by Patrick Appel
The military in Pakistan is hugely influential but doesn't define the state - possibly because it wasn't instrumental in its inception. The idea of Islam defines the state, but at the same time it remains a vague concept that the people who call the shots don't agree on. That's a problem but also an opportunity for Pakistan. Those who say Islam is all about fighting Kafirs can't completely silence those that say its about raising living standards and providing medical relief.
The question about engagement in Pakistan isn't about whether or not potential partners exist.