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Volume 1, Issue 1 (Jan. – Jun.


A biannual publication of

Foundation for Advancement of

Independent Research & Learning for
International Peace & Security


GLOBAL SPECTRUM is basically an Op-Ed Magazine of the Foundation for

Advancement of Independent Research and Learning for International Peace and Security
(FAIRLIPS) that endeavours to promote independent research and learning, both
indispensible for securing international peace and security. It strongly adheres to the
cherished principles of: unequivocal respect for humanity, religious beliefs of all
communities and the local laws; adherence to objectivity, impartiality, and neutrality, and;
access to truth and its transmission.

GLOBAL SPECTRUM aims to advance foundation’s objectives mainly to promote

views and perspectives of diverse nature.

Ethical Guidelines:

GLOBAL SPECTRUM stands for promoting peace, love, concord and harmony at all
levels. Thus, prospective contributors are advised / expected to avoid controversial
contents and hate material of every sort. Writers are also expected to respect Pakistan’s
constitution, laws including cyber laws, and institutions especially the integrity of
country’s judiciary and armed forces, as well as religious and sectarian beliefs of the
citizens. The material that can spread religious, sectarian, racial and ethnic divide and
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Disclaimer: The opinion and views expressed in the GLOBAL SPECTRUM are
exclusively those of the author(s) and should not be attributed to the foundation
(FAIRLIPS) or its team members including editorial board members of Global Spectrum.
Volume 1, Issue 1 (Jan. – Jun. 2016)

A biannual publication of

Foundation for Advancement of

Independent Research & Learning for
International Peace & Security


Shahzada Rahim Abbas

Volume 1, Issue 1 (Jan. – Jun. 2016) Global Spectrum


S. Author’s Name Title Page

No. No.

1. Dr. Sohail Mahmood Pakistan's Internal and External Challenges 01

2. Dr. Moonis Ahmer Challenge of New Provinces 06

3. Awais Bin Wasi Options on Kashmir 09

4. Fatima Ahmed Economic Impact of the Creation of New Provinces 13

5. Manzoor Naazer Turbulent FATA 16

6. Dr. Sohail Mahmood Pakistan’s Governance Challenges and Required Next 18


Foundation for Advancement of

Independent Research & Learning for
International Peace & Security
Pakistan's Internal and External Challenges

Dr. Sohail Mahmood

Pakistan faces multirole challenges, internal as well as external, of complex dimensions

not easily resolvable. Internal challenges include a fractured state and society, bad
governance, weakened institutions, extremism, weak economy, and visionless political
leadership. Unprecedented corruption in Pakistan's government institutions with no end
in sight. Institutions corroded from within and bad governance the norm, not the

Pakistan has been weakened from within. It is facing an existential challenge from all
sorts of extremist ideologies ranging from rightist Islamic radicalism to leftist ethnic
identities assertions. Meanwhile, the global war on terror continues to haunt the country.

Politics in Pakistan now a criminalized phenomenon and money matters the most. As the
country approaches general elections you wills see more propaganda on all sides and
money will direct it. This election will be singularly different in that aspect. More money
will be spent on media campaigns and party gatherings, than ever before. The signs are

The foremost external challenge is the United States and India and in that very order.
The nation sacrificed to build a nuclear arsenal which is now threatened from outside.
These are perilous times for Pakistan. The United States and India combined are
breathing down our necks, so to speak. More about our nuclear dilemma next.

Nuclear arsenals are the ultimate weapons meant to safeguard national security. The role
of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is to also provide a deterrence effect. Unlike others,
Pakistan's nuclear strategic nuclear posture was India specific and also meant for
augmenting national self-esteem. Pakistan's nuclear doctrine of a minimum credible
deterrent was designed to dissuade India from attacking Pakistan. Given the considerable
superiority of India's conventional weapons, the nuclear arsenal was even more
important for Pakistan's defense. It was the ultimate effort to deny India an opportunity
for launching an aggression against Pakistan. Thus, the nuclear arsenal was for defensive
purposes only and was widely recognized as such.

It is important to note that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal was developed in a historical

context which was centered on India. This context needs to be understood clearly to
comprehend the current strategic situation. The perception that India is a formidable
enemy is widespread in Pakistan including its military. However, Pakistan's military
leadership believed that the nation was facing an existential threat from India. The
civilian leadership is less convinced. Historically, India had indeed been Pakistan's arch
rival and the two countries had fought several wars. It is widely believed that the loss of
East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) in 1971 was the primary reason for Pakistan's secret
nuclear weapons program then. Later, India acquired a nuclear capability and Pakistan
responded. Kashmir remained a lingering dispute between the two neighbors. Kashmir
being a territorial issue was difficult to solve because of its very nature. Given the
political uncertainty in both India and Pakistan, the Kashmir conflict was not going to be
solved in the near future.

