Failed States Index – Fund For Peace acknowledges Pakistan’s rejoinder – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi


I had written a detailed analysis of Pakistan being termed a failed state on June 23, 2010. the article can be found on

Pakistan submitted a rejoinder against the findings of the index and labeling us as a failed state. The sponsors of the survey, Fund for Peace have acknowledged the points raised in the rejoinder and a detailed press release has been printed in Dawn today.

This just goes to show that you are taken seriously when you present your points with logic and data than to make assertions based on perceptions.

 Failed States Index: Kaira’s rejoinder acknowledged

Dawn, July 10, 2010

ISLAMABAD, July 9: Responding to points raised by Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira in a letter, the chief of a Washington-based research organisation, the Fund for Peace (FfP), has recognised Pakistan’s stance on the validity of the Failed States Index, 2010.

The government had raised questions on the methodology used by the FfP and credibility of the data used. It objected to over-reliance on mere electronic data which was likely to produce misleading conclusions.

“We feel that Pakistan’s ranking has also suffered due to this methodology. Particularly the index appears to have erred in case of IDPs, delegitimisation of state and group grievances where substantial developments have taken place during the past 18 months, which have perhaps been ignored or overlooked by the researchers,” the minister had said.

The government had also requested the FfP to share its bibliography which was a standard practice in research projects.

The FfP has agreed to show the sources of data and invited a team of experts from Pakistan to examine more than 90,000 sources of electronic data used while compiling the index.

In her explanatory letter to Mr Kaira, FfP president Dr Pauline Baker agreed with his contention that “despite the impact of global financial crisis, Pakistan’s economy is beginning to show signs of real progress. The GDP is beginning to grow again and inflation is manageable.” Responding to the rejoinder by Mr Kaira, she said: “You rightly point out the burden that the Pakistan state has in caring for such large displaced populations. They are ‘transitory’ or ‘the fallout of a simmering crisis of state-building in the neighbourhood’. However, it does not reduce this burden.

“It is encouraging to know that the government of Pakistan is implementing a programme to rehabilitate 2.5 million IDPs.” Dr Pauline promised that next year’s report would take into account the success story of IDP management and rehabilitation.

She said it was encouraging to know that the government was taking steps in the right direction for redressing historically accumulated group grievances in various federating units.

Human rights were in “severe stress” in 2007-8, however, “Pakistan has improved on this score over the last two years”.

Supporting Mr Kaira’s arguments on ‘state legitimacy’, the FfP president said: “In the case of Pakistan, the return to civilian rule, the restoration of the judiciary and other steps constituted large steps in the right direction. The Failed States Index scores for this indicator have improved every year since 2008.” Mr Kaira had said his letter: “Provided they have representative and inclusive systems, countries can come out of troubles.

Pakistan has a functioning democracy today. Despite a continuing war in the neighbourhood featuring the US and its allies on one side and Al Qaeda and Taliban on the other, Pakistan has proved its resilience and come back strongly from economic meltdown and an unpopular dictatorship.

It is for the fourth time that Pakistani people have defeated a dictator who remained a darling of the World due to its own strategic considerations.” It is perhaps for the first time that the government of Pakistan has engaged an international think-tank into a serious academic discourse, challenging their methodology, timeliness of data and credibility of their findings.

The FfP has graciously confessed some of the limitations of its research model and recognised the positive developments in Pakistan over the past two years which will be reflected in next year’s failed states index.—APP



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