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The partition of India and its consequences - Part 1

-Prof. Kittu Reddy

In the first article of this series, it was stated that in addition to the political system the other cause of India ’s problems was the partition of India and its acceptance by the Government of India as final.

There is a widespread belief that India , as a nation is a creation of the British. The argument is that since India was unified under a single political rule only in few brief periods of its history, it is an artificial state. It is believed that it was only the British who created the idea of India as a single nation and unified it into a political state.

This belief or myth is not accidental. It was deliberately taught in the British system of education that they established in India . John Strachey, writing in ` India : Its Administration and Progress' in 1888, said “This is the first and most essential thing to remember about India – that there is not and never was an India , possessing any sort of unity, physical, political, social or religious; no Indian nation.”

This belief was evidently fostered and encouraged as part of the British policy of divide and rule. But what is generally not sufficiently known and recognized is that the idea of the fundamental unity of India is much older than British rule; it is not a recent growth or discovery but has a history running back to a remote antiquity. And this idea had many components such as geography, culture, religion and spirituality.

However, when the British came to India in the 17th century, India was badly divided politically and the British taking full advantage of the situation then prevalent annexed the whole of India .

During the next century of British rule, as part of their policy of divide and rule, the Indian subcontinent was divided into several States, resulting in the formation of Myanmar , Nepal , Sri Lanka , Afghanistan , Bhutan and finally Pakistan in 1947.

 This division of the subcontinent into several States is causing great harm to the whole area politically, economically and even culturally in the form of a serious religious divide. In particular, the creation of Pakistan has engendered serious problems for both India and Pakistan as well as for the other nations in the subcontinent. We shall make a brief study of the history and background of this unfortunate event.


India , as it is understood today attained its freedom from British rule on 15th August 1947. On 3rd June 1947, Lord Mountbatten who was then the Viceroy of India made a proposal to divide India on communal and religious lines creating two independent States, India and Pakistan . On the same day – the 3rd of June 1947, Mother wrote this note after hearing on the radio the declaration of the Viceroy to Indian leaders, announcing Britain ’s final transfer of power to a partitioned India .

“A proposal has been made for the solution of our difficulties in organising Indian independence and it is being accepted with whatever bitterness or regret and searchings of the heart by the Indian leaders.

But do you know why this proposal has been made to us? It is to prove to us the absurdity of our quarrels.

And do you know why we have to accept these proposals? It is to prove to ourselves the absurdity of these quarrels.

Clearly, this is not a solution; it is a test, an ordeal which, if we live it out in all sincerity, will prove to us that it is not by cutting a country into small bits that we shall bring about its unity and greatness; it is not by opposing interests against each other that we can win for it prosperity; it is not by setting one dogma against another that we can serve the spirit of Truth. In spite of all, India has a single soul and while we have to wait till we can speak of an India one and indivisible, our cry must be:


On the 15th August India attained its independence while Pakistan was born on 14th August.

On the 15th August 1947 Sri Aurobindo gave a message. Here is an extract from the message:

August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition. Indeed, on this day I can watch almost all the world-movements, which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though then they looked like impracticable dreams, arriving at fruition or on their way to achievement. In all these movements free India may well play a large part and take a leading position.  The first of these dreams was a revolutionary movement which would create a free and united India . India today is free but she has not achieved unity. At one moment it almost seemed as if in the very act of liberation she would fall back into the chaos of separate States, which preceded the British conquest. But fortunately it now seems probable that this danger will be averted and a large and powerful, though not yet a complete union will be established. Also, the wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly has made it probable that the problem of the depressed classes will be solved without schism or fissure. But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient.  For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India 's internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated. This must not be; the partition must go. Let us hope that this may come about naturally, by an increasing recognition of the necessity not only of peace and concord but of common action, by the practice of common action and the creation of means for that purpose. In this way unity may finally come about under whatever form - the exact form may have a pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India 's future.2

In a message in 1948 in a message to the Andhra University, Sri Aurobindo wrote:

On the contrary, India was deliberately split on the basis of the two nation theory into Pakistan and Hindustan with the deadly consequences we know.3