More importantly, such was the level of distrust between India and Pakistan that a grave
territorial matter like Kashmir couldn't be solved easily. There are other disputes with
India: Siachen, Sir Creek and support of terrorism. India is supporting the on-going
insurgency in Baluchistan by assisting the Baluchistan Liberation Army fighting cadres in
neighboring Afghanistan. India accuses Pakistan of supporting the Lascar-I Taiba involved
in the recent Mumbai terrorist incident. In sum relations are sour. However, some
improvement has been made in Pakistan-India relations mainly in the business and the
trade sectors. Overall, relations between the two nuclear neighbors remain frosty. No
breakthrough in relations is imminent. Suffice to state here the nature of continuing
rivalry with India had made Pakistan very cautious about its national security and safety
of the motherland.

Today, Pakistan possessed a formidable nuclear arsenal which included some 100 nuclear
weapons and an advanced ballistic missile capacity. Pakistan's strategic nuclear posture is
clearly formulated around a threat framework emanating from India. Continuing
tensions with India are pushing Pakistan It is making some additions to its fissile
production facilities and its nuclear warhead deployment capabilities. It has developed
cruise missiles for carrying nuclear warheads and even small tactical nuclear weapons.

Given the considerable attention, Pakistan is on the path of making significant qualitative
and quantitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Some Western scholars give the
impression that Pakistan was a weak state, even a failing state, and was therefore
incapable of handling its nuclear arsenal. Some in the United States are very worried
about Pakistan's nuclear capacity. There are many reports about Pakistan increasing
production of nuclear weapons. The general perception is that this is a very negative
development in the volatile region.

Given the deep ant-American sentiments in the country after the May 2, 2011 Osama
raid, there is a great suspicion and distrust of the United States in Pakistan. Ironically,
Pakistan is still an ally of the United States in the on-going Global War on Terror and
receives billion in assistance from it. Perceptions matter and the widespread distrust on
both sides are to be acknowledged and dealt with in an open frank manner. The United
States and Pakistan are hardly allies anymore.

Today, there is widespread belief in Pakistan that the most immediate threat to the
country's nuclear assets comes from the United States. The American media had been
exaggerating the threat of an Islamic radical takeover of the nuclear weapons and
therefore there was a secret contingency plan to seize or destroy them in that
eventuality. The Pakistani military was aware of such a plan and was very concerned
about it. However, the Obama Administration continued to also express confidence in
controls over Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

In the past during the Musharraf era, the ongoing efforts of the Pakistani military to
improve security of its nuclear weapons had included some cooperation with the United
States. Ironically, the two countries have entered into a period of mutual distrust and
suspicion in recent times. United States is continuing surveillance of Pakistan's nuclear
weapons from the air as well as space. Obviously, the Pakistani military establishment is

very anxious about the safety of its nuclear weapons and is doing whatever is humanly
possible towards this end. This is acknowledged by many, including arch rival India.
Meanwhile, the American media has continued to express concerns about the safety of
these weapons.

Notwithstanding security concerns about Pakistani nuclear warheads, they are placed
under strict command and control systems where operational security is a high priority.
Safeguarding the nuclear arsenal from external threats is a national responsibility taken
very seriously by Pakistan military. The country's formidable Strategic Command
organization has a three tier structure: National Command Authority, Strategic Plans
Division, and Strategic Forces Commands. About 20,000 people are involved in the
production deployment and service maintenance of these nuclear warheads and the
related deployment vehicles. Pakistan military is doing whatever it takes to preserve the
credibility of its nuclear deterrence.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has taken steps to protect its nuclear assets from external threats.
The nuclear weapons have been dispersed sufficiently. The military is moving nuclear
weapons more frequently around the country through its road network. Pakistan is also
pursuing a second-strike capability by utilizing concealment measure for its nuclear
warheads, deploying air defenses around strategic assets, and constructing deeply buried
storage and launch facilities.

The Pakistani military must give a clear signal to the United States that any attack on
Pakistan's nuclear assets would be met by an appropriate response. It has to clearly
threaten immediate retaliation against United States assets in Afghanistan. The nation
would surely support this boldness against America. Meanwhile, it has to be prepared for
the worst case scenario and undertake immediate measures to secure the nuclear
warheads. The Pakistan military has to guarantee the safety of the nation's nuclear assets
in any way possible. Clearly stating that it will act is the first and necessary step.
Preparing for any eventuality, no matter how stark, is the prime responsibility of the
Pakistan military and the Government of Pakistan must be on board fully.

