RamaT wrote:Failing for the 'aam admi'? sure. But the question is does that weaken the governing apparatus? and if it doesn't then I would argue that until the point that it does it has no real impact in the order of things as they are.
The future is unwritten, Pakistan may or may not break up.. neither of us knows,
I have no argument with this. But if you want my views - it's going to be a long one...
Pakistan is, in my view a failed state which has been kept intact by protecting and funding the Pakistan army which is all that matters to keep the state together. I believe that the only entity that can exert some force to claim a hold on territory in Pakistan's NWFP and Baluchistan is the Pakistan army. But there are a few points to note here (in my view)
I think the root of our disagreement is differing definitions of 'failure'. In my mind failure occurs when the governing structure falls apart, i.e. USSR. Now the USSR was failing before it failed, but it didn't 'fail' until the degree and rate of decline went so far that the government disbanded, internally in their case, but can also occur via force as many other times in history.
So, the Pakistani state may be failing or in imminent danger of failure but so far it has not 'failed', when there are 4 other 'stans' standing in its place or when India/China have annexed mass amounts of their land and become completely strategically irrelevant then they will have failed.
As an aside, maybe it might be better to call them a 'Zombie' state to reflect this status.. they don't know they're dead yet.
shiv wrote:1) The Pakistan army is supported mainly by the US. The Chinese role is not significant in keeping Pakistan intact. The Chinese role is mainly in arming Pakistan against India and not in helping the army combat a civil war that it is facing.
I agree with you that this is the current situation, see below in detail answer to your other question why this may not be so in the future. Also, I make the point that the current situation, whatever it is, has sustained their power structure for the past decade. When the US lost interest in the '90s is when they were really having problems as they didn't have a more powerful client whose scraps to live off.
What I am trying to say here is that Pakistan is an agglomeration of feudal estates that are loosely controlled by alternately cooperating and alternating forces of which the Pakistani army is the most powerful and influential force that has acquired for itself (and kept) the reputation of being the "ruling party" of a coherent nation state.
Yes, and they control the diplomacy foreign policy and access to their land in the larger sense. The fact that their land is so strategically located is what gives them some semblance of power. The whole point is this set of ruling elites have been able to further their agenda while claiming to represent the 'Pakistani state' and until there is such a large change that this core structure loses control, they have not failed.
That leaves me with the last two questions:
1) What are the "solutions" that are being suggested to Pakistan?
2) What will be the nature of failure if Pakistan fails to follow those solutions.
1) Solutions: Make peace with India. Open up trade. This is essentially the only way out
That is the sane way out, for the mutual betterment of themselves, their countrymen and India. But, this is not the only 'way out'.. there is also a 'way in'. The elites have shown over the past 50 years that they are able to figure out ways to be 'useful' to larger powers so that they can get what they need to perpetuate their system. There are ways they can do so in the future and they are exploring them so they can lumber onward.
1. Extract as much $$ from US as possible currently, simultaneously get US to help develop their economy(additionally helping the elites) and weaken those that don't accept their hegemony over the Paki landmass.
2. Court China as a hedge against too much US influence, and present themselves as a thorn to India. This is of some interest to China but not enough to get massive $$ and the Pakis realize that. So, they are trying to make China dependent on them in some deep way.
Two strategies for China:
A. Oil shipments through Arabian sea ports through Karokaram and into China. If this gets established then it changes the game hugely for China and its economy and they will be vested in maintaining the current order. Just think of the money and time the Chinese would save by not having to ship oil around India, by giving the Pakis a few % it will completely alter their budget situation. If you think this isn't a big deal just think how many wars US has had for oil, the Chinese will be the same once that link is built, they will not want to give it up and will pay.
B. The Chinese spent some $11 billion dollars in developing a copper mine in Peru, half way around the planet. They need industrial metals(copper, iron, etc) badly, for another 15 years at least. If the recent chirping of the Afghani mineral regions extending through Pakistan have any merit then that's $500 billion worth of metals under their feet. The Chinese will pay for these handsomely(much cheaper than shipping from Peru), and all the contracts will go to the elite/army.
shiv wrote:2) What will be the nature of "failure" of Pakistan: Chronic state of civil war, decline of human development parameters, burgeoning population, mass migration, famines and strife spreading to neighboring states like fghanistna and India. if you notice this is already happening.
At the margins, the question is will it escalate to the point where it will be an existential threat to the system setup by the elites there. Until it becomes so, it is not much more than a nuisance to them.
shiv wrote:If the US stops supporting the Pakistan army - this is bound to get worse. Unless Pakistan makes peace with India. Arms and funds to the army will not make Pakistan succeed. In the long term, ONLY economic integration with India will work. Failing that we are only going to see more and more of what we have seen in the last 10 years. The future, in my view, is here. Pakistan is already in a state of failure.
Their nooks prevent forcible takeover and the only problem they have to solve is how to acquire an economically generous and geopolitically influential benefactor. If they are able to find another 'paying client' in China, it doesn't matter what the US does. In fact it might even strengthen them internally and give them time to bleed some of that Islamist pressure if they can overtly tell the US to take a flying leap. Once they have a secure and paying relationship with the Chinese this becomes more plausible.