disruptive events, and US policy options
Faruqui looks at the future, a decade and a half hence.
paper explores alternative long-term views of Pakistan in the year 2015,
and lays out policy options for the US.
Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populous country, with a
population of 150 million. It
is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.
Its military is armed with nuclear weapons and has the seventh
largest force in the world, with a strength of 600,000.1
It is located strategically, with Iran and Afghanistan to the west,
China to the north, and India to the east.
Its southwestern corner abuts the opening to the Persian Gulf, the
Strait of Hormuz. It is a low-income country, with a per capita income of $470.
In the sixties, Pakistan was viewed as a model
developing country by the Harvard Development Advisory Service. Growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) averaged six
percent a year, about 50% higher than neighbouring India’s four percent
a year growth rate during the same period.
The rate of growth dipped in the seventies, but picked up again in
the eighties. During the
nineties, its economy slowed down to a crawl.
Due to decades of economic mismanagement in which fiscal and
international trade deficits were incurred, foreign debt obligations rose
to $37 billion, more than half of the GDP of about $65 billion.
Servicing of this debt consumes half of the national budget, and
defence spending consume about a quarter.
The country is heavily dependent on its agricultural
sector, which accounts for 70% of the population, 45% of the employment,
and 25% of the gross national product.
Agricultural performance depends on weather conditions and the
ability to deal with pest infestations.
During the current fiscal year, problems triggered by the
widespread drought in South Asia have reduced GNP growth to 2.6%, not
sufficient to cover the growth in population of 2.8%.2
About 38% of the population live below the poverty line, defined by
the World Bank as an income per person of less than one dollar a day. The
incidence of poverty in China is 4.6%, while in India it is 35%.3
Despondent with the economic outlook of the country, many
Pakistanis are anxious to emigrate. A
recent Gallup survey found that 62% of the adult population would like to
go abroad to work, and that half of those wishing to work overseas do not
wish to return home. A similar survey carried out in 1984 found that only 17% of
Pakistanis were eager to settle abroad.4
Law and order has broken down in the urban centres,
due to high rates of youth unemployment, increasing inequalities in the
distribution of income, and corruption in the police force.
Armed robberies, kidnappings and assassinations are commonplace.
The mandate of the federal government has virtually ceased to exist
in many rural areas, especially the tribal agencies of the Frontier
province that border Afghanistan. Rivalries between Punjab, the largest province with 57% of
the population whose members dominate the nation’s military and civil
services, and the three smaller provinces of Sindh, Frontier and
Balochistan are at an all time high, with problems in the allocation of
water at the top of the list of issues of contention. The common man lives
at the mercy of armed gangs that exploit ethnic and sectarian rivalries to
indulge in large-scale violence. In
addition, the presence of international terrorist organizations that have
taken root in religious institutions disrupts the normal rhythm of life.
In the realm of foreign policy, Pakistan’s major
problem continues to be its 53-year old conflict with India, much of it
involving conflicting visions of national identity.
This conflict finds its most visible expression in the lingering
dispute over Kashmir. This
conflict has involved many major and minor wars, the last one of which
took place in the icy heights of Kargil in the spring of 1999.
Militarily, Pakistan’s military has not fared well in its wars
with India.5 Fear of India
has led to continued enlargement of the military, which has doubled in
size since the 1971 war with India that led to the loss of East Pakistan,
containing 55% of Pakistan’s population.
Because of the absence of strong domestic political institutions,
and the presence of a strong feudal culture, the military has dominated
the political landscape, and ruled Pakistan for more than half of its
existence. Expenditures on
the military account for about six percent of the GNP.
On paper, the Pakistani military is half the size of India’s
military. However, much of
the equipment is obsolete and in poor repair.
In addition, Indian military spending per soldier is twice as high
The disparity in the conventional arms balance of
power with India has led Pakistan to develop a nuclear weapons programme.
This programme operated under the doctrine of recessed deterrence
till May 1998, when India’s nuclear tests forced the Government of
Pakistan to respond with its own tests within two weeks.
How does Pakistan fit into US security strategy?