However, it is easy saying this action is problematic for obvious reasons. Pakistan has
indeed weakened from within not only because of a weak economy and poor
governance, but also a weakened society given to intolerance, extremism and violence.
We had wished otherwise. It is an irony that Pakistan is one of the strongest nations in
the world as far as military might is concerned yet considerably week as far as societal
and economic development indicators are concerned.

It is to the credit of the military that it still commands respect in the eyes of the nation
primarily because of Pakistan's impressive nuclear arsenal. It is hoped that the country's
nuclear assts will remain protected and safe. The nation expects nothing less from its
military leadership. Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is still the pride of the nation and has
across-the-board support from alls segments of society. The nation is justifiably proud of
its nuclear weapons. Their protection from external threats needs the support of the
entire nation for the military's current efforts in achieving the goal. Will it be it is soon
enough? It shall be certainly worth it.

Pakistan has achieved a lot in the military field and needs to consolidate its technical
accomplishments in building an awesome nuclear arsenal quickly enough. Meanwhile,
Pakistan's enemies beware. Nuclear weapons have to be protected at all costs no matter
how high. Their safety is not just a concern for the country's military but the entire
nation. Time is running out. Will our political and military leadership rise up to meet
these challenges? Only time will tell.

Challenge of New Provinces

Dr. Moonis Ahmer

THE debate on creating new provinces in Pakistan is gaining momentum with the
proposal approved by the parliamentary commission to create a new province —
‘Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab’.

But the fundamental question which needs to be addressed while considering the
demand for new provinces is: should the new provinces be established on an
administrative or ethnic basis? The existing four provinces are carved along ethnic lines
though the option to redraw provincial boundaries along administrative lines has been

It is not only the rationale behind demanding a change in Pakistan’s federal structure that
needs to be addressed; the issue that must also be examined is the potential for violence
and conflict if new provinces are created without taking into consideration the interests
of ethnic minorities and other stakeholders.

This is especially true when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which rules Punjab, is
not on board. One can expect the deepening of political polarisation and the consequent
impact on the election campaign.

While intolerance, extremism, radicalisation and terrorism shape the political landscape
of Pakistan today, those demanding the recognition of their identities have threatened to
follow a violent course if their right to a separate provincial identity is not granted.

Three contradictory factors which influenced the issue of creating new provinces in
Pakistan were religion, nationalism and centralisation. The argument that the identity of
Pakistan rested with Islam as a major unifying force was exploited by the bureaucratic-
military establishment which wanted to suppress nationalistic forces and establish a
unitary instead of federal state.

It was argued that the existence of Pakistan would be in jeopardy if ethnic and lingual
identities were given legitimacy in the shape of new provincial units. The feudal-religious-
bureaucratic-military nexus led to the creation of One Unit with the dissolution of the
provinces in 1955 in West Pakistan as a counterweight to East Pakistan which had the
demographic edge.

Although the provinces of Balochistan, North-West Frontier Province, Punjab and Sindh
were restored according to the legal framework order proclaimed in 1970, since then no
change in the federal map of Pakistan has taken place.

It was only in 2010 and after that the demand for new provinces gained impetus and
became part of a serious political discourse. Renaming the NWFP (now Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa) in the 18th Amendment was termed a major shift in the political
landscape, and it immediately led to a reaction in the Hazara division of KP, with
demands being made that a provincial status be granted to the division.

The tabling of the 20th Constitutional Amendment Bill by the Muttahida Qaumi
Movement last year in the National Assembly, that sought the creation of new provinces
in Punjab and KP, gave impetus to forces seeking recognition of distinct provincial

The question is: why is the redrawing of provincial boundaries limited only to Punjab
and KP and why not Sindh and Balochistan?

It is argued by some that when an initiative can be taken in parliament to debate the
creation of Bahawalpur, Seraiki and Hazara provinces, a similar debate should be
launched for redrawing the boundaries of Balochistan and Sindh. Why is the
parliamentary commission only Punjab-specific and how can the constitutional
requirements to create new provinces be met when the majority of Punjab Assembly
members do not support the division of their province?

Constitutional ambiguity and impediments in the way of creating new provinces in

Pakistan aside, perhaps the most important challenge in the process of redrawing the
provincial boundaries is the potential for violence and conflict.

Three major demands for the creation of new provinces centre on Seraiki, Bahawalpur
and Hazara provinces. But in all three cases, there is the likelihood of stakeholders —
whether the ethnic majority or minority — not accepting the borders on historical,
lingual, economic, political and ethnic grounds, thus increasing the possibility of conflict.

Even the name given to the new province — Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab — may not
pre-empt resistance from communities, particularly settlers, who may not feel
comfortable in a new provincial set-up.

