Tag Archives: Foreign policy

Federal Challenges to Polity: Sindh Perspective

jamichandioBy Jami Chandio

Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has been faced with a crisis of federalism. Early decisions to centralize power deprived smaller provinces of their most pressing demands for joining the new state: increased national/provincial autonomy and the devolution of power. For six decades, the promise of federalism has eroded under the weight of unfettered military rule, imbalanced and undemocratic state structures, and the domination of all federal institutions by Punjab. With outside attention trained on Islamic insurgency, observers are missing the most crucial dynamic in Pakistani politics, that of declining inter-provincial harmony. The specter of separatist movements once again haunts Pakistan, which has been on the verge of becoming a failed state. To survive these existing crises, Pakistan must adopt further transformative constitutional reforms that limit the reach of the center to the fields of defense, foreign policy, currency and other inter-provincial matters. By restoring a balance of power both between the executive and legislative branches and between the center and the provinces, Pakistan can move a pivotal step closer to substantive democracy, participatory federalism and sustainable political stability.

Once partition was completed, the initial promises of autonomy and devolution of power went unfulfilled by Pakistan’s ruling elite. Critical decisions taken by the center concerning the ratification of constitutions and governing documents, the elevation of Urdu language, and the amalgamation of the provinces of west Pakistan into the One-Unit scheme in 1955 deprived the provinces of the authority and position in the federation they expected upon joining the union. Federalism was bankrupted purposively, culminating in the ‘liberation’ of East Pakistan and the subjugation of the smaller provinces to the ruling Punjab-Urdu speaking nexus.

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Hon. Congressman Brad Sherman’s Speech on Sindh

Hello, I’m Brad Sherman from California’s best named city, Sherman Oaks. It’s a pleasure to be with you. In 1951, my grandfather worked for the United Nations International Labor Commission. He was a specialist in technical education and he arrived in Sindh. And he said the same words I’m going to say to you here tonight, Sindhee Marhun Khay Salahm Ayn Bhaleekahr. I want to thank my friend Sufi Munawar for inviting me here, but also for doing so much in such a short time to bring the issues of Sindh and the Sindhi people to the attention of the United States Congress. These are issues that some of you have followed for decades, but didn’t have traction in Congress. Sufi came, we now have a Sindhi Caucus. We now have a Congresswoman in the Sindhi Caucus. And you will see Congress focusing on these issues. With me here is my foreign policy advisor and chief of staff, Don McDonald. My California chief of staff, Matt Debaumay. And my expert on the Middle East, Siamak Kordestani.

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Pakistan: Foreign Policy Past Its Expiration Date

Pakistan: Foreign Policy Past Its Expiration Date

Courtesy and Thanks: Brookings

Pakistan, Transnational Security Threats, Terrorism, Diplomacy, Foreign Aid

Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

The Washington Post

September 09, 2008- Bruce Riedel reviews The Duel, by Tariq Ali.

Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world. No other country poses the issues of al-Qaeda, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, nuclear war and peace, drugs, democracy, military dictatorship and Islam in such a volatile and combustible way. If there is another 9/11-like attack on the United States, the postmark almost certainly will be Pakistan.

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