Similarly, Sri Aurobindo had said in an interview with KM Munshi in 1950: “ Pakistan has been created by falsehood, fraud and force.”4

Much later on December 18 1971 after the Bangladesh war, Mother remarked:

The different parts of Pakistan will demand separation. There are five of them and by separating, they will join India - to form a sort of confederation. That is how it will be done. It is not for this time also. It will take some more time.5

 It is evident from the above messages that both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did not approve of this division and partition of India ; they foresaw the grave consequences that would follow and were looking forward to the day when it would be dissolved and a confederation of India be formed.  It should also be evident today that the Indian subcontinent is going through a severe ordeal and test as predicted by the Mother; indeed, one can see that almost all the predictions made by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are now happening.

The consequences of Partition

Let us now see the consequences of Partition in the subcontinent.

Firstly, the partition resulted in one of the most extreme forms of violence and probably one of the largest migrations of population in history. In the wake of Partition the number of deaths throughout India and Pakistan numbered around one million, while some fifteen million refugees moved across the new borders in Punjab and Bengal. In addition, tens of thousands of girls and women were raped or abducted. The high casualties and tremendous population dislocation was a huge burden for both India and Pakistan . The position of mohajirs, in Pakistan or migrants from India , remains a dangerous political problem, while in India the influx of refugees from Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) has become a source of great unrest.

Secondly, the division of Punjab cut through Punjab’s well-developed infrastructure systems, disrupting road, telephone, and telegraph communications, but most importantly, interfering with the region’s vital irrigation system. Today, these water problems are plaguing current Indo-Pakistani relations in Kashmir.

Thirdly there are the territorial and boundary disputes, the most serious one being the Kashmir dispute which is still a festering sore for the whole subcontinent. In addition there are border problems, such as infiltration from Bangladesh , infrastructure problems and river problems.

Fourthly, as a result of Partition, there have been a large number of communal riots all over the country and is a constant source of tension.

Fifthly, India and Pakistan have fought four wars and the arms race is in full swing; at present it is not only an arms race, but it has become a race for nuclear arms. The prospects are terrifying and the consequences of a war can be a disaster not only for the subcontinent but also for humanity at large.

Sixthly, the spectre of terrorism has engulfed the whole subcontinent. After the war in 1971, when Bangladesh was born, Pakistan has systematically exported terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism, first in the subcontinent and then even to the western nations including the United States and Great Britain .

Finally, despite all attempts in making SAARC a viable and powerful body for economic growth and unity, the resistance and intransigence of Pakistan has become a stumbling block to any progress on this front.

The mistake in accepting partition

Many perceptive authors and political commentators see clearly the mistake in accepting Partition as the solution to the problems of the subcontinent. We quote from an article written by Rafiq Zakaria, a former Congress MP. He writes:

Developments of the last few weeks compel us to wonder whether the partition of India was not the greatest blunder that the Congress leaders, in particular Nehru and Patel, committed. They agreed to it because they were made to believe by the then Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, that it was the best solution of the Hindu-Muslim dispute. In fact, it turned out to be the worst.

Ram Manohar Lohia has explained in his book, The Guilty Men of Partition that the Congress leaders were too tired, and hungry for power, and so they gave in, much against the advice of Gandhi. In the wake of the carnage that followed, one million Hindus and Muslims died and 15 million were mercilessly uprooted.

Soon thereafter both Nehru and Patel regretted their decision. In Nehru’s words: “When we decided on Partition I do not think any of us ever thought that there would be this terror of mutual killing after Partition. It was in a sense to avoid that that we decided on Partition. So we paid a double price for it, first, you might say politically, ideologically; second, the actual thing happened what we tried to avoid.”

Patel confessed, also rather late, that he should never have consented to Partition. As he put it: “You cannot divide the sea or the waters of the river.” He said that Partition was wrong because no one could “destroy the reality that we are one and indivisible”.

But even after more than fifty 50 years, we do not seem to be free of the curse; it is continuing to eat into the vitals of our polity. It has not only endangered our stability, but what is worse, threatened our security. Moreover, Jinnah’s two-nation theory has become a millstone round India ’s neck.

