tv Book TV CSPAN May 15, 2011 10:00am-11:30am EDT
>> of next am booktv, anatol lieven, author of "pakistan: a hard country" is part of a panel discussion on the internal and external problems facing pakistan. this is about an hour and a half. >> thank you all for coming, and it's on the friday before easter. this is a big crowd to have at the bank. .. >> and in the former soviet
union. he's written a lot of books about the former soviet union, about, um, you know, america's role in the world. and he has a ba in history and a ph.d in political science from the university of cambridge. we have had some association with him in the past. i'm really excited to have him here. he will speak for about -- >> 25 minutes? >> 25 minutes. [laughter] also about the book. i suggested a shorter time before when we met, and he said no. [laughter] so -- >> [inaudible] >> and then we have two distinguished discussants. mohsin khan, he was director of the imf institute where we've known each other for a long time, and i'm really honored to have him here.
he's the editor of the economic development in south asia, has written tons of books on macroeconomic management, models for adjustment, periodical studies in banking, etc. mohsin has an ph.d and lots of other degrees which i won't go into. and josh white is a research fellow at the institute for global engagement and also a ph.d student at the johns hopkins. his research focuses on islamic politics, golfer nance and political stability in sows asia. i think -- south asia. i think one of the things he has going in his favor is that he lived in the pakistan in 2005-'6, returned to pakistan again in the summer of '07 and '08, visiting research associate. and so, and he's co-authored chapters in a book called "religion and security: the new
nexus in international relations." so i'll stop there. as i said, 25 minutes or so for you, anatol, would be great. and without further ado -- >> thank you so much, kalpana. thank you all for coming. i'm deeply flattered to be invited to the world bank. it's also a great pleasure to speak alongside two people whose work i greatly admire. and, indeed, i'm indebted to josh for -- >> [inaudible] >> sorry? can you hear? oh. so sorry. and i'm indebted to josh for many insights into, in particular, the frontier province. i thought i'd begin with my latest visit last month in which i went up there to pashar because it's a good way of leading into the fact that despite a good deal of the western media commentary, pakistan is not a failed state,
nor even yet -- nor, in my view, in future -- a failing state. these are terms, you know, which like so many terms of this kind have been picked up as sort of cash phrases by academia and journalism and then used with wild abandon to describe a range of quite inappropriate places. i think it's fairly obvious if you compare pakistan to some genuinely failed state like somalia, for example, the difference is are clear. -- the difference is very clear. it's also very important to note about pakistan and a number of other countries around the world that having border lands which are not under control or under the full control of the state and army doesn't make you a failed state. russia, which is in some respects not just a strong state, but too strong a state is, of course, facing a very disturbed border land in the
north caucuses. india, a successful state in many regards, has really serious problems of that kind. so not a failed state. as far as swat is concerned, i found two things actually very impress e on this -- impressive on this occasion. the first was the success of the military campaign. albeit, of course, as human rights watch as accurately documented accompanied by a number of judicial executions, counterkillings as they're called in that part of the world. though local journalists and the lawyer with whom i spoke did say, if that's any consolation, that the army is generally getting the right people. so it is shooting -- [laughter] the taliban hard liners rather than shooting people at random which i'm afraid in that part of the world does happen fairly often. there hasn't been a serious terrorist attack now many swat for more than six months.
the activists of the taliban and the local party, the tnsm, have been driven out. the leadership is most likely in afghanistan, actually, which casts an interesting light on our problems with pakistan and pakistan's problems with us. the leader of the pakistan taliban is in afghanistan, but part of a the leadership of the afghanistan taliban is in pakistan. anyway. the second thing, more surprising, actually, and this indicates -- the success of the military campaign -- that unlike the growing impression of a few year back up to the spring of 2009 the pakistani army is capable of defeating insurgency in some areas, containing it and at least to some extent rolling it back. in other words, the idea that pakistan is going to be overthrown by a spreading insurgency is wrong. that's not going to happen. the second -- and, actually, i always expected that as soon as the army pulled itself together,
motivateed its troops, got sufficient political backing. perhaps more striking is the reconstruction in swat has proceeded very well. admittedly, this is only one district, but it is a district which after having been badly damaged by the fighting in the 2009 was then even more damaged, of course, by the floods of last year. and the reconstruction after both of these episodes has been impressive. in terms of the restoration of infrastructure, the attempt to create new local industries and so forth. now, floods lead me into a wider point about pakistan. one of which is, again, one does have to read the western media with care sometimes, and i say that as a former journalist. but also that appearances in pakistan, at least immediate appearances, can be very descent e.
deceptive. at the time of the floods, there was real concern to which i refer in my book, that these might do truly catastrophic damage to the pakistani economy and, thereby, to pakistani stability. actually, i found not just in swat but elsewhere on this trip the long-term damage appears to have been in some ways remarkably limited. now, why is that in two reasons. the first which has something to do, also, with basic stability in pakistan is that to put it brutally, the basic infrastructure, the housing -- not the animals, of course, in the countryside -- are at a level where they are relatively easy to rebuild, shall we say. the second point, though, is that -- and this has not been brought out in much of the reporting -- the state system actually worked. given the extent of the floods, i thought at the time it was
rather remarkable that, i mean, 1,500 is, of course, in many ways a very bad figure. but given the extent of the floods, it could have been much worse, and the destruction could have been much worse. the point was that the barrage has held. the barrage has held, the water was diverted into the designated need plains, and in consequence -- floodplains, and if cities had been flooded, the infrastructure and economic damage would have been far worse. now, it's true, the other thing is the resilience of the population and also the intelligence of the population, in fact. a lot are worried that over the years that people have moved to live in these designated floodplains where they're not supposed to be, and that's true. but on the other hand, when they heard the floods were coming, they're not fools, they left. which is another reason why the casualties were so low. so in one critical respect, and
remember, i mean, this has been a critical respect in this part of the world as in china for literally thousands of years now. the system worked. the state system did actually work. now, in a number of other areas as well, um, and here under this government, i mean, the present pakistani government as well which has had, in many respects, a very bad press -- partly deservedly -- but it does have certain achievements to it credit. from the point of view of this audience, the mini budget that was passed last month while i was there was, in certain respects, genuinely impressive in its toughness especially in that it was reducing the benefits, shall we say, to the ruling party's key constituency which is agriculture and especially big agriculture. now, on the other hand, of course, two things. one is the budget was passed by decree by the president because
it couldn't get through parliament for this very reason. the second thing is that it was passed under heavy pressure from the imf and from the army. the imf publicly, the army in private. the army, apparently, was also instrumental in putting in a new and better finance minister in pack san. -- pakistan. so this does indicate that pressure is necessary. it also indicates something that i won't have time to go into but which i'm sure is known to us all, the ambiguous role of the army from the point of view of governance in pack pakistan. certainly very bad for at least the continuity of civilian government in the past, but occasionally also essential not just for maintaining security, but also for maintaining basic efficiency in certain areas. there were a couple of other points, however, where the army was not involved, and yet the achievement of the government and of the political system has been impressive. the first was the national
