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ہفتہ، 21 مئی، 2011

Pakistan national security paradigm


Diplomacy is the first and outer most defensive line of a country. It furthers and preserves the national interests amongst the comity of nations and remains alert to any development with a focus on any threat in the making to the detriment of national interest. Though, diplomacy is the art of impossible, but the irony is that even the very possible have not been exploited to the good of this country. This art craft either remains in slumber or gets compromised at the diktat of a dictator or his strong arm the security establishment. Our diplomatic manoeuvres are defensive or at the most reactive in nature. So one can conclude that the external threat is either given a free passage by ducking down or meet a meek and mute response. The chronology of threat and response capacity is tabulated as under.” The 1948 Indo-Pak military confrontation on the State of Jammu and Kashmir was mainly left to the volunteers of FATA to liberate Kashmir. ” The 1965 war fought with national resolve and cohesion was lost on the diplomatic table at Tashkent. It left us with misconception that the defence of East Pakistan lay in the defensive/offensive posturing of West Pakistan. ” The CETO and CENTO pacts were inked with a faulty concept that allying with a super power means security at best in safeguarding the national interest rater than that of the stronger ally. ” We misinterpreted the 1971 crisis to be controlled and subdued through the use of military instrument, negating the very fact that we had already lost on the diplomatic front. We miscalculated that the external threat in active support of insurgency could be a win-win situation for us. ” The proxy war in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation blinded us by avenging the cold war US rival with the Muslims blood and US $ and to provide sponsorship to the then dictator. ” The Kargil misadventure was not only a fiasco on diplomatic front but an example of rudimentary military strategy with limited goals and obscurity to the massive response/retaliation capacity of India. We were not prepared for the worst case scenario. One could contribute it to the bravado mindset of a commando with little experience of statecraft. ” Diplomacy was reduced to a nonentity in the aftermath of 9/11 when the then dictator collapsed on a phone call and agreed to all the seven diktats of US and volunteered to act as front line ally in the war on terror. The security of Pakistan was put at stake. ” The Abbottabad episode is a prelude to the unfolding existential threats. It has exposed many chinks in our armour and shredded our security parameters, leaving a question mark on our sovereignty. ” The crisis in and around Pakistan have serious security concerns at home, regional and international level. The internal dynamics of the mainland Pakistan could be summarized as:” We had been the victim of the injustices done to us during the partition by the British Raj, which left us agitated and frustrated. We lost lot of our energies and resources in redefining and addressing our security parameters rather than institution building. ” The diplomatic, security and intelligence agencies of both the countries never missed an opportunity to destabilize the other overtly or covertly ” The proxy war with jihadi elements in Afghanistan against Soviet Union introduced Kalashnikov culture, imposing our will on others through coercive diplomacy and growth of non state actors at the cost of peace and progress. ” The Afghan war in eighties mainly fought by Sulfi Sunni Jihadis and the export potentials of Iranian revolution during the same period polarized Pak society into Shia, Sunni extremists sponsored by their wealthy dogmatic giants. ” The Kargil episode attributed to the Kashmiri Mujahideen backfired at the diplomatic front and mismanaged at the strategic level thereby creating fissures in the civil-military relations. The security threat loomed large and the elected govt was sent packing. ” In the aftermath of 9/11 the series of U turns on the long well established policy parameters further widened the scope of our security concerns. ” The present state of flux is the manifestation of the war on terror. The fallouts are in the form of immense men and material losses, besides being treated as a fall guy, and a whipping boy of our so-called allies. It has brought Rambo culture, drones attacks, sting operations and special missions with US boots on Pak soil. The present design of threats on the canvas of national security spectrum is complex, multi faceted and all directional to face and neutralize. It is accentuated by fluid security situation, sponsored and abetted by both internal and external factors and actors. It is a complex situation to be addressed and revisited in a wholesome manner with sincerity of purpose in a fear free environment. The way forward in minimizing/neutralizing the threat could be objectively addressed, provided we put into motion the succeeding broad strategic undertakings. ” Our diplomatic, security and intelligence organs be in unison and geared up to be more proactive rather than reactive to the threats. To do