Geographically, it falls within the purview of the US Central
Command. As noted by
Secretary of State Colin Powell during his recent meeting with Pakistani
Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, Pakistan and the US have been close friends
for over fifty years. In the
fifties, Pakistan was the only country that belonged to both the CENTO and
SEATO alliances formed by John Foster Dulles to contain the expansion of
communism in Asia. It also
had a bilateral military alliance with the US, and was provided
substantial military hardware through the MAP programme to equip
five-and-a-half infantry divisions and nine air force squadrons. In the
eighties, Pakistan served as a frontline state during the Soviet-Afghan
war in the eighties, and received $3.5 billion of military and economic
assistance from the US. Supplies
included 40 F-16 fighters, Cobra attack helicopters, M-48 A5 main battle
tanks, heavy artillery and various infantry weapons including Stinger
In the aftermath of the Afghan war, Pakistan became
the accidental home to more than three million Afghan refugees, many of
them armed with AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles and engaged in narcotics
trafficking. Some of these refugees, veteran mujahideen fighters of the
Soviet war, banded together into militant Islamic groups committed to
seeking the liberation of Kashmir from Indian rule.
This has led some analysts to write about the rise of a jihadist
culture in Pakistan.6 However,
this analysis fails to recognize that a large portion of the educated
middle class in Pakistan, and a major portion of the country’s
intelligentsia, has been schooled in western educational institutions,
both domestically and abroad. It
supports cooperation with the west, and actively opposes confrontation.
In addition, the Pakistani business community abjures violence and
is interested in promoting economic growth.
On the diplomatic front, Pakistan finds itself
currently at cross purposes with the US in three areas:
The deposition of democratic rule with military
rule, which took place in October 1999, and the recent ascendancy to
the presidency by General Pervez Musharraf
Allowing militant groups engaged in the Kashmir
insurgency and connected with Osama bin Laden’s forces in
Afghanistan to operate from Pakistani soil.
Pakistan’s close military ties with China,
including cooperation in the nuclear field, and the US interest in
engaging India as the primary regional power in South Asia, partly
with an eye to containing China.
Pakistan in the Year 2015
The US National Intelligence Council (NIC), an arm of
the US Central Intelligence Agency, has issued a report containing a grim
assessment of Pakistan’s future in the year 2015:9
Pakistan will not recover easily from decades of
political and economic mismanagement, divisive policies, lawlessness,
corruption and ethnic friction. Nascent
democratic reforms will produce little change in the face of opposition
from an entrenched political elite and radical Islamic parties.
Further domestic decline would benefit Islamic political activists,
who may significantly increase their role in national politics and alter
the makeup and cohesion of the military —once Pakistan’s most capable
institution. In a climate of
continuing domestic turmoil, the central government’s control probably
will be reduced to the Punjabi heartland and the economic hub of Karachi.
One of the main reasons for Pakistan’s abysmal
economic performance is poor governance and corruption in the
administration, caused by the failure to develop robust political
institutions and by decades of military rule.
As much as a quarter of the $60 billion GNP may be lost to these
twin problems, representing a total of some $15 billion.10
In a sample of 85 countries, Transparency International found that
Pakistan in 1998 was more corrupt than 71 of the nations in the sample,
with only Russia, Indonesia, Nigeria and some Latin American countries
being more corrupt than Pakistan. India
was ranked 66th.11
However, the NIC scenario is not the only future
possible for Pakistan. In
fact, it may be the low end of the range of possible futures.
During the sixties, Pakistan enjoyed decisive political leadership
under Field Marshal Ayub Khan and competent economic management.
The primary shortcoming of Ayub’s rule was lack of democratic
governance, which led to increased interpersonal and inter-provincial
inequities in the distribution of income.
Under enlightened leadership that uses the right set of policy
instruments, Pakistan can once again attain that level of growth
performance, without exacerbating income inequalities. There is a regional
precedent, represented by the turnaround in India’s growth profile
during the nineties.12
Generation of Scenarios
Pakistan’s future is predetermined to a degree by
its demographics, its low levels of spending on human and social
development over the past several decades, and by the need to pay off its
staggering foreign and domestic debts.
