Why Pakistan Won’t Be A Failed State – OpEd
1. Diverse Economic Landscape
Pakistan has a vibrant and diverse economic landscape, with various major and minor sectors. The major sectors are Agricultural which accounts for 24 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Industry 18.8 percent, and service sectors contribute more than 50 percent to the economy of Pakistan.
Other than the major sectors of Pakistan, the minor sectors also contribute significantly to the economy of the country. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), phase two has started which includes 9 economic zones. It consists of both industrial and agricultural projects aimed at the revival of the economy with sophisticated methods. It has attracted many foreign investors as well as local ones. Shortly, it is expected that Pakistan will be a transit hub for major industries of the world namely; China, the Middle East, ASEAN, and European countries.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in its latest report projected Pakistan to be the 20th biggest economy by 2030; surpassing Canada and Italy in 2050 by becoming the 16th largest economy. It bodes well for the stable economy of Pakistan.
2. Strategically Importance
Pakistan is blessed with a strategic location at the crossroads of South and Central Asia, allowing it to become a hub of trade and transit corridor. Moreover, it helps it to play an instrumental role in regional politics. CPEC has no doubt added to the strategic importance of Pakistan by making it a viable option for countries to invest in the country. Gwadar Port serves to provide a link between East and West.
Gwadar includes Gwadar University, Gwadar Airport, Safe city project, tourism, vocational, hospital, and fishing projects to name a few which will change the destiny of the economy of Pakistan. In the coming days, Gwadar will be the international conduit for Afghanistan, and Central Asian Republics.
3. Rich Cultural Legacy
Pakistan is a multi-ethnic state with diverse cultures and languages. It has six major ethnic groups such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtun, Muhajir, and Sariaki. It has a rich legacy of historical sites and monuments. It has two major civilizations such as Mohanjo Daro and Taxila. Furthermore, Lahore is the cultural capital and heart of Pakistan for its mesmerizing mosques, tall buildings with unique designs, and numerous gardens.
These historical sites attract millions of tourists every year, as Pakistan provides various tourist points such as religious sites, traditional heritage, adventurous points, archeological, and rich historical places. Religious tourism is evident from Kartarpur Corridor every day about 5000 or more Indian Sikhs can visit and perform their religious duty. Besides, Buddhist sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are visited by Chinese researchers, delegations, and archeologists.
Pakistan is also famous for its adventure travelers by providing an opportunity to visit the second highest peak in the world k-2 and the killer mountain in Nanga Parbat to name a few. Recently many international YouTubers have lauded Pakistan for its wonderful tourist sites. About 50 million local tourists enjoy the natural beauty of Pakistan, whereas the number of international tourists increases everywhere with a recorded number of tourists 1.225 million and 2.3 million in 2017 and 2018 respectively as per the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. It is expected by the PTDC that by 2030, Pakistan will experience a 30 percent increase in forging tourists. Therefore, the tourism industry is growing by leaps and bounds in Pakistan.
4. Dynamic Civil Society
Pakistan has a vibrant and evolving civil society. It is active and responsible that participate in social, economic, and political activities and thereby provide meaningful solutions to the aforementioned issues. The civil society of Pakistan is composed of energetic youths (64 percent of the population), trade unions, active media, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), lawyers’ associations, and teachers’ unions.
All these represent the core interest of the majority of the population. It is a good auger for social and political change in the country. Hence, a robust civil society helps Pakistan to sustain itself as a consolidated state. At the time of adversity, the diverse civil society acts as a strong and united force against all odds and never let Pakistan become a failed state.
5. Robust Military
Pakistan has one of the best army forces in the world. The Global Firepower has ranked Pakistan as the 7th most powerful military in the world out of 145 countries. It is active on the borders all the time and prevents any unwanted forces from entering the country; thus making Pakistan a safe territory for its residents and ensuring the sovereignty of the country. Moreover, it has the number one spy agency (ISI), sophisticated nuclear arms, a Special Service Group, and patriotic and disciplined personnel. In sum, it is the Pakistani army that has successfully taken part in numerous peace programs of the UN. Hence, Pakistan is preserved and protected by a strong military force.
6. Abundant Youth Demographic
Pakistan has a significant number of talented and growing youth demographic. It is indeed the most precious asset of Pakistan if effectively invested in it. the country has experienced various talented minds such as Arfa Kareem, (the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Malala Yousafzai (the youngest noble prize laureate, Arsalan Siddique (the Tekken player who won the 2019 EVO finals Haroon Tariq (setting a world record by achieving 87 A’s in O levels), Ayan Qureshi( the young Microsoft Professional) to mention only a few. Many such talents exist that have set a world records in science, IT, social sciences, and sports.
7. Strong Agricultural Foundations
Pakistan has a diverse and traditional foundation in the agriculture sector. It contributes enormously to the economy of the country by providing major crops such as cotton, sugarcane, wheat, and rice. These account for the major exports of Pakistan including fruits, to European countries, the Middle East, China, the US Afghanistan, and the Central Asian Republic. Thus, it provides resilience for the country by ensuring the country’s food security as well as economic stability.
All these facts are self-evident that Pakistan will never become a failed state. Despite many challenges and wars, it is still resilient and proactive to remain a strong and sovereign state. Its diverse nature, strategic location, great land fertility, talented youth bulge, and God-gifted landscape prove to be the strong foundation for Pakistan’s stability.
Jehangir Khan Mehsud, a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Forman Christian College University Lahore