Why Pakistan Cannot Be A Failed State – Analysis


Why cannot Pakistan be a failed state? This has been a constant thought and a lingering question in the minds of many Pakistanis and others in the international community. Many would argue, and it appears correctly so, that Pakistan perhaps has failed as a state; however, this is a complex question that cannot be answered with a simple yes.

To truly assess Pakistan’s potential and lay out the possible solutions for Pakistan’s survival, the root causes of Pakistan’s constant political and economic turmoil must be assessed and formally recognized, which will provide the framework for Pakistan’s path to development as a modern state. A sociological perspective is needed to discuss the root causes of Pakistan’s political and economic troubles. 

While the current economic crisis of Pakistan cannot be ignored, Pakistan does possess all the key elements to fully develop as a modern nation and save itself from a complete political and economic collapse. First, Pakistan has one of the best strategic geographic locations. Second, the economic opportunity through China is an added improvement to what Pakistan can achieve independently. Third, Balochistan’s mineral riches remain unexplored, which can help Pakistan strengthen its economy.  Fourth, Pakistan’s tourism industry remains undeveloped and can further boost Pakistan’s economy.

Additionally, Pakistan has many renewable energy resources. With abundant sunlight all year round and given Pakistan’s high-altitude mountain range, harvesting solar energy is easier. The presence of abundant Lithium in Pakistan and potential wind energy plants that can be made operational are some of the key energy resources that can help Pakistan become fully independent. Finally, Pakistan has the most human resources or manpower. 

According to the Human Development Reports, more than half of the population (64%) comprises people aged 15-29. Provided such strengths of Pakistan, for Pakistan to fail as a state would be an absolute tragedy and a massive paradox. The country is just ripe for innovation, ready to unleash its economic potential and join the global economies.

A Sociological Perspective

In 1938, Robert K. Merton discussed the patterns of cultural goals and institution norms in his “Social Structure and Anomie.” Merton stated that amongst the several elements of social and cultural structures, two key elements are very important. The first element, he wrote, “consists of culturally defined goals, purposes and interests, held out as legitimate objectives for all or diversely located members of the society.” He emphasized that while all societies have goals, motivations, and interests that are culturally defined, they are interlinked and involve varied degrees of status (“hierarchy of value”). To which degree? According to Merton, this is a question of empirical fact and can be answered through some hierarchical value. This indicates that not all members of society have the same opportunities to actualize the same values because they are placed differently within the social structure or various classes.                                                                                                                                          

Merton suggests, “The second element of cultural structure regulates, and controls the acceptable modes of reaching out for the goals. Every social group invariably couples its cultural objectives with regulations, rooted in the mores or institutions, of allowable procedures for moving towards the objectives.” According to Merton’s anomie premise, most people try to legitimately fulfill culturally acceptable objectives; however, people have limitations. Merton claims, “In all instances, the choice of expedients for striving toward cultural goals is limited by institutionalized norms.” Institutionalized norms obstruct people from achieving their cultural goals, which may result in deviation. When access and the means to achieving cultural objectives are denied to entire populations or specific individuals, anomie results. Deviant behavior emerges as a result, characterized by one of the following behaviors: resistance, withdrawal, ritualism, innovation, and/or conformance.

Crime, which Merton terms “aberrant behavior,” develops when social goals are acknowledged as legitimate, but the resources available to accomplish these goals are not available to everyone. Goals and means differ in various ways based on the class. It happens at all levels of society. This difference disorients an individual, leading to social challenges and psychological stress. Merton makes his assertion extremely clear by stating, “It is, indeed, my central hypothesis that aberrant behavior may be regarded sociologically as a symptom of disassociation between culturally prescribed aspirations and socially structured avenues for realizing these aspirations.” An effective equilibrium is achievable between two elements of social structures if “satisfaction accrue to individuals conforming to both cultural constraints, viz., satisfaction from the achievement of goals and satisfaction emerging directly from the institutionally canalized modes of striving to attain them.” When a balance exists between cultural goals and institutionalized means, everyone has the chance to compete and progress in all strata of society; hence, Socio-structural inequality between the classes is lessened to a great extent and in such a way that “positive incentives for adherence to status obligations are provided for every position [sic] within the distributive order.”

