Pakistan is a country which is in a slow meltdown, an eminent American expert has told lawmakers, a development which she argued would be extraordinarily bad for the region and for the US.

“It’s a country in a meltdown, or a slow meltdown, if you would, like crumbling. And of course the consequences of a more fundamental crumbling in Pakistan beyond FATA but in Punjab would be extraordinarily bad for the region and for the United States,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the prestigious Brookings Institute yesterday.

Testifying before House Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Felbab-Brown said that she is saying this despite being well aware of the “game” being played by Pakistan.

“We need to be very conscious of carefully calculating what benefits we would get out of more aggressive, more visible actions on the Pakistani side with respect to the Afghan environment, with what kind of precipitating triggers in Pakistan that could generate — and I am well aware of the game that Pakistan plays with us, that is, if you push too aggressively, we are too fragile and we will collapse, and so we feel a great deal of restraint,” she said.

The eminent American expert said that Pakistan is extremely fragile and there are very few trends that are going right in the country.

“So, unfortunately, we are stuck with treading very carefully across the Durand Line and more broadly in Pakistan,” Felbab-Brown said.

(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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