The case of the proposed Hazara province is further complicated because the
bureaucracy in that division is Pakhtun-dominated whereas demographically there is an
ethnic overlap. There is the threat of resistance on the part of the non-Hindko-speaking
population of Hazara if minorities, namely the Pakhtuns, are marginalised in the
proposed province.

In May 2012, PML-N members in the KP Assembly submitted a resolution in the

provincial assembly secretariat asking the government to amend the constitution to
create Hazara province composed of six districts of KP. Can those supporting the creation
of a Hazara province get two-thirds majority in the assembly for the fulfilment of their

There are two options to successfully deal with the potential outbreak of conflicts if new
provinces are created or the status quo is maintained.

The first is to hold a referendum in areas where there is lack of consensus among the
stakeholders — particularly in Hazara, Bahawalpur and Seraiki-speaking areas — to
determine what the local people want. Second, instead of being created on an ethnic
basis, new provinces could be established along administrative lines so that the threat of
ethnic violence is averted.

The future parliament of Pakistan needs to seriously probe the fault lines when it comes
to meeting the demand for new provinces.

(Courtesy: Daily Dawn)

Options on Kashmir

Awais Bin Wasi

For the past 18 months, the issue of Kashmir has been taken up with renewed vigour by
Pakistan’s foreign policy planners, signalling that the state is repositioning itself on a
principled position on the issue. Much of the credit goes to the incumbent rulers.

The recent reassertion of Pakistan’s Kashmir policy formally began with the emphatic
mention of Kashmir in Pakistan’s PM’s speech at the 69th Session of the United Nations
General Assembly (UNGA), held on September 26, 2014. Since then, reverberations of
Pakistan’s traditional stance have been echoed by the current regime at all important
national events, along with the pronouncement of the four point formula at the 70th
Session of UNGA in 2015. Moreover, of late, parliament’s standing committee on foreign
affairs has also put forward policy proposals on the issue, which however, appear to be
more cosmetic than substantive.

While the renewed interest on Kashmir is encouraging and sends positive signals to
Srinagar, it appears more rhetorical than substantive, lacking a concerted policy effort to
achieve the desired goals for Kashmir. Given this void, the following are some policy
options for Kashmir for the powers that be:

First, the inconsistency of regimes in Islamabad on Kashmir has fractured the national
narrative, particularly in the recent past. It has solidified the perception that the policy
revolves around three centres in the country: the army, bureaucracy and civilian regimes.
As long as this fragmentation in the conception and execution of the policy persists
among the state institutions, the desired dividends on Kashmir will hardly be achieved.
So there is a need to think together, move together and act together to put in place a
holistic policy on the issue.

Second, foreign policy is conventionally an extension of domestic policy, and Pakistan’s
case in this context is not an exception. However, it appears that domestic security
imperatives are damaging Pakistan’s position on Kashmir. The domestic imperatives need
not blur the line between acts of terrorism and the genuine struggle of people to end
occupation. Rather, the distinction between the two should be stridently asserted, to
keep Pakistan’s legitimate locus-standi intact on the issue.

Then, there is a recent resurgence of uprisings in Srinagar and adjoining areas. The three
consecutive years of 2008, 2009 and 2010 are now termed in the contemporary
Kashmiri narrative as the 8/9/10 of Kashmir, in which thousands of Kashmiris thronged
the streets of Srinagar, demanding the right of self-determination. This peaceful and
indigenous resurgence elicited voices from Indian intelligentsia, giving credence in Indian
civil society to the people’s right to decide their fate.

The sentiments of resentment and alienation from the Indian union can be gauged by the
remarks of Dr Radha Kumar, Director General Delhi Policy Group and a former Indian
government’s interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir, in a speech on November 30, 2015:
“India could lose Kashmir in the near future, if serious efforts were not made to resolve
the lingering dispute”. Pakistan needs to take the emerging political trends in Indian-held
Kashmir (IHK) into careful consideration and build on the options accordingly.

Fourth, the role of Pakistan parliament’s 24-member special committee on Kashmir is

abysmally poor. The committee was primarily constituted to project the Kashmir cause in
the world’s forums but, despite currently having Rs66 million as its annual budget, it
appears to be a dysfunctional institution. It is high time that the Kashmir committee be
reconstituted and made active by including the concerned people, such as the
intelligentsia, Pakistani diaspora living in European countries and stakeholders living in
Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and chalking out the strategies and measures to

project the cause globally, through consistent global campaigns and advocacy and
generate plausible discourse on the subject

Another point is that Azad Kashmir currently lies low in Pakistan’s national priorities. This
is partly due to the peculiar status of the region, which is not a federating unit of
Pakistan. It is high time the state made a decision on how the region can be uplifted,
while keeping its status intact. The region has a huge potential for tourism, which could
make it prosperous. A prosperous and thriving Azad Kashmir would widen Pakistan’s
support base in IHK.