At first it was Kashmir which caused the hostility; it subjected us to three wars. Now it is terrorism, which has already killed 70,000 of our people. Last month the terrorists, trained and sponsored by Pakistan , attacked Parliament, the very heart of our democracy. No Indian leader has tried as hard as our present Prime Minister to establish friendly relations with Pakistan ; but instead of responding, the Pakistani leadership has spurned every move of his.

In my latest book: The Man who divided India (Popular Prakashan), I have diagnosed the permanent damage done to South Asia by Jinnah’s pernicious two-nation theory, on which Pakistan is based. I have pointed out that unless Pakistan gets rid of it there will be no peace in South Asia. It has not only proved to be the most serious threat to India ’s security but has also done the greatest harm to the Muslims of the subcontinent.

Later in the same article he writes:

Kashmir is an offshoot of the same divisive ‘two-nation theory’. It has nothing to do with the right of self-determination of its people. If it is tampered with, it will not only destabilise our secular republic of which it is the cornerstone, but may provoke a bloody backlash against 140 million Muslims who are more than the Muslims in Pakistan. America and the rest of the Muslim world should take serious note of it.

The Root cause of Partition

Having seen the disastrous consequences of Partition, let us now see what the root causes of partition were and examine the foundations on which Pakistan was created.

It is a well known fact that Jinnah was the founder and architect of Pakistan . Yet in 1916, Jinnah was totally opposed to the idea of a separate electorate for Hindus and Muslims. In the words of Krishna Iyer: "He opposed the Muslim League's stand of favouring separate electorate for the Muslims and described it 'as a poisonous dose to divide the nation against itself.'" He collaborated with the Congress and actively worked against the Muslim communalists, calling them enemies of the nation. He had been much influenced by the speeches of Naoroji, Mehta and Gokhale whom he adored. Naoroji as Congress President had emphasised the need for "a thorough union of all the people" and pleaded with Hindus and Muslims to "sink or swim together. Without this union, all efforts will be in vain", he added. Jinnah was in full agreement with this view. He deprecated the "contrary separatist policy advocated by the League".

And yet within two decades, Jinnah totally reversed his position; whether this was done for political reasons or some other reason is not the question here. This is what he stated in justifying the demand for a separate State of Pakistan.

"You must remember that Islam is not merely a religious doctrine but a realistic and practical code of conduct. I am thinking in terms of life, of everything important in life. I am thinking in terms of our history, our heroes, our art, our architecture, our music, our laws, and our jurisprudence. In all things our outlook is not only fundamentally different but also often radically antagonistic to the Hindus. We are different beings. There is nothing in life, which links us together. Our names, our clothes, our foods they are all different; our economic life, our educational ideas, our treatment of women, our attitude to animals. We challenge each other at every point of the compass." He went on to say:  "To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state."

It was this kind of argument and vision that led ultimately to the formation of Pakistan . It must however be pointed out that Jinnah's concept of two nationalities is false and was invented by him to further his own interests.

In the words of Sri Aurobindo:

"The idea of two nationalities in India is only a newly-fangled notion invented by Jinnah for his purposes and contrary to the facts. More than 90% of the Indian Mussalmans are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindus themselves. This process of conversion has continued all along; Jinnah is himself a descendant of a Hindu, converted in fairly recent times, named Jinahbhai and many of the most famous Mohammedan leaders have a similar origin."6

And today, Pakistan is facing an acute dilemma; the dilemma is whether to follow the principles of the Jinnah of 1916, a moderate Islam or the Jinnah of 1940 – a radical Islam.

Pakistan 's Islamic Foundations

Let us now look at the tenets and demands that dominate the section of Islamic orthodoxy of the Jinnah of 1940 on which was based the demand for a separate Pakistan . It must be noted that this section represents only one interpretation of the Islamic teaching, that is to say the more aggressive section. It is this section that is at the root of terrorism all over the world; and today it is these different interpretations of Islam that is at the root of the problem facing Pakistan and Musharraf today.

