The government of Pakistan has rubbished a survey which ranked it in the world's top 10 "failed states".
Pakistan is fighting tribesmen and militants on the Afghan border
Information Minister Mohammed Ali Durrani said the report was the "joke of the year" and factually incorrect.
The study - compiled by the US Foreign Policy magazine and the US-based Fund for Peace think-tank - showed Pakistan moving from 34th to ninth in the table.
The study authors listed rising ethnic tensions and Pakistan's inability to police tribal areas near Afghanistan.
They also said Pakistan had struggled to cope with last October's earthquake.
Mr Durrani said the fact that Pakistan had been placed above Afghanistan, which was ranked 10th, spoke volumes about the report's credibility.
"The compilers made no effort to find out about what was actually happening in Pakistan. I do not understand the parameters they adopted to declare Pakistan as a failed state," he told the BBC.
"Pakistan has attracted billions of dollars of foreign investment in the last financial year.
"The country's law and order situation and its human rights record is better than many other countries."
The second annual "failed states index" ranked 146 nations according to their viability.
It was based on "tens of thousands of articles" from different sources gathered over several months in 2005 and reviewed by experts, its authors said.
Judged according to 12 criteria, including human flight and economic decline, states range from the most failed, Sudan, to the least, Norway.
Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka were rated 19th, 20th and 25th respectively.
India came 93rd, Bhutan 39th and the Maldives were not mentioned.
The top 60 positions in the list were occupied almost exclusively by African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries.
Each nation was given an overall score based on the 12 criteria:
- mounting demographic pressures
- massive movement of refugees and internally displaced peoples
- legacy of vengeance - seeking group grievance
- chronic and sustained human flight
- uneven economic development along group lines
- sharp and/or severe economic decline
- criminalisation and delegitimisation of the state
- progressive deterioration of public services
- widespread violation of human rights
- security apparatus as "state within a state"
- rise of factionalised elites
- intervention of other states or external actors