Merton proposed that if an imbalance between individuals’ goals and their status exists, strain results because of exerted pressure. He writes, “Examination of how the social structure operates to exert pressure upon individuals for one or another of these alternative modes of behavior must be prefaced by the observation that people may shift from one alternative to another as they engage in different spheres of social activities.” When people face strain or pressure, people adapt according to one of the five ways:

1. Conformity: The individual pursues cultural goals through socially approved means. According to Merton, “The mesh of expectations constituting every social order is sustained by the model behavior of its members representing conformity to the established, though perhaps secularly changing, cultural patterns.”

2.  Innovation: If the individual does not find the legitimate means to pursue goals, the individual “innovates,” which means the individual looks to socially unconventional or unapproved means to obtain culturally approved goals. He mentions, “This response occurs when the individual has assimilated the cultural emphasis upon the goal without equally internalizing the institutional norms governing ways and means for its attainment.”

3. Ritualism: The individual uses the same socially approved means to achieve obscure goals modestly. The individual, in this stage, is “abandoning or scaling down” the “lofty cultural goals’’ and pursuing them in a way where his or her goals can be satisfied. Merton declares, “It is, in short, the mode of adaptation of individually seeking a private [sic] escape from the dangers and frustrations which seem to them inherent in the competition for major cultural goals by abandoning these goals and clinging all the more closely to the safe routines and the institutional norms.”

4. Retreatism: The individual rejects cultural goals and the means to obtain it. He then finds a way to escape it. Merton proposes that in this category, “They have relinquished culturally prescribed goals, and their behavior does not accord with the institutional norms.” Furthermore, “Defeatism, quietism, and resignation are manifested in an escape mechanism which ultimately led him to ‘” escape’” from the requirements of the society.”

5. Rebellion: The individual rejects the cultural goals and means. He then works to replace them. Writing on Rebellion, Merton highlights, “This adaptation leads men outside the environment to envisage and seek to bring into being new, that is to say, a greatly modified social structure. It presupposes alienation from reigning goals and standards.”

Merton’s analysis led him to conclude that the lower class commits more crimes. He based this conclusion by looking at crime statistics by class. Deviance or crime occurred because people in the lower strata could not achieve economic success via legitimate goals. To achieve their goals, people turned to illegitimate means. Merton provides the readers with an example of American culture. He points out, “…Contemporary American culture continues to be characterized by a heavy emphasis on wealth as a basic symbol of success, without a corresponding emphasis upon the legitimate avenues to march toward this goal.” In essence, the cultural value of success in American culture is placed so much on wealth that people are willing to achieve wealth through any means necessary.

Pakistan’s Political and Economic Turmoil

Given Merton’s sociological perspective on social structures and why anomie occurs, his sociological framework could be used to analyze Pakistan’s political and economic turmoil that seems to have no end. Since Merton proposed that culture and social structure are two core elements of a society, people develop their values, beliefs, goals, and identities in relation to culture, which is formed as a response to the institutionalized norms. The institutionalized norms provide a legitimate means for the public to achieve their objectives. If people can achieve their goals legitimately, people can achieve satisfaction in all strata of society. In Pakistan, the root causes of political and economic issues are various; however, the major issue in Pakistan remains that Pakistanis lack cultural objectives that can give the natives across the land a set of goals and the legitimate means to pursue those goals, which the people of Pakistan can pursue in unity.

