John R. Schmidt teaches at the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University. He served in the State Department during a thirty-year service career, including as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad in the years leading up to 9/11.
Pakistan is an improbable country. The forefathers of the people who now dominate it politically and militarily were bystanders in the movement to create the Pakistani state. The people actually responsible for its creation were outsiders. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League and founder of the nation, was a Bombay lawyer who wanted a separate homeland for the subcontinent's Muslims because he feared they would become a political underclass in a unified India dominated by Hindus.