Madiha Afzal and Anand Patwardhan have written the article ‘Redefining Pakistan’, arguing that Pakistan needs transformational changes in its state apparatus and strategic narrative to overcome its much deserved tag of ‘terrorist state’.
According to the authors, if Pakistan wants to advance further, it has to give up its national narrative that India is a security threat to Pakistan’s existence. The real threats are the terrorist outfits which Pakistani state patronizes as ‘good’ terrorist and ‘bad’ terrorist. Pakistan should stop paying lip service to its founder, Jinnah’s dream of a democratic and modern Pakistan. The country needs a democratic set up where the political parties could rise above their narrow interests.
They further argue that there are encouraging signs. The authors cite a Gallup poll conducted in June 2016, where 84 percent of respondents said they preferred democracy to dictatorship in Pakistan. New success stories are starting to emerge where young Pakistani entrepreneurs are making mark developing software. Pakistan needs better education and skill infrastructure.
The article lays out the possible areas where Pakistan should invest. However, the current political elite seems to be going backward by allowing China to have USD 46 billion China-Pakistan economic corridor linking Kashgar to West Asia. This is not an investment in skill development or education. This corridor is likely to have negative impact on Pakistan’s economy as Chinese products could flood its market and would draw out its small domestic manufacturers. China’s investment model has never invested in capacity building areas like education. It is high time that the Pakistani people and civil society realized about the coming Chinese storm.
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