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Muslim societies need to deal with their own failure

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    Muslim societies need to deal with their own failure

    Martin Woollacott of The Guardian sums up Pakistans problems nicely in this article:,00.html

    In an article titiled " Muslim societies need to deal with their own failure" he says the following about Pakistan:

    "Pakistan's main difficulty is not the existence of a vehement street opposition, nor differences of religious belief among its elite. It is that the Americans are asking Pakistan, as the historian Professor Ian Talbot puts it, "to throw 20 years of strategy into the dustbin". Pakistani life has been dominated since partition by a vain search for a way of maintaining strategic equality with India. This has provided the rationale for its foreign policy and the legitimisation for the overwhelming role of the army and the intelligence services in domestic affairs.

    After defeats in war and the loss of Bangladesh, the perplexed Pakistani security elite found a new strategy for Afghanistan-Kashmir. As the Russians flailed away, Pakistan moved into Afghanistan, with the Taliban as its instrument and ally, in pursuit of what was called "strategic depth". Influence in Afghanistan and the use of its facilities to train fighters in Kashmir, along with the acquisition of nuclear weapons, was in some way supposed to compensate Pakistan for India's otherwise vast superiority.

    The debate now evidently going on behind the scenes between the American and Pakistani governments is in part about preserving this unhappy strategy, by ensuring that a government beholden to Pakistan survives in Kabul, whatever happens to Bin Laden.

    There are Pakistanis who wish that their country would reconcile itself to the fact that it cannot ever be more than a distant number two to India in South Asia. If it continues to bankrupt itself to match India, where are the resources to be found to feed and educate a country which by the middle of this century will be the world's third most populous nation? How can Afghanistan ever recover if its biggest neighbour insists on viewing everything that happens there through the lens of conflict with India?".