Pakistan has shown "significant improvement" in an index of fragile states, according to a new report, which said that though India also improved its tally by two positions, the situation in the country has worsened.
According to the Fragile States Index (FSI), Pakistan moved from High Alert category last year to Alert category in 2017. It was ranked 14th last year and improved its position to 18 this year, the report by non-governmental organisation The Fund for Peace said.
"Pakistan recorded the most significant improvement of any country in 2017," it said, but warned that Pakistan might slip back if some of the key indicators do not improve.
"In the case of Pakistan, it would appear that there have been some important improvements - for example on economic indicators and even security indicators.
"However, whether this signifies a trend is less clear, particularly as the Group Grievance indicator continues to rise, counter to the country's overall performance," it said.
On the other hand India, which was ranked 70 last year, has improved its position by two notches to 72nd this year.
But, the report said, the situation in India has worsened in the past one year. India, with 77.9 points, has been placed in elevated warning category along with China (74.7 points and ranking of 85), Bhutan and Maldives.
FSI is an annual ranking of 178 countries based on the different pressures they face that impact their levels of fragility.
Pakistan (98.9 points) along with Guinea Bissau, Burundi, Eretria, Niger, Kenya Libya, Myanmar, North Korea (93.3 points) and Nepal (91) points have been put in Alert category.
From South Asia, Afghanistan with 107.3 points and a ranking of nine has been put in High Alert category along with Ethiopia, Nigeria, Congo, Chad and Iraq.
The report said the US has dropped by one point in the past one year from 159th in 2016 to 158th this year "despite the majority of its indicators actually improving."
Based on the FSI analysis, the US has recorded long-term economic improvements and - perhaps remarkably, given recent coverage - improvements in political indicators such as State Legitimacy, Public Services, Human Rights, and Refugees.
However, these broad improvements have been severely undermined by sharp upticks in three key indicators - Group Grievance, Factionalized Elites, and Security Apparatus, the report said.
The US with 35.6 points has been placed in the category of "very stable" along with countries like the UK, France and Singapore.
Finland with 18.7 points is at the bottom of the fragility index. It is followed by Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Australia.
South Sudan with 113.9 points tops the list of fragile countries followed by Somalia (113.4 points), Central African Republic, Yemen, Syria and Sudan - all of which have been put in the very high alert category.
"A number of developed countries recorded notable worsening scores across certain indicators, in particular the United States and the United Kingdom, which both experienced highly divisive political campaigns during 2016," it said.
"The long-term trends of the FSI have also raised red flags on a number of countries - in particular South Africa and Senegal - for which the conditions that could precipitate instability have worsened significantly," the report said.