Global Security Watch -- Pakistan

Global Security Watch -- Pakistan

Global Security Watch -- Pakistan

Global Security Watch -- Pakistan

Synopsis

In recent years Pakistan has emerged as a major security concern for the United States. The acts of terrorism that originate in Pakistan and its culture of extremism cause serious apprehension for the international community as well. Pakistan's ability to combat extremism within its borders and its policy towards Afghanistan will also play a large role in determining the success of U.S. military actions in Afghanistan. This volume will be the first to deal with a variety of emerging security issues of the country and their regional and international implications.

This volume examines the issues of utmost importance for Pakistan's stability and strategic balance, and explains their significance from the global perspective. Each chapter in this book addresses specific security challenges of Pakistan, both domestic and international.

Excerpt

Pakistan has changed a lot since its establishment in August, 1947. The founding fathers envisaged Pakistan as a modern, democratic Muslim state. However, it could not sustain democracy because the bureaucratic-military elite displaced the divided political leaders and established their control over the affairs of the country. Right from the beginning, Pakistan assigned the highest priority to external security, neglecting societal development. Consequently, it could not address problems like rampant poverty, illiteracy, corruption, and poor government, which negated the essence of the establishment of Pakistan.

There are many reasons behind these failures and disillusionment. As a result of four military dictatorships in the country, the democratic process was derailed and institutions weakened. Even in the decade of democracy, (1988 to 1999) hardly any elected government was given a chance to complete its full tenure. The extended delays in the making of the Constitution for the new state were yet another reason for the failure of the construction of any viable institutions, nor were any solid traditions established for managing the country.

The Afghan war in the 1980s multiplied Pakistan’s problems. It was during this period that the culture of militancy and bigotry was inculcated in the society by the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq. This played havoc with the social fabric of the country, badly disturbing its equilibrium. It also undermined Pakistan’s global image because the international community started viewing the country as a hub and even a sponsor of terror groups. Pakistan’s drift towards religious extremism and militancy have serious implications for the region, with global connotations. The most alarming aspect of this phenomenon remains in religious extremism, where sectarian intolerance and hatred was allowed to grow unchecked. This promoted killings, blasts, armed attacks and suicide bombings, in which thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives.

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