Pakistan has been ranked the 12th most unstable country in the world, according to the 2007 Failed State Index, while Sudan has topped the infamous list for the second year in a row.
While Afghanistan is ranked eighth, Pakistan is ahead of North Korea at 13th. Sudan has been placed on top of the index, largely because of the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur. The Foreign Policy magazine issued the index.
From the earlier fourth position, Iraq now ranks as the second most unstable country.
The other seven countries in the top 10 are all in Africa. They include Somalia, Zimbabwe, the Ivory Coast and Congo.
The index of 177 countries gives each country points out of 10 for twelve "social indicators of instability", with higher scores indicating greater instability.
Pakistan was widely perceived as 'a failed state' at the turn of the century. The economy turned around gradually after the US poured in funds and arms in the wake of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan.
Pakistan's highest scores were for 'security apparatus' (9.5), 'factionalised elites' (9.5) and 'group grievance' (9.0). Its best score was for the economy (5.8).
In a parallel series of reports, the Fund for Peace, a research and advocacy group, has suggested a policy of managed partition for Iraq.
The experiences of Iraq, as well as Afghanistan, show that billions of dollars in aid may be futile unless accompanied by a functioning government, Daily Times said on Tuesday.