What is a failed state? A place where almost every issue is decided by violence! In India’s immediate neighbourhood, how else would one describe Pakistan? Created as a theocracy, it now struggles to define what a Muslim is and, in the process, is self-destructing as each faction and sect attacks the other in the quest for dominance. The killing of 11 Shia Hazara miners in Balochistan carried out by the latest player in this inhuman struggle for dominance, ISIS, is only the latest example of this. Having been pushed out from its places of origin, ISIS has found sanctuary in the ever fertile fundamentalism of Pakistan. What is common in all these groups is the basic disregard for the sanctity of human lives, particularly unarmed non-combatants on whom they can vent their sadistic impulses.
Nobody in Pakistan has the guts to question this failure of the nation-state, simply because it would be an acknowledgement of the fundamental mistake in establishing a separate nation for Muslims. Anywhere in the world, the so-called Islamic states are either in the midst of genocidal civil wars or are run by monarchs and totalitarian rulers. By nature they are incompatible with modern systems of governance – democracy is anathema. Forget almost entirely about women’s rights. Pakistan, itself, has been ruled by the military, directly or indirectly, almost from the start.
Despite all this, Pakistan continues to be treated internationally as a legitimate entity. Its patronage of terrorists is only condemned and acted against to leverage it into cooperating in some greater design. This was the cynical purpose of the US when the Soviets were being countered in Afghanistan. It is now the case with China, seeking desperately to find easy access to Africa. This has left Pakistan in a condition in which the only way it can define sovereignty is through animosity for its alter-ego, India. This is why, it is pursuing its terrorist campaign against all logic and despite the poverty this has caused.
Many nations treat Pakistan with kid gloves merely because it is a nuclear power. This is despite the fact that successive Pakistani governments have repeatedly connived with China and North Korea to bypass the non-proliferation agenda. The latest buzz is that Pakistan is planning to help Turkey become a nuclear power. Its increasing bankruptcy has made it even more desperate to monetize this single, though aging, asset. Sadly for the people, this has extended their misery manifold and there seems to be no relief in sight.