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«THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION Brookings Briefing THE IDEA OF PAKISTAN Moderator: STEPHEN P. COHEN Panelists: AKBAR AHMED, MARVIN WEINBAUM Wednesday, ...»

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And if he chooses, as now seems likely, to renege on this, he will have demonstrated a lack of confidence in his own refashioned constitution, in civilian government, and, interestingly, a distrust for his own military. Ultimately authority comes, in Pakistan as elsewhere, comes from legitimacy and the strength of personality and competence rather than from the office that one occupies. And I share the view of those who believe that Musharraf and Pakistan's military have more to gain from a viable democracy than a quasi-authoritarian state.

Also by way of, I think, lost opportunities, but certainly not necessarily lost for Pakistan, is the pursuit of an agenda of enlightened moderation that most people believe President Musharraf is sincerely committed to. But to have this, Pakistan is going to need more than the inconsistent, incomplete, and sometimes disingenuous policies that have marked its approach toward the country's extremist elements. Now, I think that there have been some very important developments here in terms of greater determination in this area. But we have to be wary about just how consistent this is going to be. He and the military remain dependent on some of the very elements that stand in the way of the progressive agenda that I believe he wants. And to remain suspicious and dismissive of many of the mainstream political forces in Pakistan, I think, will stand in the way of his ability to succeed.

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Musharraf administration, the macro economy--and we've heard a great deal about this today, and understandably so because there is much to be proud of here--the fact remains, however, that for most Pakistanis life over these five years has not gotten better, perhaps has gotten worse or certainly more difficult. Now, one can be hopeful, as I think that the government is, that the economy's trickle-down will alleviate this hardship in time. But one cannot overlook the structural impediments which I think stand in the way. For one thing, of course, social investment continues to be starved and must be addressed. And such formidable issues as the birth control issue, land reform are entirely off the table at the present time.

Together, these and other deficits in the political, economic, and social spheres threaten to erode what has been President Musharraf's impressive popular base.

Overall, the president has excelled at playing the role of a marginal satisfier, showing enough progress to please all of those making demands or expecting actions. Tactically, he has been brilliant. But strategically, too often his vision has failed or at least, at best, been nearsighted. Asserting his indispensability for Pakistan, as he has recently, is not enough. It's not the recipe for sustainable policies and, I believe, for a sustainable democracy.

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indeed he is, building relations with Pakistan as we have around one man is, I believe, to rest it on a very fragile partnership. Too frequently, especially in our single-minded concern with cooperation on counterterrorism, our relationship is perceived to be with Musharraf and his military rather than with Pakistan and its people. I commend Steve's book on Pakistan to you because I think that as you read it you will come away with the kind of in-depth understanding of Pakistan which will lead you both to celebrate in the best of times with what has gone quite well in the last few years with Pakistan, but also to recognize the dangers that are lurking out there to the country if it fails to recognize that the true basis for Pakistan's future remains with Pakistan's people and with the wellbeing and enlightenment of Pakistan's people. That, I think, as I say, you're going to appreciate far greater in reading Steve's new book.

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pick up on something that Akbar mentioned when he asked Pakistanis who their favorite people were. I had an interesting conversation--my wife was with me at Punjab University about six years ago. And we asked a class in the political science department, graduate students, who their favorite leader for Pakistan would be. And Jinnah's picture was up on the wall, as he is in all official offices in Pakistan. I said, you know, leaving aside Jinnah, and they all agreed that a new Jinnah would be the person to lead Pakistan. There was some consensus on Nelson Mandela, and I thought, gee, that's really good, you know, it's wonderful to hear Nelson Mandela, everybody's hero, can't go wrong with Nelson Mandela. But then the next two candidates were Saddam Hussein, still alive and still active, and Ayatollah Khomeini. I stopped the discussion. I didn't want to hear any more.

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Pakistanis. And every time I've gone to Pakistan since the '70s, I've tried to visit universities and talk to students there to see what they were thinking. As Aristotle says and points out in the "Politics," if you know what they're teaching in the schools today, you'll know what the country will look like tomorrow.

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combination of incompetent democracies and, I think, ignorant and malevolent military dictatorships in the past really destroyed the Pakistani educational system, what there was of it, and that gives me the greatest concern about the future of Pakistan. I've tried in the book to present enough information, enough data, enough sources and references to allow the reader to come to his or her own opinion about the future of Pakistan.





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things are perhaps changing fastest. As General Karamat mentioned, as Ambassador Karamat mentioned--I have to get used to the new title--we've had a very erratic relationship with the Pakistanis, and the Pakistanis are discovering the basis for some of that up-and-down and in-and-out relationship, that we saw them in terms of purely anticommunist, balancing the Soviet--first the Chinese and the Soviets, then just the Soviets, whereas they thought our aid was being given to them to balance the Indians.

Of course, the Indians assumed this all along, because it did have that effect. I think as they read our history and as new documents appear, a more accurate picture of the past is becoming clear. Ambassador Dennis Kux's book on U.S.-Pakistan relations has gone a long way to clarify that in the minds of many educated Pakistanis.

