"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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Full Name: Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.
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Pakistan: A rapidly failing state.  What will it take to stop and reverse the disaster?


Fazal Rahman, Ph.D.         Completed on February 14, 2012


First posted on




This is a brief review of the current all-round crisis in Pakistan, the worst in the country’s history.  It is the compounded form of all the previous accumulated politico-economic problems, issues, and crises, since its independence in 1947 that were, and are, both the result of the objective structure of the feudal-capitalist-dependent politico-economic system, as well as of the wrong, incompetent, and corrupt leaderships, policies, and actions. 


All the diverse symptoms of the current crisis indicate that Pakistan is rapidly becoming a failed state and a failed nation. 


The focus of this paper is on the conceptual analysis of the politico-economic and sociological processes, which can be substantiated by empirical, statistical, and other data.  However, these data have not been included here, as it will result in a much longer article.


The conclusion of this analysis shows that only an Islamic-socialist revolution can now stop and reverse the process of failure and disaster.  Such a revolution can happen in two forms:


1.  Mass-based.  2.  Military coup d’etat by Islamic-socialist officers and soldiers.  




Pakistan has been in continuous and overlapping crises through much of its history, culminating in the current all-round politico-economic, socio-cultural, religious, and civilian-military crisis, the worst so far.  Unprecedented levels of corruption, unemployment, poverty, and misery; a huge national debt; terrorism and state terrorism; explosion of crime; emergence of resilient separatist movements, like the one in Balochistan; loss of sovereignty; subservience to the US and Western imperialism etc., are all the most dangerous symptoms and manifestations of the complex and deeply rooted causes of this crisis.


The nature and causes of this crisis are very complex and involve the problems of under-development; over-population; brain drain; extreme class and other inequalities and injustices; corruption; huge expenditures on the military, intelligence, and police establishments; aggravation of internal conflicts, some of which have now developed into a civil war, due to suicidal policies, dictated by the US and other Western powers; corruption, insincerity, dishonesty, and incompetence of almost all the political and economic leaders and political parties, among others.


In this article, the main focus is on the identification of the main internal and external political forces involved in the crisis, and on outlining the main components of a program that would put the country on the road to moving out of the crisis and towards the path of real national liberation and much greater independent development.   


The main internal political forces responsible for the crisis


I.  Civilian:


1.  Incompetent and corrupt political parties and leaders.

2.  Incompetent and corrupt judicial system.

3.  Widespread corruption and incompetence in the police and law enforcement establishment.

4.  Educational institutions, which have failed to provide the students with essential knowledge, information, and critical scientific and logical thinking, with which they can accurately identify and analyze the developing problems and their solutions.

5.  Incompetence, corruption, subjectivism, and opportunism of the intellectual elites, overwhelming majority of whom cannot go beyond their narrow personal and class interests, which sets definite limitations and boundaries to their writings and analyses.

6.  Widespread corruption, ignorance, opportunism, and subjectivism in the society as a whole, which not only allows the corrupt and incompetent political parties and leaders to ruin the country and its economy and sovereignty, but only elects them to govern the central and provincial governments.  


II.  Military and intelligence establishments:


From the beginning, Pakistani military has modeled itself in the image of British and other Western militaries.  Most of its officers take pride in speaking in English, imagining and acting as if it sets them apart from the common Pakistanis and soldiers, and gives them higher social status.  It appropriates a very large part of the national budget for itself and also owns and controls a large part of the civilian economy, which is very rare and unique among various militaries of the world.  Its top generals have accumulated huge amounts of wealth and property in a poor country like Pakistan.  How did they acquire such wealth?  Certainly not from their salaries, which, in spite of being generous, rule out any possibility of the accumulation of such wealth.


The top and higher level leaders of the military act more like the Westerners than like Pakistanis, have close relationships with Western and especially American militaries, and, historically, have carried out and implemented their geopolitical and politico-economic regional agendas and goals.  The current subservience to and collaboration with the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and drone and other attacks on the Pakhtoon tribal and other areas by the NATO and US imperialist forces, is the most recent example of that, in which it went so far as to destroy the lives, livelihoods, and properties of millions of its own citizens, in their service.  It is self-evident that this has caused enormous damages to the economy as well as to the unity and nationhood of the country, and is a major part of the current crisis.


Similarly, in spite of all the pretensions and false propaganda to the contrary, the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) became a virtual arm of the American CIA during the war against the Soviet and Afghan forces in the 1980s.  It is very likely that it is now heavily infiltrated by the agents of CIA and other Western intelligence services. 


