Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association (PESA)
Progressive nations inquire, “Who are we, what are our vital National Interests, how to achieve our goals optimally”? They evolve a consensus National Strategy, with a clear plans and goals.
Pakistan today is endangered by division, instability and insecurity. It faces a 3- front war, both East and West, and terrorism at home.
FATA is burning, Baluchistan dangerously alienated, Karachi a killing field. The restored Judiciary faces a defiant Executive. The NRO Democracy embodies the very antithesis of good governance.
Millions more have fallen beneath the Poverty Line. Inflation menaces. Empty national coffers , frenzied corruption and borrowing and Tax to GDP ratio are a national disgrace.
The Armed Forces have never before been so savaged. National Sovereignty is routinely violated; aerially and cross-border, and by Terrorists and Spies .Leadership is compromised .
The Pakistan Ex Servicemen Association( PESA) has carefully studied these grave national problems and prepared a Suggested National Security Strategy (NSS) Study, requiring evolving strategy in all sectors of national existence and governance, with mandatory action guidelines for all state agencies or Instruments of Statecraft (IOSCs).
It also suggests (a) a Counter-Terrorism Strategy and (b) a Counter Insurgency Strategy, that shall be published later.
PESA believes that fragile Unity, conflicting versions of Faith and woeful lack of Discipline, characterise our national malaise.
The teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the vision of our founding fathers (FFV) guide us. PESA’s ideal is “pluralism”, with Peace at Home and Peace Abroad.
Pakistanis in general and political parties in particular are invited to debate our suggestions, amend them in line with their own aspirations and perceptions of national interest, and evolve a national consensus on how to surmount the dangers we face.
Pakistan today truly stands at a strategic cross roads. At the operational level, notwithstanding the 2010 devastating floods, the biggest threat at present is the insurgency in the FATA and Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa Province and terrorism in the country. The genesis of these complex crises lies in the militias that were created in the last 3-4 decades to defend and promote our abstract and undefined national interests. Such Militias are globally abhorred and it is no longer possible for them to operate freely after 9/11 Possible options against this twin-menace are either to maintain status quo and continue with a multiple-front war scenario, or reduce the three-front-war-scenario (counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and the eastern front) to zero-front through a well deliberated National Security Policy (NSP) and achieve a pluralist, peaceful, prosperous and dynamic Pakistan. The choice is between hemorrhaging slowly but surely or bold innovation and Reinvention of a secure and prosperous Pakistan.
Pakistan faces monumental challenges. Not handled firmly and sagaciously, these could become existential threats. We need to move quickly and stem the rot.
Definition: National Security (NS)
Till now Pakistan has defined NS very narrowly as “the integrity of the national territory and its institutions” as given by Morgenthau in “Politics among Nations”. Secure nations have tended to accept a more wholesome classification by Arnold Wolfers, “Absence of threats to acquired values” with better results. It is the values of equality, liberty and fraternity that have enabled the west to achieve security of state and its people. Same is relatively true of Malaysia and Singapore. With inequality and exclusivity as the core values in any nation, the dominant group takes the money and runs. This has happened in Pakistan. There can be no Unity, Faith or Discipline amongst unequal people. Nor can there be affluence or security amongst a divided nation.
This definition emphasizes” values” that enable us overcome risk from poverty, hunger, and from poor and unequal educational and job opportunities. It also represents freedom from risk of both internal as well as external threats to our Way of Life. It stresses the dangers emanating from absence of a well defined and affirmed “Common Identity or Purpose”, a theme that is debated at length in this article.
The Environment we live in?
Is Pakistan a nascent Nation-State? Many cite our short history (over sixty years) as a rationale. This logic may have been valid in the 19th century; but today we have nations that built themselves into decent societies in a few decades.
While Great Britain took almost six centuries to mature after evolving the Magna Carta in the 12th century, the French and the Americans needed approximately hundred and fifty years each to become decent democracies after their independence in the late 18th century. On the contrary, Malaysia and Singapore took just a few decades to transform into stable democratic countries. All this was made possible by carefully crafted strategic values and ends, sound National Security and Public Policies and deft use of the instruments of statecraft available today.
