Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has been host to domestic, regional, and international conflicts that have kept it teetering on the brink of instability.
Pakistan’s precarious situation has made its government periodically susceptible to military control and its population vulnerable to extremist ideologies. After the events of 9/11, the terrorists entrenched within Pakistan’s borders became a subject of global concern. Thirteen years later, military missions and foreign aid to Pakistan have been of little lasting benefit to the state itself. As the United States has drawn down its military presence in South Asia, the struggle in, and for, Pakistan rages on.
In The Struggle for Pakistan, Dr. Ayesha Jalal, Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University, traces the international actors and domestic factors that have contributed to the continued militarization and radicalization of Pakistan. Jalal demonstrates how contested borders with India and Afghanistan as well as an inconsistent relationship with the United States have led Pakistan to place a premium on security above all else. The Pakistani military has successfully capitalized on this mentality. Domestically, ethnic and sectarian clashes have fostered extremist tendencies. Jalal illustrates how these factors continue to threaten the development of strong institutions and democratic ideals—and how the dangers for and within Pakistan are from over.
On Thursday, November 20th, Hudson Institute hosted a conversation with Dr. Ayesha Jalal about her new book The Struggle for Pakistan: Muslim Homeland and Global Politics. The discussion was moderated by Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Hudson Institute Director for South and Central Asia and former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States.