It is understood that the armed forces and ISI were the only solid rock against nefarious designs of the conspirators and that is why they are now trying to attack and demoralise them. We welcome declaration of Ullema and Mashaikh because Pakistan is under multidirectional attack —– undermining of its economy, creating sense of insecurity, launching of psychological war, harbouring sparatist movements and pitting of one section of the society against the other. It seems Pakistan is virtually under siege and therefore, there is dire need to forge unity among our ranks and express complete solidarity with those who are defending the homeland against hosts of challenges.
By Ahmed Saeed Minhas
Pakistan is at war. A war which is unseen but bitterly felt throughout the length and breadth of our country. It’s messy all around. The most common phrase which we all have been hearing since our childhood, ‘Pakistan is passing through its most crucial phase’ is still the most talked and whispered one. I wonder, if Pakistan was not created in the name of Islam, what would have been the fate by now. Let’s not be emotional and think calmly, which I am sure will bring forward the most rationale options for our policy makers. An uncontrollable and refereeless blame game is being played against Pakistan, since the surprise raid of US forces against Osama bin Laden. The dust of the incident was not even thinned, when yet another most terrific incident of PNS Mehran took place which in actual shook the fiber of Armed Forces. Both of the incidents were un-precedented. We should accept that unfortunately we were not contemplating such kind of happenings. What to do about it? The things started turning around the table back in 2009 when the US started using the phrase of PAK-AF instead of AF-PAK. It clearly predicted the change in the mind sets of ISAF forces led by US. A faction of our think tanks did raise the concern about the evident transformation of US thinking; however it was not taken seriously.Let’s first, list the scheme of events, unfold the enemy designs and draw conclusions to make the picture clear and understandable. Ideally, if one has to draw the enemy’s logical prudently argued designs and unfold its scheme of conventional or unconventional manoeuver, it’s better to put one-self in enemy shoes. Let’s do that. If as an enemy, it was required to bleed Pakistan, I would have first of all determined it’s Centre of Gravity (CoG). Which in case of Pakistan is its reputed Armed Forces and off course Nuclear Weapons. In the presence of nukes, I would have been naïve if I use conventional scheme of manoeuver, including surgical strikes or ambitious Cold Start Strategy. So it is the only unconventional or asymmetric warfare which seems logical. Are the Pakistan’s undeclared enemies not doing the same. Pakistan is subjected to unconventional form of warfare, duly supported materially as well as financially. The dynamics of un-conventional warfare are such that a superpower like USSR could not sustain the continuous bleeding and finally dis-integrated.Having identified the form of warfare, as an enemy, my second logical action would have been to covertly discredit Pakistan’s CoG by taking multi-pronged approach. I would have created fake corruption scandals and personal interests of its hierarchy, raised the issue of inefficiency in decision making by its leadership and sponsored attacks against its sensitive installations thereby eliminating people’s confidence in Armed Forces. The best way would have been the thriving transforming media of Pakistan which does not leave any stone unturned in telecasting the stories in order to increase their rating, without realizing that their leaked information can be extremely helpful to the terrorists. Is the same thing not happening to Pakistani Armed Forces? Yes indeed. My next target would have been the Pakistani public. My strategy would have been to make them so much worried about their future that they become least bothered about the strategic political situation around them and at the same time make them hate their political leadership so that to put them on defensive so that they do not raise their voice against will of western masters. Is it not the same situation looming around us? After having discredited the Armed Forces and curtailed the credibility of its Political Leadership, my ultimate objective would have been the ‘Pakistani nukes’. Nowadays, every second terrorist attack in Pakistan is related to the Pakistan’s inability to guard its nuclear weapons against falling them into the hands of terrorists. Whether, it is assassinations of Governor of Punjab or minority minister or bomb blasts in Army Cantonments or the PNS Mehran incident, Pakistani nukes are put to the question. Recently, NATO Secretary General has also joined the course being sung by the US and UK and said that the NATO is worried about safety and security of Pakistani nukes.Let’s draw conclusions from the above. Our enemies aim to, first, cripple the Pakistani economy so that we remain under control and do not make independent foreign policies; secondly, Pakistani nukes are either taken out or at least they exercise joint command and control over them; thirdly, Pakistan does not look towards East (Russia and China) and keep meeting the western interests in South Asia; fourthly, nuclear Pakistan does not become lead in the OIC; fifthly, Pakistan is unable to challenge India which is being prepared by the west as counter weight to China and last but not the least, pressurize Pakistan to submit to the Indian will and accept their dominance in the region.Having unfolded the hidden enemy’s designs, let’s list the future strategic contours around us. First, security threat from India will remain pronounced and effecting our defence policy; secondly, Pakistan will have to defend itself without foreign support even without China and Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia; thirdly, nuclear deterrence will play a pivotal role in our foreign and defence policy formulation, fourthly, the US is expected to continue appeasing India due to economic and political reasons well known to all; fifthly, War on terror will continue to have its negative fall out on Pakistan’s economy making the security dilemma more acute; sixthly, China would continue to provide limited moral support to Pakistan being engaged in becoming South Asian economic giant.Let’s find out what could be the possible viable options for us to come out of the mess successfully and still retain a respectable position in comity of nations. Few to suggest are, first, we should try our best that we are not internationally isolated. Do not forget that none of the Muslim country out of all the 67 Muslim countries gave supporting statement in favour of Pakistan when the US violated the sovereignty of Pakistan in capturing OBL. We need to be pragmatic. Pragmatism doesn’t mean that we should accept the US demands but bring the US to our terms and deal with them diplomatically on equal terms. The staunch stance of Pakistani leadership has already brought a shift in US and UK tone when the top leadership of the two states stated that Pakistan’s enemy is their enemy, yet Pakistan need to take account of its toll and need not to go for the face value sugar statements like mentioned above. Secondly, as Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal of Quaid-e-Azam University said in one of the talk shows that ‘the asymmetric war is not won by the numerical strength but innovative unconventional strategies’ should be understood. Our Armed Forces need to cultivate the culture of unconventional warfare among its ranks. Thirdly, our media should identify that doubtlessly nationalistic reporting can seriously shake the very fiber of our state and institutions like Armed Forces. They have to be given a code of conduct, formulated with their due consultations so that the enemy is not benefited. Perhaps we need to ignore their acts from coverage even. They should be made to understand that terrorists or the so-called non-state actors (NSAs) are privy to the media and they feel themselves the winners when TV channels show the destruction caused by their inhumane coward acts of terrorism. Fourthly, our leadership needs to be free from political point scoring, they need to be most cautious and show the light of hope to their people. Lastly, the personalities at nuclear safety and security helm of affairs may appear on the media and take their fellow countrymen into confidence about the fool-proof security around the nuclear assets, to which every Pakistani is emotionally attached. A well informed media and people are the only choice to curb the menace of hopelessness and rumours among the masses.In the end, I urge the nation to be pragmatic, responsible, forthcoming, responsive and self-confident at this hour of need. Pakistan is a celebrated nation which has proven itself whenever the question of nationalism comes. Its unity is tested in wars against India, earthquakes, floods and even cricket matches against India. Our leaders need to trust its masses, behave realistically and act sensibly.