Three basic postulates

The three important demands that dominate the Islamic orthodoxy as adopted by Pakistan 's government are: (1) the 2-nation theory, (2) global loyalty to Islam superseding sovereignty of man-made countries, and (3) Islamic triumphalism. These are summarized below:

1. The 2-nation theory: Pakistan was carved out of India based on the theory that Muslims require their own separate nation in order to live in compliance with Islamic Law. This theory is another form of segregation and Islamic exclusiveness and imposition of Islamic “Law” upon the public sphere. This is the exact opposite of both pluralism and secularism. Once the population of Muslims in a given region crosses a threshold in numbers and assertiveness, such demands begin. Once this ball is set in motion, the euphoria builds up into frenzy, and galvanizes the Pan-Islamic “global loyalty”. The temperature is made to boil until Muslims worldwide see the expansion of their territory as God's work. Many political observers believe that the Western nations and the United States may be faced with this experience at some point during the next few decades.

2. Pan-Islamic loyalty superseding local sovereignty: Islamic doctrine divides humanity into two nations that transcend all boundaries of man-made countries. All Muslims in the world are deemed to be part of one single nation called dar-ul-islam (Nation-of-Islam). All non-Muslims are deemed to belong to dar-ul-harb (the enemy, or Nation-of-War). This bi-polar definition cuts across all sovereignty, because sovereignty is man-made and hence inferior and subservient to God's political and social bifurcation. Islamic doctrine demands loyalty only to Islamic Law and not to the man-made laws of nations and states, such as USA , India , etc. Among the consequences of this doctrine is that a Muslim is required to fight on the side of a Muslim brother against any non-Muslim. This has often been invoked by Muslims to supersede the merits of a given dispute at hand. Orthodox Islam calls for a worldwide network of economic, political, social, and other alliances amongst the 1.2 billion Muslims of the world. Pakistan invokes this doctrine to claim Indian Muslims as part of dar-ul-islam, with Pakistan designated as caretaker of their interests. The Al Qaeda global network of terror is simply the extreme case of such a “network” mentality turning violent against the dar-ul-harb.

3. Islamic Triumphalism: A central tenet of Islam is that God's “nation” -- i.e. the dar-ul-islam -- must sooner or later take over the world. Others, especially those who are in the crosshairs, as prey at a given moment, see this as religious imperialism. Pakistan 's official account of history honours Aurungzeb because he plundered and oppressed the infidels, i.e. Hindus and Buddhists. Likewise, many other conquerors, such as Mohammed of Ghazni, are portrayed as great heroes of Islamic triumphalism. (Even Pakistan 's missile is named after an Islamic conqueror of India in the Medieval Period.) Given this divine mandate, the ethos of aggressiveness and predatory behaviour is promoted and celebrated in social life, which non-Muslims see as Islamic chauvinism. September 11 was a misjudgment of timing and dar-ul-islam's ability to take over. But any orthodox Mullah or Imam would confirm God's edict that eventually Islam absolutely must take over the world.

Islamization in Pakistan

Islamic texts are being introduced into Pakistani military training. Middle ranking officers must take courses and examinations on Islam. There are even serious attempts under way to define an Islamic military doctrine, as distinct from the international military doctrines, so as to fight in accordance with the Koran.

An eminent Pakistani writer, Mubarak Ali, explains the chronology of Islamization:

“The tragedy of 1971 [when Bangladesh separated] brought a shock to the people and also a heavy blow to the ideology of Pakistan … More or less convinced of their Islamic heritage and identity, Pakistan ’s government and intelligentsia consciously attempted to Islamize the country.

The history of Islamization can be traced to the Bhutto era.
General Zia-ul-Haq [a great friend and ally of the
US ] furthered the process to buy legitimacy for his military regime. The elements of communal and sectarian hatred in today’s society are a direct consequence of the laws that the dictator had put in place.  He made all secular and liberal-minded people enemies of the country. They were warned again and again of severe consequences in case of any violation of the [Islamic] Ideology of Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif added his own bit, like mandating death penalty to the Blasphemy Law.  During his tenure in 1991, the Islamic Sharia Bill was passed by the Parliament, and the Blasphemy Law was amended to provide death sentence for uttering any derogatory word against the Prophet Muhammad. With the failure of the ruling classes to deliver the goods to the people, religion was exploited to cover up corruption and bad governance. The process of Islamization not only supports but protects the fundamentalists in their attempts to terrorize and harass society in the name of religion. There are published accounts of the kind of menace that is spread by religious schools run by these fundamentalists.

