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Pakistan: A Weak State

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After independence from the British in 1947, President Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan was very clear: he wanted peace, good governance, tolerance and a state able to adhere to a rule of law. Unfortunately, this vision was never transformed into reality; the nation created as a home for the British India’s Muslims six decades ago today represent one of the world most troubling states in crisis (Crisis Guide: Pakistan).Why can’t Pakistan flourish? What makes Pakistan such a weak state?

Internal Antagonism/Intolerance: Pakistan’s 180 million people are divided into five main ethnic groups: Punjabi, Pashtun, Sindhi, Muhajirs, and Balochi (Crisis Guide: Pakistan). This diversity has caused conflict and disorder in Pakistan, affecting the economic and political development of the country. This intolerance between sectarian groups also results in suicide bombings, bomb blasts, assassinations, target killings and terrorist attacks.

Political instability: Pakistan’s political stability has been ruined by a fierce ideological debate about the form of government it should adopt. The absence of a strong political system has resulted on sudden shifts between civilian and a military government that diminish the power of civil society (Crisis Guide: Pakistan) making the economic and social development of the country very difficult.

Cultivation of terrorist groups: Pakistan has been characterized by the fostering of several terrorist groups in their quest to extend its influence across neighboring countries like Afghanistan and India (Crisis Guide: Pakistan). These groups pollute the minds of the country’s people with extreme ideology resulting in increased hostility towards neighboring countries and the rest of the world.

Poor education system:
Lack of access to quality education limits economic opportunities and makes young Pakistanis targets for extremist groups. Currently 49.5 million adults in Pakistan are illiterate. The education system in Pakistan suffers from inadequate government investment, corruption, lack of institutional capacity, and a curriculum that often negatively portrays the country’s religious minorities and reinforces biases which fuel acts of discrimination, and violence against these communities (USCIRF). This emphasis on religion in the educational system has limited Pakistan from providing a good education to its entire population.

Pakistan’s [short] history as a country has been a very troubled one, since its beginnings; territorial issues, socio-economic differences within the country, struggles of power between its provinces and the early death of its “founder”, Mohammad Ali Jinnah not only affected the formation of the country but also keeps affecting the progress of the country today. Pakistan is too divided and it peoples prejudices against each other make it really difficult to develop all aspects of the country.

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