WASHINGTON: Pakistan will collapse like the erstwhile Soviet Union if it does not quit a “losing arms race”, and, must also seriously consider casting aside its dependence on the armed forces, especially the army, to be regarded as a great nation, said a former envoy.
Interacting with students and academia at the Florida State University (FSU) recently, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani, said Pakistan lacks greatness because most of its political problems are resolved with the help of military force.
“Pakistan needs economic power and education as its’ current focus, nuclear weapons are of no use if it truly seeks to be a great power once again,” Haqqani was quoted as saying during his interaction, which came before his speech on the theme “Seeking Lost Glory: Lessons of Islamist Extremism.”
Haqqani was critical of the fact that Pakistan believes nuclear weaponry is important and makes them an equal on the world stage.
“However, they prioritise it over economic and educational well-being. If you have ten bombs, you need to make 15. How many times are you going to bomb something?” he asked.
“So it’s a losing race, an arms race is always going to be a losing race, so Pakistan may end up like the Soviet Union did. The Soviet competed very well with America, but in the end, it just collapsed from within, economically and all that,” he added.
“Use the money [aid] to encourage expenditure in education, or using the aid to boost the economy instead of investing it in the military, where more than half of the population lives at near poverty living on $2 a day,” Ambassador Haqqani said
Earlier, Haqqani discussed the history and rise of Islam in the modern era to find the root cause of radical Islamic behavior in the Muslim World.
He traced this behavior back to the 12th century, when sultans and later Mughal emperors stopped further innovation in the Islamic way of thinking fearing new ideas would ‘change the natural order’ of the empire.
He further revealed that the Islamic curriculum has stayed the same for centuries, resulting in the Quran being strictly taught without supplementing it with other subjects.
This was the reason why the Muslim world is so adamant about not modernizing its faith and being close minded towards Western thought.
Haqqani argued that Muslim countries were colonised by the Western powers as they lacked the same ability and advancements as the latter.
“This vacuum of knowledge between Mughal rule and Western colonisation from the early 16th century to the 20th century affected how differently Muslim countries rule versus Western powers,” Haqqani said, adding that lack of education in the Muslim world contributed significantly to the region’s decline as an economic and political power.
He warned that what happened between the 12th and 20th centuries can be repeated if corrective steps are not taken.
Haqqani now serves as the Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institution in Washington D.C. (ANI)