So what can we learn from Pakistan? 1. Don't raise and nurture armed groups that are not accountable to the people. 2. Don't use religion as a motivational tool within the armed forces. 3. Don't base the country's identity on religion. Create an identity that all citizens can share irrespective of their religious affiliations. 4. Give our citizens justice - speedy and fair justice - so that no non-state group can claim to deliver what the state cannot. 5. Recognize ethnic identities, respect them, and make them a part of the larger national identity. 6. Give all ethnic and religious groups a stake in the state apparatus. 7. Make friends with your neighbours, and ensure their stability and prosperity. A neighbouring state which has collapsed will breed militancy and lawlessness which will eventually cross the border. Nothing that I have written is new or path-breaking, and yet when one looks at Pakistan one sees that they have failed to recognize these simple things. India has, in contrast, managed to adhere to these basics much better than our neighbours, though much is left to be desired. After all, the purpose of the state is not simply to exist but to excel.