Since Pakistanis in all strata of society are not unified in pursuit of their goals that can help the entire nation move forward collectively, and the institutionalized norms are absent and different for everyone, deviance and crime remain rampant in all social levels of society.This is a key reason corruption is severe in every level of Pakistani society and reflects on the failure of law and order to prevent corruption. In each level of Pakistani society, people from all classes achieve their goals individualistically and outside of the institutionalized norms through deviant methods because no cultural unity and the means to pursue collective goals exist. This has resulted in several political and economic problems for Pakistan that have prevented Pakistan from becoming a stable state.

Ahmed Rashid, the author of several books on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, pinpoints Pakistan’s political and economic problems in his book Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In his book, Rashid writes, “Four factors have prevented Pakistan from stabilizing and becoming a cohesive state.” The first factor, according to Rashid, is that the political elite failed to create a cohesive national identity, resulting in the failure to unite Pakistanis. The second problem is Pakistan’s national security. The third factor is Pakistan’s use of Islamic militants. The fourth factor is disunity among various ethnic groups in Pakistan, where the groups cannot strike a political balance with one another and the failure of the political system in Pakistan. According to Rashid, because of cultural disunity (regional and ethnic conflicts), lack of national identity, and the failure of institutions, “these internal conflicts within the country’s elite have prevented the rulers from noticing major shifts and challenges in the global environment. They have allowed history to pass them by, resulting in Pakistan missing out on all recent global developments.”

There is a question of Pakistan’s legitimacy as a nation, legitimacy of its political actors, legitimacy of the type of government (democratic or military), legitimacy of laws and cultural values, what is the true definition and understanding of “legitimacy” is absent socio-politically and “socio-culturally.” The mistrust in government administrations, which come and go like the rainy weather, mistrust in laws, implementation of laws, mistrust in institutions that are supposed to implement law above the power and influence of politicians, Pakistan continues to fail in developing a collective vision as a nation. Francis Fukuyama noted something like Merton.

Fukuyama pointed out in his book, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy, “In addition to economic growth and social mobilization, there is an evolution in ideas concerning legitimacy. Legitimacy represents a broadly shared perception that certain social arrangements are just.” This concept of legitimacy here could be assessed in two ways. How and what people view as “legitimate,” and in the context of Merton’s sociological insight, people seeking legitimate means to pursue their socio-cultural goals. In the context of both views, Pakistan needs to develop a crisp definition and perimeters of what “legitimate” is in its laws and cultural values. Since the meaning of legitimacy keeps shifting in cultural values and institutionalized norms, law and order continue to fail. 

Anita M. Weiss also shares a similar view as Rashid in her essay, “Population Growth, Urbanization, and Female Literacy,” published in The Future of Pakistan. She pointed out, “Perhaps one of Pakistan’s greatest challenges today lies in creating a sense of citizenship among communities that have not historically regarded each other as being of the same people, apart from most being adherent of the same religion. That, of course, is interwoven with the myriad economic difficulties and development concerns that Pakistan is facing.” Many experts in Pakistan’s political and economic crisis identify the same problems as Rashid and Weiss. In all key problems identified for Pakistan, the foundational issue is the lack of balance between culturally perceived goals and the lack of institutionalized norms to support the citizens to pursue goals legitimately. This is one of the key reasons for insurgency in Pakistan, where militant groups radicalized the people from the lower strata of society and offered them means of social mobility (illegal means of achieving cultural goals) out of the institutionalized norms. Similar is true for the causes of corruption. The strain is felt at all levels of Pakistani society.

Like what Merton examined when looking at the social structures, the social structure in Pakistan exerts extreme pressure on the society. People in all strata of society adopt one of the five behaviors (Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, and Rebellion) that Merton classified as they engage in different social activities. What has proven damaging for Pakistan is that institutions have remained weak for the most part, and the absence of proper institutional norms fails to provide the means for social mobilization amongst the Pakistanis; hence, the social and political movements that political elites lead only wreak havoc in Pakistan that is already struggling, and no concrete result is achieved for Pakistanis who only hope for a positive change in Pakistan.  

