Security Challenges Facing Pakistan | Dr Muhammad Khan

Today, Pakistan is among the few countries, which simultaneously faces external and internal challenges to its very survival. Right from its inception, the newly established state faced the Indian aggression over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. India indeed created host of problems for Pakistan during the formative years of the country. Apart from physical aggression, India did not allow transfer of assets of Pakistani share, through organized armedgroups; it massacred millions of Muslims during their migration to Pakistan. By controlling head-works, India stopped water flowing to Pakistan. While exploitating its relations with Afghanistan, India encouraged Kabul to raise issues like Durandline, Pakhtunistan and non-recognition of Pakistani membership in United Nations.

Later India conspired in East Pakistan and disintegrated the country in 1971 through an overt aggression. In almost seven decades now, there has hardly been an occasion of good relations between India and Pakistan. The main reason has been the Indian obstinacy and an odious attitude towards Pakistan. Whereas, Pakistan is a reality, India still wants to undo it. Under the contemporary environment, India has aired the waves of militancy and terrorism all over Pakistan. It has trained, financed and provided weapons to the Baloch sub-nationalists to wage war against Pakistan. Using Afghan soil, India is still harbouring the TTP militants for carrying out terrorism in Pakistan.

In the Indian held Kashmir, India is continuing its oppressive regime, killing, torturing and torching the properties of Kashmiri people. India is all out to do away with the entity and identity of Kashmir and Kashmirayat. For this purpose, the PDP-BJP alliance is playing its role and RSS is out to convert the Jammu into a Hindu majority area and conspire further to bring demographic changes into Valley. Despite acceptance of bilateralism as a mechanism to resolve the issues between Pakistan and India, New Delhi is reluctant to talk with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir. Over the years, it has created an atmosphere of mistrust and cancelled a number of scheduled talks with Pakistan over Kashmir. In this regards, the attitude of the Prime Minister Modi is very unfriendly.

There is an unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism and terrorism in India under the Modi led BJP Government. Since all other regional countries have submitted to Indian dominance, therefore, all Indian attention is towards subduing Pakistan. As an extremist Hindu agitator driven with destructive anti Muslim ideology, PM Modi is rapidly pushing the region towards a full scale war. In fact, the Modi government nurtures cold blooded murderers who burnt alive innocent Pakistanis in Samjhota Express. As a PM, Modi was vocal enough to confessed Indian naked intrusion in the former East Pakistan in 1971. He also disclosed his personal involvement in brutal acts of Mukti Bahini, against innocent Muslims. Indeed, he joined RSS, a terrorist Hindu group at the age of 8 years.

On their part, the pro India, Kashmiri leadership of IHK are working as tool of India, having no regards for the people and state. In order to be the rulers of IHK, they just need to be on the right side of New Delhi. Quoting former RAW Chief, A.S. Dulat, the famous Indian writer Mr A G Noorani writes, former Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah once said that, “I’m not like father; I’m not going to follow my father’s politics. I don’t intend to spend 23 years in jail. I’ve figured out that to remain in power here you have to be on the right side of Delhi and that’s what I’m going to do.” But, he warns India that, the new generation of the Kashmiri people is very different and wants their freedom from Indian rule. According to Noorani, the new Kashmiri boys involved in militancy are more highly educated and from better stock, they are bold, and very adept in using modern gadgets to spread the word and enlist support. Modi is unlikely to address the grievances of the Kashmiri masses, but would surely like to further add on the miseries of Kashmiri people.

On the western front, despite Pakistani cooperation, housing millions of Afghan refugees and provision of logistic support to that country, Afghan spying network-NDS is abetting the TTP militants for promoting terrorism in Pakistan. Indeed, being its trainer, NDS has strong relationship with RAW, thus follow its dictates to harm Pakistan. Whereas, Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani is cooperative, but the NDS and some of his ministers are toeing the Indian lines.

In the case of Iran, there has been odd relationship between countries, sequel to 1988, Afghan situation. The major factor was again India, which exploited the minor differences between Pakistan and Iran. Now, once UN sanctions are being lifted from Iran, India is again getting closer to Iran and offering it many opportunities for investment. The only country Pakistan enjoying reasonable relation is China. However, in the wake of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the adversaries of Pakistan have stepped up their activities to create instability within Pakistan.

After having identified the external challenges, facing the state of Pakistan, there is a requirement that, the Government and people of Pakistan should act in sync. The main challenge is the security to the state and society of Pakistan. The Government must take up the case of Indian involvement at the level of international community. The Government should try to pursue a better relationship with Iran and other countries by taking into consideration all aspects of diplomacy andinternational relations.

Whereas, the armed forces and other security apparatus is all out to combat the militants and terrorists, the political parties and religo-political parties have been found wanting to render their cooperation. Rather, some of political parties like MQM and PPP are opposing the cleanup operation in Karachi by Pakistan Rangers. The people of Pakistan questions, should these parties hold their militant wings and have terrorist elements in their parties and claim people’s mandate too?

On the issue of national security, let there be zero tolerance for domestic militancy and external threat by any mean. Irrespective of any secret deal, the Government of Pakistan must expose such people or parties for their anti state activities and corruptions. Being the guarantor of security of Pakistan, the security forces should continue combating the militancy and militants including their abettors and financers.

— The writer is International Relations analyst based in Islamabad.

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