Khaled Ahmed describes how this radicalization of Pakistan is continuing even today:

“In Pakistan every time it is felt that the ideology is not delivering there are prescriptions for further strengthening of the shariah… Needless to say, anyone recommending that the ideological state be undone is committing heresy and could be punished under law. The Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) is busy on a daily basis to put forth its proposals for the conversion of the Pakistani state into a utopia of Islamic dreams. The Ministry for Religious Affairs has already sent to the Pakistani cabinet a full-fledged programme for converting Pakistan into an ideal state. We have reached this stage in a gradual fashion, where these state institutions have become directly responsible for encouraging extremism.”

This hole is so deep that the Pakistan Government, while promising to de-radicalize Pakistan , must reassure the people not to fear the ‘threat’ of secularism. It was recently clarified in the following terms: “No-one should even think this is a secular state. It was founded as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

While America still has enormous racial inequality 150 years after the abolishing of slavery, the important point is that it is committed to racial equality. Similarly, despite many flaws in India ’s pluralism, the State is committed to it. What counts is a commitment to steady improvement. India has had one of the most aggressive and ambitious affirmative action programs in the world. The results, while far from perfect, have produced many top level Muslim leaders in various capacities in India , and a growth of Muslims as a percentage of total population. But in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Hindu population has decreased from 11% in 1947 to around 1% today, as a result of ethnic cleansing.

Pakistan’s Identity Crisis

The problem for an educated Pakistani is to figure out when and where his history started. If it is to start from 1947 in the geographical area that is now Pakistan , then there is very little past for him to build an identity. If it is to be from the time of Mohammed, then his history is outside his land. If it is prior to that, then his history is largely a Hindu-Buddhist history, a past he wants to deny.

He must invent history to answer the question: Why was Pakistan created? Mubarak Ali, a prominent Pakistani scholar, explains the predicament:

“Since its inception Pakistan has faced the monumental task of formulating its national identity separate from India . Partitioned from the ancient civilization of India , Pakistan has struggled to construct its own culture; a culture not just different and unique from India , but one appreciable by the rest of the world. The overshadowing image of the Indian civilization also haunted the founders of Pakistan , who channelled their efforts in making the differences between India and Pakistan more tangible and obvious.
The fundamental difference between
India and Pakistan was based on the Two Nation theory, strengthening Pakistan ’s Islamic identity.

The University Grants Commission of Pakistan made Islamic Studies and Pakistan Study compulsory subjects at all levels of the education system, even for the professional students. This gave the government an opportunity to teach the students its own version of history, especially the Pakistan ideology, which is described as something like this: “The struggle was for the establishment of a new Islamic state and for the attainment of independence. It was the outcome of the sincere desire of the Muslims of the subcontinent who wanted Islam to be accepted as the ideal pattern for an individual’s life, and also as the law to bind the Muslims into a single community.
In asserting this identity,
Pakistan is in a state of dilemma.”

If Pakistanis were seen merely as Indians who converted to Islam, then they would seem no different than the Indian Muslims, who are equal in number to Pakistan ’s total population, who are better educated and economically placed, and who enjoy greater social freedom than their counterparts in Pakistan . Hence, the very existence of Pakistan as a separate nation rests upon constructing an identity for itself that is radically different from India ’s. But you cannot build a nation on a negative identity.
One might say that a birth defect of
Pakistan was its lack of a self-sufficient positive identity. Such a positive identity would neither be a negation of India , nor be an imperialistic claim of authority over all dar-ul-islam of the subcontinent.