Saving Pakistan and Moving Forward

Pakistan has great potential as a nation because of its known strengths, but factors that make Pakistan strong have not been given the means to produce the fruits many speculate. Many Pakistani and international political commentators who assess the symptoms of Pakistan’s political and economic crisis also lay out the possible scenarios for Pakistan’s future. One of the political commentators, Shuja Nawaz, suggested in his essay, “The Clash of Interest and Objectives,” published in The Future of Pakistan, that “Pakistan’s future appears to be a spaghetti bowl of different interests and objectives: depending on what assumptions are made, different future scenarios unfold.” Given Pakistan’s political strengths and clarity in achieving its objectives based on its strengths as a nation, Pakistan must form a consensus on socio-political objectives and pursue such goals collectively. 

Pakistan’s institutional norms need to be formed, and the institutions must provide all the means through technical and procedural improvements in their institutions the means to Pakistani citizens to achieve their goals. Most of the Pakistani natives and Pakistani diaspora now have insight into Pakistan’s following strengths. Pakistanis must take the initiative and develop objective cultural and institutional norms to advance the country. While the regional and global community can partner in Pakistan’s success since Pakistan’s political, regional, and economic stability means an added benefit for those who partner with Pakistan. Pakistan’s weaker institutions require major reforms in their processes, procedures, and workforce that enable citizens to achieve their goals. Here, the important question of key business or organizational management styles comes into play, which can set institutional norms that strengthen the institutions. As a result, the institutional norms allow social mobility for people in legitimate manners and fade out corruption or other forms of deviance hindering Pakistan’s growth.

Adopting Proven Models of Growth

Pakistanis need to thoroughly examine the example of Sweden. The strength of Sweden’s economy lies in the equilibrium between the cultural values pursued collectively as a nation and the institutionalized norms serving as the means for Swedes to pursue their goals. Sweden was largely a farming economy until the late 19th century but has industrialized by adapting behaviors and norms that make it a successful nation. Julian Birkinshaw, in his article ‘’The Art of Swedish Management,’’ highlights how the Swedish model came into being, not only through the geniuses of Alfred Nobel and Lars Magnus Ericsson but also having found a firm footing in a social democratic government committed to full employment, strong social policies, and powerful labor unions. The dramatic success of Sweden, a country of only nine million inhabitants, can most significantly be attributed to the set of cultural values that make up the Swedish DNA that binds and unifies its people in pursuit of common beliefs and goals. These values eminently reflect in the Swedish code of conduct, how society behaves and functions, and the Swedish art of management.

In Birkinshaw’s words, Swedes are a homogeneous group with a strong work ethic and a group that firmly believes in equality. Its strong institutions provide its citizens the means to pursue their goals, offering social mobility at all levels of society. Another key attribute of Swedish society is collectivism. Sweden, at times, is referred to as the Japan of Europe because it has a strongly collectivistic culture. While no nation is free of faults, one phenomenally all-encompassing value quintessential to being Swedish is the value of ‘’lagom,” an untranslatable Swedish term that essentially means just the right amount, the right degree, the right measure, not too little or too much; just right. Who are Pakistanis? Who are Pakistanis collectively?

The final element of the Swedish cultural makeup, explored by Birkinshaw in his work, is its high tolerance to uncertainty. What does this mean?  In simple, the ability to deal with social challenges in life without the fear of crashing or falling off. This concept has tremendous wisdom to offer as it makes societies and their individuals resilient to the ebbs and flows of life, resistant to its crests and troughs, more adaptive to newer ways of thinking and doing things, more accepting and welcoming to change, which enables them to keep moving on and progressing with wisdom and vitality. 