finance commission award of last year which rebalanced revenues between the provinces. now, that is something which i'm sure you know is absolutely explosive in many countries of the world. in authoritarian states as well as democratic states. the fact that pakistan was able to do this is a tribute, i believe, to this government. but, also, actually the pakistani system that it retained that degree of flexibility and toughness. another thing even more surprising in a way is the benazir bhutto income support program which is intended to, basically, help the poor, identify the poor and support them. i must honestly confess that when that was introduced, i simply wrote it off as another patronage scheme. at least that's what i thought it would be. now, i'm not saying that that is completely absent, but the consensus among objective observers is that it has been surprisingly good at fulfilling
what it was meant to do. so a number of areas where the pakistani state can still succeed. the problem is, of course, that these are particular areas. when it comes to the overall picture, the key question is; a, can pakistan survive? that question has been answered for me unless there is some catastrophic geopolitical development which directly or indirectly destroys pakistan. i leave that aside, of course, we can talk about that in the discussion. but i won't discuss it here because it opens up a completely, you know, new and huge set of questions. i think the question of whether things remaining as they are pakistan can survive for the next few decades. a lot in my book talks about something the world bank has done a great deal of work which is the combination of the demographic and the water
resource threat in pakistan which could become absolutely disastrous by the middle years of this century, even before one factors in the potential effects of climate change. i want to stress that. you could leave climate change out of it, and the water threat would still be potentially severe to disastrous. that leads to the second question, however, which is pakistan can survive, but can it succeed? can it prosper in ways that will allow it to deal with its deeper, underlying problems including demography and water resources? can it, in fact, be one of what goldman sachs has designated the next 11 in terms of joining the brits in terms of economic progress? if you look at goldman sachs' projections, pakistan is down towards the end of those 11, above nigeria and bangladesh but, well, anyway.
now, the spral problem it seems to me -- the central problem it seems to me here is that the forces in society and political society which help to give the pakistani system it resilience in the face of revolution and disintegration are, in many ways, the same forces which hold it back in terms of economic, social and cultural progress. which is to say the elites, yes. but not quite the elites once again as they have been widely portrayed in pakistan as well as the west. feudal in pakistan is a term which, especially as a former historian, i greatly dislike. because the essential nexus here is between property, yes, but property, kinship and power which this combination gives through mostly the electoral process, but also a variety of other things as well to plunder
the state. thereby, well, a, to plunder the state but, b, to prevent the state from getting the resources it needs in the first place to perform all sorts of essential tasks. for me the critical thing about the pakistani state is not whether it's ruled by the military or civilians, but whoever is in charge of the state, the state is weak compared to society. and critical, the most obvious figure for that as state weakness in the world in general is revenue. pakistan with historic average of 8 or 9% -- and i think it's 9.7 at the last count, so it's improved a bit -- has the lowest rates of revenue collection as a share of gdp in south asia. and, you know, i mean, that's, you know, the other states in south asia are not necessarily strong from that point of view. so in the first place, the elite and large parts of society simply don't pay tax. that reminds me of some place,
but perhaps i better not go there. [laughter] so we won't. when, however, the revenues are raised, they are extracted from the state to a very great extent as were those in every field of state expenditure. the way in which the political elites from top to bottom, really, basically extract reports from the -- resources from the state. but -- and this is very important -- redistrict much of this as patronage. the district about pakistan is, it seems to me, that if you want to get really wealthy in pakistan, you get it from the state. that is certainly the picture if you travel around smaller towns in pakistan, and you talk about the new political families that are coming up. because very often, you know, when you say feudal, you think, oh, this is an ancient, ancient family. very often not. maybe intermarried with old families, but very often new. now, it seems to me that a very
general patent is that these new families that are coming up, they have to, of course, accumulate some property to start with. but the breakthrough to big property is when they use their property to gain a measure of leadership over a kinship group, they get elected to the national or provincial assembly, and then they get their hands on state patronage, and that is when they really go up to wealth. but the point is, to do that you need support. to keep the support, you have to redistribute to some extent. because otherwise you won't keep that support. pakistani kinship groups are not autocratic. there is always a rival; a cousin, a brother, an uncle ready to take your place if you don't give something to your followers. you don't give, you don't keep. but now this for me, on top, of course, of pakistan's lack of industry, lack of raw materials to ec port, is -- export, is responsible for a figure that
astonished me when i first came across it. which is that pakistan by the standards of the developing world has one of the lowest ratings for social inequality, 30 something at the last count, i believe. india is 36, america is 40. it could be, of course, that the measurements are wrong, but i think there's an explanation here, and it's about redistribution of patronage. the point about this redistribution now, of course, it tapers off erratically the further you go down. but it goes down far enough, actually, to help maintain loyalty and thereby help maintain the stability and resilience of the system. urbanization is changing this, but considerably more slowly than many general models would have assumed. um, this is partly because of the informal nature of employment in the cities, so people are not moving into modern industries with what that
means. lack of education has a lot to do with it. but two things in addition. one is the importance of kinship which is of extraordinary importance, by the way, not just in the pakistani cities of pakistan, but in the pakistani cities of britain if you hook at kinship links -- look at kinship links and their tremendous importance also tying families in pakistan and britain together. another factor, however, which applies almost as much in the cities as in the countryside is that even where kinship ties decline and patronage is less important, protection is still very important. that is, certainly, a feudal aspect of pakistan. in pakistan you need protection. you need protection against your neighbors, against police, against the cords. for that you need some powerful protecter. so even when there isn't
genuine, if you like, kinship, you get artificial factions for the sake of protection against all the predatory forces by which you're surrounded. finally and very briefly, this is quite a gal lop, you understand. enormous things have been left out. [laughter] there is the provincial balance. and, of course, punjab is dominant in pakistan although punjab itself -- of course, almost 60% of the population, 75% or so of industry and so forth -- but punjab itself is a very divided and ambiguous province. sometimes people mean something which is only actually quite a small chunk of even the wealthy in punjab. but even in pakistan there is more similarity, perhaps, to india than immediately meets the eye. finish in terms of the fact that the punjabi establishment cannot simply dictate. there is often an element of compromise. the classic example of this is
the dam, held out by pashtuns as a great example of punjabi dominance. the dam was first -- [inaudible] almost 60 years ago. it still hasn't been built because of provincial resistance and the need, in the end, not to drive the other provinces to the point where they break up the country. um, the problem about this is, of course, that while on the one hand a force for balance, it is in many ways, also, yet another spanner in the works when it comes to efficient decision making in the economic field. there are a number of reasons, for example, why pakistan's massive coal reserves in the desert have not been exploited. but one of them is this endless friction between the government of sind and the government of islamabad over what to do and the deep mutual suspicions. one or two other things, but i
