Dr Ahmad Faruqui

An economist and a political commentator based in San Francisco. Author of "Rethinking the National Security of Pakistan" and "Musharraf's Pakistan, Bush's America and the Middle East."

From Egypt to Pakistan: Why are we infatuated by the Army?

After a halting transition to democracy that was hailed around the globe, Egypt is once again under military rule. The generals claim to have intervened in the national interest, citing the massive crowds who filled the streets of Cairo to protest the Islamist rule of the democratically-elected president.  This coup, coming just a year after the Arab Spring, raises a fundamental question that applies not just to Egypt but also to Pakistan. How do armies legitimise their coups? Despite their differences, there are striking parallels between coups in Egypt and Pakistan. Take the case of Pakistan: The army’s maiden coup in 1958 by general ...

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Was the Two Nation Theory flawed?

Pakistan, the product of the two-nation theory, is struggling to be a nation, 65 years after conception.  Even the usually taciturn army chief has lamented, “Disillusionment, desperation, religious bigotry, political disharmony and discord seem to permeate our lives.” Much of this is the unintended consequence of the theory. Jinnah had realised that the theory had the potential for unleashing fissiparous tendencies that would cripple national development. Just three days prior to independence, he called on Pakistanis not to interject religion into their public lives. The important role of minorities was enshrined in the national flag with a white bar. Jinnah’s call was a tall order that would test the ...

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Re-imagining Pakistan

Pakistan continues to dominate the headlines in the world media but for all the wrong reasons.  Judging from the books that continue to be published, the authors seem to be in a race to tell the most depressing tale they can conjure up. More than one analyst has called Pakistan ‘the most dangerous country in the world’. While that moniker can be debated, what is beyond debate is that Pakistan is afflicted with multiple ills. The top seven are urban anarchy, load shedding, illiteracy, unbridled population growth, ethnic conflict, Talibanism and Indophobia. These ills are so common place that most Pakistanis do ...

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