Pakistan matters critically to India. One could dismiss it as a failed tin-pot dictatorship and is of little consequence with respect to India’s development and economic growth. But it is just because it is a tin-pot dictatorship that it matters. Even more precisely, it has been made into a tin-pot dictatorship so that it can serve as a lever to indirectly control India. I deliberately say “made” because it is a tool used by the West and therefore fashioned by and kept in “good” shape to serve the purpose. Principally, it is the US which wields Pakistan most adroitly.
One cannot escape the fact that the US is the world’s reigning hegemon. Nothing much of any significance happens around the world is not in some way affected by what the US does. No large nation or a confederation of nations is immune from US influence to some extent, whether it be India, China, or the EU. But when it comes to small impoverished dependent nations, the US is the ultimate dispenser of their destinies. Pakistan is what the US wants it to be, and Pakistan does what the US wants it to do.