This concept of ‘tolerance to change’ is further consolidated and backed up by the work of Hofstede and Bond in ‘The Confucius Connection.’ It is known as the ‘’Uncertainty Avoidance Principle.” This means the extent to which a culture programs its individuals to feel comfortable or uncomfortable in uncertain and unstructured situations. ‘’Unstructured situations are defined as novel, unknown, surprising, or different from usual’’. Furthermore, ‘’People in uncertainty-avoiding countries are more emotional and motivated by inner nervous energy. Uncertainty-accepting cultures are more tolerant of behaviors and opinions that differ from their own.”

For Pakistan, it is high time for the nation to develop and align on collective cultural goals, creating a more solidified identity. To say, “We are Pakistanis,” is not enough. In a society plagued with cultural division, ethnic division, division of classes, political elites, and outsiders, Pakistanis need to come to the harsh reality and realize that values that are hypocritical and cancerous for its socio-economic and socio-political growth need to be rooted out. A cultural set of values and institutionalized norms must be formed in cohesion with the spirit of practical pursuits that pull the nation out of political chaos and economic crisis. What is next for Pakistan?

Pakistan’s Geostrategic Location

Pakistan has one of the best strategic geographic locations. In Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Rashid states that despite the four key factors that he pointed out, which are hindering Pakistan’s progress, “Pakistan’s location gives it enormous geostrategic potential.” What does that mean for Pakistan? Pakistan borders Central, South, and West Asia. Its location provides easy access to the Arabian Gulf. For China, it is a gateway to the sea that grants the entire region abundant economic opportunities and access to various markets. As Rashid puts it, “no other country in the world has such potential to become a hub for trade and business or the transcontinental transport of energy.” 

Ayesha Rana, an assistant professor at the University of Modern Languages (NUML), points to a similar fact in her “Pakistan’s Geo-Strategic Location: Prospects for Political and Economic Gains.” She writes, “In the South Asian region, Pakistan is situated at the crossroads between the resource-rich and resource-poor countries.” She adds, “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) offers Pakistan a fantastic opportunity to improve its economic status.” Pakistan’s geostrategic location is the reason that makes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a successful initiative for China. Pakistan’s geostrategic potential is one of the keys to attaining long-term economic stability. 

Many experts like Rashid and Rana believe that Pakistan’s geostrategic location is perfect for Pakistan to benefit and strengthen its economy. This has such a great economic impact that India could also benefit from expanding and strengthening their economy. India and neighboring countries can look at Pakistan as an investment hub, using Pakistan’s Gwadar Port as an access point to Central and West Asia. Rashid makes an important point by asserting that “The country lacks major natural resources like oil, but if it were at peace with its neighbors and with itself, Pakistan would become the great trading crossroads of the world, ensuring stability in the region.” The key phrase is coming to peace with itself.

Pakistan’s primary task in politics, education, and the socio-cultural domain is to create practically executable cultural objectives that translate into technological innovation and nation-building by focusing on technical and formal education, strengthening all industries, building infrastructure, and adapting well-proven management models. Such are some key initiatives Pakistanis can pursue collectively, embed these objectives in their cultural and personal goals, and take the country forward. 

The Economic Opportunity through China

The economic opportunity through China is an added boost to what Pakistan can achieve. China has been a friendly ally of Pakistan. Rashid states, “China is geographically close to Pakistan; it has in the past funded some major infrastructure projects, such as dams, ports, and roads; it has helped substantially with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and nuclear energy programs; and it has provided the military with several billion dollars’ worth of heavy weapons at the cut-rate process—tanks, ships, submarines, and fighter aircraft.” China’s partnership with Pakistan in many initiatives that Rashid noted is an opportunity for Pakistan and its citizens. China has been attracting investment from the broader world while focusing on several industries, such as the services sector, agriculture, manufacturing, and technology. Javad Jehan, Dr. Mirwais Kasi, and Abdul Qadir, the three authors state in their article, “Geo-Strategic Significance of Pakistan” that “The signing of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement in 2013 brought the two countries very closely in terms of economic and strategic connectivity.” This is an opportunity for Pakistan to benefit from China’s economic growth.

