Pakistan against itself: the rise of extremism

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University of New Brunswick


An analysis of Pakistan’s political, social, institutional and regional history reveals two principal problems facing the state: first, the enmity that developed between Pakistan and India following partition, has morphed into an overwhelming national obsession with India which has supported unbridled growth of Pakistan’s security institutions at the expense of Pakistan’s ability to govern its own people. Second, despite the lofty aims of Mohammad Ali Jinnah to build his country into a modern democratic and secular state, the confluence of certain key factors have prevented Pakistan from ever moving towards this ideal. This study will examine the complex web of factors that have spawned Pakistan’s current situation as a failing nuclear state such as: the outstanding grievances from the partition of colonial India and subsequent conflicts, support of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan and the social, institutional, and economic domestic factors. Pakistan’s overt and tacit support of extremists is a double-edged sword that undermines at any semblance of stability for this country as it grapples with a growing number of suicide attacks, targeted killings, kidnappings, increased criminal activity and rising drug addiction, yet the status quo continues with little expectation of positive change. The Talibanization of Pakistan has already begun.