Additionally, Pakistan’s future is determined by developments in
its external environment, many of which are beyond the control of
Pakistan’s leaders. However,
they can control how they respond to these developments.
For example, they may or may not choose to match increases in
India’s defence budget. Ultimately,
they can control the country’s future evolution by resolving
Pakistan’s myriad domestic problems.
As stated in the Holy Quran, “God does not change the condition
of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
One can presume that the ultimate goal of governance
for a developing country is to maximize the welfare and economic wellbeing
of its citizenry, so that poverty levels can be reduced, thereby bringing
about political stability and social cohesion. Once that has been
achieved, the nation would attract higher rates of domestic and foreign
investment, both public and private.
Higher investments would bring about higher growth in economic
output, further lowering poverty levels.
Of course, the opposite would occur if government policies reduce
economic growth, raise poverty levels and exacerbate political and social
In the case of Pakistan, the following factors are
likely to influence its future development.13
A multitude of factors shape Pakistan’s external environment.
India’s economic, political and military evolution will have
a major bearing on Pakistan’s development. India’s likely
transformation into a regional power, with significant capabilities to
project military power throughout the Indian Ocean littoral, will
likely earn it a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
This development may trigger defensive reflexes in Pakistan,
leading to an arms race that Pakistan can ill afford at this nascent
stage of its economic development.
India’s policy toward Pakistan and Kashmir may make it easier
or more difficult for Pakistan to accept Indian hegemony in South
Asia.14 If a
Pakistani-backed insurgency continues in Kashmir, it will almost
certainly trigger a countervailing Indian-insurgency in Sindh and
in Afghanistan, such as the consolidation of the Taliban government,
with its restrictive human rights policies, may trigger a further
influx of refugees into the provinces of Balochistan and Frontier. Developments in Iran may stabilize or destabilize Pakistan,
depending on whether they lead to a moderation of the civil war in
Afghanistan. A new crop
of Iranian leaders may cool some of the revolutionary fervour of the
hardline factions in the clergy.
On the other hand, Iran may see a re-emergence of a strong
clergy that seeks to impose the Shia-brand of Islam throughout the
Muslim world. Chinese
economic growth and political and military evolution will have a major
influence on Pakistan’s military and economic development.
Having contributed to the development of Pakistan’s
conventional and nuclear military capabilities, China may well proceed
with construction of a deep-water port at the strategic Pakistani port
of Gwadar, located near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.
China’s competition with Taiwan, if it triggers further
supply of armaments from the US, may move China even closer to
Pakistan. The evolution
of the Shanghai Cooperative Organization may impede or promote
Pakistan’s ties with China, the Central Asian republics, and Russia.
Insurgencies in China’s western provinces, trouble in Tibet,
and continued economic growth along the eastern seaboard could lead to
the break up of China. On
the other hand, continued economic growth in the eight to ten percent
range, coupled with the departure of Mao’s Long March comrades from
the leadership could lead to the ultimate collapse of communism in
China, and its replacement with Russian-style democracy.
The economic, political and military evolution of the Middle
Eastern countries may stimulate or contract demand for Pakistani
labour, thereby spurring or decreasing foreign remittances into
Pakistan. Another Gulf
war would lead to further tensions in Pakistan.
The rate of world economic growth will impact Pakistani
economic growth, by influencing the rate of growth of Pakistan’s
Quality of Governance.
More than any other factor, the quality of governance will have
a significant impact on Pakistan’s future prospects. Bold and decisive leadership that can make the hard choices
between consumption and investment; and between spending on defence
and spending on human and economic development; will make a
significant difference. Leadership
that shows integrity in its personal and public dealings, and that can
institute policies to minimize corruption, will make a difference.
This concerns the vital issue of civil-military relations, and
the determination of the domestic political order.
For example, will the people have the right to self-government,
or will they be subjected to authoritarian regimes that rule by
decree? Will there be a
concentration of power in the personality of the chief executive, or
will power be evenly distributed between the executive, legislature
and judiciary. Will there be term limits on the Chief Executive?