will leave them out because time is running out. just say briefly what hope of change. radical change in pakistan, radical quick change in terms of economic development and progress i would hold out few hopes for: incremental change, perhaps. what can we do to help? now here, obviously, i defer to this far more expert audience, so i won't say very much. one thing i would say very strongly to anyone here from the american government is that one shouldn't aim at short-term popularity. you know, trying to buy popularity of the west or of american policy through development, in my view, is both hopeless and deeply misconceived because, you know, it will totally screw what ought to be
longer-term development projects. i would hope that we might be able to do two things. um, the first is possibly concentrate on certain infrastructure projects and ring fence them to a degree against corruption. the chinese appear to have had some success with this. um, and we might perhaps try to study how they've done this. the infrastructure that i would concentrate above all -- because i do regard it, well, two things. in the short term, not for our popularity, but for the security of the system, electricity. because that is something as anyone who's lived through power cuts in bashar knows, that is something that leads to people being very angry. there is always the risk that it could be orchestrated by radical forces. that's the short to medium term. the longer term is water, though there it's not just
infrastructure, but it is producing a new kind of state and society. so that's why education is necessary. i would, as an outsider, concentrate on higher education simply because when it comes to extending education at the local level especially in the countryside, while absolutely essential it is so subject to local corruption, patronage. it's so difficult to inspect on the scale of pakistan. if, however, we can raise the level of higher education in certain centers of higher education, we will, hopefully, be able to feed into both industry, the economy and the civil service in ways that will incrementally, perhaps, improve the efficiency of both the economy and the state. that, i fear, is probably about as much as we can hope for in the case of pakistan. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you very much, ann tole -- anatol, especially for sticking to the time. let me ask mohsin now, about ten minutes? >> thanks. thank you very much. let me start by saying, anatol, this is really a fascinating book. for a foreigner and actually one who's been sort of adopted by pakistanis to have understood pakistan so well is pretty amazing to me. the facts that have been presented, the insights that have been gathered from these facts, the conclusions that you've drawn, um, are really all indicators of how much research and expertise you have, i mean, research you put in and expertise you have. i actually don't have a hard copy of the book, but you can see here it's not a one-sitting read, this book. [laughter] it runs 560 pages, and i really haven't gotten think it all like kalpana, so i can confess to
that. but, actually, it's an easy read for, and it's especially an easy read for people who know nothing about pakistan other than, perhaps, it is one of the world's most dangerous countries. that you get from the press. but at the end of it, i promise you, you will know a lot about pakistani history, you'll know a lot about politics, you'll know some part of economics, yes. you'll know a lot about the anthropology, and i think these are, this is -- i, myself, learned a lot from the book. it tells the pakistan story, the way i would put it, warts and all. and yet the author remains optimistic about the country, and i think about the country's survival in particular. he's mentioned that himself. and really there aren't too many optimists around about pakistan, even in pakistan. there are silver linings which you can see. there are islands of prosperity
and hope in the country. and anatol really has found them and pointed them out. now, my comments, i'll divide them into four parts. they have some to do with the book and some just my own views. my take on the political insecurity challenges that pakistan faces, the economic and political consequences of the 2010 floods which anatol rightly points out was a catastrophe which in his book at that point you didn't know what the outcome was going to be, but he's mentioned it now. the near-term outlook for the economy which pakistanis are obsessed with, and the pakistani economic team which i'll talk about and leadership is totally obsessed by the short term. and the way i see out for pakistan from the bad economic equilibrium that it is currently trapped in. so let me start with the political and security challenges.
well, anatol rightly has gone through very well on, in discussing the ongoing battle in pakistan -- you could call it the battle for the soul of the state -- between the islamic fundamentalists and, of course, the secular moderates which were in the majority. what also you have to pay attention to is that there is another battle raging within the sort of fundamentalists, if you like, or within the islamic community between an emerging minority with a loud voice and even louder weapons. these are the philosophies and theory, if you like, exclusionary islamists influenced largely by saudi arabia and the traditional spiritual muslims influenced by the more moderate bahraini schools of thought from india. they present, really, the
largest single religious group in pakistan. but through violence and threats the extremists have really very successfully cowed the politicians, opinion makers, the public in general, and what is -- and they've really steadily increased their hold on the public discourse in the country. what is noteworthy, of course s that even the majority of religious leadership of the moderate kind has been threatened and effectively silenced. ..
in its war against the western frontier and in neighboring afghanistan, and at the same time, reducing the government's ability to stop or reverse the economic meltdown that is occurring in the country. against this background and anatol points this out, the strongest and most distant institution in the country, that is -- is not ready to step into the political arena to change things on the home front. even though well it has won some ground against the insurgency on the border,, its victories on the battleground could be sort of our wing general petraeus'
recent words about afghanistan, they are fragile and reversible that the pakistani army has had. without a civilian government prepared to take over and it mr. the territories clear by the military is possible the army would be caught up in a never-ending conflict on the border. the combination of political uncertainty and economic distress will most certainly diminish national security and seeing that. an outcome that i think the world at large can look for. now what about the consequences of the 2010 -- as anatol said climate change could be pakistan's downfall. now, the 2010 floods were a stark example of what climate change can do. the immediate impact on the population is truly staggering, the calculations that were made. yes, it is true loss of life,
1500 people, 1500 too many but that wasn't the big loss. 20 million people were affected by the floods in the country. 8 million in need of water, food and shelter, 4 million left homeless, 15 million displaced. the devastation hit virtually all set or so the economy, but the main thing is that they hit the agricultural economy. the pakistan government estimates at that time them done with the help of the world bank were approximately $15 billion, 10% of pakistan's gdp. damage to infrastructure, roads, power plants, telecommunications, dams, irrigation systems, schools and health clinics and so one was around $10 billion. now, at least at that time, this was viewed as, because of the
agricultural loss, as a complete disaster and yet as anatol points out the country came through the disaster with minimal assistance from the outside world. donor fatigue was a term that we see used a lot in those days, demonstrating two things. one, the resilience of the country. the second is more cynical, which some people say is pakistan played up the damage a lot in order to be able to gather resources from the rest of the world. the truth probably ride somewhere in between. but that was the sort of economic consequences of the floods. there were political consequences too of the pakistani floods and this is very important because they have a bearing on what is going on today in the country. the provinces are largely language based and contain different ethnic groups. they are all the time driven by
tensions that sometime erupt into sort of violent conflict. adding to these are the sectarian conflicts and concentrated in central and southern punjab between the shia and the sunni, which are also accident -- exacerbated by the economic hardships exacerbated by the floods. some parts of punjab benefited from the flood relief. other hearts felt excluded. the central government of course at that time, the people's party coalition led by president zardari, was viewed as weak and ineffective at the time of the floods. but it did survive the turmoil, the political turmoil. one would expect perhaps the government would move forward but it didn't fault. why? not because it was strong, but because the authorization there was to completely divided.
