Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

IGNOU invites applications for online nutrition course

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Views & Analysis

A disintegrating Pakistan: Choices for US and India

Sunday January 16, 2011 06:19:24 PM, Harold Gould, IANS

Related Articles

'Pakistan, politically incorrect solution of a communal problem'

"Muslims have every right to demand constitutional safeguards, but partition of India cannot promote their interests. The demand is the politically incorrect   »

'Factors that laid foundation of Islam in India became victim of the partition politics'

'International powers would control Pakistan from day one'

As Pakistan sinks steadily into the pit of political oblivion, it will inevitably drag the US' Afghan policy down the drain with it, because without the availability of Pakistan's logistical and civil infrastructure, and regardless of Gen. David Petraeus's (top US military commander in Afghanistan) vaunted military talents, what remains of America's struggle to wrest Afghanistan from eventual Taliban investiture is almost certainly doomed to failure.

US President Barack Obama's pledge to draw down the American military commitment in Afghanistan may ultimately turn out to be more a Vietnam-like strategic capitulation than a victory lap.

Should this turn out to be the case, in the face of a Pakistani political collapse, what other alternatives will exist which an already war-weary American public will accept?

Viewed in historical perspective, what is gradually taking place before our eyes is the final consequences of flawed political choices which the emergent Pakistani elites made following the nation's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah's death in 1948, which were compounded by subsequent regimes, and further exacerbated by faulty US Cold War policies towards the South Asia region. In this sense, the story of Pakistan is one of "chickens coming home to roost!"

Put succinctly, the subsequent history of Pakistan has been the systematic rejection of the efficacy of Jinnah's vision of a consensual political mode for Pakistan, in keeping with the multi-cultural, politically accommodative model that alone has proved viable in the South Asian context, literally since the Indus Valley Civilization, and irrespective of whether the regimes in power have been Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim. The political contrast between India and Pakistan makes this clear.

One might say that over the years the Pakistani public allowed itself to be hijacked by Islamic fundamentalism, partially as a means of coping with its phobic fears of "Hindu India" and partially because the lack of socio-religious flexibility left religious extremism, and its political extensions, as the sole doctrinal basis for attempting to achieve a politically coherent state.

Islamic fanaticism, conjoined with military authoritarianism, has ripped Pakistan to shreds and soon will provoke its political disintegration. What alternative is left for US, NATO and Indian strategic policy in the face of a Pakistani political meltdown?

In my opinion, the best option is what I would call strategic consolidation. That is, India, the US and its allies, must "step aside", let the holocaust happen, and try to contain in every way possible its spread beyond Pakistan's borders and the Pashtun region now dominated by the Taliban.

As the dimensions and ramifications of the "implosion" become apparent, the US, NATO and India can deploy their military and diplomatic resources in whatever manner they deem necessary and possible to contain, ameliorate and mediate the undoubtedly pervasive violence that will ensue and must run its course.

With regard to Afghan policy in the face of a Pakistani political meltdown, and an inevitable consequent upsurgence of Taliban militancy in the Pashtun region, former US ambassador to India (2001-3) Robert D. Blackwill has offered a highly imaginative interim solution.

The US, he says, should for the time being consolidate its forces and resources in the non-Pashtun portions of the country where Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazarras predominate and originally formed the core of the Northern Alliance which in concert with the US after 9/11 defeated the Taliban.

His observations concerning the interim realignment of forces in Afghanistan in the face of the worst-case scenario are highly pertinent.

"Washington should accept," he declares, "that the Taliban will inevitably control most of the Pashtun south and east and that the price of forestalling that outcome is far too high for the United States to continue paying."

Even prior to the impending collapse of Pakistan, or indeed if in the end it avoids this terminal fate, Blackwill rightly concludes that "the emergence of a clear division in Pakistan might provide just the sort of shock the Pakistani military apparently needs in order to appreciate the dangers of the game it has been playing for decades."

Leading American commentators, including this one, are now convinced that Pakistan is only a furtive step away from ceasing to be a viable modern state capable of carrying out its responsibilities as a purported "non-NATO ally" of the US in the war against the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other jihadi extremists.

Yes, this implies a comprehensive realignment of forces, resources and strategic orientation towards the Af-Pak theatre. But in the face of a steadily disintegrating, politically pathological Pakistan state, it is only a matter of time until such a realignment takes place anyway. For US-Pakistan relations, as we have known them, it is indeed the end of the affair.

(Harold Gould is Visiting Scholar in the Center for South Asian Studies, University of Virginia. He can be contacted at






  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS

More Headlines

Violence, chaos continue in Tunisian capital

Adarsh Society: High rise of mystery and suspicion

Demolish Adarsh building in three months: Environment Ministry

Using RTI difficult for us, says Indians abroad

Celeb quotient high at Mumbai Marathon's 'Dream Run'

A rickshaw puller and an author of four books

Agra girls defy stereotype, drive tractors

Ethiopia's Girima Assefa wins full Mumbai Marathon

Gunfire in Tunisian capital after interim president sworn in

50 dead in Tunisian prison fire, escape attempt

Sabarimala stampede autopsies end, most bodies handed over to kin

UPA mulls breach of privilege motion against CAG

IGNOU to offer several culinary and catering courses




Top Stories

'Difficult to defend charges after Aseemanand's confession'

Even as Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is applying for a certified copy of the reported   »

Samjhauta Train Bombing: Aseemanand's statement recorded

Relatives, local leaders meet Maha CM; demand release of Muslim youths

CBI receives Malegaon re-investigation nod

Release Muslim youths held for Malegaon blast, say scholars

Malegaon 2006 blast witness turns hostile

Was Malegaon Blast really a handiwork of Muslims?


Picture of the Day

Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari released the ‘Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2010’, in New Delhi on January 14, 2011.

(Photo: Mukesh)


  Most Read

Gunfire in Tunisian capital after interim president sworn in

Gunfire erupted in the Tunisian capital Tunis just hours after Foued Mbazaa was sworn in as interim president.  »

Tunisia's head of parliament named interim president

'Direct At Home' Donations: Konkan shows way to eradicate poverty

DTH, Direct To Home, is the courier service most of us are familiar with. However, Muslims of Mahad in Konkan region of coastal Maharashtra have come out with a novel way to eradicate poverty and help the poor. Beginning December 1998,   »


  News Pick

Demolish Adarsh building in three months: Environment Ministry

The environment ministry Sunday ordered that the scam-hit Adarsh housing society building in Mumbai be demolished within  »

Adarsh Society: High rise of mystery and suspicion

Using RTI difficult for us, says Indians abroad

Living overseas for education, employment or other reasons, Indians abroad find it difficult to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act due to the cumbersome fee-payment process. "Even after five years of the RTI Act,  »

A rickshaw puller and an author of four books

Rehman Ali Rehman, a rickshaw puller in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti district, doesn’t mind if has to wait long for a customer. He uses the time to scribble on pieces of paper - poems for his forthcoming book. Rehman, a native   »

Agra girls defy stereotype, drive tractors

Tractors ploughing the fields have a macho appeal that sleek cars lack. The roaring sound of the engine and the smoke coming out of its exhaust add to the tractor's machismo. But that does not mean girls can't drive it.   »

Sabarimala stampede autopsies end, most bodies handed over to kin

The marathon autopsies of the 102 Sabarimala pilgrims   »

Stampede near Sabarimala shrine, at least 104 pilgrims killed



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.