Meeting security challenges
THE security challenges facing Pakistani state and society can be largely attributed to Pakistan’s geopolitical situation and its ideological basis.
Indeed, Pakistan fits ideally into the concept of the pivot state, which is based on the Heartland theory of Sir Halford John Mackinder.
There are two opposing dimensions of the geopolitically pivotal state of Pakistan. On the one hand geopolitics is a blessing for Pakistan while on the other it has become a curse.
Sadly, Pakistan has not really been able to reap the benefits of its pivotal geopolitical position throughout its history. On the contrary, its suffering still continues because of its geopolitical position.
After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, the United States and India consistently accuse Pakistan of supporting the Taliban; a repeat of the old blame game.
This despite the fact that he has played a decisive role in the global war on terrorism over the past two decades (2001-2021), where he has suffered more than 80,000 loss of life and 149 billion dollars in economic terms. Despite the sacrifices and suffering, Pakistan is criticized and victimized by the US-led Western international community simply because of its geopolitical positioning, its ideological moorings, its refusal to accept American and Indian diktats, and above all, its strong relations and cooperation with China. .
The contemporary security challenges facing Pakistan are an extension of its past dilemmas, difficulties and security causes, as mentioned above.
The Global War on Terror was a well-planned strategic offensive that was indirectly launched to target the Pakistani state, society and security institutions.
The desired end result of these strategic planners was to convert Pakistan into a state similar to Iraq, Libya, Syria, or at most a client state.
This, along with other strategic plans that needed to be implemented, have been reversed and defeated by Pakistan’s bold and professional armed forces over the past two decades. Such a setback and a demeaning blow to well-planned events was never foreseen by the architects of this strategy.
Failure to achieve their strategic goals, rival powers are all poised to activate elements in Pakistan that can spark conflicts based on ethnicity, bigotry, provincialism, sub-nationalism, flawed religious ideologies like the TTP. and create social unrest at the national level.
At the national level, there are many political forces (religio-political and ethno-political) which can serve as an instrument for foreign spy networks in order to achieve their political objective against the current political configuration.
External security challenges include the evolving situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban took control of the country after two decades of bitter war against foreign forces and an ineffective Kabul regime. Pakistan facilitated the peace agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban on February 29, 2020.
Until a broad-based government is formed and lasting peace and stability are restored in Afghanistan, Pakistan will remain concerned about the many security challenges posed by its western borders.
Despite promises, the Taliban did not form an inclusive government. In addition, there were attacks on Pakistani military posts by the TTP after the Taliban took power, which is contrary to the promise made by the Taliban.
Over the past two decades, there has been a repeated use of Afghan soil against Pakistan, where the NDS-RAW link has caused irreparable losses to Pakistan in terms of loss of life and the economy.
Another ongoing security challenge for Pakistan is the unresolved Illegally Occupied Indian Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ & K) dispute.
After the illegal and unilateral annexation of the IIOJ & K in August 2019 as Union Territories, the situation in the occupied state deteriorated further.
There are massive human rights violations and demographic changes undertaken by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJ & K.
Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted the two issues during his virtual address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2021.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a constant target of India and also suffers from negative opinion from the United States and other Western allies.
Due to the lack of any legal claim against this gigantic economic project, rival spy agencies from hostile countries began to attack engineers and workers working at various sites of the CPEC.
The terrorist attack on Chinese workers in July 2021 at the Dasu hydroelectric project and later an attack on a convoy carrying Chinese officials in the Gwadar port area in August 2021 is a clear indication of foreign terrorism in Pakistan against the CPEC. and its related projects.
What made the difference is the real issue of this whole debate on the security challenges for Pakistan.
The professionalism, dedication, military experience and expertise, confidence in leadership, esprit de corps and competent management of professional leaders have made Pakistani military equipment unique, honored and successful among its peers.
The role of military commanders (operational and field commanders) throughout this war on terror was more obvious, gallant, decisive and leading from the front.
Military leadership has demonstrated the highest quality of teamwork, integrity, perseverance, bravery, curiosity, innovation, creativity and self-regulation. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan could have many other repercussions on Pakistan’s security.
Indeed, the security challenges facing Pakistan today are more serious than ever before and require careful analysis.
In this regard, the government, political forces and state security institutions must have deliberations to formulate a comprehensive national strategy to tackle emerging security issues.
– The writer is professor of politics and international relations at the International Islamic University of Islamabad.