Saturday, July 24, 2010

Salim Mansur on failed states

Salim Mansur discusses failed state Pakistan. He agrees with me that the colonial legacy of the Raj have left Pakistan with some of the only things that work. My post from yesterday makes a similar point.
Pakistan's foolish policies have brought about its own misery.

It is no good to blame the problems of these states on colonialism-imperialism of the West that ended more than two generations ago. And if the West is to be held responsible for the continued misery of the states on the index, then honesty requires acknowledging these states would be likely much worse today except for what the West left behind as part of the colonial legacy.

Let us take the case of Pakistan, a country on the index that I am most familiar with. The Afghan-Pakistan border, or the Durand Line drawn by the British towards the end of the 19th century, tells quite a story of colonialism that few are willing to explore.

East of the Durand Line inside Pakistan, anything that barely works — from the poorly administered government to the crumbling infrastructures for health, education, agriculture, railways, road system, etc. — has to do with the colonial legacy. How valid this view is can be assessed by observing the state of affairs west of the Durand Line inside Afghanistan.

Hence, blaming western colonialism will not do. On the contrary, it can be said India’s relative success in the contemporary world in contrast to the Middle East has much to do with the duration of Britain’s presence in the subcontinent.

1 comment:

Louise said...

I agree. Blaming every failure on colonialism is getting a bit stale. Sixty plus years is more than long enough to make something of yourself. The blame game has to stop.

I Support Lord Black