Kamal Azfar, a Pakistani writer, explains the dilemma:

“There are two concepts of Pakistan : the first empirical and the second utopian. The empirical concept is based on solid foundations of history and geography while the utopian concept is based on shifting sands. Utopia is not an oasis but a mirage. Samarqand and Bukhara and the splendours of the Arab world are closely related to us but we do not possess them. Our possessions are Mohenjodaro and Sehwan Sharif, Taxila and Lahore, Multan and the Khyber. We should own up to all that is present here in the Indus Valley and cease to long for realities not our own, for that is false-consciousness.”

This obsession to be seen as neo-Arabs has reached ridiculous extremes, such as Pakistani scholars’ attempts to show that Sanskrit was derived from Arabic. Even Persian influence on Indian culture is considered impure as compared to Arabic. Pakistan ’s un-Indian identity easily gets turned into anti-Indian rhetoric. In short, hatred for India has been required to keep Pakistan together, because Allah has not done so. Pakistan is largely a garrison state, created and sustained using the Hindu-Muslim divide.
Today after 9/11,
Pakistan is supposed to be in the forefront of the war against terrorism. This is being strongly opposed by the clerics who support the war against the United States and other Western powers. Musharraf is thus in an acute dilemma. Today, Pakistan is facing a major problem: it is whether it should be governed as an Islamic State or merely as a State for Muslims.

Assessment by Foreign Policy Group

In order to understand better the consequences of the Partition of India and more pointedly the consequences of the division of the subcontinent of India , we are presenting some extracts from an objective assessment by an international group studying the condition of nations and in particular a study of what is termed now as “Failed States”.

An independent research organisation by name The Fund for Peace, supported by a group called FOREIGN POLICY presented the third annual Failed States Index. The aim was to provide a clearer picture of the world’s weakest states. Using 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators, they ranked 177 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict and societal deterioration. The index scores are based on data from more than 12,000 publicly available sources collected from May to December 2006.

The 12 parameters that have been identified under three broad categories. They are:  Demographic Indicators, Economic Indicators and Political Indicators. These indicators include such items as: Mounting Demographic Pressures and Massive Movement of Refugees or Internally Displaced Persons creating refugee problems, uneven Economic Development along Group Lines,  Sharp and Severe Economic Decline and  Criminalization and De-legitimisation of the State, Abuse of Human Rights and wide spread corruption.

What does “state failure” mean?

A state that is failing has several attributes. One of the most common is the loss of physical control of its territory or a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Other attributes of state failure include the erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions, an inability to provide reasonable public services, and the inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.

 Are there examples of states that have pulled back from the brink of failure?

Yes. The most dramatic ones are those that did it without outside military or administrative intervention. In the 1970s, analysts predicted dire consequences, including mass famine and internal violence in India , citing rapid population growth, economic mismanagement, and extensive poverty and corruption. Today, India has turned itself around. It is the world's largest democracy, with a competitive economy and a representative political system.

An overview of the State of Pakistan

Here is a summary of an overview of the State of Pakistan as seen by the Foreign Policy Group.

The modern state of Pakistan came into being in 1947 following a partition of India and has been plagued by chronic unrest ever since. Pakistan has a population of approximately 165 million and population growth rate of 2.09%. It is also an impoverished and underdeveloped nation, with an annual GDP per capita rate of $2,400. A simmering conflict with India over Kashmir, as well as the inability of the government to crack down on radical groups in the autonomous regions of Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province, have been the source of wider regional instability.

Social Indicators

The increase in social tension comes from a spike in clashes between government security forces and militants in Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province. From June to December 2005, clashes occurred almost nonstop resulting in the deaths of hundreds of suspected militants as well as Pakistani security forces. In addition, a widening rift between the government of General Pervez Musharraf and the powerful Pakistani security apparatus and religious leaders became increasingly evident throughout the year, the latest example being the confrontation in Lal Masjid. Pressured by the U.S. government to crack down on Islamic fundamentalist groups operating within the country, particularly in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan , Musharraf appeared to be losing the balancing act of trying to appease the U.S. while simultaneously not alienating the country’s powerful mullahs.

Economic Indicators 

Pakistan ’s economy, already suffering from low levels of foreign investment and a 2005 inflation rate of 9%, was further damaged by the October earthquake. It is officially estimated that 32% of the population live below the poverty line, although the real number is likely to be much higher.

