Pakistan: What lies ahead?

Dr Amit Ranjan is a Research Fellow at the Indian Council for World Affairs in New Delhi. Here, he submits a point of view on the tensions inherent in contemporary Pakistan, and what they might mean for the future.

One of the most challenging questions that haunt Pakistanis and others too is: Where is the country heading towards? The presence of a strong infrastructure of terror makes some portray it as a ‘terrorist’ state; a few call it a ‘weak state’; and another few define it as a ‘deep state’. Conceptually, it cannot be put into either of those categories. But it indeed has a strong presence of terror within its infrastructure, which affects the socio-political system of the country. The killing on 16 December 2014 of about 140 students and staff members from the Army Public School, Peshawar, by the militants from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a recent act of brutality committed by them. Not only the militants, but even the Pakistani state has carried out brutal attacks in the name of fighting against militancy. Since, 2001 many innocents have already lost their lives as a part of ‘collateral damage’. Continue reading