- Leaders are more effective when they work through institutions rather than attempting to subvert them.
- Sound economic policies are not a matter of simply projecting good intentions; they require a concerted understanding of the causal conditions that make for successful intervention.
- Being personally secular is neither here nor there. The important thing is to fish in the treacherous waters of communal identification, from wherever it comes.
- As the Punjab crisis demonstrated, when the state does not act impartially and in time, it sows the seeds of greater violence in the future.
- Democracy is not just about the practice of popular authorisation. It is about a whole gamut of constitutional values that have to be zealously guarded.
India seems to have come out better from the dark period, partly because that period ended a long time ago and there has been more time for healing. In addition, in Pakistan's case, the Afghan wars and islamisation which began in Zia ul Haq's period have not yet ended. In some sense, Pakistan is not yet into the post-authoritarian post-conflict period of reconstruction of institutions, which began in India in 1977.