Learning from Pakistan's Mistakes

Flint

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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.
 

Pintu

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Very beautiful estimate Flint , thank you, Pak lacks it all and now have been paying the price, Army lacks motivation has deserters, meekly surrenders in SWAT , Pakistan is verge of being an Afghanistan .

Regards to you for posting this very useful thread, this is not only lessons, but the principles. We are lucky and feeling great that our motherland discarded the Pakistani theories of nation building from the day of her independence.
 

johnee

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broadly agree with points #4, #5,#6. others are good only superficially, but not in reality .
religion has been motivational force for soldiers since centuries and will continue to be so. it is also efficient. but just like aggression, it must be controlled and direct in the right way.
nurturing and raising armed groups can work, just because pakistan fails in it, doesnt mean its a wrong path. for instance, democracy doesnt work in pakistan, but it works to a great extent in many other places. pakistanis basically make a mess of everything, so they shouldnt be taken up as a case study.
making friends with neighbours sounds right, but it has to be a give and take policy. if we have a troublesome neighbour, giving them more concessions will only make them bolder. india has been treating all our neighbours with kid gloves, how much success have we got. if we act with our self-respect in mind, our neighbours will also respect us. so simply, do unto others as they do unto us.
 

Flint

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broadly agree with points #4, #5,#6. others are good only superficially, but not in reality .
religion has been motivational force for soldiers since centuries and will continue to be so. it is also efficient. but just like aggression, it must be controlled and direct in the right way.
Johnee IA does not use religion as a motivational tool.

nurturing and raising armed groups can work, just because pakistan fails in it, doesnt mean its a wrong path. for instance, democracy doesnt work in pakistan, but it works to a great extent in many other places. pakistanis basically make a mess of everything, so they shouldnt be taken up as a case study.
No it doesn't work. Never has and never will. Tell me ONE country which has successfully raised an insurgent groups within its own borders, achieved some strategic objective and then dissolved said insurgent group. It never happens. Power without accountability is a strict no-no.

making friends with neighbours sounds right, but it has to be a give and take policy. if we have a troublesome neighbour, giving them more concessions will only make them bolder. india has been treating all our neighbours with kid gloves, how much success have we got. if we act with our self-respect in mind, our neighbours will also respect us. so simply, do unto others as they do unto us.
Better to have a stable, hostile neighbour than a weak collapsing one. Atleast you know who your enemy is. A neighbour run-over by insurgent groups is a threat to the whole region.
 

johnee

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Johnee IA does not use religion as a motivational tool.
maybe not at the whole army level but at some level every army uses religion as motivational tool. and I am not specifically speaking about IA here.

No it doesn't work. Never has and never will. Tell me ONE country which has successfully raised an insurgent groups within its own borders, achieved some strategic objective and then dissolved said insurgent group. It never happens. Power without accountability is a strict no-no.
not within its own borders. I agree.

Better to have a stable, hostile neighbour than a weak collapsing one. Atleast you know who your enemy is. A neighbour run-over by insurgent groups is a threat to the whole region.
by your logic, why doesnt pakistan try unite india instead of weakening us, afterall you believe united and stable india would be more helpful to pakistan.

becoz its better to have a weak, divided enemy than a stable and united one. neighbour or not, its the same. infact, the nearer their proximity to us, greater the need for weakening, and disbanding the hostile ones.
 

Flint

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maybe not at the whole army level but at some level every army uses religion as motivational tool. and I am not specifically speaking about IA here.
Well if you're not talking about the IA then what's the point? I thought that since the topic of the article suggested what WE must learn from Pakistan, all the arguments therein applied to our own state institutions.

not within its own borders. I agree.
Well then, that's great.

by your logic, why doesnt pakistan try unite india instead of weakening us, afterall you believe united and stable india would be more helpful to pakistan.
Indeed, why don't they? Has trying to weaken India worked out for them?

We are stronger, more robust at defending ourselves, and their obscene military budget and obsession with the army has given it way too much power thus weakening other state institutions, their sponsorship of an insurgency has led to armed groups running amok within their own territory etc. etc.

becoz its better to have a weak, divided enemy than a stable and united one. neighbour or not, its the same. infact, the nearer their proximity to us, greater the need for weakening, and disbanding the hostile ones.
Fine, try it out. Lets see how long our weak and divided neighbour will be able to resist the onward march of the Taliban into Kashmir.
 

johnee

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Well if you're not talking about the IA then what's the point? I thought that since the topic of the article suggested what WE must learn from Pakistan, all the arguments therein applied to our own state institutions.

I was talking about armies in general, that includes IA.

Well then, that's great.

yea, it is...........
anyway, I dont understand why any nation would support raising a non-accountable army within its own boundaries!! but it can work outside the national borders. it worked pakistan to a great extent. but thats about it. it has its limitations.

Indeed, why don't they? Has trying to weaken India worked out for them?

it has. if they had not worked to weaken us, pakistan would have faced its present crisis decades ago. even now, india is neither united nor stable becoz of the hardwork and dedication of organisations within pakistan. india free from cross-border terrorism and separatist movements would have been a significantly powerful nation. then pakistan would have live under the perpetual influence of india. thanx to its strategies, pakistan has played a geopolitical role beyond its capacity. but they failed to realise that only that method cant achieve them complete dominance. they should have complimented them with real development of their nation.

We are stronger, more robust at defending ourselves, and their obscene military budget and obsession with the army has given it way too much power thus weakening other state institutions, their sponsorship of an insurgency has led to armed groups running amok within their own territory etc. etc.

they goofed up. we should learn from it. that doesnt mean the strategy itself is wrong. if there had been more accountability in their system like we in india have, then it would have worked better.