How will centre-provincial relations evolve?
Will the dominance of the Punjab in Pakistani decision making
diminish or increase with time?
This concerns the management of ethnic and sectarian divisions
within the body politic. Wise
government policies will heal these divisions, and divisive policies
will add to them.
This concerns the management of relations with allies as well
as the management of relations with traditional enemies. Depending on how it is carried out, successful diplomacy can
bring much needed foreign aid to Pakistan, perhaps even lead to the
retirement of some debt, and may well lead to a peaceful resolution of
long-standing disputes with India.
It may help bring about reconciliation between the warring
tribes of Afghanistan, and transform the Taliban’s Islamic zeal into
more constructive channels.
This comprises the pursuit of strategic objectives by military
means. The right policy
will lead to the development of a professional army that pursues
realistic goals that are within the means of the country.
Promotions will be based on merit and not loyalty.
Operations will be characterized by true jointness, and
inter-service rivalries will not lead to fiscal excesses and turf
wars. There would be
transparency in fiscal matters, civilian oversight over military
spending, and improvements in the efficiency of military spending.
This comprises the mix of fiscal (tax and spending), monetary
(growth in money supply and interest rates), international trade
(exchange rates, tariffs and quotas) and institutional (liberalization
of markets) policies. The
ideal set of policies would lead to speedy retirement of existing
debt, the accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, rapid but
sustained economic growth, reduction in income inequalities, and
reduction in poverty levels. They
would also lead to improvements in the nation’s physical and social
infrastructure (roads, rail, and air communication; energy services;
water services; public health; education.
Interactions between these sets of casual factors
will determine the future development of Pakistan.
Clearly, an infinitely large number of scenarios can be generated
through the interactions of these factors.
In the next section, five scenarios that span the range of
possibilities are presented.
Super High Performance.
Pakistan will resemble the best features of the “East
Asian” miracle. The
scenario will be characterized by GNP growth at eight to nine percent
a year, allowing per capita income to rise by five to six percent a
year. Poverty levels will decline to less than 15% of the
population. This scenario might sound Utopian, given Pakistan’s
recent history. However,
it is within the realm of possibilities.
Pakistan’s military has finally recognized that economic
progress holds the key to the nation’s future.
In a recent speech, President General Pervez Musharraf noted
that while Pakistan has military muscle and is a nuclear power, it
does not have matching economic strength and is thus a weak state.
“We have to strengthen our economy in order to create a
balance with our military power.”15
This scenario is likely to occur if the following conditions
prevail: a high investment rate in the range of 35-40% of GNP; fiscal
surplus of two percent of GNP, brought about by expansion of the tax
base and reduction in unproductive government expenditures; low levels
of foreign debt; a liberalized economic system with significant
incentives for private enterprise and a modicum of red tape; a booming
IT sector; inspired political leadership and governance; institutions
of checks and balances between the three branches of government;
democratic rule; domestic harmony; a foreign policy focused on
cooperation and peace; defence spending at 2% of GDP; conversion of
SAARC into a free trade area; extensive economic trade and commerce
between Pakistan and India.16
Pakistan in 2015 will resemble the Pakistan of the early
sixties when Pakistan seemed primed to hit the “take off” stage
and evolve into a middle income power.
The scenario will be characterized by GNP growth at six to
seven percent a year, allowing per capita income to grow by three to
four percent a year. Poverty levels around 25%.
This scenario is likely to occur if the following conditions
prevail: an investment rate in the range of 25%; diminished income
inequalities and regional disparities; foreign policy moving toward
cooperation and peace, with occasional interludes of conflict with
neighbouring powers; defence spending at 4% of GNP; civilian
government control; well developed physical and social infrastructure.
Pakistan in 2015 will resemble the Pakistan of the eighties.
The scenario will be characterized by GNP growth at four to
five percent a year, allowing per capita income to grow by one to two
percent a year. Poverty
levels will range from 45% to 55%.
