Saturday, November 05, 2011

Problem of Pakistan

You have one of most accomplished journalistic minds in America on this story about Pakistan. It is a lengthy article, but giving full justice to the topic and hence you never go way until you finish it.

As far as concretely doable actions by America, two theses come out of it in the end:
- Kind of criticism of Obama Administration policy in according 'privileged status' for the goal of decimating Al-Qaeda over the longer term issue of stability in Pakistan and security of its nuclear weapons; and
- continually neglected aspect of developing 'relations' with various parts of Pakistani Society in a way to help nurture institutional nuggets within that society so that multi-decade decadence of Pakistani Society and State overall is interrupted.

In other wards, we are talking bit of 'soft nation building' by USA in Pakistan. Hillary Clinton would have been the most ideal person to achieve this objective, but so far it seems neither she is involved that much in these tasks nor Obama Administration wants to invest any more than what is politically lucrative - again simply according higher priority for 'kinetics about terrorists' while ignoring what is happening in Pakistani Society at large.

I do not have much hope in this regard. Americans are not good in this kind of 'soft nation building'. We are not talking larger budget outlay for USA Aid to Pakistan, but greater involvement by American Governmental Machinery to kick start private sector level engagements and to provide meaningful inputs for better governance at all levels in Pakistan.

As far as India goes, it is an accomplishment of some sort that considering high caliber & credibility of authors of this article; there are no disparaging references to Indian foreign policy responses. This means disciplined and calmer foreign policy adopted by India is generally in good taste of global opinions and I as well do not see much to fault there since such a foreign policy is fundamentally helpful to protect core interests of India. Of course, there are things like greater South Asian market integration, opening up Indian educational institutes to Pakistanis and in general larger contribution to common projects helping all South Asian countries; all that will help and India should surely undertake that. But the basic temperament India is displaying in this relationship is on the right track. 

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