Fine, try it out. Lets see how long our weak and divided neighbour will be able to resist the onward march of the Taliban into Kashmir.
I wonder why you are assuming that our neighbouring country is even willing to resist the onward march of taliban. and how is it bad for us? wats the difference between kargil and this situation? different names, same ideology and same ppl. we can deal with them as well.
 

Soham

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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.
Very well written good sir !
But there's nothing to discuss about it...

These points have been stated again and again to the point of memory.
 

nitesh

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Flint excellent analysis. But one thing is for sure the idea of India is bigger then individual person/group.
 

Flint

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Very well written good sir !
But there's nothing to discuss about it...

These points have been stated again and again to the point of memory.
I agree - I said so myself - nothing new or pathbreaking in this post, but still people tend to forget the basics very easily when they get seduced by some ideology.
 

Paritosh

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a very good thread indeed...theres a lot to learn from pakistan...to develop you have to have an open society...their journey back to stone-age seems irreversible...
 

johnee

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so, in a 'defence' forum, none of us believe in chanakyan way?!! strange.........

just becoz pakistan has failed to do something doesnt mean that the path itself is a failure. also, IMO, the existance of pakistan till now is owing to these methods. the demise of pakistan was guaranteed the day it was created, but it continued to survive thanx to some clever manipulations and some ruthless policies. if india's economic position were similar to the position that pakistan has been for past two decades , we would have been doomed. but look at pakistan, it has managed to keep its head above the water so long that too with foreign money. could it have done it without using religion. if pakistan were to be sorrounded by strong neighbours, pakistan games would have been long over. so it has raised a religious army that controls one neighbour(Astan) and makes the other(india) unstable. iran is also not in favour of pakistan.


so, IMO, pakistan is a failure not because of these ways, but pakistan is a failure because the basis of its creation was a failure, but that country has postponed its demise by following these methods. this may go against our conventional wisdom, but thats realpolitik.
 

Soham

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so, IMO, pakistan is a failure not because of these ways, but pakistan is a failure because the basis of its creation was a failure, but that country has postponed its demise by following these methods. this may go against our conventional wisdom, but thats realpolitik.
Could you please elaborate a bit?
 

Vinod2070

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The title is apt. Pakistan is indeed a good example of what not to do.

A nation of talented people doomed by an "ideology" of hate, trying to be a modern nation with regressive thinking of 7th century desert, rootless, in search of an elusive identity, hankering here and there, its indeed painful to think they were our own people at some time.

I guess one more learning could be not to become a conspiracy theorist, assuming the whole world to be conspiring against you, refusing to take accountability for your own actions and becoming a prisoner of your own rhetoric.
 

Flint

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Johnee, Pakistan is the insulation between us and the 11th century. Only a fool would bring the roof down on himself because he doesn't like the guy living upstairs.
 

johnee

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Could you please elaborate a bit?
pakistan was carved out of a LIE that all muslims of india need a separate country otherwise they would become slaves of hindus. pakistan was carved out of fallacy that just being muslims overrides all other ethnic, language, geographic differences and hence islam can be used as a basis for a nation.

this fallacy should have been clear the day vast number of muslims did not move to pakistan, in essence rejecting the LIE that muslim league sought to propagate. genocide of bengalis in the hands of PA (predominantly pakistani punjabis) is also an example.
 

johnee

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Johnee, Pakistan is the insulation between us and the 11th century. Only a fool would bring the roof down on himself because he doesn't like the guy living upstairs.
pakistan is insulating us from pakistan? wat if the guy on our upstairs is throwing all kinds of garbage into our frontyard?
any sane guy would make efforts to replace that guy with someone who would be more friendly. similarly, pakistan must be replaced with nations that will be more friendly. for example: balochistan, paktonistan, sindhudesh.......etc.
 

vish

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Flint:
Excellent stuff, and indeed there are many lessons to be learnt from Pakistan. I'll only add a couple of thing, there is a need to find the correct balance between the central, state and local governments, where we have fared much better than all of our immediate neighbours.

Also, now do not lynch me here, one reason why we, as a country, have stuck together in spite of the many odds is our tendency to not act impulsively and over-decisively. In dealing with many of our state-threatening problems (religious and cultural differences and regionalism), this approach has allows rationality to emerge. A case in point, Kashmiri separatists. I used to often wonder why these separatists are treated in AIIMS. But looking at the recent events, I guess we did put up with these idiots so as to allow people (the masses) to form a more rational opinion. I guess it works.

Hope, what I said is clear.


johnee:
Ever thought of the rat lines that will lead to India when the show wraps up? Remember, the North-East is very pissed even today.
 

S.A.T.A

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I tend to agree with Johnee that Pakistan was doomed from the word go and its principle antagonist is its raison d’etre.Nations or the idea of a nation does not evolve in a vacuum there are several socio-cultural even religious factors that go into the mix.

A Punjab or Sindh or as in the case of Bangladesh,would make for better nation state candidates,than all if them coming together to form a supra nation state.

India is a civilizational state,where strong sub national identities exist with the larger frame work of a larger supra state,what motivates them to stay together is the bond of a common civlization, forged through thousands of years of socio-cultural and political interaction,which has over the years generated traits commonly associated with modern nation states.......

A Tamil Nadu or Karnataka can remain as independent nation states if they chose to be ,but they cannot come together to form a supra nation state.

This is the tragedy of Pakistan,they tried creating a mini India- a supra state,a hoped the common religion would hold them together.unfortunately religion is just element that goes towards forming nations states.the sub national identities of the various ethnic groups of Pakistan was forged long before Islam arrived on these shores and Islam could and cannot provide the context for building a nation state.
 

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