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Challenges of Statehood

Pakistan can only move forward by stamping out corruption in every field through honesty, hardwork, national pride, uniform national education, comprehensive economic and security systems and timely justice.

By Brigadier Saleem Qamar Butt (Retd.) | April 2021

Like many other developing countries of the world with colonial pasts and clutches of old masters still in place through other modes of neo-colonialism, Pakistan too is contnuously in the eye of political and economic storms. Depending on social status and political affiliations, there are two distinct opinion groups in the country. One group sees the economy as crumbling, social indicators declining, the government’s priorities misplaced and, consequently, Pakistan emerging as a deeply troubled state due to unemployment, inflation, poor GDP growth, negative currency exchange rate, low industrial productivity and less than desirable exports or consumption.

zulfiqar-ali-bhut0oThe other group, which is prone to see the glass half full, has a different take on all the afore-stated negative projections and, instead, focuses on achievements made in the last two and half years in bringing the train back on track after the country has been plundered by successive previous governments. The record of the sitting government, as claimed by its so-called achievements in the last two and a half year after inheriting a plethora of economic, social and security issues, is well known.

benazirThere are various domestic as well as regional and international factors that contribute to the recurrent tumultuous political, economic and security situation in Pakistan. Since the people of Pakistan have been kept illiterate or at best semi-literate through a sustained political strategy by the ruling elite, the people are still struggling for basic human necessities like better education, adequate health facilities, shelter, food, clean water, justice, jobs, security of life and property, etc. The result is that the public is forced to remain busy in struggling for survival by means fair or foul. They are living in a sham democracy in which filthy money and other means are used to buy votes and stay in power. It is generally believed that nothing happens for the good of the people.

yahya-khanThe rampant corruption in all organs of the state and the sullied nexus between the legislature, judiciary and executive has made Pakistan an ocean of corruption in which any lone voice of dissent is tantamount to disturbing the hornet’s nest. The unrelenting plunder of national wealth has kept the country limping on the crutches of foreign aid and ever-mounting loans. This has enabled the World Bank, the IMF, other IFIs and donor countries to command strong influence on Pakistan’s internal and external policies, putting a question mark on the State’s sovereignty.

Any leader in Pakistan who tries to get out of the web is bound to face either physical elimination or political death through regime change orchestrated in well-known ways. For this, corrupt mafias are more than willing and always available. No country, including the superpowers, is without faults. Pakistan suffers from the same malady. However, what makes it appear feebler and on a negative trajectory is the outcome of connections between the corrupt elite and external mafias working to destabilize and maim the country for good.

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The writer is a retired army officer with proficiency in military intelligence, diplomacy, strategic analyses, forecast and executive management. His special areas of interest include international relations, defence and warfare studies. He can be reached at

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One thought on “Challenges of Statehood

  • April 5, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Very nice, especially the advice for the future governments.