Today in 2013, I believe that the future I would predict for Pakistan is different from what I had thought five years ago. Frankly five years ago I was uncertain about which way Pakistan was heading. I knew it was a state in failure - with failure on various counts but I disagreed with the assumption that it would "implode" or "explode". Countries do not actually "implode' dramatically. However I was uncertain about what might happen. I thought that Pakistan was most likely to remain on a course a state of chronic failure of governance, security and social parameters. That uncertainty remains today, but new information has emerged in the last five years which make me want to speculate on what is happening inside Pakistan and what might happen in future. First of all it is important to point out that Pakistan as a nation has some resilience and a fairly large constituency of people who want Pakistan to exist and thrive. Important among these ate the Pakjabis - the Pakistani Punjabis who form the bulk of the Pakistani population and a bulk of the army. But a few new facts and dynamics have emerged in my observation of Pakistan over the last decade. First and most important is the fact that the Pakistani army has lost some degree of its power and capability. It is still admired in Pakistan, but the sheen has gone due to a number of reasons. Wars with India never affected the Pakistan army because war with India is popular among Pakistanis even if the army gets its butt kicked. But the Paki army created and maintained jihadi forces because they could outsource the responsibility of fighting to them while escaping the consequences of defeat. Hamid Gul is on record as saying that all the mujahid/Taliban factions will join the Pakistani army of war should break out against india. Musharraf too stated that the mujahideen and Taliban are Pakistan's secret weapon against India. It was the absence of war with India, the "cowardly" Indian refusal to declare war after the parliament attack and after 26/11/2008 that rendered the mujahideen useless. The Pakistan army had no war to fight with India and so the "secret weapon" remained unused. In the meantime the Pakistani army made itself unpopular on several counts; The action against Lal Masjid The "war on terror" leading to the deaths of so many people in the Pashtun areas including soldiers leading to desertion of Pashtun soldiers from the army, grave loss of morale in the Pakistan army and locking up of 20% of forces in the Afghan border The use of "war on terror" assets to target enemies pf the Pakistan army such as Baluch leaders and some sections of the Taliban The use of scorched earth tactics and the use of heavy armour and the air force in retaking areas Supporting American drone and other actions in secret while pretending to oppose them Sleeping through the entire period of Osama bin Laden's refuge in Abbottabad and subsequent killing that made the PA and PAF the laughing stock of many parts of the world Inability to anticipate and thwart serious attacks on Pak military assets including Kamra, Mehran and sundry ISI offices The Pakistani military is no longer in a position to take over Pakistan like Musharraf did and that makes a huge change in Pakistan. Other current issues in Pakistan are 1. Decrepit economy. Even the export of terrorism is becoming difficult. Shortage of electricity and fuel. Broken down railway system. Low tax base and collection, easy availability of arms and explosives 2. Increasing under nutrition. Pakistanis are looking increasingly like then scrawny Indians they used to laugh at. Polio is only a test case in the inability to impose health care over a country that has only 20% of the number of people India has. These factors give some indicator for the future. In my view the Pakistani army will suppress the Baluch insurgency ruthlessly, but it will take time and create more resentment. That means that infrastructure building will get delayed - in this case the roads and railways that are supposed to transport Chinese goods to and from Gwadar will be delayed for at least a decade The unrest along the Afghan border is a bit more serious in my view. A lot iof resentment and anger has been created against Pakistan among those people. I am not sure if Pakistan can support a Taliban government in Kabul the way they did with impunity in the 1990s. Pakistan is full of guns and bombs and this will be utilized by everyone. Pakistan's hostility towards India will not cease, but they may seek temporary concessions and partial peace while they can recover to simply bite India in the butt again. But still, in my view, Pakistan will remain a troubled state with a poor economy, terrorism, insurgencies and sectarian strife for the next ten years at least (up to 2023). By then its population will have grown to 250 to 280 million. For India it is better to allow Pakistan to continue to limp as it is doing and not help. This means that we can expect continuing terrorism on Indian soil and continuing efforts to keep Kashmir and the border hot. As long as we take care of that it would be quite OK to see Pakistan struggling with itself. I am not going to make any recommendation on how Pakistan could get out of this mess. It is up to Pakis to figure that out LOL!