To their credit, overwhelming majority of Pakistanis have now turned against the subservience of their government, military, and intelligence services to US and NATO countries.  Therefore, some minor and superficial differences between them are being exaggerated to the maximum to restore and maintain some credibility of the former among the Pakistani population.  Both the US and NATO, on the one hand, and Pakistani government, military, and ISI, on the other, are collaborating in such efforts.


The main foreign forces involved in the crisis


US, UK, and other Western powers-including their international organs, like the IMF and World Bank-have been heavily involved in determining the domestic and foreign policies of Pakistan, throughout much of its history, even before the support and installation of their agent, the self-styled Field Marshall Ayub Khan into power in 1958.  He was later revealed to have been on the payroll of CIA.  Pakistan has always been an important asset in the geopolitical strategy of American and British governments.  American spy plane U-2, shot down over USSR on May 1, 1960, had started its flight from an American base near Peshawar, in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.  Pakistan was also a member of the imperialist organizations SEATO and CENTO, which were formed to counter the rising tides of national liberation movements and democratic aspirations of peoples of various countries.


The key point that needs to be made about the main internal and external forces, involved in the continuous and overlapping crises of Pakistan, is that these are closely and inextricably intertwined.  Therefore, any objective, logical, and honest discussion of these crises must deal with these in their interacting unities.  Of course, within these unities, the internal forces carry much more responsibility, as these could have made different choices of policies and actions, instead of subordinating them so completely to the interests and dictates of external powers.


Outline of the proposed program for resolving the crisis and preventing its recurrence


1.  Freedom from US and Western imperialist domination.

2.  Moves towards development of an independent foreign policy.

3.  Moves towards economic and political independence.

4.  Moves towards the development of unity with other anti-imperialist nations, like Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia.

5.  Expansion of economic, political, and scientific relationships with the Peoples Republic of China, Russia, the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, and Iran.

6.  Development and nationalization of major industries and services.

7.  Redistribution of wealth, income, and property with the goal of satisfying the basic needs of people.

8.  Agrarian reforms for redistribution of land for the landless and other peasants.

9.  Moves towards the non-capitalist and socialist roads of development.  As Islam is a powerful force in the lives of most Pakistanis, the non-capitalist and socialist reorganization of society and its resources must be coordinated with the Islamic teachings of justice and equality.

10.  Dialogue with the Tehrik-e-Taliban of Pakistan TTP for a peace treaty and  establishment of a system of Islamic socialist political economy. 

11. Creation of effective population control and reduction measures.

12.  Stopping and reversing the brain drain.

13.  Abolition of all the existing political parties and disqualification of most of their leaders from holding any political or public office. 

14.  Longer term goals: Provision of free education, free medical treatment, adequate food, full employment, and affordable housing for all the Pakistanis.  This will only become possible when higher levels of the development of productive forces, production, and economic development are reached.  However, their partial realization may become possible earlier.  Such goals were achieved in almost all the socialist countries, including Cuba, a Third World country with much less human and natural resources than Pakistan.

15.  Creation of a new constitution that would incorporate the above program.

16.  Creation of a new masses-based political party, committed to implementing the various components of the program, listed above.


It is obvious that such radical changes would be impossible through the normal and standard political processes.  These will only come about as a result of the social revolution or a military coup d’etat by the patriotic, nationalist, and justice-loving officers and soldiers.  There is nothing inherently wrong with such military officers replacing the corrupt and incompetent civilian governments, as there is nothing inherently right with the corrupt civilian governments replacing each other or the military governments.  It all depends on the politico-economic programs, goals, and qualities of such governments.  Justice loving, anti-imperialist, and nationalist military officers, like Gamal Abdel Nasser, Abdel Karim Kassem, and Muammar Gadhafi had overthrown the corrupt Western-puppet governments in Egypt, Iraq, and Libya, which resulted in great progress in all areas of life of those societies.  Unfortunately in Pakistan, all military takeovers of the government have so far led in the opposite direction, in greater injustices, repressions, brutalities, inequalities, damages to the economy and sovereignty of the country, subservience to imperialism etc., because their leaders have been Western puppets and servants of the imperialist and national bourgeoisie, and could not care less for the welfare, needs, and dignity of overwhelming majority of Pakistanis, who suffer all types of deprivations and toil very hard to try to satisfy their most elementary needs of life.  The current civilian government has far surpassed all the previous military and civilian governments in this regard   


On Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI)


As many Pakistanis are pinning their hopes on the PTI and its leader, Imran Khan, it would be useful to briefly examine its potentials, in relation to the above program.


