Pakistan: A Hard Country



  • A fascinating book by Anatol Lieven that objectively answers many of the questions we ask every day on this forum.

    The title stems from A Hard problems Pakistan poses to the West and a phrase being heard in Pakistan over and over.

    "You have to understand that this is A Hard Country, you have to show that you can fight back if you are attacked or you are finished" – A quote from a newly elected member of parliament from PPP in 1988 who had to have five people killed because his feudal neighbor have had ambushed and killed the nephew of the parliamentarian.

    "It is A Hard Country, if you want to take care of terrorism; you have to take the subject to a field in the middle of the night and shoot him in the back of the head" - A quote from a Senior Superintendent of Police in Southern Punjab.

    It is A Hard Country but it is not a collapsing country. It is a county with resilient people.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=fEZt49MVZIAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false



  • The real power in Pakistan is held by deeply rooted, intertwined, kinship groups of property owners with armed power. Political and religious ideology can affect the choice of the voters and the mass sentiment but it just act as waves passing through the water. These waves may transform a little and do some damage but after they pass, the fundamentals of water (the real power of the feudal) remain the same.

    The basic structure of politics is the extraction of state patronage (corruption if you will) by the local bosses (political, law enforcement and bureaucracy) and its distribution to its followers. To keep those favors coming, you need supporters else the competing kinship groups are ready to challenge your power. Some of this structure is kleptocratic but the distribution of corruption is fundamental to the apparatus. This distribution of patronage is extended quite far down deep into the society in a smaller and smaller way.

    This depth of distribution of patronage provides a fundamental obstacles to a revolution for any change in Pakistani society. The other reason why a revolution cannot occur in Pakistan is that it is a varied country and a compromise is the key in a varied society.

    The entrenched elites who maintain the stability and the resilience of system and are critical to prevent any Islamist revolution are also perilous to the progress and development of the county. Both by plundering the state resources but also by preventing the state from raising the revenue on the first place. This is done partly by obstructing laws for tax collection from elites and partly by corrupting the tax collectors.

    Pakistan is not a failing states for a while. In the long run what may kill it is not the terrorism or the extremism but the water shortage. It is primarily a semi-arid land. Unless it does something about its water resources and birth rate, it will become an over populated arid state with dire consequences.





  • @Azizi

    Brother,

    Has author been approved by BAWA, I mean he is not the pro-army and/or pro-establishment, in short not anti-ppp and anti-pmln, if yes BAWA ji will start 1, 2, 3, 4....

    Jokes apart, thank you very much for introducing that book.

    It is A Hard Country but it is not a collapsing country. It is a county with resilient people.

    It is nice to read above comment.





  • @BitterTruth

    This book duly recognizes the power of Bawa. I recall from his very early postings on the main page, BAWA belongs to a Bajwa clan which is a respected feudal kinship in Punjab.

    By the way, there are many Bajwas in Army too.



  • Pakistan is future super power. Believe or not

    :) :) :)



  • نویں پرونے جی - جی آیاں نوں

    سوچ رہا ہوں کہ اب مجھے بھی اپنی آئی ڈی بدل لینی چاہیے

    :) :)



  • I recall from his very early postings on the main page, BAWA belongs to a Bajwa clan which is a respected feudal kinship in Punjab.

    .

    عزیزی بھائی

    سال شروع ہوتے ہی "سچ بولنا" شروع کر دیا ہے

    دو چار دن انتظار ہی کر لیا ہوتا

    :) :)



  • The feudal lords in Pakistan are indeed criminal lords. They have their own laws and private jails. The policemen apppointed in their areas are merely their petty servants. Every election merely empowers them to more advanced degree.



  • They have their own laws and private jails. The policemen apppointed in their areas are merely their petty servants. Every election merely empowers them to more advanced degree.

    And I was thinking BAWA ji is a ordinary LUCH TUL PARTY member.



  • asif65 ASA

    Bawa Jee is a big boss of that party, not any ordinary member.

    Cheers



  • پاکستان نفرت کی پیداوار ہے

    پاکستان فوج کے بغیر زندہ نہیں رہ سکتا

    فوج سیاستدانوں کے بغیر حکومت نہیں کر سکتی

    سیاستدان کرپشن کے بغیر سیاست نہیں کر سکتے

    سیاست میں عوام کے جذبات کو بھڑکانا ضروری ہے

    جذبات بھڑکانے کے لئے جھوٹ بولنا لازم ہے

    جھوٹ کو سچ ثابت کرنے کے لیے مذہب کا استمعال مفید ہے

    مذہب کا ذکر کرنے میں عقل اور دماغ کا استعمال نہیں ہوتا

    جس دن پاکستان کے عوام نے عقل اور دماغ کا استعمال شروع کر دیا

    پاکستان کسی خوفناک سازش کا شکار ہو جائے گا



  • دوستوں اسلام علیکم

    پاکستان نفرت کی پیداوار نہیں بلکہ کلمہ پر ایمان رکھنے والوں کی پیداوار ہے

    بات یہ ہے کہ کتاب کا تجزیہ درست ہے مگر کچھ حد تک سطحی، اب میں نے کتاب تو پڑھی نہیں لیکن جو متن یہاں شایع ہوا اس میں یہ نظر نہیں آیا کہ برطانوی راج ہی اس نظام کی ماں ہے

    اسی نے ان کو جاگیریں و نظام میں جگہ دے کر جنم دیا اور جاتے جاتے اقتدار انہی کے ہاتھ منتقل کر گیا



  • @Salam bahi

    Welcome back, seems like you are done with Phd. Now there is no hurdle in Khilafat.

    :)



  • شیرازی صاحب

    آداب

    اب خوشامدید کہہ دینے کے بعد تیلی نہ لگانا

    :-))



  • Salam, Welcome back!

    I thought Sheikh Sb's comment was factual and very nicely done.

    I think he meant the "hate" was a mutual factor both Hindus and Muslims were responsible for the divide.



  • Javed Sheikh Saheb,

    I have great respect for you, and also agree with most of your points, but find very difficult to buy all this of you you have mentioned here about Pakistan. Yes, we do have problems similar to your points, but there is a ray of hope due to some great and very useful brains who are from Pakistan and they are using their brain to get Pakistan out of this chaotic situation. Specially people like you ought know the difficulties and the barricades such brains have to go through in Pakistan. I do respect PPP of your loving hero Bhutto, but cannot respect, and cannot have any understanding for the people who are running it by abusing it by robbing Pakistan extensively. As you know when it comes to Pakistan then how mad it makes me to see the current situation of Pakistan. Yet, I'm obliged to understand that Rome was not built in a day, no matter how many short cuts or quick fits and with what speed I would like to see in Pakistan today. I think it's no good idea to say that Pakistanis are not using their brains. Yes, perhaps they are not using it according to our expectations. But then again, who are we and that how much do we participate ourselves to get Pakistan out of her problems? Thanks, and wish you a happy New Year.



  • ضیاء صاحب

    آداب

    میرے خیال میں یہ نفرت جس کا آپ تذکرہ کر رہے ہیں یہ انگریز نے اپنے مفاد کے لئے پیدا کی، نہیں تو اٹھارہ سو ستاون سے تک تو یہ مل کر لڑتے رہے ہیں

    صرف ہندو مسلم ہی نہیں بلکے ذات برادری میں بٹے بر صغیر کو انہوں ایک لاکھ انگریزی فوج سے اسی طرح قابو کیا



  • سلام صاحب، سلام عرض ہے

    امید ہے چھٹیاں خیریت سے گزری ہونگی