It is also an undeniable fact that Pakistan has significant clout in the freedom camp in
Srinagar; it should encourage them to close their ranks and put their house in order, and
steer the freedom sentiments in the occupied region.

Pakistan’s robust but inventive regional alignment may also give the country a vantage
point in the India-Pakistan equation. Besides strengthening ties with China and
Afghanistan, Pakistan, being among the Saarc countries, should particularly focus on its
ties with Nepal and Sri Lanka. The recent developments in Nepal’s political landscape
provide opportunities for Pakistan to deepen its ties with the country and augment its
regional clout.

At present, India and Pakistan are engaged in an eight-point framework, in which

Kashmir and terrorism are treated simultaneously. History stands witness that bilateralism
did not yield positive outcomes in the India-Pakistan context, and a perpetual stalemate
does call for taking the true representatives of the prime party of the dispute – the
Kashmiris – on board. However, Pakistan (in the current scenario at least) should not
agree to restructure the current arrangement, because India may try to change the
framework to advance its narrative on terrorism.
The main architect of India’s Pakistan policy is India’s National Security Advisor Ajit
Doval, who has conceived and designed his doctrine, famously known as the Doval
Doctrine, based on his defensive-offensive approach towards Pakistan, as he publically
outlined in a seminar. India’s moves need to be looked at in this context; they are largely
aimed at sapping the will of Pakistan on Kashmir. So Pakistan needs to come out of the
policy paradigm that it had framed in response to the Gujrat Doctrine and instead
examine the contours and nuances of the Doval Doctrine and come up with overarching
policy options.

Lastly, besides highlighting human rights violations in IHK, Pakistan should take into
account the recent intellectual voices being raised from within India in favour of the
Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, and consider how they can be strengthened and

(Courtesy: Daily the News)

Economic Impact of the Creation of New Provinces

Fatima Ahmed

Pakistan is often hit by “political epidemics”. In a matter of time an issue becomes the
most pertinent problem faced by the country and the entire focus and energy shifts
towards analysing that. The most recent epidemic to hit us is of the creation of new
provinces. Although demands for new provinces have risen from time to time, this
summer the voices grew stronger and political parties officially gave their stances on the
idea of making more provinces in the country.

Economic impact of provinces

Despite the growing demands for the creation of more provinces, the issue of division is
not as simple as it seems. Many factors will come into play, and the creation of new
provinces shall have a huge impact on different aspects of the country, including the
economy. Given the pre-existing weak economic condition faced by Pakistan the
economic impacts of any decision regarding new provinces becomes of vital importance.
The fundamental economic problem is that of unlimited wants versus limited resources.
There are never enough resources to meet all the needs, therefore some compromises
have to be reached in order to achieve an equitable distribution of income and resources.
The problem worsens further when resources are not even remotely sufficient, like in
Pakistan. People from different areas have always complained that less development
funds are allocated for them. It is a known fact that metropolitan cities of any province
get the bulk of the funds while the smaller cities are ignored. This inequality in
distribution of resources has been a primary cause of the demand for new provinces,
especially in Punjab. If there are more provinces then there is a chance that resources are
likely to trickle down more equitably to other areas. For example, instead of a lot of
money being spent in Lahore alone, some of it will be spent allocated for Multan,
Bahawalpur and adjoining areas.

Increased localisation

Moreover there is a higher probability of the resources being spent in the right place,
since the bureaucracy and administration will be more localised. There will be greater
direct spending on the institutions that require it the most. A person hailing from Seraiki
belt if given the charge of resources would be more aware of the intricacies of the
problems in his region than someone hailing from central Punjab. Having said so it needs
to be considered how these resources would be divided? We are well aware of the
already existing issues that surfaced during the NFC award distribution. These problems
are likely to exacerbate further with the creation of new provinces and thus it is more
likely that the friction between provinces would grow affecting the political instability of
the country. Political instability is a huge drawback for foreign investors who will be
wary of bringing their investment in the country, which will lead to a potential loss of
jobs and a curtailment in economic growth. Furthermore there is also the issue of
dividing the issue of royalty of minerals and dams etc. For example there is only one
dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at present, the Khanpur dam. It is through this dam alone
that all of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is supplied electricity.