one regional grounds, and the largest oppositional party former prime minister sharif, pml, remains largely a punjabi party. so they could never get their act together, the opposition could never unite. this is pakistani politics as usual of course and as politicians fight, what happened? well, and the army's position strengthened and the army's position strengthened because it gained a lot of public support for the relief activities. they were instrumental in first, and providing relief and that is when the stories started to break that the army would take over. why? because the people wanted the army to take over and that happens, you know, with general musharraf coming into power that is exactly what happened. there was applause in and the army should take over and the
country is going downhill, the army should take them. the army's position strengthened and that is where we are today. the army does call a lot of the shots. it doesn't call for them publicly that it calls for them in private. certainly privately. so what is the outlook for the economy? the economy continues on a downward slide. it really started in 2000 -- 2007, 2008. these were the days of the last-year of general musharraf's government, the government taking over and a lot of people say that that's quite readily to some extent the government says we inherited a bad situation. yes, they do. the inherited a bad situation made it worse, but they did in inherited bad situation. you can't blame them entirely. the growth rate is hovering around 2% in pakistan. when actually eight plus percent
is needed in the country just to provide sufficient jobs for the people coming onto the job market. steadily growing young population in the demographics anatoly talks about in his book. a fiscal deficit that i estimate could reach 8% of gdp by june of this-year, despite the budget that has been announced. but it doesn't matter what it is. the target was 4.7% for the-year and it is going to be well exceeded. these are all signs of a serious financial -- a serious economic crisis. now the good news in my view is that pakistan does have a strong economic team. they are a bunch of really smart people in the economic team. it probably doesn't have the strength as they say but the frontline is very good and very
impressive. they are diagnosing the problems. they are not difficult to diagnose and identifying the right solutions to a large extent. that is the good news. the bad news is the political will affects fundamental changes and in that the economic reforms are missing. what pakistan's foreign friends and partners and the world bank is to provide financial resources to stave off a total economic collapse mainly because it might be in the geopolitical interest of the united states in the west to do so. unfortunately, political will cannot be imported or imposed by either the imf or the world bank. absent political will, among pakistan's leadership, the country really faces the dismal economic future. if the politicians do not get their act together, and do not
see pakistan beyond the near-term, which is what they tend to look at, the country will sort of limp along in a semi-crisis state, both economically and politically and that again i would say is not a very desirable prospect for pakistan and for the world. so what is the way forward? well, anatol points to the role of the u.s. and the role of donors, what type of investments they should be undertaking etc.. these are all well-known. in times of economic crisis, pakistan normally looks to the west, principally the u.s.. the rich gulf arab states, china more recently, and the multilateral institutions, the world bank, imf and asian. but it does not look to india and i think that is a thought i
am not telling anyone. of course india is viewed by many as the enemy, certainly by the military gwen general kayani says i am india centric and say it proudly. it tells you something about the way the pakistani mentality is. in turn, and he of course has no wish to assist a country that it feels supports terrorist groups on its own territory. so, to me i think, and i hope to most objective observers, both countries stand to gain from improved relations and lower tensions and i think most people and anatol i know at least agrees to that. pakistan would gain in my view, pakistan would gain economically almost immediately eight lowering tensions between the two countries.
india would lean more moderate but they would be positive in a much bigger country. i am sort of are doing that and yet being the major power in south asia has to be looking at the overall development of the region, i.e. looking beyond india to the region. and i would argue that it is really in india's interest to have a peaceful and prosperous pakistan on its borders and not an unstable and impoverished state next door with 200 million people. that is a disaster scenario for development in the region. now, let's you will think i am being naïve about this. a comprehensive solution, kashmir and so one, is a long ways off and that to me has been the basic problem.
i'm not too familiar with the indian side but with the pakistani side that has been a problem. whenever you talk about improved relations with india you rush out to what the economists call a solution where you have solved all the problems. you have to have a comprehensive solution. we have heard that in the case of israel and palestine as well, a similar kind of thing. you have to race to the final and. i have argued that you have to start somewhere and you can start with baby steps even in this. and i think the best place, as an economist, the best place to start is with trade between the two countries. in this context, i would personally argue that pakistan's reluctance to be seen as sort of being appeasing in this, india has to make the concession. india has to be the first mover on this, and as it can increase
integration between the two neighbors. the potential gains from economic integration and infusing economic integration with india are incredibly large. trade between the two countries is unnaturally small. and the scope for gains from trade are correspondingly very large. currently, official trade between the two countries is approximately $2 billion a-year. up from what it used to be, 300 million a decade ago, $300 million. that was the entire trade. people throw around numbers of 2 billion other sources etc.. i'm just going by the official numbers here. pakistan accounts for 1% of india's trade, less than 1%. india accounts for 5% of the total trade. these are neighbors.