In addition to seeking opportunities in the West, Pakistanis can look to China’s industries and education sector for technical skill building. China has been making great leaps in innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Autonomous Vehicles, and the tech industry. China has mastered manufacturing and is often called “the world’s factory.” Based on the friendlier ties with China, Pakistanis have access to enter China and build expertise in many industries. Furthermore, many global businesses have offices in China and have been trying to either grow their businesses in China or enter the Chinese market. 

This is a key opportunity for Pakistanis to benefit from China’s technological and industrial advancement, learn from China, and bring back the skills, tools, and knowledge to build industries in Pakistan. According to official statistics, China is now Pakistani students’ preferred destination for higher education. In 2019, 28,023 Pakistanis were studying in Chinese universities. Pakistan ranked third in the total number of foreign students studying in China. This is the result of CPEC, which provided Pakistanis with an avenue to learn from the top economy in the world. Pakistanis must continue to mimic their hard work ethics and learn from the rest of the world conducting business in China.  

Balochistan’s Mineral Riches

The minerals and natural resources in the Balochistan region are estimated to be worth $50 trillion. The Balochistan Basin, Western Indus Suture, Sulaiman Basin, and Kirthar Basins are all located within the Balochistan Region. Unexplored minerals like coal, chromite3, barytes, sulfur, marble, iron ore, quartzite, limestone, and sulfur found within the mentioned regions can help Pakistan’s economy grow. In a report titled “Mineral Resources of Balochistan Province, Pakistan,” it is reported that “There is an urgent need to explore and exploit the Rare Earth Elements, Xenotime, Monazite, Gold, Platinum group, Zircon, radioactive minerals (Uraninite, Thorianite, etc.), etc. and other heavy minerals in placer deposits.” 

The exploration, removal, processing, and sale of such minerals can help alleviate Pakistan’s economic troubles. Given the state of Pakistan and Pakistanis developing mineral-related industry and amplify exploration and sales of such minerals, Pakistan’s economy may fully become independent of International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid and others who continue to bail out Pakistan’s economy and set their terms and conditions to void the country of its dignity and potential.

Stephen Cohen noted in The Future of Pakistan that “As several of Bellagio participants noted, it had not made much difference whether the military or civilians are in power, since both have had progressive moments and both have also contributed to the long decline in Pakistan’s integrity as both a state and a nation.” This is a key point here. The integrity of Pakistan as a state and a nation is always questioned on a global level since no clarity, unity, or crisp vision exists for the entire nation. In addition, weak institutions with no institutionalized norms disable Pakistanis from pursuing such goals legitimately; hence, anomie occurs, and integrity is constantly compromised. 

Pakistan’s Tourism Industry

Contemporary research on Pakistan’s tourism industry shows that it has great potential. If the tourism industry is properly developed and the challenges are addressed, it could be supplementary support for Pakistan’s economy. This also helps change the perception of Pakistan and balances the narratives in the international community that is mainly negative. Pakistan has one of the world’s highest mountains, lakes, and breathtaking lush green valleys with the most fertile land. Pakistan’s land is the most fertile. The fertile soil and the wide irrigation system, utilized to its utmost potential, can dramatically increase Pakistan’s agricultural output. Tourists are just starting to explore numerous activities like hunting, paragliding, off-roading, camel safaris in the desert region, and rock climbing while offering the natives.

Pakistan is becoming a popular destination for thrill seekers, adventurers, and mountain climbers. Pakistan’s political and economic development has been extremely slow; however, the nation must focus on tourism to promote economic growth and improve local and national economies. The country has become one of the destinations for many tourists since it eased visa restrictions. According to the study titled “Pakistan’s Tourism Industry: Full of potential, but still lagging behind,” the authors specify the challenges preventing Pakistan from becoming a tourist destination. Challenges such as terrorism, poor connectivity and infrastructure, government negligence, social challenges, and lack of investment from the private sector are some of the key obstacles for Pakistan to make economic progress. The tourism industry must focus on creating state-of-art hotels, shops, etc., and promoting Pakistani creativity, work ethic, and innovative mindset, all defined with “quality.”

