Sumit Ganguly

Stories by Sumit Ganguly

  • To Save Pakistan Get the Army Out of Politics

    Rather than serve as a bulwark against chaos, the Army has helped destabilize Pakistan. For far too long, the myth that Pakistan's army is the only thing holding the country together—and keeping the terrorists at bay—has held sway in Washington. Now two bills making their way through Congress suggest the United States is finally starting to reconsider these assumptions. Both bills would set benchmarks that Pakistan has to meet in order to keep qualifying for U.S. economic and military assistance. But the two measures don't go far enough. Pakistan will never be saved from the threat of religious extremists until it fundamentally restructures its deeply dysfunctional government. And that will require addressing the overwhelming influence of the military on Pakistani politics.In four critical ways, the Army has undermined constitutional governance in Pakistan ever since Mohammed Ali Jinnah led it to independence some 60 years ago. First, repeated coups have ensured that civilian...
  • Ganguly: India's Diplomatic Victory

    By resisting the temptation to respond to the Mumbai attacks with force, New Delhi has avoided a pointless confrontation with Pakistan.
  • Pakistan's Democratic Moment

    The United States now has an opportunity to make good on its commitment to democracy in Pakistan. It can start by severing its ties with Musharraf.
  • Trapped On The Razor’s Edge

    Pakistan's current woes are part of a long tradition, a legacy of instability that predates the nation's founding.
  • Musharraf Has Few Options

    To keep Pakistan from falling into the abyss, General Musharraf has few options. Will he choose correctly?
  • Musharraf's Fragile Hold on Power

    Pakistani military dictators are not known for leaving office quietly. Each one of the country’s dictators has railed angrily and stubbornly against his fate to the bitter end. Yahya Khan (1969-72) led his country down the path of an ignominious defeat at the hands of India after bungling an internal crisis in East Pakistan. Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq (1977-1987), who sent one of Pakistan’s few elected presidents to the gallows, ultimately died in a very mysterious plane crash.Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in 1999, now seems to have started down the same path. In all likelihood, his days as Pakistan’s leader are numbered. Protests, which started in the legal community, have expanded to students, journalists and political activists. Individuals who hardly knew Iftikar Chaudhry, the former chief justice of Pakistan, now see him as a potential savior. Musharraf has an opportunity to break the tragic pattern of military generals clinging to power. At very least, he should shed...
  • India, In A New Light

    Suddenly, India is on everyone's mind. Hardly a day passes without some public discussion about jobs being outsourced there, the growing shortage of hotel rooms in Bangalore, Indian firms seeking to buy European competitors or an Indian novelist who has snapped up a hefty advance from an American publisher. Yet less than 20 years ago, the few stories about India published in major Western outlets were bemoaning its economic woes, diplomatic isolation and political turmoil. Indeed, some latter-day Cassandras were predicting its imminent dissolution, conjuring for India the same fate that had engulfed the other large-scale multiethnic experiments in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Not only has India defied these dire predictions, it is poised on the brink of major power status.Edward Luce goes a long way toward explaining India's almost inexhaustible resilience in his knowledgeable, witty and sympathetic account, "In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India" ( 383 pages....