Pakistani economy from the early sixties and periods of

relative health, through Ayub Khan’s era, also a time of economic stability, which

changes under Bhutto and his nationalization programs, and since then has gone

from crisis to crisis, both the government and poor IMF oversight bearing a share

of the blame. Competitiveness is the key concept for Muddassar Mazhar Malik,

who reminds us that Pakistan is “open for business” despite many challenges to

overcome, citing economic potential, natural resources and strategic location as

strong points (201). Ziad Alahdad then shifts the focus to energy, a sector in

crisis which then has an enormous impact on Pakistan’s economy, all of this in a

country with abundant natural energy resources; a more coherent exploitation of

Integrated Energy Planning would be part of an overall solution (240).

Strategic issues then occupy several chapters, beginning interestingly with

education as part of the formula, as advanced by Shanza Khan and Moeed Yusuf,

who suggest that politically-neutral education is the foundation not only of

Pakistaniaat : A Journal of Pakistan Studies Vol. 3, No. 3 (2011)

economic development but also the means to resist violent extremism by building

expectations and supplying hope, especially for the young. Pakistan of course

possesses nuclear weapons, and Feroz Hassan Khan asks the question, wondering

if its nuclear capability has allowed Pakistan to focus itself on other priorities, in

other words averting wars rather than fighting them, to paraphrase Bernard

Brodie, cited in Khan’s essay (268). Munir Akram’s essay, “Reversing Strategic

‘Shrinkage,’ highlights Pakistan’s current challenges: the Pakistani Taliban’s

attacks in KP and large cities; Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan; Balochi

alienation; economic stagnation; energy crises; growing poverty, all of which

have contributed to “a dangerous mood of national pessimism,” according to

Akram (284). Afghanistan occupies Ahmed Rashid’s attention, as it has for over

thirty years now; he critiques strategic claims that have become worn with time,

such as the need for strategic depth for Pakistan (although the notion of ‘strategic

depth’ changes when a country becomes a nuclear power), or India’s desire

(among other countries) to gain influence in Kabul (314-315). The final essay,

“The India Factor,” culminates the volume by tracing the tumultuous relations

between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, the bumpy road to peace, the effect of

the 2008 Mumbai attacks, all within the context of peoples who have not

forgotten the trauma of Partition and the secession of East Pakistan. In spite of

the obstacles, Syed Rifaat Hussain lists many of the promising agreements that

have been reached or are in progress, an encouraging sign and a reminder that

good relations are beneficial to both nations.

Human development, Maleeha Lodhi remarks in a concluding note, must

be Pakistan’s priority, and is within reach, as all of the contributors to the volume

insist. Lodhi summarizes thus: “Electoral and political reforms that foster greater

and more active participation by Pakistan’s growing educated middle class will

open up possibilities for the transformation of an increasingly dysfunctional,

patronage-dominated polity into one that is able to tap the resilience of the people

and meet their needs” (350). Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ is a fine piece

of work, written by specialists for an audience of intelligent non-specialists, and

achieves its objective admirably. Maleeha Lodhi has succeeded remarkably in her

edition of this gathering of clear-sighted experts, who never lose sight of

Pakistan’s potential beyond its current challenges.

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