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Bringing together an extraordinary array of experts, including renowned Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani American sociologist and historian Ayesha Jalal, and Zahid Hussain, author of several books on Islamic militancy in Pakistan, "Pakistan: Beyond the "Crisis State" "takes unique stock of the Islamic republic's fundamental strengths and weaknesses. Presenting a Bringing together an extraordinary array of experts, including renowned Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani American sociologist and historian Ayesha Jalal, and Zahid Hussain, author of several books on Islamic militancy in Pakistan, "Pakistan: Beyond the "Crisis State" "takes unique stock of the Islamic republic's fundamental strengths and weaknesses. Presenting a picture of the nation as understood by its people, this anthology assesses the political, economic, social, and foreign policies of an embattled government and its institutional challenges. Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic studies at American University, and Munir Akram, Pakistan's former ambassador to the United Nations, provide critical perspectives on Pakistan's future. Additional essays capture the complex interplay between domestic and external pressures, such as the variety of powers that continue to manipulate the country's behavior and outcomes. The contributors gathered here ultimately conclude that Pakistan is capable of transitioning into a stable modern Muslim state, though bold reforms are necessary. Offering a detailed and balanced agenda for such reform, "Pakistan "takes a bold step in reeling the country back from the brink of crisis.


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Bringing together an extraordinary array of experts, including renowned Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani American sociologist and historian Ayesha Jalal, and Zahid Hussain, author of several books on Islamic militancy in Pakistan, "Pakistan: Beyond the "Crisis State" "takes unique stock of the Islamic republic's fundamental strengths and weaknesses. Presenting a Bringing together an extraordinary array of experts, including renowned Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani American sociologist and historian Ayesha Jalal, and Zahid Hussain, author of several books on Islamic militancy in Pakistan, "Pakistan: Beyond the "Crisis State" "takes unique stock of the Islamic republic's fundamental strengths and weaknesses. Presenting a picture of the nation as understood by its people, this anthology assesses the political, economic, social, and foreign policies of an embattled government and its institutional challenges. Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic studies at American University, and Munir Akram, Pakistan's former ambassador to the United Nations, provide critical perspectives on Pakistan's future. Additional essays capture the complex interplay between domestic and external pressures, such as the variety of powers that continue to manipulate the country's behavior and outcomes. The contributors gathered here ultimately conclude that Pakistan is capable of transitioning into a stable modern Muslim state, though bold reforms are necessary. Offering a detailed and balanced agenda for such reform, "Pakistan "takes a bold step in reeling the country back from the brink of crisis.

30 review for Pakistan: Beyond the 'Crisis State'

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ali Shahid

    This is a feel good book about Pakistan, with a lot of optimism thrown in good measure. This optimism was in air after the floods of 2010 and the post 18th amendment furore. However, in retrospect the crisis state has prolonged for Pakistan's economy, politics and society and therefore the optimism ensconed in the essays, seem a little outdated and artificial. The essays have been written by the who's who of the Pakistan's liberal elite. In my opinion, Maleeha Lodhi's essay titled " Beyond the Cr This is a feel good book about Pakistan, with a lot of optimism thrown in good measure. This optimism was in air after the floods of 2010 and the post 18th amendment furore. However, in retrospect the crisis state has prolonged for Pakistan's economy, politics and society and therefore the optimism ensconed in the essays, seem a little outdated and artificial. The essays have been written by the who's who of the Pakistan's liberal elite. In my opinion, Maleeha Lodhi's essay titled " Beyond the Crisis State" is the best in this book, considering the objective analysis, crisp language and comprehensive coverage of the issue.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Syed Muhammad

    Being a Pakistani, this book was extremely depressing for me, it depicts a very grim of Pakistan that most Pakistanis are unaware of and it is certainly an opener. I would safely say that you will only find 'Crisis' and nothing 'Beyond' in this book, the only encouraging and hopeful chapter in this book was by 'Mohsin Hamid'. I believe that every Pakistani should read this book, you can't confront your problem unless you know about them and this book is a good starter, there should be an Urdu ve Being a Pakistani, this book was extremely depressing for me, it depicts a very grim of Pakistan that most Pakistanis are unaware of and it is certainly an opener. I would safely say that you will only find 'Crisis' and nothing 'Beyond' in this book, the only encouraging and hopeful chapter in this book was by 'Mohsin Hamid'. I believe that every Pakistani should read this book, you can't confront your problem unless you know about them and this book is a good starter, there should be an Urdu version of this book but I'm afraid that if they launch an Urdu version, this book might get banned for its pessimistic and critical outlook of the Pakistani society and government.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rehmat