so, our diplomatic standing and exterior manoeuvres in the pursuit of national interest and security be conducted at the level, status and plinth of a nuclear power state. ” We should make our relevance felt through the development and demonstration of our strategic resolve as a force to reckon with and narrow down our nuclear thresholds to save on the conventional front. It will provide nuclear umbrella to our vitals and core sensitivities and relieve us from the cost prohibitive mobilization against any misadventure. This narrow downing of the thresholds will flatten the theory of limited war and the jealously pursued Cold Start Strategy. Extended reach in delivery platforms and development/refinement of tactical unconventional warheads will add to our relevance at strategic level. ”The woes and grievances of the small federating units be addressed by judicious distribution of resources and extension of maximum provincial autonomy. Re-carving the federating units to create additional viable units, including FATA, to be more efficiently and locally administered. Let us be realistic and cognitive of the fact that there is a growing demand, getting mass on popularity graph to the creation of more provinces. Holding of a referendum on the question of creating more federating units is after all one of the constitutional option in a democratic dispensation. ” Policy focus on social justice and elimination of VIP culture with stringent measures to ensure austerity, merit, social justice, welfare and a big no to the class based education system. All signs, lingo, literature, sermons and demonstration encroaching on the feelings and sentiments of other sects and ethnic entities be banned and removed from all places of public and private concern. Adulteration in drugs, food items, extra judicial killings, forced labour and dacoity/robbery, hoarding and above all corruption be equated with terrorism and tried in special speedy summary courts. ” Maximum restraint be exercised in the use of military instrument. The employment should be for a limited period with surgical mission to soften the target enough to subdue a grave threat. It is possible once capacity building of Paramilitary forces is done to meet the internal threats effectively with the cooperation of all intelligence agencies. Meanwhile the mode of conventional battle deployment be changed into unconventional technique to reduce the collateral damage and eliminate the hardcore elements ” De-escalation in the war on terror by facilitating the occupation forces a safe exit and earning goodwill of all parties involved in the Afghan conflict be given priority. A graduated and calibrated response to the regional geo-strategic development in the pursuit of peace and stability shall provide us with a stable platform to project our relevance. It must be coupled with the unfolding of an exit strategy with defined time lines for troops deployed in FATA. While doing so a well thought out dialogue and development strategy be put into motion in order to win the hearts and minds of the people of FATA. The rehabilitation of all IDPs through a massive aid programme and provision of greater employment opportunities to the youth of FATA and Balochistan, both within the country and abroad. Credibility and visibility should be the hallmarks of this wholesome rehabilitation strategy. ” A soft and deliberate screening of all foreign NGOs, contractors and foreign sponsored companies to reduce their ingress into our security interests and social values be carried out on emergency bases. Return of Afghan refugees and cancellation of all the licences of auto weapons except pistol/revolver, shot gun and sports guns. ” Evolve a media policy to reinforce confidence in national institutions and a code of conduct to respect the individual rights and remove the misperception regarding Islam and Pakistan and be in essence representative of all the peoples of the federation. Media may carry out a self-appraisal through a counsel of objective journalism to reduce confusion, and oft repeated triads of big mouths with little essence and value to general public. Patience and tolerance shall be the central theme to be practised, demonstrated, preserved, valued and infused in all and sundry through a mass media campaign. Aids cutting and restriction be placed on products and govt propaganda oriented programmes to reduce cost and wastage of public money and reduce the leverage on media manipulation.Drone attacks are a blatant and very visible manifestation of our lackey foreign policy and security incompetence in the context of national sovereignty. This blatant violation of our sovereignty must be put on check through an aggressive diplomacy and if need be effective active counter measures be mobilized. The drone attacks are counter productive and is a stark reminder of Armitage necked brawl, “back to the stone age’. Let us follow the policy of mutual co-existence at home and abroad. Ostentatious living, import of grand luxury items, beg and borrow and extravaganzas should be discouraged to the hate level. Transparency and serving the vital national interest should be the rider clauses of our policy parameters.
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