Distribution of resources

If Hazara is to be created the Khanpur dam will lie in the domain of the Hazara
province. Thus the rest of KPK will be left without a dam giving rise to the problem of
power generation for the rest of the province. The rich minerals present in the mountain
regions of Hazara and the tourism generated there is a major source of income for the
entire KPK. If Hazara becomes a province then the rest of the KPK will face considerable
shortage of income and resources that may cause the region to slide further into a
plethora of problems. Therefore, if new provinces are to be created a proper formula for
the distribution of resources and royalty should be developed to overcome such hurdles.
If the issue of distribution is sorted and all the provinces get their fair share there would
be a likelihood of new industries developing. Each province would have space for its
specialised industrial growth since the resources could be more focused. For example,
Seraiki belt, already famous for its cotton, could differentiate in the area. Tourism in
Hazara region could be developed further by focused and directed spending. Thus new
provinces could help develop new industries while simultaneously strengthening the old
ones. At present millions of people inhabit the four provincial capitals. As a result of
increasing population the provincial administration are failing to provide proper civic
services to the proletariat. More provinces would therefore ensure that there is not only
an egalitarian distribution of income but the influx of migrants towards urbanised
provincial centers like Lahore, Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar is also curbed. A few more
cities would come under the radar of the administration which would enable them to
create greater employment opportunities for its people and bridge the widening socio-
economic disparities amongst different regions of the country. The impact of increasing
non-development expenditure also needs to be taken into account. Non-development
funds (funds for managing governor house, TADA of officers etc) would increase
significantly if new provinces are made. This would add to an additional burden to the
exchequer. Thus the management of such non-development funds would be a major
issue to consider before arriving at any decision regarding the creation of new provinces.
Thus to conclude it can be said that creation of new provinces would have major
economic impacts, both positive and negative. The decision regarding this latest political
epidemic should only be made after taking into account all these factors since Pakistan
can hardly afford to make anymore mistakes in the economic front.


Manzoor Naazer

Peace and conflict resolution in FATA is vital for the security and prosperity of both
Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are several causes of rise of militancy in FATA which
ultimately expanded into other parts of the country. There are some underlying causes,
such as political, administrative and legal vacuum, widespread illiteracy, unemployment
and power and legacy of the past policies which helped militancy get its roots in the
area. However, there were certain proximate causes which accelerated the process. These
proximate causes included reaction to Pakistan internal and external policies, use of this
situation by the foreign powers for their own interest, Pakistan’s poor, ambiguous and
half-hearted response to the threat. The problem of militancy is complex and
multidimensional. The government needs to devise a multipronged and comprehensive
strategy to deal with the issue. It will have to take short-term, mid-term and long-term
measures to completely root-out militancy from the country. It will have to take
administrative, legal and political measures including giving FATA the statues of a
province with autonomic powers to legislate according to its local needs, enforcement of
Shariah on the popular demand of the people in the area, introducing and strengthening
local government and other political institutions in FATA, and beginning a process of
Islamization of laws in the country, which is far more important for foiling the religious
and ideological rationale being used by the militants. The government should take urgent
steps for socio-economic development of FATA particularly for improving educational
facilities, building basic infrastructure and creating employment opportunities. The
government should use dialogue as the first option against the militancy in order to save
precious lives and to isolate the most extremist elements. As a last resort, the government
should effectively and efficiently use military power against the real rebels of the country.
The government should also take urgent steps to stop foreign intervention and deprive
the militants of the flow of money from the domestic and external resources. At the end,
the government should also devise a strategy to integrate into the mainstream the
militants who have either given up arms struggle or got training and could be used for
such activities in future. At the end, the government must review its internal and external
policies which create reactionary and extremist sentiments in the country. The problem
of ongoing insurgencies in the country is complex one and it needs multi-pronged, all-
encompassing and comprehensive strategy to deal with it.

Pakistan’s Governance Challenges and Required Next Steps

Dr. Sohail Mahmood

Pakistan is faced with a serious governance challenge primarily manifested through the
continuing complexity of fighting the Global War on Terror and the ailing economy. The
Government has been paralyzed by terrorist incidents and the Abbotabad incident. It
does not even have a counter insurgency strategy of any substance to fight off the
terrorist challenges. The Pakistan Army is exhausted because of the Global war on Terror
actions. Another looming conflict is soon going to appear when the US demands Pakistan
to do more in the Global war on Terrorism.

The Islamic radical phenomenon is too deeply entrenched in Pakistani society and
institutions and cannot be easily eradicated. A mushrooming effect happens when a
known Islamic radical entity is ended. Another simply grows in that space available. Plus,
the reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden will continue for a while. Our intelligence
agencies have been weakened because of lost focus. The military brass is itself unfocused
as it is not only responsible for the security of the country but also its foreign relations.
The Army chief calls the shots in Pakistan. The Gilani government is crippled because of
corruption, incapacity and political bickering with the Opposition. The morale is at its
lowest in history.