    Cannot say authored rather compilation of articles. Practical approaches are missing as the authors have theoretical approaches and written their respective articles while sitting in the air conditioned rooms. The gaps are felt as the book is divided into 16 chapters and each chapter deals with separate topic and different author which breaks the rhythm of the book. Not found it interesting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Uzair Salman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. An Arab poet once said; ‘I’ve become the sort of person that always talks about what his forefathers did; what his clan did; what his family did; but a person that doesn’t do anything, doesn’t have anything of his own to talk about.’ We Pakistanis can’t even say the same, for there’s nothing of sorts that our forefathers have done, nor anything our clan has, nor anything our families have, nor, have our leaders—but one point in the poet’s words we can relate ourselves to is that we don’t do anyth An Arab poet once said; ‘I’ve become the sort of person that always talks about what his forefathers did; what his clan did; what his family did; but a person that doesn’t do anything, doesn’t have anything of his own to talk about.’ We Pakistanis can’t even say the same, for there’s nothing of sorts that our forefathers have done, nor anything our clan has, nor anything our families have, nor, have our leaders—but one point in the poet’s words we can relate ourselves to is that we don’t do anything; don’t have anything of our own to talk about; don’t know which way to go. We are like lost souls in a desert. ‘Paranoidistan’ is how Pakistan has been described, but a better name could be ‘Nostalgistan’. Having been engulfed in perceptions devoid of historical grounding and logic, Pakistan’s ‘troubling present’, as per Ayesha Jalal, ought to be assessed ‘in the light of its troubled past’—for only then can a solution of the problems it has continuously been falling prey to be found. The famous speech delivered by the Quaid e Azam at the Constituent Assembly on 14th August 1947 doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Pakistan having been founded with a staunch religious end in mind. Instead, all of what he’d said in this speech at the constituent assembly and subsequently done afterwards, adhere to a moderate and democratic Pakistan. Then why is it that Pakistan has been the ‘largest assembly line of terrorists’ and extremists? Notwithstanding the fact that what Ayesha has put into words is commendable, but honestly speaking, is at the same time far from enough. Trying to explain the raison d’etre of Pakistan via a state ideology is the biggest reason why Pakistan has continuously been falling prey to terrorism and extremism. This brings me to a point Ayesha has perfectly elucidated in her piece, which is the ‘resistant to critical self-reflection’ nature of a lion’s share of Pakistan’s population. The sins of the past can only be atoned for only if they are accepted, recognised, and found a remedy for. Ironically, we find Pakistan’s present replete with what its past was home to. Shashi Tharoor—an Indian politician and a former UN Diplomat—says very often; ‘if you don’t know where you have come from, how will you appreciate where you are going.’ So as to be able to do away with the sins of Pakistan’s past, a thorough study of its history is inevitable. The Army’s ever-increasing role in Pakistan’s politics needs to be kept in check if Pakistan is to emerge in the global politics as a truly democratic state. Appropriating national resources to the military by using national security as a hoax ought to be barred. The guardians of morality and piety need to be bolted in a dungeon as dark as the one they’ve brought us to. In the midst of such circumstances, Jinnah continues to remain an utterly important personality. Debunking any discrimination based on caste, creed, colour, culture, cuisine, conviction, costume and custom, Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be formed on democratic lines. Islam is democratic, and so will Pakistan be—Jinnah is recorded to have said. But then, it was Jinnah who attracted the masses, won their support and enticed their feelings by unfalteringly using religious slogans; thereby sowing the seeds of the poisonous tree Pakistan has failingly been tried to rid. This was definitely not how the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)—a figure whom he gave preference to over Akbar when the latter was hailed by Lord Mountbatten as a great Muslim ruler and a symbol of modernity. Notwithstanding the dual-faced nature of Jinnah, his dreams of Pakistan becoming a homeland not only for Muslims alone but for peoples of all religions couldn’t be pursued. Jinnah assuredly does matter, but unfortunately, not only for those who want a moderate and pluralistic Pakistan, but so too for those who want Pakistan to be a monolithic state. In times like these, Mohsin Hamid chants slogans of hope and optimism, and describes Pakistan as ‘something of a miracle’—which candidly speaking, does sound pleasing, but regrettably, very romantic too at the same time. Recognising the increasing number of taxpayers, Mohsin argues (and I quote); ‘So if you are a progressive who wants the state of Pakistan to do more to help the poor, you should support more taxes. If you are an industrialist who wants to see that Taliban recruits are rehabilitated and retrained, you should support more taxes. If you are a professional who wants electricity and better police, you should pay more taxes. If you are an anti-American who wants us to stop taking U.S. aid, you should support more taxes. If you are a diehard militarist who wants us to buy lots of F-16s, you should support more taxes.’ Only the ones who believe Pakistan is progressing, Mohsin contends, shouldn’t pay taxes. But does Mohsin Hamid’s quixotic optimism have the resilience to actually change the fate of this ‘moth-eaten’ state of ours? Yes, says Maleeha Lodhi who regards the challenges to traditional politics a force for good and as holding out ‘possibilities of change’. Demands of ‘better governance and a greater voice in the country’s politics’ are being raised by Pakistanis which Maleeha believes can be a force for good. But, it’s easier said than done—for it’s almost impossible for the privileged classes to relinquish their privilege for the sake of the downtrodden. A country’s performance without largely stems from its performance within. External problems combined with the internal ones have compounded political challenges, and have uninterruptedly been putting on test ‘the country’s ability to weather the storms of global geo-politics’. Governance need to be made more effective, accountability more common, democratic institutions countenanced to function more than before—however tardily they do so. Stable civil-military relations, Maleeha states, are the nuts and bolts that need to be abided by. But can this be possible given the fact that the country has been ruled by the military for more than thirty-eight years, and when ‘the weight of history leans towards a continuing role of Army in Pakistan’s polity, whether overt or behind the scenes’? Shuja Nawaz has tried his hand at responding to this question, and, candidly speaking, has hits the bull’s eye—for the Army to set about considering itself subservient to the Parliament, but not so much that it ends up finding itself ruled by a kind of civilian dictatorship. ‘Seriously?’ was the word I heard myself utter—for I couldn’t help but realise that Shuja Nawaz forgot to recognise that the fact that the military has been so dominant in Pakistan’s politics is innate in its very foundations. Upon partitioning, Pakistan got 19pc of British India’s population, 17pc of its revenues and a whooping 33pc of its army. That perhaps is also the reason why Nawaz questions ‘if the military’s access to state resources’ is ‘crowding out the private sector and preventing expenditure on other more productive sectors, such as health and education’. With the large sums of Army personnel Pakistan is presently home to, it’s inevitable for the former to continue dominating the political sphere and attracting huge amounts of national resources. One query that may arise now is what could be the possible reason behind the Army’s activism. ‘The India Factor’ responds Dr Syed Rifaat Hussain who considers four factors responsible for the ‘enduring enmity’ between Islamabad and New Delhi. 1. ‘a clash of opposing ideologies’. 2. ‘Pakistan’s fear of India’s sheer size’. 3. ‘a state of perpetual hostility’ as one of the legacies of the ‘trauma of partition’. 4. ‘the unresolved issue of Kashmir’. The remedies however are what his piece seems devoid of. Maleeha doesn’t seem to want to follow suit. She wants each one of the aforementioned issues to be treated not in isolation from one another, but in a simultaneous way. ‘Prioritisation’ will remain the key in advancing any agenda. Down to some excerpts from my own op-eds that by and large pertain to the topics blanketed by this book: ‘Pakistan that has for decades lived in wilderness is in dire need of a leadership capable of seeing beyond the present state of affairs and ensuring that the policies adopted help the browbeaten in the long run. A leadership devoid of vision will further worsen the already worsened conditions of the country.’ ‘Learning from the past will always be a prerequisite for certifying that the mistakes whose repercussions we are still grappling with aren’t repeated.’ ‘Secularism and religion are intertwined and untying them from each other would wreck mayhem. Religion needs secularism to help build restrained relations among all communities sharing the same political space regardless of the different religions they abide by. On the other hand, secularism needs religion to gratify the needs of believers of a community and condition them, and to provide a source of moral guidance that would widely be embraced.’ ‘The ethnic and religious schism in Pakistan can only be relinquished if a secular—not anti-religious in nature but a wholly neutral one—approach on the issues of governance is pursued. The merger of politics with religion has been a major factor behind the prevailing violence and religious extremism in Pakistan. Unravelling mosque from state seemingly is the only way stability and peace can be accomplished, and conflicts managed.’ ‘The attempt on Pakistan’s leadership part to adjudicate the confusion apropos its raison d’etre via a state ideology hasn’t rendered the acclaimed vantages. It’s about time the state brought forth a different stance.’ ‘This government has much greater responsibilities now than any ever had in the past. To walk the liberal talk and to help transform this state into one wherein the rights of minorities will be protected, and human rights acknowledged, transformation of the societies at large is a prerequisite. If the “Pakistan of Jinnah” is what the party in power wants, it needs to purport at implementing his ideas by word and deed, and not at surrendering to mob rule.’

