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Monday, May 08, 2006

Pakistan - An albatross around India's neck?

Fund for peace has announced the Failed States Index (FSI) for the year 2006.

Based on "tens of thousands of articles" from different sources gathered over several months and reviewed by experts, every nation for which data is available, is scored on following 12 criteria

* I 1 - Mounting Demographic Pressures
* I 2 - Massive Movement of Refugees and IDPs
* I 3 - Legacy of Vengeance - Seeking Group Grievance
* I 4 - Chronic and Sustained Human Flight
* I 5 - Uneven Economic Development along Group Lines
* I 6 - Sharp and/or Severe Economic Decline
* I 7 - Criminalization or Delegitimization of the State
* I 8 - Progressive Deterioration of Public Services
* I 9 - Widespread Violation of Human Rights
* I 10 - Security Apparatus as "State within a State"
* I 11 - Rise of Factionalized Elites
* I 12 - Intervention of Other States or External Actors

based on how they fair across the 12 indicators, nations secure a rank and a list of all nations ranked as above is "Failed States Index". Failing to act appropriately to contain/mitigate common political, social or economical issues will show up as high scores against there corresponding indicators, which in turn will push the nation up in the rank list.

A quick glance at the list and we will see that India as a country has done well, catapulting itself from 76th position in 2005 to 93 in 2006. Thanks to the consistent economic reforms which has resulted in economic growth, abated human rights violation, democratic processes etc. So far so good. The only worrisome fact is the performance of our neighbours. All except China fall under "Failed states" category. Even more worrisome is the fact that Pakistan's rank has deteriorated severely, It has moved from being 34 in 2005 to 9 in 2006.

So you ask why do we have to worry for Pakistan performance? Well, Its in our own interest to have a economically and politically stable neighbour. Look what happened when a feud broke between eastern and western regions of Pakistan when Awami League Party was elected in early seventies. Thousands of Pakistani refugees poured into India. This is not a isolated case,Urdu speaking Biharis in Bangladesh during the post-independence time..because of turmoil in the country a feeling of insecurity and discrimination arouse among them because of which close to a lakh of them moved across the International border to seek refuge in various states of India. So indirectly India bleeds when its neighbours strangle themselves.

Also economically weak Pakistan will be a breeding haven for Kashmir separatist groups. It more likely for person who is jobless, living in abysmally poor conditions to pick up arms than a successfully employed youth. So economically strong Pakistan is more likely to lessen the tension across our borders than a weak Pakistan.

Pakistan imports close to $12 billion worth goods and India's contributions is meager few million. So a huge opportunity to pep up the trade is present, which can only be harnessed by India only if we solve issues between us and Pakistan continues to do well economically.

Everyone is aware of Pakistan's precarious role in drug trafficking industry and a economically weak Pakistan will only add fuel to the fire. This could be severely detrimental to India's health in long run.

So though India has a long way to go before it is anyway close to Norway(Rank 146) or Sweden (Rank 145), I guess we need to take inspiration from the good performance we have put up and strive for better. Also surrounded by "failed states" is certainly cause of concern and something we need to keep a tab on.


  • Hey Prashant ,
    I fully agree with the title .
    How long are we going to put up with their hostility ,including the killings of the Hindus in Kashmir ?
    Our PM's attitude is disturbing .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:19 PM  

  • Hi "Anonymous",
    >>Our PM's attitude is disturbing .<<

    I am not sure if our PM has any choice.. he is trying his best to bring stability and prosperity to the region by initiating peace processes.. but with "I dont mind my country bleeding and wallowing in trash, but I dont want to waste any opportunity to inflict pain to India" attitute of many top honchos at Pakistan, I am not sure how far we will be successful

    By Blogger Prashant, at 8:02 AM  

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