Problems and Prospects
Pakistan's policy makers have often sought the quick-fix solution to problems of institution building, scuttling existing programs or institutions when they encountered resistance. More than six decades after independence, it confronts profound challenges to its integrity as an independent nation-state, stemming from numerous domestic shortcomings as well as its hazardous international-security environment. Pakistan faces one of the most difficult security environments in the world. In November 2008 India and Pakistan came close to war again following the Mumbai attacks attributed to Pakistanis. Since that time, the atmospherics of the India-Pakistan relationship have improved. Both the incentives and the disincentives have proven problematic to Pakistani-US relations. Even more problematic than promises unfulfilled have been the effects of the US droning campaign on Pakistani-US relations. Pakistan's survival will require a combination of luck, dynamic and skillful leadership, an acceptable settlement of its long-standing constitutional and representational disabilities, and the cooperation of its diverse population.