Event ReportsPublished on Feb 25, 2010
A roundtable discussion at Observer Research Foundation was held on January 25 2010 to discuss the internal dynamics of Pakistan
Grave concerns about Pakistan

Serious concerns about the state of Pakistan, and its growing incapability to govern were the focus of a roundtable discussion at Observer Research Foundation on January 25 2010. Many discussants, however, argued that it would be premature to assume the collapse of the nation on the basis of alarming news reports. The talk was chaired by Ambassador MK Rasgotra, President, ORF Centre for International Relations. Discussants underlined various parameters of a functional State and measured Pakistan against each of them, concluding in the end that the State had either abandoned its responsibility of providing material support to its citizens, and a sense of belonging, or were inept to fulfill its constitutional obligations. Guest speaker, Dr Mubashir Hassan, a former Finance Minister of Pakistan, argued that though there were visible signs of State’s failure, the people of Pakistan were as robust in their spirit and determination as ever and wanted no more status quo. Responding to a comment on Pakistan Army, Dr Hassan said if there was an institution which was clear in its thought and practice, it was Pakistan Army. He pointed out that the Army was committed to rout out extremist elements in the frontier and the tribal areas. He said the Army has lost over 2000 men and officers in the battle against the Taliban and other extremist elements. More than 8000 civilians have lost life to extremists. Dr Hassan praised the peaceful nature of Indians and asked the discussants if India had any ultimate vision for Pakistan. According to Dr Hassan, it was very important that the people of Pakistan see India as a friendly country. Unfortunately no Indian government talked about the people of Pakistan.  He suggested working out cooperative ventures between India and Pakistan in the power, manufacturing and trade sectors which, he argued, would go a long way in changing the mindsets of people in Pakistan towards India. After the talk the floor was open for questions and discussion. There were questions on the current regime led by President Zardari, Talibans, Pakistan police force, possibility of a coup and India’s role in helping Pakistan. This report is prepared by Rizwana Shamshad, Research Intern, ORF

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