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the era of anti-radical Islamism and especially the alliance to defeat Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan--what is new is really three things. First is that the U.S. comes into the relationship with a strong tie to India. This is unprecedented in history, and as Ambassador Karamat pointed out, it gives us new kinds of leverage in South Asia. And I hope that that leverage is used for the better, not for the worse. And so far, the Bush administration, and I think before that to some degree the Clinton administration, saw it in these terms, that a good relationship with India strengthens our position with Pakistan for the good of Pakistanis as well as our good, and a good relationship with Pakistan can be by the Indians to improve U.S.-Indian relations and, I think, India-Pakistan relations.

It's a bizarre triangle, but I think it can be--if it's watched carefully, I think it can be balanced and managed to everybody's benefit. The danger, of course, is that we wind up fueling both sides of an arms race. And that's what we're doing now.

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say, arms sales to Pakistan, military technology to India in a way which does not destabilize the conventional arms race. Because at the end of that road, of course, is a nuclear arms race. And that's the second different thing about the region. India and Pakistan are both declared and probably deployed nuclear weapons states. This is different than anything we've seen in the past. We have to stick with the region if only to prevent another war from breaking out between India and Pakistan. And, of course, the phenomenon of nuclear technology and perhaps fissile material leaking out of Pakistan is an even more frightening prospect, and clearly that's a second important interest we have in South Asia--besides an interest in a relationship with both countries-a concern about proliferation and a nuclear war in South Asia.

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this way before, is a greater sensitivity about the future of Pakistan itself. I think American analysts and American policy makers are aware that Pakistan is no longer important only because of its strategic location and seen as an asset, but that a failed Pakistan, a Pakistan which broke up or which went berserk in some way, could be a calamity for America, for China, for India, and of course for Afghanistan--and above all, for the Pakistanis. And I think that's one of the major incentives I had in writing the book, that no longer is Pakistan important because of its strategic assets as an important piece of geography, but a failed Pakistan or a Pakistan which went off the rails could be a tremendous danger to the United States.

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in fact a whole chapter on that. But I agreed with the 9/11 Commission report, which makes Pakistan one of three critical countries for America to deal with--the others being Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Pakistan needs a long-term relationship with the United States, and I have no doubt about that. This drives some of my Indian friends crazy, although the reviews of the book in India have been pretty good. But I think that it's in India's interest, among other things, that we do have a good relationship with Pakistan and to prevent Pakistan from becoming the kind of crazy, dangerous state that, you know, some people have tried to portray it.

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Department; I learned this that way rather than reading textbooks--personal relationships are important. And the Musharraf-Bush relationship is clearly important. As an academic, I was unaware of this and I always thought that personal diplomacy was just a lot of hot air. But it does make a difference if the president or other senior officials have what they think is a personal relationship with another head of state. They meet themselves once, they get to know each other; meet themselves twice, they're old friends, you know, bosom buddies. I gets it's a phenomenon of diplomacy. But I think it is important that we see Musharraf for what he is and not for what we imagine him to be, in both a positive and a negative fashion.

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might want to take back. But I let them stand. You write a 300, 400 page book and there are a lot of things in there, and I come back to Musharraf many times in the book.

But I think my assessment is that he's certainly no Ataturk, which was his role model.

But he's certainly a far more capable man, or certainly a man who seems to be learning and growing in the job than I would have predicted shortly after he took over. I met him right after the coup and had a long conversation with him, and I met him again and, frankly, I was not overwhelmed by, you know, then-General Pervez Musharraf. But I think he may be the kind of man--perhaps like Harry Truman or Lal Bahadur Shastri in India--a man who nobody has very high expectations of, is not seen as a great man originally, but really sort of grows into the job.

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development as an individual is who the people are around him. And I think this is where he'll be judged and this is where he'll stand and where he'll fall. If he picks people, like General Karamat, for example, to advise him and to work with him and to carry out particular tasks, I think Pakistan can really, perhaps, turn that corner. If he picks people who are simply the old hacks and the incompetents, people who are not up to the job, people who are somebody's cousin or relative, who are politically trustworthy but have no other qualifications, then Pakistan is going to be in deep trouble. There are some specifics discussed in the book, and I won't mention the ministries, but clearly education is an important issue and, to me, in the long term it's the central issue. And there his choices have been mixed at best.

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prime minister who's quite extraordinary. But whether Shaukat is up to the job of being a prime minister as opposed to being simply a finance minister, I don't know. So I think that personalities are important.

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couple of book tours. What I find striking is the assertion by Americans that behind Musharraf lies chaos. And I agree with Marvin, and perhaps Akbar--I don't know if you'd agree with this--that the individual is important but not central. I think that Pakistan is more than President Musharraf. I think that there's an army behind him, he controls the army, all of the corps commanders are his appointees, and it's a very stable establishment. It's not a radical establishment in any sense of the word. I keep on reading reports by otherwise responsible authors and scholars that the army's infested with radical Islamists who are just waiting to get their hands on the bomb and drop it on New Delhi or Bombay, or America. And that's just not the army that I've studied and written about. I think that's fantasy. That's our own fears projected on Pakistan.

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or seven or eight years out, and one of the key chapters sort of projects different futures for Pakistan seven or eight years out, is that if the Musharraf experiment does not succeed, or the experiment conducted by others who follow Musharraf does not succeed, then we will be faced with the kind of situation where, I think, radical Islamists could get their hands on nuclear weapons and nuclear material. And I think that's a critical issue for America to face up to--in a sense, preventive action now, rather than waiting later, is critical and that this administration should not push it down the road to another administration.

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