Pakistan Is The Victim Of Peace
The success of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the United States has started showing its signs and impact within Pakistan. Extensive use of heavy weapons by India along line of control on Tuesday has resulted in killing of three while injuring over ten civilians. The same day an attack on a local police station in Quetta left over 20 injured in addition to the death of 10 Pakistanis.
This was within 48 hours of such incident in FATA and Balochistan which had resulted in martyrs of one captain and seven soldiers of Pakistan army. In Afghanistan, there is a sharp rise in suicide and other terrorist attacks in last one week. More is likely to come in both kinetic and non-kinetic domains in foreseeable future in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In conformity with US interests, President Trump had surprised both Pakistan and India by talking so much on Kashmir issue and more importantly attempting to seek full support of Pakistan for an honourable exit from Afghanistan. President Trump even questioned the wisdom of policy makers and ex-presidents of US in understanding Pakistan.
Now it’s time for Pakistan to pay for what US President had said during the visit of PM Imran Khan to US. Historically but ironically, whether it is US, former USSR, India, Iran or even Afghanistan, global and regional powers and countries are used to settle their mutual or trilateral antipathies by inflicting human and material losses on Pakistan. This time around, our stakes are very high as a country.
Realistically, popular Indian prime minister stands discredited before his parliament and public on Kashmir issue which had been a vital and exploited part of his recent election campaign while enhanced role of Pakistan in Afghan peace process negates regional ascendancy and hegemonic designs of India under PM Modi.
India is not likely to absorb this situation which has the potential to escalate his embarrassment in intensity and impact in foreseeable future both on our Western and Eastern borders. Therefore, India is all set to use its available muscle to disturb and disrupt Pakistani dialogue process with Taliban.
For its accomplishment, India has guaranteed support of groups as well as selected political, social and media entities within Pakistan. India is likely to exploit these investments of the past in foreseeable future to create unrest within Pakistan in security, political and even social domains by using kinetic and non-kinetic means.
In case tension builds between United States and Iran, a peaceful Balochistan under reasonable control of political and military establishment of Pakistan is a desired state of affair for both Pakistan and the US.
On the other hand, disturbed Balochistan denies freedom of action to US irrespective of whether or not she uses Balochistan soil, while it simultaneously discredits Pakistan in US eyes. On the other hand, Pakistan cannot afford to disturb political process in FATA. We also need to focus on a non-kinetic and a reconciliation approach in Balochistan. Regionally, even a compromising peace and stability in Afghanistan suits Pakistan.
Efforts by Pakistan to accelerate the final peace deal in Afghanistan cannot and will not be swallowed happily by India. In fact, it’s a race between those creating hurdles and ones who are facilitating the Afghan peace process. Can our establishment deliver the way nation saw during the crisis time on eastern borders in February-March this year? Only time will tell.
If United States can deliberately infuriate India for its own national interest, why can’t Pakistan annoy any number of factions, groups or individuals for its national or people’s interest? If we are looking at new Pakistan, then it has to be with an establishment which has a changed mind-set with an approach which is more akin to the political thought process.
By owning the ills of the past and giving away on some issues, Pakistan can win enduring peace on her western borders and shall earn international credibility. Our political and military establishment must show big heart. If theory of strategic depth has lost its relevance then it’s time to make those traditional fears and interests as irrelevant.
Nothing is undo-able or re-doable if abandoned for the right purpose and for visionary approach and effects. Where the fine balance between perceived national interests and people’s expectations lies is a judgemental call. Nation expects a wise, timely and correct judgement call and actions in line with hopes of a common Pakistani.
The writer is a PhD scholar with diverse experience and international exposure. He possesses conscious knowledge about phenomenon of terrorism and extremism coupled with realistic understanding of geo political, social and security environment