PTI is relatively far better than all the other major political parties, on various issues.  However, the crucial question is whether it has any concrete program, specific goals, or potentials to turn things around, resolve the current devastating crisis, and create effective solutions to the complex problems that constitute this crisis.  The answer to this question has to be in the negative.  No, it does not have such a concrete program, specific goals, or potentials.  If it comes to power, only some cosmetic changes and reforms should be expected.


Imran Khan himself seems to be an honest and courageous person.  However, he is surrounded by opportunist, corrupt, bureaucratic, and incompetent people, many of whom he has placed in key positions.  In any case, important politico-economic and social changes do not result from personalities or cults of personalities.  These result from concrete and well thought out objective programs and sincerity, integrity, and resolute struggle to implement them.  Pakistani culture is still bogged down in the subjectivist cults of personalities, with which all kinds of crooks, including most politicians, mesmerize and fool the people constantly and repeatedly.  This is a huge problem in the politico-economic, religious, and other affairs of the nation.


If anyone imagines, believes, or claims that he can solve the colossal problems of corruption; poverty; unemployment; inequality; injustice; crime; foreign debt; terrorism and state terrorism; dependence, loss of sovereignty, and subservience to imperialism; and deep and violent religious, regional, and class divisions, without radical changes in the politico-economic system and institutions in Pakistan, he is either a hypocrite or ignoramus or drowned in delusions.


All-round structural crisis of capitalism in the advanced capitalist countries


Capitalist democracies are now rapidly failing within the advanced capitalist countries themselves.  And yet, almost all the Pakistani politicians are faithfully trumpeting these constantly into the tired ears of Pakistanis.  It is beyond the scope of this article to go into the complex nature and causes of the profound structural crises of capitalism in the Western capitalist democracies.  However, as in Pakistan, these cannot be resolved within their current politico-economic systems.


Islam came to this world at a time when feudal and slave-owning socio-economic formations were dominant.  It introduced great progressive economic, social, and other changes that were possible at that stage of the historical development, on the basis of the principles of justice, equality, and other higher spiritual and ethical values.  Since then, there have been drastic changes in the nature of the socio-economic formations.  Currently, capitalism dominates almost all the world.  In some countries, including Pakistan, tribal and feudal systems exist side by side with the dominant system of capitalism, which is a class-divided system of extreme injustices and inequalities that progressively increase with the development of capitalism and greater and greater concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands.  That is precisely what has happened in the advanced capitalist “democracies” of the West, leading to the current Occupy and other protests and demonstrations by millions of victims of such “democracies”. 


Almost all the Muslim religious leaders and scholars, as well as other intellectual and academic “elites”, have shied away from examining the problems and contradictions between capitalism and the Islamic principles and teachings of justice, equality, and ownership of the Earth and its resources, either due to ignorance and fear or their own property, money, and class interests.  Clearly, in the light of these principles, capitalism is not only incompatible with Islam, but is its opposite.  On the other hand, it has much in common with the practical programs and goals of social justice and equality of socialism.




Islamic socialism would be the only politico-economic system that is capable of effectively addressing and resolving all the immense problems, mentioned above, under which Pakistan is drowning fast.  It will also unleash the development of enormous creative potentials of countless millions of Pakistanis, which are being thwarted and wasted under the current feudal-capitalist-dependent system.  The solutions will undoubtedly take time, but there can be no doubt about their happening if the country puts itself on the right tracks of Islamic socialism.


It is highly likely that such an objective analysis of the current Pakistani crisis-and the proposed concrete program for its resolution-will either be ignored or strongly opposed by the leaders of all the political parties, as well as by the top military leadership, in Pakistan, as these would be damaging to their class, property, and money interests.  It all boils down to the insatiable and demonically selfish greed of the “elites” for property, money, and inequality, for whom these are paramount and override everything else, including the preservation of nationhood, overcoming of the current debilitating crisis, satisfaction of the elementary needs of Pakistanis, etc.  Many of these people have foreign bank accounts and property, and will flee to other countries, leaving behind the great mess they have created.  But, where will the 187 million Pakistanis go?  They will be stuck in that mess, until they get organized and united, choose right kind of politico-economic leadership, and clean up that mess.  Anyone who talks about insaf, democracy, and Islam, but ignores or opposes the concrete program of Islamic socialism, outlined above, must be an absolute hypocrite.    



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