now this compares going back a little bit to the very large -- following independence of the two countries in 1947. in 1948/4970% of pakistan's trading was with india while 63% of indian experts went to pakistan. so we do the calculation again and basically as economists we do it using gravity models as to what would be the potential trade between the two countries. we are estimating the trades between the two countries could easily be 10 to 20 times larger based on the proximity, based on the distances, based on common language, common heritage and so on and so forth. this, if it were to rise to that even partly, i think this would really raise the gdp substantially and household
incomes in both countries. let me just end with just pointing out what keeps trade so low between the two countries? because on paper you will not find the constraints on trade between india and pakistan. on the paper you won't find too many. there are high tariffs in some cases but principally what we would call nontariff barriers, inadequate infrastructure, bureaucratic inertia and opposition, excessive red tape and direct -- pakistan, india has granted most nationstates and pakistan is not reciprocated. on the other hand, pakistan's position is that india's tariffs rates remain very high on a select number of goods. it turns out those are the goods that pakistan exports,
agriculture, being the principle one, textiles, leather, things that pakistan normally exports and the tariffs are very high on there. transportation links, they have very poor making trade very costly. railway and road connections are inadequate, but they exist there. they are just not allowed to be used and my favorite example is the traffic that takes place between lahore and across the border at the barter post. there is a highway that runs, a road, a nice road that runs between the two countries. and trucks are employed to deliver goods on the other side of the border. what is interesting is that border, the roads open at 5:00 a.m. in the morning.
why it is not open 24 hours as a security matter but they open at 5:00 a.m. in the morning but it closes at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. why white is a close at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon? the reason is that they have to prepare for the flag ceremonies on either side of the border which take place at sunset so the borders are closed at 2:00 in the afternoon because they have to prepare. these are things that do not require parliamentary approval. these are not things that require major negotiations. all you can say is okay, you want to have the ceremony? fine, have the ceremony and build a road around the ceremony. anyway, that is my story. now i think, let me just end by saying reducing trade terriers, again i'm not being naïve and don't think i am being pollyannaish in any way. this improving trade relationship has the support of businessmen on both sides of the
border. the chambers of commerce in particular. and it is critical in my view to build constituencies in each country for greater bilateral trade through liberalization. and trade will not solve all the problems between the two countries but it could help in improving tensions. these are the baby steps i'm talking about. and tensions between india and pakistan which would be an inevitable benefit from strengthening common ties would improve the climate for investment and economic development in both countries. as well as in the region. my bottom line is that on this society and front in the case of india pakistan trade relationships, it is really obvious that good fences do not make for good neighbors. thanks. [applause] >> josh. >> thank you. it is very good to be here and i
have to say to mohsin's point, one of the images i will never forget is watching an entire truck of tomatoes being unloaded and transported from one side of the bright line, the pakistan side to the india side in the truck wasn't able to cross sell a ticket least an hour of porter's moving these boxes on their heads about five feet, drenched in tomato juice, just to get a truck across the border. so i think this is illustrative as being the only land border which goods regularly move between the two countries and just what a challenge this is. it is really great to be here. is great to be with anatol in washington. we usually run a to each other in strange parts of south asia at very odd times and so it is good to be with him in the setting. he quotes in his book a
pakistani general who is now i think the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, who says you need to be a little bit of a rascal to understand this part of the world. and two that i say, exactly. and that is what makes this book so interesting and so thoughtful and so colorful. i would recommend it to all of you. there are just a couple of things and i will keep my comments very brief but a couple of comments i wanted to mention regarding things that i really appreciate about this book. i think in terms of the big picture, as anatol mentioned, this book is about how pakistan works and how it doesn't work, but mostly how the state is more resilient than we make it out to be. and i think both the stories and the analysis go to highlight just how pakistan has a particular and workable kind of dysfunctionality that we need to come to appreciate if we are
going to understand how it is stable and the ways in which it has some single weaknesses. the two things that i want to highlight that i particularly appreciated were first, anatol has a very realistic view of pakistani politics. on the one hand, it is not a particularly sympathetic view. and i'm going to use kind of a work particular to my generation here, his take down of the ppp as a political party, as a political movement is quite severe and i think he in many ways is realistic about what pakistani politics actually looks like and the disjuncture between the rhetoric, particularly the rhetoric of the left of center party like the ppp and the actual reality of what their politics looks like. it is also unsympathetic in its characterization of what
pakistani politicians actually do with much of their time. i was thinking about this as i was reading the book and recalling a conversation i had with a friend just a few days ago who is a staffer on capitol hill, and she was complaining to me that her congressman had asked her to write some legislation and she said well what you want the legislation to be about? he said i don't really care. i just need some legislation to introduce so that i am doing what i'm supposed to be doing here on the hill. a balance of her time is spent dealing with constituent services, which is making sure that people who are supposed to be getting their social security checks are in fact getting their social security checks on all of the other things that staffers on the hill usually do. and that was sort of discouraging in its own right but then we look at it pakistani context where politicians do is in fact much more discouraging. there is really no thought given to legislation for the most part
with the exception of very few, very few politicians who are notable and wonderful exceptions in this regard and many politicians as anatol tells in story after story spend their time not trying to deliver to their constituents with the state has promised them but to deliver to their constituents what the state usually can't do or perhaps should not do. politicians spend a lot of time trying to get their constituents out of jail or trying to deal with this days and the local level which is dysfunctional and i think that take on politics is both realistic and unsympathetic. i also appreciated that there was a sympathetic take to the pakistani politician, if i can actually say that on the record, and that is that being a pakistani politician is a lot of hard work for the most part. these politicians spend hours
and hours every day dealing with basic kinds of requests that in a more developed sort of system would be processed by local bureaucracy or by any number of formal or informal institutions. i think that perspective alone is a valuable contribution bold through stories and her analysis to see what patronage actually looks like and the role that it has on the political process. the other thing that i really appreciated and again this politics -- it has to do with politics but anatol takes a realistic view of his -- islamism and pakistan, what it actually looks like and the threats it does and does not pose. and this clear-eyed view, i would like to say, is shared by a wide number of people but i think unfortunately it is not. especially in washington and
there has been quite a lot of hyperventilating about islam is and islamic politics and i think on the one hand, this book is realistic in that it says that quote an islamic takeover, whatever that means, is not likely in pakistan and that if you look at those instances in which the taliban have gotten closest to the states, either structurally or geographically, they have actually not been very close to choosing any substantive measure of control and that the realistic prospect of a sort of ragtag bunch of taliban coming out of swaps and mullah cons to confront the sixth largest army in the world in islamabad is not as frightening as it might seem. i think that he also takes a similarly realistic view about islamic politics. there are certainly a number of rather frightening islamic politicians in pakistan. we both met a number of them,
and i'm specifically not one to downplay the corrosive quality of their rhetoric and also the corrosive quality to the ways that they provide sort of material support to some of the militant groups from time to time. but in general, i think anatol does a good job of dismantling the idea that all islamic political actors are in fact stalking horses for the taliban. he does this by showing they are fundamentally political in that they have clinical interest related to patronage, related to social standing, related to the basic stuff of politics that makes them in many ways quite similar to all of the other heroes in the book and i think that is a great contribution as well. i would close by may be framing one thing which i wish anatol had done a little more in the
conclusion that maybe we can take up more in our conversation. this book does a great job of trying to, trying to highlight the cultural, the social, the tribal dynamics of pakistan, the kinship dynamics and the way that those make pakistan resilience but also resilience to some measure of change. and i think it would be worth talking about which factors in pakistan are in fact highly dependent, factors related to culture, related to kinship and which factors on the other hand actually represent strategic options toward the state. whether those be macroeconomic options or military options, options related to military posture, and that is to ask for the pakistani leadership today given all of their encumbrances, what is the realm of the possible and what does it look like?
