The security landscape is marred with target killings in Karachi along with the mounting assaults and ambushes by the militants against security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan.
Pakistan, the world’s sixth most populous country and second biggest Muslim one, is facing violence and divided. If the definition of security is a state being free from danger, then it is not applicable to the status quo prevalent in our country. It is an inkling of the worst which is yet to come, as terrorism is the popular cliche to portray our homeland. Even if Pakistan decides to stay in the shallow end of the pool or go out in the ocean. The security landscape is marred with target killings in Karachi along with the mounting assaults and ambushes by the militants against security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan. The abysmal security situation deteriorated further, after the killing of former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. Be it the assassination of Akbar Bugti, Benazir Bhutto, and numerous suicide attacks in the country puts a question mark on the role of security agencies in Pakistan. As far as the concept of security in Pakistan is concerned, since its existence Pakistan is living in a state of security paranoia whereas signing defence pacts like Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) is a clear depiction of a security less state. Unfortunately, these pacts did not prevent the war of 1965, 1971 and Kargil. To understand the murky security scenario, it is important to sit in a time machine way back to 1980s and one can see that today we are reaping what we had sown in 1990s by taking U-turn in our policy toward Taliban. Pakistan and US continuous intervention in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, and the role of Pakistan as the US most allied ally, playing the central role to arm jihadi groups in Afghanistan is another side of the story. It is their wars and introducing Kalashinkov culture in Pakistan which is now used in students movements, ethnic and sectarian clashes, kidnapping, military government raids, and militant uprising. It is for this reason that Pakistan is ranked as having the highest per capita gun ownership rate in the world, which is an alarming sign of increased intolerance and crime in our society.
stan as the US most allied ally, playing the central role to arm jihadi groups in Afghanistan is another side of the story. It is their wars and introducing Kalashinkov culture in Pakistan which is now used in students movements, ethnic and sectarian clashes, kidnapping, military government raids, and militant uprising. It is for this reason that Pakistan is ranked as having the highest per capita gun ownership rate in the world, which is an alarming sign of increased intolerance and crime in our society.
Subsequently, waging of guerrilla war against former Soviet Union’s presence in Afghanistan with the US backing, Pakistan was seeking strategic death in Afghanistan to counter Indian activities (though Indian intelligence agencies are working in the form of consulates is still present in Afghanistan). And US wants to withdraw former Soviet Union in order to reach warm water. It can provide US the access to the Central Asian Republics, considered the heartland since the time of Alexander the Great. Gwadar Port and Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean is an eye soar for US, India and Israel. Pakistan is confronted with security crises along with the worst crises in human security chart by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies. The nature of terrorist attacks in the last three months and their security features reveal a mix trend including suicide attacks, militants killed in the operational attacks by the security forces.
Despite the role of Pakistan as frontline state in the war on terror, Pakistan is still asked, rather pressurised to do more in order to destroy the safe havens (volatile tribal belt), so that Pakistan to get aid which is never used for civilian benefit todate and is purely available for defence purposes by Pakistan Army and all governments. The very word to do more is an emblem of trust deficit between US intelligence agencies and Pakistan intelligence agencies, specifically ISI which is facing undue criticism by the world media and propaganda by the external intelligence agencies working against ISI and our national integration.
It is a universal fact that the intelligence agencies are backbone of any country, and Pakistani media is unknowingly criticising its own security forces which is again a gruesome security threat for the geo-strategic position of Pakistan. Richard Halbrooke said, ‘there is no way that the international effort in Afghanistan can succeed unless Pakistan can get its western tribal belt under control.’ Radicalisation of Pakistani society in Zia-ul-Haq era, misuse of Islam by jihadi groups on the American payroll, are important factors in the deteriorating security of the country. Therefore, lack of check and balance on madrassah system where extremist and fanatic ideas are incarnated in the minds of the poor and illiterate teenage, extreme poverty, unemployment, illegal supply of small and big weapons to masses and lack of government capacity show the precarious nature of Pakistan’s stability. As far as the military operation in FATA is concerned, one should keep in mind what Viceroy Lord Curzon at the end of 19th century, ‘No patchwork scheme will settle the Waziristan problem’. Dialogue with Pakistani Taliban and militant leaders in Balochistan should be the course to address the security issues as both the world wars were settled on the table and not in the battlefield. Furthermore, for the amelioration of security system in Pakistan laws governing the manufacture, sale, transfer and licencing of small arms and ammunition should be given importance and checked vigilantly by the security forces. Role of intelligence agencies should be made more affective, Foreign Office should give the list of foreigners residing in Pakistan to ISI, all the political parties should forge unity of action against security issues under one umbrella, so that the economy of the country prosper in the fields of science and education.