Renewable Energy Sources in Pakistan

Pakistan has been facing an energy crisis for many years. The continuous blackouts are a result of the energy crisis in Pakistan that affects day-to-day life and the business sector reliant on electricity. Naturally, the lack of electricity affects production and causes many hindrances for businesses in Pakistan to achieve optimum efficiency. Pakistan has long depended on others for energy and continues to have a minimal energy output. 

Yongrong Xin, Muhammad Khyzer Bin, and others note in their research titled, “Analyzing Pakistan’s Renewable Energy Potential: A Review of the Country’s Energy Policy, Its Challenges, and Recommendations” that “Pakistan’s energy gap is between 5000 and 8000 megawatts (MW), with a 6–8% yearly growth predicted; therefore, it needs more sustainable and renewable energy sources.” The study highlighted that Pakistan uses solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass for renewable energy. 

Renewable energy resources are abundant in Pakistan. Pakistan can focus on 1710-megawatt wind installations to help the country fix its energy crisis. 217-megawatt biogas power stations are being developed, according to the researchers. The northern region of Pakistan is a great location for wind and solar energy-generating installations. This is due to the abundant sunshine in the region’s geographic core. It is acknowledged that Sindh and Balochistan both have significant unrealized wind resource potential. Additionally, Pakistan has a significant amount of lithium reserves. Yasir Masood reported in “Lithium, the fresh silver lining on the economic horizon of Pakistan” that “According to the Metal Mining Agency of Japan, these reserves may fulfill global demand for nearly 500 years. With China and India, two of Pakistan’s major trading partners, investing extensively in electric vehicles (EVs), Pakistan has a significant chance of becoming a major supplier and consumer of this essential commodity.” The benefit of exploring renewable energy exploration for Pakistan is job creation, local and national economic growth, energy development and security, environmental benefits, and industry development.

The answer is present before the state of Pakistan and Pakistani citizens. As industries develop, the right governance and innovation brew, economic opportunities, and social mobility for people will be there for Pakistanis. The key to this for Pakistanis is to culturally align on goals such as developing industries, innovation, and practice driving Pakistan into a modern state and the institutional norms serving as the means for development. It will strengthen Pakistan’s economy and allow social mobility for the people who seek opportunities in a world that is getting technologically advanced every day. 

Human Resources in Pakistan

Finally, Pakistan has the most human resource to help the country develop. The population that will take the country forward also desires the means of social mobility. According to the Human Development Report, 64 percent of Pakistanis are under 30, and 29 percent of Pakistanis are between the ages of 15 and 29. Pakistan has more youth population, and it is indicated that Pakistan will continue to have a youth population as its major resource until 2050. 

Why is this important? Why is Pakistan’s young population a source of its growth? Since young people are receptive to change and developing skills and knowledge, the power to alter the course of a country is a real possibility. The start-ups emerging from Pakistan indicate that the younger population is directing their energies toward innovation. The younger population is the driving force of advancement; however, if the younger population is not provided with the means to achieve their goals collectively, their dissatisfaction will continue to result in deviance and crime. 

The National Human Development Report of Pakistan for 2017 analyzed the young Pakistanis’ aspirations and concerns and attempted to learn how to make the “youth bulge” a demographic advantage. In Pakistan, the study looks at the data from 130,000 participants who were interviewed. The report focused on “identifying the drivers of change that can empower youth and harness their potential for human development.” The report identified the three Es or drivers of change: quality Education, gainful Employment, and meaningful Engagement. The country is just ripe for innovation, ready to unleash its economic potential and join the global economies.