and to assess question with respect to the ecological challenges that anatol highlights at the end of the book is being perhaps the greatest challenge that pakistan faces and also to ask about the problems of militancy, what is in the realm of the possible given the kind of thick web of social norms and history that is so well documented here. so with that i will wrap it up so we have more time for conversation but i commend the book to you. >> thank you, josh. [applause] >> let me use the privilege of turning it over to the vice president of the region to kick us off, please. >> thank you so much. it is a wonderful conversation. i think anatol would be very important to the decision-makers when they -- and nice balance
and also for pakistan. i think it would be a wonderful opportunity to use it as a base to do that. my question is, with the changes and all that, what would it take for that kinship and the fabric of society, what would it take for that kinship to be actually internal and the transformation on the steps taken? what would that look like and what would it take? >> well, of course it is a chicken and egg argument. as i have said in these kinship networks are in so many ways obstacles to progress. i have to say once again among
the pakistani -- and britain that the hope would be economic change, social change, urbanization would gradually not abolish but we can these links through the creation of new forms of formal employment and the, shall we say, class interests and the cultural, the new cultural worlds that these create. ..
>> these are things which i do, i'm afraid -- and this is also responding to something that josh said -- see so many of these things in pakistan as highly path-dependent, unfortunately. and, therefore, to be changed only as part of very complex processes which the outside world can only influence. what we can influence -- that's why i talked about ring fencing certain things, about concentrating on higher education. but the obstacles are great and, of course, i didn't talk too much about the security situation because otherwise i would have gone on, you know, for an hour and a half. but it is entirely clear that especially when it comes to people going into higher education and remaining in pakistan while this, yes, i mean, climate of intolerance and harassment is not going to bring down the state, it certainly
doesn't encourage educated pakistanis, you know, to stay in their country, you know, or go into business there. i don't think that the cause is lost. um, you know, but it, it will take time. it will take steady pressure as well as help there the outside world -- as well as help from the outside world. and the question, of course, is how much time does pakistan have? i think, perhaps, it has more time than we think faced with militancy. but, of course, then again it is difficult to distinguish between insurgency which i have stressed can be contained and terrorism which will not break down the state, but once again, it doesn't encourage educated pakistanis to stay in the pakistan. i think pakistan is more resilient in the face of these threats than people have made out. but there is, nonetheless, a race against time, and even if
it's a race existence time over decades against demography, water and so forth, it's still a race against time. >> yes. >> [inaudible] >> i think a mic is coming to you, if you -- >> hugely enjoyed this talk. and a week ago we had the minister of finance in this very room with his entire economic team, and i need to tell this story. we had a very frank discussion with him. he was very humble. he decided to stay on two-and-a-half hours because of the questioning. and there was a very innocuous report the next day on what happened here. and the eighth paragraph of that report had one sentence in there saying the difficulties in if introducing the tax regime -- in introducing the tax regime which the governor needs to get at revenue collection is partly due
to the inability of parliament to buy into the proposals of the government. three days later there was a seven-column spread in the largest newspaper accusing the finance minister of accusing parliament of being the cause of the economic problems in pakistan. and he had a reference against him in parliament that he's trying to explain now. so we shouldn't underestimate the challenges of a coalition government and a parliamentary system where very sensible proposals get blocked by their own coalition partners, right? so i'm very glad to hear what you're having to say about, you know, your note of optimism. maybe a little bit higher than mine. i was wondering whether you could comment on two things you didn't mention. one is in these challenges which seem to be recreating themselves every decade, where do you see the role of the urban sector? is that the sort of, the nut
that would break the barriers and the challenges of these kinship networks and patronage networks? and second, you didn't say anything about balochistan which has an insurgency which is, i wouldn't exactly call it low-grade insurgency, and that has very serious repercussions against panel stab. >> can i take a couple more questions? i think that might be more efficient. thank you. >> thank you for a very interesting presentation. two questions. the first is we economists, we always like to measure things. so, you know, you say you have a lot of reason for optimism and a lot of things that you're seeing. if you look at a lot of the metrics in this pakistan over the last five years whether you look at suicide bombings, whether you look at civil discontent, you look at fight against the minorities, the murder of, you know, the christians, you look at macroeconomic indicators like
mohsin pointed out, on inflation, on gdp, they're all on a downward spiral. so i was wondering what kind of metric are you using to see progress? like, if you can tell us a bit more about that. and the second one is kind of one of the elephants in the room that we usually don't talk about much, but we should is the predator drone thing. and i wanted, you know, i mean, it is interesting that the obama administration has, has increased the predator drone in one year of obama than in four years of bush, and that's got very little kind of coverage in the media in the u.s. but it seems to have a lot of coverage in pakistan. so the question, the question for you is, based on your kind of being on the ground there do you think the policy is working? and do you think that there's a backlash going on? and is the backlash leading to an exacerbation of anti-western
sentiment? thanks. >> i was wondering if during your last visit you picked up any feedback on the 18th amendment and the efforts to decentralize, and my question is whether or not you think that this particular form of decentralization that's been mandated which is, basically, to transfer funds from the central to the local -- actually provisional governments, whether this will not compound the protection, patronage nexus that you've described? and what alternative forms of decentralization or what warnings would you give with regard to this? >> why don't we take those, and then we probably, if there are one or two more, we can. you've got them? >> yes. >> and the others are also -- >> of course.