This scenario is likely to occur if the following conditions
prevail: investment rates in the range of 20%; stabilization of
macroeconomic imbalances; national security would continue to be
equated with military muscle; a confrontational foreign policy with
India would continue; there would be tacit support to militant groups
in neighbouring countries; involvement in Afghanistan would continue
with a desire to seek strategic depth; military rule; and defence
spending at 6% of GNP.
Pakistan in 2015 will resemble the Pakistan of the fifties and
nineties. There will be
anemic growth in GNP of three to four percent a year, and per capita
incomes will stagnate. Poverty
levels will be in excess of 65%.
This scenario is likely if the following conditions prevail:
investment rates in the range of 15%; deterioration in macroeconomic
imbalances; governments that lack the will to make tough decisions;
rent seeking behaviour by oligarchs (feudal lords and civil service);
recidivous militarism; adventurism in foreign policy; defence spending
at 8% of GDP; heightened inequalities in income distribution; civil
discord; inter-provincial rivalries; intolerant religiosity; breakdown
of law and order; institutional meltdown17; soaring foreign debt,
leading to bankruptcy; government unable to pay salaries to government
workers; erosion of national sovereignty.
Super Low Performance.
Pakistan would resemble today’s Afghanistan, Sudan or most of
sub-Saharan Africa. There would be zero growth in GNP, and per capita
incomes would decrease by three percent a year.
Poverty levels will be in excess of 80%, and public services
will become dysfunctional. The military will disintegrate into rival
militias, each headed by a warlord.
There will be no semblance of law and order in either urban or
rural areas. Special interest groups bring the political decision making
to a halt. Leaders of
tribes, clans, and sects will demand absolute loyalty.
And there will be extreme inequalities of income.
This scenario will be likely if the following conditions
prevail: investment rate under 10%; macroeconomic imbalances in excess
of 10% of GNP; high population growth; rising levels of illiteracy; no
respect for minorities and women.
The scenarios described in the previous section can
be thought of as resulting from a smooth evolution of events between now
and the year 2015. In addition, there is a significant probability that
any of the scenarios can degenerate into a sudden crisis. Such a
possibility can occur in any scenario, but is particularly strong in
Scenarios 4 and 5. Disruptive
events that can precipitate a crisis include:
Osama bin Laden’s followers carry out a daring
raid at the Sargodha airbase in the Punjab province, and seize several
M-11 short-range ballistic missiles.
The missiles are taken to Afghanistan, and can be used to
threaten neighbouring states in Central Asia as well as Pakistan.
Two Pathan Pakistani air force officers defect to Afghanistan
with advanced air force fighters laden with nuclear-tipped air to
Osama Bin Laden succeeds Mullah Omar as the next
ruler of Afghanistan. Soon, thereafter, the Government of Pakistan is
overthrown by a Taliban-style militia.
All senior government leaders are executed in a manner
reminiscent of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s takeover in Iran.
Osama’s forces gain access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,
and consummate a confederation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The existing ex-communist leadership in the
Central Asian republics has died off, and is replaced by a new crop of
leaders who have no allegiance to Moscow or China.
This is accompanied by bombs and explosions in Chechnya and
Xinjiang. China steps up
its anti-terrorist campaign, and executes several Muslim leaders
accused in Xinjiang. Two
of the Central Asian republics pull out of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, and create a new organization that includes Afghanistan.
They demand that Pakistan break its ties with China and join
this organization, and threaten retaliation if it does not comply.
India’s military expansion causes all of its
neighbours to band together, forming a Waltzian ring around her. Pakistan exploits the situation to step up the Kashmir
responds by blockading the port of Karachi.
Submarines of the Chinese navy, based in the western Pakistani
port of Gwadar, sink the leading Indian aircraft carrier to break the
blockade. India responds
by invading Pakistan, leading to a full-scale war between the two
Violence in Kashmir flares up, leading to a
full-scale war with India. Threatened
with an Indian invasion, Pakistan launches tactical nuclear weapons
against Indian forces. India
retaliates and takes out all major Pakistani cities.
Inter-provincial disputes in Pakistan over the
allocation of increasingly scarce water and energy resources spin out
of control. The
provincial distribution of federal expenditures is questioned.