The research declares that the three Es can break the cycle of poverty and advance human development rapidly. The young people of Pakistan have the potential, ideas, energy, and creativity. It is up to the institutions to provide the means for the younger population to achieve their goals. The youth require a refined environment that encourages experimentation, allows for original thought, and promotes productive work. To provide such an environment, the institutions and institutional norms set the tone for where the younger population will go from here. According to the analysis, if sufficient funds are not spent to promote education, employment, and youth involvement, the youth could become a demographic threat. Pakistan is ripe now for innovation, industrial development, and economic growth to emerge as a modern nation.

Ahsan Qazi

Ahsan Qazi is the founder of One Voice-Pakistan and World Affairs in Sociological Perspective. He was born in Pakistan, but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

4 thoughts on “Why Pakistan Cannot Be A Failed State – Analysis

  • March 5, 2023 at 4:00 am

    Wishful thinking. Carry on!

  • May 21, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Tourism in Pakistan.? CPEC is finished. State formed on religion and control by Army.Only 10% of graduates rare employable as per SBP
    Dream on.

  • June 9, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    Responding to some of the comments left by the Indians:
    It is clear from the political narrative that has been continuously pushed out in the form of propaganda to label Pakistan as a “terrorist state” and to only highlight Pakistan’s failures.

    India itself is an extremely conflicted state in its foreign policy towards Pakistan. On one side, India pushes before the world that the Pakistan they want to see is “terrorism” free and Pakistan should stop all “terrorist” activities without taking accountability for RAWs activities in Afghanistan and mobilizing anti-Pakistan voices in Afghanistan and within Pakistan. On the other hand, when Pakistani discuss ways to progress and transition to a modern state, India’s typical response is “Dream on.” So what do you all Indians want from Pakistan and why do you feel that Pakistan is obliged to you in anyway since it is an independent state just as any Western or non-Western state and can put ideas, initiatives, and political activities to move in the direction that all of you expect anyways. Let us suppose for a minute and believe that your accusations against Pakistan are true? Would it not make sense of everyone, Pakistani or non-Pakistanis to highlight Pakistan’s potential to be a progressive and a modern state? When this is highlighted, you all condescend and say dream on. It is clear how much false beliefs and misinformed you all are because of the false propaganda in your media and politics about Pakistan. You do not want to see a progressive Pakistan. You all want to see it as a collapsed state and laugh. This will never be a reality. Pakistan will continue to work towards progress and modernization when it actually realizes its potential by ridding itself of corrupt politicians just as India as many and take small or major steps towards growth.

    To constantly beat the drum and be hell-bent on proving Pakistan as a “terrorist” state and ignoring the potential of Pakistan to transition into a modern state, frankly, it is more than foolish now. Bollywood tales are at best fictional and best fit in the genre of some twisted imagination. Indian political narrative about Pakistan is at best propaganda. We Pakistanis know the potential, issues and problems, and even solutions to turn our country around despite it suffering at the hands of our corrupt politicians just as India suffers and continues to suffer.

    • June 30, 2023 at 1:33 pm

      @ahsan dear ahsan there are facts in accusing Pakistan of being terrorist nation.
      Go and count how many UN and US designated terrorists currently residing in Pakistan and how many of them roaming freely and conducting their business freely.
      Go and count how many UN and US designated terrorist Organisations are active there.
      There are endless list of terrorist attack on India that is accept by international organisation media writer and nations. Discussion on this topic in numerous US policy making institutions are available on YouTube which has no connection to India and Indians. Watch them.
      World knows Pakistan is involved in unconventional war with India, pakis know they can’t have conventional war with India as they have seen the result in past.
      Our India is growing fast and no such growing economy want itself entangled in any conflict which might damge their future prospect.
      As an Indian I don’t want a stable and growing Pakistan at the same time I also don’t want dangerously unstable pakistan.
      So that we can concentrate on ourselves without any distraction and diversion.


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