on the whole question of progress and the 18th amendment, i'm sure that mohsin has things to say and, certainly, josh will have things to say about drones and the security situation. to begin with the, i mean, the limited devolution to the provincial governments, yes, there is a real tension here. it's often been said, and i think to a considerable extent rightly, that while overall standards of governance differ little, actually, between military and civilian rule because, actually, they end up ruling through the same people sooner or later, um, there is one way in which there is limited but still quite significant difference which is that military rule, i think, tends to make provincial relations worse. um, because there is more of a tendency to centralize in islamabad. not, as they say, unlimited. military rule is never absolute in pakistan. and is seen in the other
provinces, rightly or wrongly, as being punjabi rule. civilian rule not by any means always, but to some extent leads to more of a provincial balance. but the problem is exactly, i refer to this, you know, with the question of the coal field. it can be hellishly bad when it comes to actually getting things done, decisions made. add to that something we haven't talked about, but the sluggishness of the bureaucracy, the fact as somebody mentioned that the front teams are often good, especially -- well, especially in the area of finance and economics. there they have true professionals. after all, many of them have worked here. elsewhere in the government system the problem is they're not professionals, they're generalists. it's the system they got from the british. so, you know, provincial central rivalry, rivalry between the provinces, rivalry between bureaucratic institutions. bureaucrats who, frankly, don't know what they're most of the
time because they've only stepped into the job a few weeks before. all of these things are a terrible problem. when it comes to urbanization and progress, you know, i talked about this. one thing here i would say very strongly is that, quite frankly, we don't know. and the reason for that is that the research hasn't been done. it has been done in the karachi to some extent, but karachi's a very special case. it is extremely striking that the basic political, economic, sociological work in the punjabi cities which is, after all, the core of the country from so many points of view has simply not been done. there aren't any ph.d.s on this, you know? so to a great extent it's anecdotal and guess work. and i admit this candidly in my book. it's very striking if you go to any library and look for the shelves on punjab. you'll have a big bookcase on
indian punjab. pakistani punjab, which is ten times the size of indian punjab, you'll have one shelf. and many of those books now literally decay in the past. as i said, my sense, however, is that the effects of urbanization and after all, you know, this is true in many other places as well. we know very well from other countries, playly in africa -- particularly in africa, that even, you know, tremendous growth of cities doesn't necessarily lead to fundamental changes in political patterns at all. or at any rate, i mean, in much more ambiguous and slow ways than we think. progress for the future, well, to some extent perhaps you could say that the biggest hope is china in, india out by which i mean input from china. there is a lot of hope in the pakistani industrial establishment that as china's population ages, as china's wages go up and living standards
go up, so labor intensive, low-tech industries will move out of china into pakistan. of course, greatly helped by the geopolitical relationship with china. it's very striking when you think about it. china's tremendous rise as a great power, perhaps a superpower, is qualified in some respects by one very important thing which is that china has no allies. pakistan, when you think about it, is china's only real ally. now, so far it has to be said the pakistanis have not been good at exploiting that. one of the reasons being that chinese being a pretty hard-headed lot, you know, have looked at all the problems in pakistan that we've been talking about and have said, you know, we will give pakistan enough to prop it up, we'll give it enough, you know, to benefit us above all when it comes to transport and energy and so forth. but when it comes to pouring money into pakistan for privacy investment -- private investment and so forth, no, they're being
very reserved about that. nonetheless, pakistan does have a chance there. but if i were a chinese investor, i'd puck -- pick up on looking for my markets to be in india very largely. now, can, can pakistan and india get together on this? well, the answer is, you know, the indians are not going to allow a major increase in trade as long as they're afraid that this will be accompanied by a major transfer of terrorists. now here it seems to me, and i say this, of course, with great, well, caution because i know how it annoys many indians. but it may be that india will have to settle for terrorist attacks not happening, shall we say, rather than for pakistan actually dismantling -- going out explicitly to dismantle the
infrastructure. once again, we haven't talked about all those issues here, but i don't think pakistan is going to do that. however, with the admittedly huge exception of mumbai, of course, pakistan's not been sponsoring terrorist attacks. and mumbai is swa ambiguous. -- somewhat ambiguous. there's a huge change from the 1990s, albeit amongst pressure from the united states, among others. the patterns since 2002. this will, of course, have to continue if there is, once again, isi fingerprints all over an attack, then natch will athere -- naturally there will be no chance of an improvement. but i would encourage indians to look at pakistan restraining the groups within pakistan rather than actually going out to abolish them. one reason for that is that we haven't talked about the cause. but a tremendous problem, well,
not just when it comes to terrorism. you may have seen the news today that the men accused of gang raping -- [inaudible] have just been acquitted by the supreme court. there is a terrible problem with the courts in pakistan. courts won't convict, you know, the terrorists in most cases. so if you want to do something about terrorists, where the subtitle of my book comes from a statement by a senior superintendent of police in southern punjab, you basically have to go out and shoot them in the back of the head which is what they've been doing in swat. you have a problem not just in punjab, but in bradford because of the sympathy for the kashmiri jihad there. um, i myself think that if one's looking at incremental progress, um, i mean, i hope that this will come with trade. i believe that a solution to kashmir is a long, long way off. what i think is possible is, and
here perhaps i'm looking more at the european/soviet reunion than the american/soviet in the past. but the leader of detente, the phrase detente interests me when it comes to pakistan and india. because what we saw during the cold war between the united states and europe, nato and the soviet union was that, of course, the structural hostility lasted from the late 1940s to 1989 or so. indeed, to some extent you could say with america it lasts to this day. but even during the cold war that did not prevent either limited agreements between the soviet union and america to reduce tension, either generally as in detente or in particular areas, and, of course, between the european union and the soviet union. it didn't prevent the creation of a massive infrastructure
project of tremendous potential importance to india and pakistan, namely russian gas exports to the e.u.. now, that is something which interests me very much because that's happened even as the cold war was progressing. in some ways even when the cold war was in one of it particularly bad moments, you know, in the wake of the soviet invasion of afghanistan and so forth. the other things that interest me there but i can't go into that, obviously, it's a huge subject is it does seem to me, i've been involved in a big deal of track two stuff between india and pakistan, that while kashmir is still very intractable, there may be the beginnings -- just the beginnings -- of a more pragmatic attitude on both sides to agreement over afghanistan. and the core reason for that is, i think, that sensible people in both security establishments know that they won't get everything they want with in afghanistan. that's the first thing. the second thing is an indian general said to me that you
don't have to be a historical genius to realize that to judge by history, afghanistan is not a place you necessarily want to get deeply involved in. [laughter] balochistan, yes, my sense is, though, that that is still an insurgency that can be contained. the menacing thing there is in the past pakistan has played tribal divide and ruled successfully. largely it must be settled, you know, british models of behavior. the problem now is in so many parts of the world you have a mass of semieducated, partly detribalized youth, you know, moving into the system and, of course, expecting jobs commensurate with their status. but so far the rebellion is limited, there are still opportunities to play tribal divide and rule, and once again the thing about the ethnic and provincial balance in pakistan is it's not just between the provinces, but in most cases it's within the provinces as well. and critical to what's going on