The smaller provinces ask their citizens to stop paying taxes
to the federal government. Balochi
insurgents take over the Sui Gas fields, stopping the flow of gas into
the rest of Pakistan. Navy
personnel in the port of Gwadar come under mortar attacks, and a
senior Chinese officer deployed there is kidnapped and held hostage.
The Pakistani military seeks to restore the writ of the federal
government in the smaller provinces, but is easily overwhelmed by
defections, reminiscent of the Bangladesh crisis of 1971.
With Indian encouragement, Sindh becomes an independent state. Balochistan and Frontier merge with Iran and Afghanistan
respectively, with encouragement from these two countries.
Such events— like the fall of the Berlin Wall in
1989, or the Arab Oil Embargo of 1974— have no finite probability of
occurrence, but need to be considered in planning future responses. When planning under uncertainty, there is a need to focus on
low probability, but high impact events.
US Policy Alternatives
US strategy in the year 2015 is likely to include a
wide range of objectives20, including:
Promoting world economic prosperity
Preventing the outbreak of
Husbanding environmental resources
Ensuring access to world energy supplies
Encouraging efficient use of energy
Encouraging democratic institutions
Safeguarding human rights, especially the rights
of ethnic minorities and women
Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass
Restraining transnational terrorism
Halting drug trafficking, money laundering and
Preventing pervasive corruption in governance
Preventing uncontrolled refugee migration between
Policy instruments available for achieving these
objectives can be grouped into three major categories: diplomacy, economic
and military. Each category
includes instruments that provide incentives that reward positive
behaviour as well as instruments that provide disincentives that penalize
negative behaviour. For
example, economic aid can be used to provide incentives for economic
growth while economic sanctions can be used as a penalty for subverting
democracy. Sound US policy
will seek to combine all three categories of instruments for
cost-effective attainment of strategic objectives.
Table 1 contains additional details on the policy options available
to US decision makers.
Table 1: Matrix of US Policy Options
Initiate confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan.
Mediation between India and Pakistan. Organize UN initiative(s) in
Kashmir. Encourage democracy in Pakistan. Social, cultural and
Isolation campaign Rogue-state designation
- Foreign aid at concessional
- Nigerian-style debt write off.
- Credit guarantees (OPIC, EXIM, CCC).
- World Bank/IMF sponsored aid package.
- Science and technology promotion programme
|Embargo on international trade
- Joint exercises in Pakistani waters, air space and land.
- Exchange of senior officers.
- Training programme for all ranks.
- Arms sales.
- Assistance in defence production. Bases on Pakistani soil.
- Evacuation of US personnel
- Panama/Grenada type mission
- Blockade of ports
- Iraq-type no fly zones
- Cruise missile attacks
- Kosovo-type air war
- Full-scale ground war
It will be important for the US to engage proactively
with Pakistan across the five scenarios described earlier, even though the
specific portfolio of policy instruments chosen will vary by scenario.21
Pakistan in the year 2015 will most likely be the largest Muslim
country in the world, and by then Islam will have become the second
largest religion in the US. There
will be a sizeable Pakistani Diaspora in the US, making a strong
contribution to the productivity of the US economy. First and second generation Pakistani-American entrepreneurs
will establish and manage high-tech companies that employ hundreds of
people. Consistent with past
practice, Pakistani-American doctors and engineers will occupy leadership
positions in their profession. They
will diversify into other professions as well, such as journalism, law and
economics. On the political
front, Pakistani Americans are likely to be represented in many state
legislatures; a few may be sitting in the US House of Representatives; and
one or two may have contested a senatorial position.
They are also likely to be represented in one or more senior
positions in the US government.
Pakistan will have a sizeable inventory of nuclear
warheads, upwards of 50 warheads. It
will be capable of delivering them from air, land and sea based platforms.
