Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Failed countries

Welcome in Pakistan
Originally uploaded by ornellab.

I’m just watching a press conference with Benazir Bhutto’s husband and son. It’s been decided to make the latter party leader after his mother.

To me, this is yet another indication that Pakistan is a failed country. Surely a 19-year-old university student is not the most qualified person to attempt to gain power in a large country with a huge army?

I read an article a few months ago (alas, I can’t find the link) that argued that Pakistan is functioning so badly because it was founded on a religious basis (as the muslim part of India), without any ethnic, linguistic, historical or ideological foundations, which means that people can’t agree on anything apart from keeping the country muslim.

It’s a bit like most African countries, which typically have borders that ignore to all linguistic and ethnic divisions. I often wonder whether it would be better to redraw the map of Africa to make the countries more homogeneous. Only problem is nobody would have the authority to do that.

In the case of Pakistan, I don’t even have a clue how it could be fixed. Should the country be split up into smaller countries (Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh and Kashmir, for instance)? Or would it be better for all of Pakistan to rejoin India?

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