Political/Military Indicators

Pakistan ’s political and military indicators all remained high in the FSI 2006, reflective of the deep divisions within the country and continuing hostilities with neighboring states. Pakistan has a deplorable human rights record, particularly with regard to women. In addition, the indicator score for security apparatus remained high, as the shadowy Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) continued to operate as a state within a state. The ISI is believed to wield significant support from Islamic jihadist groups and tensions between the agency and the Musharraf government have been exacerbated by the systematic crackdown on religious groups and madrassas.. General Pervez Musharraf’s leadership has continually been tested since he assumed power in a military coup in 1999. His cooperation with the U.S. in the Global War on Terror, and his crackdown on religious fundamentalists, has undermined his domestic legitimacy to a certain extent with parts of the population sympathetic to the jihadists.
With one major exception, the Pakistani military is well trained and remains under the control of the state, with General Musharraf as the Chief of the Army Staff and Head of State. The questionable element is the ISI, which is believed to operate with near complete impunity.

The police contain both civilian and paramilitary wings. Both the civilian police and the paramilitaries commit human rights abuses and are highly corrupt

The judiciary is overburdened and susceptible to outside manipulation, particularly from powerful religious leaders who monitor the proper interpretation of Sharia law.

The civil service is generally well trained and professional, although underpaid and susceptible to manipulation.

The future of Pakistan is largely dependent on the ability of General Musharraf to maintain the precarious balancing act between cooperating in the Global War on Terror while appeasing the powerful military and religious leaders that are crucial to his power base.

Fighting by a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and in the lawless Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan has the potential to spread instability across Central Asia

Impact of failed states on other states

It is an accepted axiom of the modern age that distance no longer matters. Sectarian carnage can sway stock markets on the other side of the planet. Anarchic cities that host open-air arms bazaars imperil the security of the world’s superpower. The threats of weak states, in other words, ripple far beyond their borders and endanger the development and security of nations that are their political and economic opposites.

Today, two countries among the world’s 15 most vulnerable, North Korea and Pakistan , are members of the nuclear club. Their profiles could hardly be less similar: The former faces the very real prospect of economic collapse, followed by massive human flight, while the latter presides over a lawless frontier country and a disenchanted Islamist opposition whose ranks grow by the day.

It is also important to note that among the failed States or those in danger of becoming failed States, Pakistan , Bangladesh , Nepal , Sri Lanka rank high and are facing serious problems on many of the parameters indicated above. All these States are part of the Indian subcontinent. There is also a warning that the biggest neighbouring State- India- could be in danger because of the proximity of these failed States. This is what the report says:

“In some of the world’s most dangerous regions, failure doesn’t stop at the border’s edge. It’s contagious.

It is no coincidence that many of the world’s failing states tend to cluster together. Porous borders, cultural affinity, and widespread under-development often bind populations. And when some live in a failing state, their woes can quickly spill over into a neighbor’s backyard.”

We give a brief summary of the table for the subcontinent which gives us a good picture.

Pakistan heads the table for the failed States with 100 points; it is followed by Bangladesh with 95.9 points, Nepal with 93.6 points and Sri Lanka with 93.1 points and Bhutan with 86.4 points; and finally comes India with 70.8 points.

  India needs to take steps to remedy the situation both within and in the subcontinent lest it gets engulfed with problems of its neighbours and becomes itself a failed State.

References :

1CWM Vol 13 p359   

2 SABCL26 On Himself p401-402

3 SABCL 26On Himself p409

4 Kargil, the manifestation of a deeper problem

5 India the Mother p229

6 India ’s Rebirth p237


                                                                                                Kittu Reddy

Books by Kittu Reddy :


History of India - a new approach

Standard Publishers of Inda,

Rs 850/-

A Vision of United India - Problems and Solutions

Standard Publishers of India ,

Rs 850/-

Rs 550/-

Bharat ke itihaas - ek naya drishti kon

Gyan Books Private limited, 5 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, Delhi

Rs 890/-

Bravest of the Brave

Ocean Publishers, New Delhi