Pakistan - Facing Contradictory Strategic Choices In An Uncertain Region

By Sikander Hayat

It is hard to think dispassionately about our own people, our own county & our own children. When our own are dying , when we have no idea who is our friend and who is foe, when as a nation we face collective lack of understanding of who are we actually fighting against; one feels sadness, helplessness and despair. Our collective national impotence is forcing us to make strategic choices which are contradictory in nature and yet have to be made because of the lack of options.

Here are some of the contradictions Pakistan is faced with:

1. Pakistan does not like USA given all the history of abandonment and betrayal & mutual mistrust but Pakistan need USA to root out Al-Qaida in its border
territory to stop Pakistan from becoming a launching pad for future terror attacks around the world

2. Pakistan want USA to stabilise Afghanistan before it leaves so that the country does not collapse into civil war once again and Pakistan is once gain inundated with refugees from that country but Pakistan want USA to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible so that Pashtun insurgency in its own tribal lands cools down

3. Pakistan does not want India’s influence in Afghanistan to last but supporting insurgents as a back up plan to oust India once America is gone from Afghanistan may backfire in the form of increase lawlessness with in its own borders

4. Pakistanis are staunchly Islamic in their believes but they are not comfortable with the brand of Islam Taliban and Al-Qaida proposes for them

5. A large majority of Pakistanis want America to disappear like Soviet Union but are not prepared for the consequences for that struggle.

6. Dictators like Zia-Ul-Haq had a pan Islamic agenda and he preached it with success to the extent that Pakistanis consider themselves Muslim first and Pakistanis second and yet they want a nation state as well

I can go on and on but the fact of the matter is that we are a confused country. We do not know where want to go and sad thing is that as a people we have too much faith in divine than our own actions. We have to decide as to what we actually want as a nation and what should be the mechanism for this consensus building , I leave that to other readers to suggest .


  1. Simply follow the Quaid's vision, have the history books rewritten, preferably by historians like Ms Ayesha Jalal, stop crimes against the ethnic minorities and stand united against Taliban. We as a nation might have hope yet!

  2. its really worth spending a moment here .. Very nice/much informative blog.

  3. Wow my friend you seem to have summed up the contradictions is aspirations of Pakistan but there is no mention of economic development of country and eradication of poverty.Pakistan should focus more on these agendas and you will see how your country will become very peaceful and prosperous country.But there is a very big IF.


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