Home Contact Us  
   

Peace Audit and Ceasefire Monitor - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#5121, 9 September 2016
 

Fragile States Index 2016

Fragility in Pakistan
Rana Banerji
Member, Governing Council, IPCS, & former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India
 

The US based non-profit organisation, Fund for Peace (FFP), which works to prevent conflict and to promote sustainable security by building relationships and trust across diverse sectors, annually prepares a Fragile States Index (FSI). It has listed Pakistan in the `High Alert’ category, evaluating key aspects of the social, economic, and political environment there over time. 

The FFP examines circumstances behind the conflict landscape worldwide. This includes a detailed study of social indicators, demographic pressures, condition of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), factors behind uneven economic development, political and military conditions, and the impact of external intervention factors, including foreign aid.

Political & Military indicators
The recent (08 August 2016) terror attack in Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan, provides the best illustration of how the Pakistani military elite continue to remain in denial. They described it as a conspiracy for subverting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Such obfuscation not only trivialises the death of so many and loss of the cream of Baloch intelligentsia and its legal fraternity, which has been very vocal and active in raising issues like enforced disappearances, it also reflects a muddled approach towards meeting the challenge of terrorism.

The functioning of the parliament in Pakistan continues to remain superfluous or irrelevant, at best of times a rubber stamp. In the aftermath of Quetta, when some important parliamentarians and political leaders from Balochistan questioned a possible security lapse and demanded that Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif make the heads of the security institutions accountable, they were viciously attacked from many sides, including by important members of cabinet.
 
Parliamentarians, particularly of non-Punjabi origin, feel they have no right to criticise the security agencies of the country on the floor of the house.As if that was not enough, high level meetings after the Quetta tragedy decided to appoint monitoring committees to oversee implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

These committees will be constituted from different government departments and agencies, without even any pretence of parliamentary oversight. The parliament is handy as a factory for producing draconian laws (law for controlling cyber-crime is the latest example) but it has been unable to evolve into a forum for formulating policies or overseeing their implementation.
 
The security apparatus should have a monopoly on use of legitimate force. The social contract is weakened where affected by competing groups. Extremist ideologies such as Salafism and Takfirism that inspire religious extremism and terrorism were mainstreamed during the Zia martial law years (1977-1988). These have yet to be fully and honestly confronted. So far, nothing seems to have changed in terms of policy of selecting between`good’ and `bad’ Taliban. The civilian facade of the security state is too weak to assert itself.While carrying this baggage, how can the state implement any consistent anti-terrorist policy?
 
Corruption in government has persisted, both in its civilian and military complements. The initial furore over the Panama Papers leaks’ enquiry seems to have petered into a stalemate. 

When human rights are violated or unevenly protected, the state is failing in its ultimate responsibility. In the context of the refugees’ movement to Europe, Pakistan is listed at the high end with a rating of almost 9, with only Afghanistan among regional countries figuring at a higher score.

Economy
The government’s economic policy remains largely debt-driven, with debt servicing and repayment taking increasing shares of the federal budget each year. Total public debt continues to be well above 60 per cent. Though Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced Pakistan’s intention to bid goodbye to International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance very soon, with the IMF programme drawing to a close and earlier debts maturing, debts from the IMF increased by 54.5 per cent.
   
Budgetary allocations for debt servicing and repayment have seen a steady rise over the last few years. The provision of adequate budgetary allocations for health, education, and sanitation services - key roles of the state - remain stymied due to over-emphasis on defence and debt servicing. For the fiscal year 2016-17, total debt and liabilities have increased by 12.7 per cent, now making up 73 per cent of the GDP. Compared to the previous year, there has been a 12.4 per cent increase in the total debt stock during July-March (FY16). Debt accumulation has an inflationary impact, which is adverse for short-term financial stability.

On the revenue front, while both tax and non-tax revenue targets have been reportedly achieved during the outgoing year, there has been no significant shift in direct and indirect tax shares. Instead, there has been hefty rise in the use of withholding taxes (WHT) to meet revenue needs. Little attention has been paid to expanding the tax base and alleviating poverty through a systemic shift to progressive taxation of rural and urban elites.

Though these parameters seem to justify the FFP’s evaluation, we in India, can hardly take any solace from the findings. India is listed at `Elevated Warning’ stage with a score of 79.6 compared to Pakistan’s 101.7. Sri Lanka is shown as the most improved state in 2016 under the FFP’s Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST) rating. India is behind Bangladesh and Bhutan as well. A sobering thought!

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
Derek Verbakel and Marie Pavageau,
"Introduction: Assessing the Index," 9 September 2016

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Pakistan: Census Complexities

Trump's Afghanistan Strategy

Pakistan: The Nawaz Ouster

The ISI and Kulbhushan Jadhav's Second ‚ÄúConfession‚ÄĚ

India-Pakistan: Three Years of Wasted Effort?

Pakistan and the Panama Papers Verdict

In Context: Pakistan's New Army Chief Gen Bajwa

Book Review: "Much Ado About Nothing"

Pakistan: Kamalís Dramatic Return and the Fate of MQM-A

Has Peshawar Changed Pakistanís Approach to Tackle Terrorism?

Pakistan: MQM Under Siege

The Military Reshuffle in Pakistan: Is the Army Chief firming up his control?

Pakistan: A Hyper-national Security State

Talks with the Taliban: Endgame for the Military

Pakistan 2013: Civil-Military Relations

Pakistan: The Military Shuffle and Consolidation under the New Chief

Pakistan: The Hakimullah Mehsud Killing

Intrusions along LoC/IB in J&K: Pakistanís Objectives

Pakistan: Who will be the next Army Chief?

Pakistan: Civil-Military Relations and the Instrumentalisation of Political Power

Pakistan: The Abbottabad Commission of Enquiry

B. Raman (1936-2013)

Special Commentary: The Military and Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan

Pakistan Elections 2013: Caretaker Prime Minister & the Election Scenario

Pakistan: The Curious Case of Tahir-ul-Qadri

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.