A real crisis is looming across the horizon in the shape of greater interventions by the US
and India. The Government of Pakistan does not have a foreign policy to speak of. It
only reacts to events by external powers, especially the US and India. It does not have an
agency like Homeland Security in the US that can become the thrust of the fight against
Islamic terrorism. Meanwhile, the political parties are discredited because of their actions,
the bureaucracy demoralized because of bad governance, society divided on sectarian,
linguistic and ethnic social cleavages. Most importantly, the youth are loosing hope in the
Pakistani dream. In fact the country’s educational institutions are in a shambles and the
youth are frustrated as a result.

Given the recent stark failures of the Pakistan military, it is time for serious introspection
and a rethink of our country’s direction. Firstly, the Army brass has not responded to the
terrorist challenges in a serious way and has instead reacted to recent public criticism.
This is unwarranted development, to say the least. The fact of the matter is that Pakistan
is in a mess because of repeated military interventions. However, this does not absolve
the civilian leadership of their duty to salvage the country. The tragedy with Pakistan is
that the civilian leadership has been generally as bad as military rule, if not even worse.
The high expectations of the people on the coming of the Gilani government have been
now dashed to the ground.

We need to rethink our foreign policy. Dependence on the US and succumbing to its
dictates has weakened us considerably. There is hardly much convergence in our national
interest and that of US. Pakistan needs a friendly government next door in Afghanistan to
protect itself from regional destabilization. The Karzai government in Afghanistan is a
grave failure. Corruption, ineffective governance, and incapacity are the norm and not
the exception in Afghanistan. Although the same can be said of the Gillani government
also. But Pakistan is no banana republic. Given its large nuclear arsenal, it is one of the
strongest military powers in the world.

Afghanistan meanwhile has become a waste basket cause and an example of bad
planning and poor governance. It is in our national interest that the Taliban have a share
of power in the Karzai government. The US and Karzai government are already
negotiating with the Taliban to achieve that end. Do not confuse the Afghanistan Taliban
with the al-Qaeda. They are very different creatures. The al Qaida has a regional agenda
of sorts and is pitted against Arab despots and their American backers. The Afghanistan

Taliban are simply out to regain power in their native land. It has been about ten years
now that they lost out to the Karzai government installed by the US in Kabul.

Karzai is just an American puppet not to be taken seriously. The real masters of
Afghanistan are the Americans. It is in our national inters that the Global War against
Terrorism be ended immediately as the al Qaeda’s leadership has been crippled. Osama
is now dead thanks to US military intervention inside Pakistan. The US accused Pakistan
of supporting the Afghan Taliban. Especially the Haqqani group and that of Mullah

Meanwhile, the US supports Indian interference inside Baluchistan and allows Indian
agents to cross the border and supply the Baluchistan Liberation Army with weapons and
other assistance and also the CIA has carried out several clandestine operations inside
Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan has more than once pointed out that the CIA is
behind bomb blasts in the country’s numerous shrines. The US accused Pakistan of
playing a double game only to do exactly the same thing itself. The time is now for a
candid discussion of the matter.

Undoubtedly, the Pakistan army is assisting some elements of the Afghan Taliban only
because they are considered as strategies assets and future Afghan power holders.
Pakistan has to negotiate with the US an end of Indian interference in Baluchistan and
most importantly, independence of Kashmir. Only the US has the prestige and status with
India that can possibly take our two countries towards an eventual solution. Pakistan
needs to convince the US that it would be ready to suspend expansion of its nuclear
arsenal once there is tangible progress towards a viable and permanent solution in

Let us be clear in out strategic goals. We want regional peace and that is only possible
with the solution to the Kashmir dispute. Nothing else will convince the powerful
Pakistan military establishment to suspend the further development of the nuclear
arsenals. Remember the country with the most rapid expansion of nuclear weapons is
Pakistan. This is indeed ironic because Pakistan is also a country imploding from within.
Our nuclear weapons cannot save us from this landslide. Bad governance and corruption
is now endemic in the country. The Pakistan military leadership must realize that having
such a large nuclear establishment is not helping matters at all. We are facing an
unconventional war and nuclear weapons are of no use here.

The primary threat is from within, as rightly acknowledged by the Army brass just
recently. A grand bargain of sorts must earnestly be now negotiated with the US. Clearly,
we have to protect our national interests and not of the US. The US must leave the
region immediately beginning with Pakistan itself. The CIA network in Pakistan must
immediately be dismantled and the use of our bases for drone attacks must cease also.
Most importantly, the army must not carry out any operation in North Waziristan. It
must rethink its entire war strategy. This is not a war of our making. We had nothing to
do with al Qaeda and we did not invite al Qaeda here. The Afghan Taliban are future
power holders in Kabul and we cannot and should not just eliminate them on American
asking. Only a smaller police operation is needed not a full-fledged war in North
Waziristan. We can and should bide our time because we need to immediately revamp
our intelligence resources.