  5. 4 out of 5

    Faraz Ali

    The complexity to explain Pakistan was well sorted out by introducing different author for different chapter and each chapter explaining different aspects of Pakistan. From pessimist to optimist approach, the book shows a well close to the reality picture of Pakistani scenarios.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Saqib

    A good book if you are interested in the problems Pakistan is facing and why it is facing them,though simple answer is rampant corruption and lack of work ethic at every level of society/government.There is some optimism thrown in there to counter the realism,that Pakistan is on the verge of collapse. The optimistic chapters give pure sanctimony about a supposedly bright future that Pakistan has: "We need better governance,we need better accountability,we need to curb extremism...and then Pakista A good book if you are interested in the problems Pakistan is facing and why it is facing them,though simple answer is rampant corruption and lack of work ethic at every level of society/government.There is some optimism thrown in there to counter the realism,that Pakistan is on the verge of collapse. The optimistic chapters give pure sanctimony about a supposedly bright future that Pakistan has: "We need better governance,we need better accountability,we need to curb extremism...and then Pakistan will be a paradise".

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bajwa M

    This book provides a great insight into the prevailing state of affairs and how they came to be. It is a good sign seeing the recommendations given in the book already in action. I hope Pakistan stays on track.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Asma Rafiq

    it is agood book

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abdullah Khan

    This volume has comprehensively investigated and elaborated the core issues our state confronts today. Many leading and well-versed authors/researchers have contributed their analysis brilliantly. With pragmatic optimism, the emphasis this book carries is the capability and resourcefulness of our state. Having sailed through terrible periods of wars, bankruptcy and natural disasters, Pakistan stood the test of time ably. While on the other hand, some of the systemtic and fundamental issues persist This volume has comprehensively investigated and elaborated the core issues our state confronts today. Many leading and well-versed authors/researchers have contributed their analysis brilliantly. With pragmatic optimism, the emphasis this book carries is the capability and resourcefulness of our state. Having sailed through terrible periods of wars, bankruptcy and natural disasters, Pakistan stood the test of time ably. While on the other hand, some of the systemtic and fundamental issues persist since independence. The burden of poor governance, low literacy rate, short-sighted leadership and economic mismanagement can be felt during the course of Pakistan's history. These challenges may seem insurmountable, yet they can be tackled if addressed properly. The books suggests some outstanding reforms, which the government needs to implement on priority basis. The book is a bit outdated for today's reader as it has been written in 2010-11 with emphasis on the contemporary issues of that time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Humayun Zafar Ladhuka

    The book has been written in a fantastic manner and it discusses contemporary issues of Pakistan in a modern perspective. However, not all of the chapters are important to read such as chapters related to Afghan war, etc. Moreover, this book lists the facts up to 2010, which I think one can replace with the current facts and figures. You will be able to get a positive outlook for Pakistan after reading this book, but again, not every chapter.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suhaib Zafar

    Read this as an undergraduate student - long time ago. I'd say this is one of the best books on Pakistan anyone can read- esp those who don't know much about Pakistan (it'll help you get up to speed about the ailments facing Pakistan). More importantly, this is written by Pakistani academics and policymakers, and thus not as prone to charges of "bias" by readers (esp Pakistani nationalists).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Muzammil

    for knowledge

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rana Imtiaz

    This is very good book to read

  14. 4 out of 5

    Khurram Malik

    Séquence of chapters / analytical papers should have been more logical and going through time-line as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abdullah AK

    The book throughly explains all Pakistan's deep-seated issues and fault lines related to political, economic, social and religious with vivid illustrations, and also provides way forward.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Furqan Nadeem

    editor did immense hardwork in collecting analysis from the pundits of economy , democracy and policy makers ❤️

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ahsan

    book

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mehwish

    a good compilation

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ali Hassan

    Truly in-depth and critical analysis of issues Pakistan is facing in present scenario. It is an essential work especially for the students of competitive exams in Pakistan. They can get a lot from this book in little time. So I would recommend this book to all. Read it at least once before sitting in the examination hall.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danyal Wahid

    A highly informative book about the basic problems Pakistan is facing besides offering an optimistic perspective to the whole topic, a must read if you're a Pakistani.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tahir Hussain

    not expected out of a brilliant diplomet and an enlightened pakistani author,more like essay compilation.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Syed

    Good compilation of different views, as how to take out Pakistan from current crisis and take it beyond.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sajjad Hussain

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rehan Mahmood

  25. 5 out of 5

    Faisal Marwat

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mateo Buchelli Solarte

  27. 5 out of 5

    Remeses

  28. 4 out of 5

    M Qureshi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Raza Khan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Fahad Azam

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