Fuel for the warheads will come from an expanded programme of
nuclear power generation. This programme would be an outgrowth of the 300
MW Chinese-built Chashma nuclear power station that became operational in
2000. Pakistan is also likely
to have attained self-sufficiency in a variety of conventional defence
systems, and is likely to be a major arms exporter to states in the Gulf
region, Southeast Asia and Africa. Likely weapon systems will include
submarines (derivatives of the French Agosta class), main battle tanks
(derivatives of the Al-Khalid class), and armoured personnel carriers
(derivatives of the US M-113).
Its geographic location would have become more
salient, with the further development of the energy resources in the
Central Asian republics. As these economies grow, they will seek access to
the Arabian Sea, and Pakistan may well become the ideal means of
transportation for them.
The first two scenarios, featuring Super High
Performance and High Performance, will require the US to support
Pakistan’s continued economic, political and social development by
providing diplomatic and economic incentives.
In addition, the US military should be engaged constructively with
the Pakistani military, through exchange of senior military officers,
military training programmes, and through joint exercises.
The third scenario, Average Performance, will require
the US to pursue an expanded set of diplomatic and economic options to
encourage economic growth and prevent a drift toward the sluggish
performance of the nineties.
The fourth scenario, Low Performance, will require an
economic “SWAT team” where the US sends in economic advisors to help
the Government of Pakistan salvage its bankrupt economy, and arranges for
writing-off a major portion of its foreign debt. In addition, on Pakistan’s request, it may arrange for the
creation of a UN sponsored peacekeeping force that would restore law and
The fifth scenario, Ultra Low Performance, is clearly
the most dangerous of the five considered in this paper. It will require the most nuanced approach on the part of the
US. Extreme care will need to
be observed to ensure that outright hostility does not develop between the
US and Pakistan, as the former tries to insert itself by force into the
Pakistani state, in order to prevent Balkanization of the latter, and in
order to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of war Lords.
It will be counter productive to label Pakistan a rogue state,
since the current policy of labeling nations such as Iran, Libya and Sudan
as rogue states has not worked either.
It would be wise to avoid US military intervention, since that will
further polarize an already difficult and messy situation.
It may draw China and Russia into the conflict, precipitating a
much larger and potentially very dangerous continental crisis.
Indian forces will have to be restrained from entering Pakistan and
installing a puppet regime. It
would be best to create a peacemaking force under UN auspices.
This would of course require the cooperation of China and Russia.
Once the semblance of a functioning government has been ensured,
emergency economic aid would have to be provided to resuscitate the
dysfunctional economy and meet the basic needs of the population.
International Institute for Strategic Studies,
Military Balance, various years, London.
Government of Pakistan, Economic Survey
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Government of Pakistan, “SBP Quarterly Report”, State Bank of
Pakistan, Karachi, Pakistan.
World Bank, World Bank Atlas 2001, Washington,
IRNA, Islamabad, June 19, 2001.
Ahmad Faruqui, “Failure in Command: Lessons
from Pakistan’s Indian Wars,” Defence Analysis, Winter 2001.
Jessica Stern, “Pakistan’s Jihadist
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Ehsan Ahrari, “Transnational Terrorism,
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Ehsan Ahrari. “Strategic Moves in Southern
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U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Global Trends
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2000-02, December 2000, Washington, DC.
A cabinet-level study done by Shahid Javed Burki
and Hafeez Pasha in 1996-97, cited in Burki, p. 174. For the role of countervailing action by the losers in
exposing corruption, and thus preventing its expansion, see M. Shahid
Alam, “Corruption and Countervailing Action in Pakistan,” in
Silvio Borner and Martin Paldam (editors), The Political Dimensions of
Economic Growth, Macmillan, 1998.
Cited in Vito Tanzi, “Corruption Around the
World: Causes, Consequences, Scope and Cures,” IMF Staff Papers,
Burki, Shahid Javed, “Pakistan 25 Years from
Now,” Pakistan Link, May 25, 2001.
Hughes, Barry B. International Futures: Choices
in the Creation of a New World Order.
Westview Press, 1996.
Faruqui, Ahmad, “Beyond Strategic Myopia in
South Asia,” Strategic Review, Winter 2001, pp. 18-25.
Address to the 25th National Seerat Conference at
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