I thought it would be good to start out by explaining why so many of my posts will be focusing on Pakistan. No doubt you’ve heard of Pakistan in the media, mostly related to the Pakistani Taliban and the violence they’ve wrought but Pakistan is a country full of complexities and contradictions and faces far graver threats than the Taliban. Most people in the West likely consider Pakistan an Islamist or a failed state but it is neither and the truth is far more complex. I believe that studying Pakistan’s history and current problems can provide valuable lessons on the nature of both state and personal failures, for what is a state but a collection of people?
I have no personal ties to Pakistan, no relatives there, I’ve never visited, and I can’t speak or read Urdu or Punjabi or Sindhi or the other vernacular languages. But Pakistan’s elite governs in English and through reading the two most popular English language dailies: Dawn and the News International one can learn much about Pakistan and how it is run. and being an outsider is a benefit I think when it comes to analyzing Pakistan, since everyone there has their own agendas and biases but I have no horses in the race so to speak.
My plan is to publish a short synopsis of Pakistan’s history from Independence to the present day as well as a brief list of key players and institutions; as a framework for more in depth analysis. I will focus on the very interesting and oftentimes surprising turn of events that have occurred in the last 5 years as well as special posts on important events of the past so you will be getting the current story of Pakistan as well as the past and how it links to the present.
Finally I plan to do a series of short biographies of key players in Pakistan’s story with a Good a Bad and an Ugly section detailing the Good they did for Pakistan, the Bad, and the Ugly things which would have disastrous consequences. The fact that I can include an Ugly section for most key players is indicative I think of just why Pakistan is in such dire straights today. This blending of past and present will work well when analyzing Pakistan for it is a land haunted by ghosts and demons; most of its own making.