Floods and Fighting: State of Crisis

Pakistan is on the edge of a precipice following one of the worst floods in its history. A fifth of the country has been submerged. As the waters recede the impact of the damage to the state and its strategic implications are still unclear. In the worst-case scenario, the abyss below could look uncannily like a failed state run by the Islamists. The country could be pushed over the edge, not by the Taliban threat along its Afghan frontier, but by the political consequences of national and international inaction and ineptitude in response to the natural and man-made disasters that have inflicted widespread loss of life and livelihood. The Taliban and Islamist parties are waiting in the shadows to fill the vacuum if and when the state, its leaders and the donor community fail the Pakistani people.

The World Today Updated 29 January 2021 Published 1 October 2010 4 minute READ

Ayesha Khan

Associate Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House

And failing they are. President Asuf Ali Zardari’s indifference to the suffering of more than twenty million people at the onslaught of the floods is symptomatic of Pakistan’s dysfunctional leadership that has repeatedly failed in governing the nation.

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