in balochistan is not really what everybody knows is usual, but perhaps 40% of the population, pashtun, but a capital is a mainly pashtun city also. that is a major drag, ultimately, on moves to independence. >> thank you. and let me ask mohsin to speak about the 19th amendment, and then -- 18th amendment, and then maybe you can talk about the drones. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> um, yeah. on the 18th amendment and the national finance report, award, i just want to say three short, quick points. first of all, i think it was a terrific political move. it was part of the people's party manifest. this has been in the works, the a devolution of political power to the provinces, and therefore, to make pakistan more
representative, a more representative democracy. so it was a political move. and a good one at that point. and i think anatol would probably agree with that. from an economic standpoint, it was a big mistake. and i think this is where a problem arises in the decentralization. you were referring to the question of it. what happened really was ha while there was -- was that while there was a transfer of revenue from the federal government to the provinces, there wasn't a similar transfer of expenditure responsibilities. and the idea that the then-finance minister had was that this would be settled in the future. this was never a good move on the, in the case of pakistan to say, well, let's do this now, the other side will -- the problem we'll face we'll deal with in the future. well, it couldn't be dealt with in the future. and the third thing that happened, of course, there was, there were no commitments by the
provinces on what expenditures they would undertake. and now they have the transfers from the central government, they've also, pakistan is a notable thing. what happens if provinces don't raise taxes themselves? they don't actually, there was no agreement on, let's say, agricultural income tax. which is a provincial -- constitutionally, a provincial issue. they have no real estate tax, property tax. these are all responsibilities of the provinces, and they have never, in fact, imposed. they've always had the ability to impose these taxes, they never have. they're relying on transfers, and the idea is that, you know, you will get all these -- you will start doing these expenditures, you will get these transfers. they were transfers from the federal government, would not total your expenditures. you have to raise your own
funds, your own taxes. they won't do that. i personally believe -- i'm pessimistic that they will do that. because what do they do instead? they will do, they will learn from the federal government. you run deficits, you print money. how can the province print money? well, they create their own banks. the, basically, the punjab bank was a complete scandal. well, now we have the sin bank as well created. so they've gotten on, they will spend, and they will borrow in order to spend. and they'll loot the banks that have been set up for this purpose. i think, also, that the other big mistake if i may just mention that was not putting the v.a.t. as a condition for the national finance award. he should have said this is a quid pro quo. you guys either accept the v.a.t., or you don't get the 18th amendment. well, again, it was, well, we'll settle that matter later. well, we know where we are with
the v.a.t., it's dead in the water, and so pakistan's revenue problems continue. finally, i would say the other big mistake in that is -- is and this, i think, anatol, you'd appreciate. i'm sure you're aware of this. about the transfer of responsibilities to the provinces is always a problem from a political and social point of view. for example, there's a big battle going on right now in the transfer of higher education to the provinces. but let me tell you what happened, what the other ones are. there is a move to transfer women's affairs to the provinces away from the federal government to the provinces, and you can imagine what that problem, what problems that can create when there's a transfer of, you know, women's affairs, women's rights, etc., to the northwest, to balochistan, to sind. they are responsible. the government finally, and this is probably one of the only
things that the government of pack stab has done post the -- pakistan has done is i since the assassination of the governor of punjab is not to allow the majority of affairs -- minority affairs and to transfer minority affairs right now to the provinces, in this case not the other ones, but in my view to transfer it to the punjab is a big mistake and, unfortunately, the government saw that. and so women's affairs is under discussion, higher education is under -- or at least it kept minority affairs in the federal system. so i think, you know, on balance if you, if you come at it politically, you say good move. if you come at it from where i sit, i think it was a big, a mistake that, basically, it was not well thought out as to what the consequences would be. >> thank you.
>> let me just add to that that another one of the devolved subjects is going to be primary education curriculum, at least to some extent. and, um, in the frontier province if an islamist government wins the next election in a couple of years which is not, not entirely unlikely, then they would probably want to make some appropriate changes to the curriculum at that time. so that's another thing to watch. before i talk about the drones, i want to make one quick comment about urbanization and to echo that we really don't have enough information to be able to judge how urbanization is going to play out in terms of its economic and political effects. but ily saw that in my -- i will say that in my experience if i ask myself who is most excited about urbanization, it'd be two political parties. the pakistan and muslim league nawaz and the islammy which are
the two more right of center political parties. and they're excited because they have traditionally an urban base, especially among the middle class and the lower middle class and the merchant community. and they feel like urbanization's going to be a very positive thing for them. and so i think this, this only cautions us to separate out the potential economic effects and the economic dynamism that can come from urbanization from the political effects which may result in a slightly more islamic/nationalistic tone. and these parties are, also, more vocally critical of the united states as well. to the issue of drones, there's a lot to be said about this, but i think, i think i'll just say this. there are a couple of things that we know. one is that the drones have a measure of tactical value for the united states. in taking out problematic miscreants as they say in pakistan. and that pakistanis who follow this know that most of the people who are killed are, in fact, problem actors. we also know that on a national
level the drones are deeply, deeply unpopular, that they're used as a political tool not just by the opposition, but probably by the government and the army itself in order to present a certain, certain optic of american interference in the fairs of the state. in the i fairs of the state. that said, there are a couple of things we don't know. we don't know whether the drones are popular where they actually hit. now, presumably exactly where they hit, question know they're not -- we know they're not very popular. [laughter] but there's some idea to suggest that they might be more popular in the areas close to where they hit because people know who they're hitting. this is all very difficult to come by because doing, doing high-quality social science survey work in the tribal areas is, is not something that i would want to have to do. [laughter] so what a number of social scientists do is they will try to do randomized surveys at bus stations in the, quote, settled
parts of pakistan, the people who are coming to and from the tribal areas. so it's difficult to get this information, but it's not unreasonable to think that these may be more popular in the areas near to the strikes than they are in islamabad or in the political centers of pakistan. the other thing that we fundamentally don't know is the strategic value of the drone strikes. i would seem to me that the strategic value is, um, is probably rather low aside from a few top people who are killed by these strikes, a few top militants. but it seems to me and i think to many others that the tactical value probably far exceeds whatever strategic value there is for the strikes especially given the political, the political danger. and one of the things that i'm really glad that anatol highlighted throughout his book is that a more aggressive, more aggressive kinds of action by the united states especially boots on the ground in the tribal areas or
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