Addressing security threats more comprehensively – The Express Tribune

Abuse of the process of law continues
When it rains, Karachi sinks
Home
Latest
Pakistan
Business
Sci-Tech
Phones
World
Opinion
Life & Style
Sports
Blogs
Archive
Other
Do we not have examples of countries wherein leaders with great foresight changed the destiny of their nations?
P akistan’s overall security threats have always been very complex and continue to pose a serious challenge to the integrity of the state and prosperity of its people. These are external and internal and in many cases reinforcing each other making them more formidable and affecting the lives of millions of our people either directly or indirectly. As we have been living with these, regrettably it has become a norm and there are no serious efforts to address these seriously. 4
Besides, the civilian governments have generally delegated their primary responsibility of formulating security policy and overseeing the performance entirely on the leadership of armed forces — not realising that most of the security threats have a strategic, political or an economic and governance dimension to it that are not getting the due attention. Even the oversight of the National Assembly and its security committees by and large revolves round a few briefings of the military leadership.
Although among the MNAs and Senators there are several members specially those belonging to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan who have deep understanding of the nature and complexity of the threats. In most cases it is difficult to clearly delineate between the external and the internal threat, but broadly the conflictual relationship with India remains central and is considered the major threat. Pakistan has lived with the overriding threat from India and this has greatly influenced its foreign and defence policy and shaped the nature of the state.
The strength of the armed forces, their deployment during peace time and nature of weapon systems have a direct bearing and are meant to counter the Indian threat. In order to bleed Pakistan economically, India has stepped up the pressure by adopting a highly antagonistic posture at the political and military level. The question is: should Pakistan fall prey to Modi’s designs by continuing with the present policy or is there a better alternative of not only countering him but also strengthening Pakistan? Our nuclear capability and highly professional armed forces are a major deterrent against India’s belligerence.
But the nuclear rivalry has a price as it saps resources and stifles economic and political development. A balance between defence and development is crucial. For pursuing this goal, the civilian governments need to seriously focus on widening the educational base with due emphasis on quality and devote more resources toward health and infrastructure. Only then the future of our country and people would be different. All this may sound familiar, idealistic and even unrealistic by some. Unfortunately, we do not see that quality of leadership emerging in the near future. The question is: are we destined to remain in this plight and not unshackle ourselves of being victims of our own and that of our leaders’ follies and false egos?
Do we not have examples of countries wherein leaders with great foresight changed the destiny of their nations? The critical significance of developing fast economic growth in Pakistan was noted a few years back in ‘Vision 2025’. It was a framework for long-term socio-economic change and had identified seven priority areas focusing on people, governance, water, energy and food security, population control and a knowledge-based economy, etcetera. It has been implemented only partially as such failed to make an impact. Largely overlooked in the past was Pakistan’s “rising external debt averaging 66019 USD million from 2002 until 2022, reaching an all-time high of 130632 USD million in the fourth quarter of 2021”.
The threat of TTP, BLF and IS-K especially in K-P and Balochistan is another manifestation of how economic deprivation and political neglect of these provinces have given rise to these forces. The process of integration of erstwhile FATA remains shoddy. And of course, civil strife and serious governance challenges in adjoining Afghanistan have given insurgency a further impetus. Here too, the government needs to take a long-term view of these problems and seriously focus on education and general uplift of these areas on a high priority basis. We do not see that happening and there is a disconnect between what should be done and what has been done so far.
Short time solutions of keeping peace by pacifying the elders with grants and giving them importance — a practice that we have inherited from colonial times — may be necessary to calm the situation. But it is time for us to seriously address the abject poverty of these areas by economic reforms and expedite the implementation of administratively and politically integrating it with K-P. Conditions in Afghanistan and in Iran especially close to the border of Balochistan are not going to change that soon. Building barbed wire fences and reinforcing security forces is essential but these have to be accompanied by other more fundamental measures for long-term and durable effect. An educated, satisfied populous is the best guarantee of shielding these forces from influencing the region.
Unfortunately, very little effort is going in that direction. It would not be an exaggeration that many of the policies that the British employed in these areas to act as a buffer against the erstwhile Soviet regime have continued hitherto. The whole culture and thrust of politics will have to change. Increasing resource allocation of K-P — while ensuring that it is being used for the right purposes over the years — would be the best guarantee for lifting the people’s living standards in the tribal belt. Drug trafficking and smuggling has to be curbed as this has given rise to powerful forces that are benefitting from relaxed law enforcement.
Successive governments by treating these political, economic and security issues as secondary have only aggravated the plight of the citizens living there. It would be naïve to consider that the blowback of misrule in border areas will remain confined. Already the increase in terrorist attacks and reduction in border trade is an indication of that trend. Pakistan’s present conduct of politics by our leaders is least helpful in addressing national issues. There is hardly any serious discussion on economic and security issues in Parliament.
COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
Fact Check: Is the viral PIA plane taxiing video on Karachi’s inundated runway from yesterday?
Updated Jul 12, 2022
PML-N leader Awais Leghari resigns as Punjab minister
Updated Jul 11, 2022
POL prices to go down as PM seeks summary amid decline in int’l market
Updated 23 hours ago
WATCH: Pakistani pilgrims take selfies with COAS Gen Bajwa
Updated Jul 11, 2022
Karachi reels from rain fury amid fresh forecast
Updated Jul 11, 2022
Karachi reels from rain fury amid fresh forecast
Updated Jul 11, 2022
Fact Check: Is the viral PIA plane taxiing video on Karachi’s inundated runway from yesterday?
Updated Jul 12, 2022
PML-N leader Awais Leghari resigns as Punjab minister
Updated Jul 11, 2022
WATCH: Pakistani pilgrims take selfies with COAS Gen Bajwa
Updated Jul 11, 2022
POL prices to go down as PM seeks summary amid decline in int’l market
Updated 23 hours ago
PTI seeks permanent disqualification of 16 former MPAs
Sehat Card of little aid in private hospitals
PTI moves ECP over alleged pre-poll rigging in PP-140
Man kills ex-wife, injures four others
Poor sales as LSD plagues cattle
10 netted for collecting animal hides unlawfully
Style 101: 9 Lines
One On One: Saadia Yasin Siddik and Miara Shaikh
Most Gaza children suffer 'distress' after 15 years of blockade: NGO
Fact Check: Is the viral PIA plane taxiing video on Karachi’s inundated runway from yesterday?
PML-N leader Awais Leghari resigns as Punjab minister
POL prices to go down as PM seeks summary amid decline in int’l market
WATCH: Pakistani pilgrims take selfies with COAS Gen Bajwa
Karachi reels from rain fury amid fresh forecast
Of bangles and love: 5 celebrity Eidul Azha looks to die for
Abuse of the process of law continues
Civil-military imbalance
A limitless partnership with limits
How Nato and G-7 are polarising the world
Civil-military ties & efforts to counter militancy
Solitude: a key to solace
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, redistributed or derived from. Unless otherwise stated, all content is copyrighted © 2022 The Express Tribune.

source

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.