Given the recent failures of our intelligence services, both military and civilian, we need
to immediately focus on their strengthening. Meanwhile, the North Waziristan operation
can be put on hold. The point is that superior intelligence can prevent collateral damage.
We need more capacity in carrying out very limited surgical strikes like that undertaken

by the Americans themselves. Some 40,000 Pakistanis have been killed in the Global War
on Terror and now is the time to end it.

Pakistan has suffered more than any other country in the world. It is about time we told
the US that as far as we are concerned the war is over so to speak. We must concentrate
on fighting our own Islamic radicals who have taken up arms against the Pakistani state.
This is not a war but mainly a counter –terrorism problem much like what India has
witnessed in the last few decades. Meaning that it must be taken as basically police
operations only. No massive use of force is necessary here. Plus, the real battle is to win
over the dissatisfied local populace through economic and social development. Only here
can the battle be won. This is not a conventional war but an extraordinary
unconventional conflict which requires us to use new weapons and tactics to fight and
win. We have to act smart and think out of the box. Things are very different than
Pakistan’s experiences in previous wars with India.

Most urgently, is a rethink of entire strategy and of creating an entirely new institution
for that purpose. The Global war on Terror has shaken yup Pakistan as never before. Our
troops are spread thin all the over the country. More importantly, they are now
exhausted because of this Global war on Terror. We need to bring all our national assets
on one forum. The example of the US is most helpful.

After 9/11 the US created a new super agency – Homeland Security that brought synergy
and focus on fighting the new Global war on Terror. Pakistan must immediately create its
own version of the Homeland Security agency on an emergency basis. We need to
develop new capabilities to fight the terrorism phenomenon and end this conflict sooner
than later. Our entire Intelligence agencies, both military and civilian, must be on the
same page on this score. Lessons have to be learnt from our recent failures of our
military. Our present crisis management capabilities are woefully inadequate to meet the

complex nature of challenges engulfing us. A new Homeland agency will be the focus of
the entire effort. Today, our military and civilian agencies have no coordination
mechanisms to speak of. This has to be changed immediately.

Plus, the Cabinet Committee of Defense needs to be given teeth. It is without any
institutional support as yet. This committee is the only place where our top military and
civilian leadership are able to meet to discuss security matters. This should be
institutionalized by providing it with a secretariat and research capabilities. Experts in
both security matters and international relations must examine our challenges in a
scientific manner. This is a permanent body responsible to give input on national security
affairs. Since we do not have a National Security Council this will prove adequate to
handle the national security affairs of the country.

Lastly, we need to focus on economic development. There is no better strategy to fight

poverty than economic development. Our economy is too small. Therefore, we need to
focus on building it immediately. Undoubtedly, the political economy of Pakistan faced a
grave crisis. The new budget that was presented in the National Assembly was wholly
inadequate. On the positive side: record year of exports at $24 billion and also home
remittances at $12 billion, a stable exchange rate, and inflation is down to 13% from a
very high of 25% in 2008. The money earmarked in the new budget for the Public
Sector Development Program (PSDP) has also been increased to Rs730 billion. However,
on the negative side: unemployment and poverty have increased; investment has
dwindled to nothing, failure to revamp the public-sector enterprises that are gobbling
scarce resources of the Government of Pakistan.

Most importantly, failure of the Government of Pakistan was to increase the tax-to-GDP
ratio which is about 10%, one of the lowest in the world. The total amount of the
budget is less than Rs2 trillion. Only 2% Pakistanis pay taxes which is shameful, to say

the least. Plus, the economy is expected to grow by a meager 2.4% barely enough to
cater to the rapid population increase witnessed in the country.

In sum, the economic crisis persists. The only saving grace in this very dismal situation is
the growing public awareness of Pakistan’s hour of danger. This awareness has largely
happened because of a strident media. Notwithstanding the defaults, and there are
many, the Pakistani media has done well to make the people aware of the situation in
the country. There is still hope because of this development alone. A crisis is also an
opportunity to change.

Let us boldly act and change Pakistan from within. We do not have the luxury of time.
Let us act immediately. The future of Pakistan depends on such rethinking. A frank and
open discussion ion these issues must commence immediately. Remember there are no
sacred cows within Pakistan. Notwithstanding the opinion of the military brass, the
Islamic republic of Pakistan is the only thing sacred for us and not it’s military. Let the
debate begin.