Environment to affirm chosen values into beliefs through blogs, internet polls and live radio/TV discussions and polls. Correct beliefs should then automatically manifest into a harmonious, pragmatic, dynamic stable, responsible and a prosperous society. Universal Islamic values and beliefs systems could enable nations to live with mutual acceptability, dignity and honour amongst the comity of nations.
The Globalized World The world today has shrunk into a global village. Exceptional mobility and communications enable all people and nations to interact with one another utilising three democratizations: of technology, of information and that of capital (money). This simply means that today no person , institution or nation can stop the flow of these commodities.
This also has undesirable consequences The worst is the democratization of violence and war. NSAs thus use all three to carry out devastating terrorist strikes and operations across the world.
Globalization has also brought down the walls of inviolate borders and absolute sovereignty. Even national values are subject to morphing into something different. Alongside import of capital, technology and foreign fast food chains, nations also import new values that clash with their own. This could be destabilizing.
ISOLATIONSISM is no longer an option. All have to learn to live within the comity of nations with a host of complex forces affecting them, individually and collectively. This forces tough choices, especially on Pakistan because of its peculiarly complex environment.
All Nations Have to Conform to International Treaties As compared with earlier times; all nations have to action all bilateral and multilateral agreements, because of the globalized world.
For example the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) that recognized the nation-state for the first time as inviolable, with a right to deterrent capability, is enforceable today more than ever. Even though some adhere to this treaty while defending its vital national interests. Pakistan unfortunately has tended to get stuck in a difficult-to-comply situations because of its ill defined values, beliefs and attitudes. The UN Security Council Resolutions on Terrorism continue to create difficulties for the nation. This situation would till we change our values as per the universal and Islamic paradigms.
Nations with pragmatic, consensual and universal Common Identities will have greater maneuvering room in these new conditions. They shall also be able to benefit more from the globalised world especially in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) etc. On the contrary, countries with extreme right or left religious identities will not get much FDI.
Non State Actors (NSAs) Like in the past, NSAs will not be able to operate with impunity inside or outside their countries of residence, or base of operations. Especially since 9/11, the world has become weary of this brand of people. Powerful nations have decided to track down and hunt such unwanted NSAs, regardless of their origin . In fact the “Doctrine of Pre-emption” though originated by the US, could be used by others as a pretext to further their foreign policy goals.
Pangs of Nationhood Pakistan was created as a result of a peaceful politico–religious movement in the first half of the twentieth century. It is unfortunate that till now we have not been able to articulate an agreed-upon “Common Identity” or “Common Purpose” to define our nationhood. Whilst the extreme-right would have us believe that Pakistan was created as an ‘Islamic State’ meant to serve as an “Islam ka Qala”, the majority of its population holds moderate views about religion. The fact that religious parties often have not been able to garner enough votes in an election, is proof that the people of Pakistan would prefer a moderate and tolerant Pakistan with Muslim way of life i.e. at least an enabling environment to be able to fulfill the five basic tenets of Islam. Unfortunately, contrary to the vision of our founding fathers, the “ Right”has chosen a “mutually exclusive” rather than a “mutually inclusive” version of Islam to be the raison d’etre (reason to be) of the nation, hence the painful resultant confusion.
Articulated by Rousseau and Voltaire in the 17th century, were given to us by all our Founding Father Vision (FFV), already enshrined in Documents dating back fourteen hundred years. Chronologically, Meesaqe-Madinah, the Last Sermon, the Allahabad Address and Quaid’s 11th August 1947 address, all espoused equality, liberty and fraternity, the bedrock of secure nationhood today. Likewise the Pakistan and Objectives’ Resolutions gave us similar guidance. While these should shape our belief system, unfortunately we don’t even study these anywhere.
Principles of Nation-Building
Nations have used different principles and strategies for building cohesive, stable, peaceful and prosperous societies. They have experimented with varying political ideologies (science of ideas) to create secure and progressive political entities. Human history is full of lessons (both negative and positive) on how to evolve and build secure nations. Pakistan may have missed out on the following Ten Commandments of Nation-building and statecraft.
One: Like guided missiles, have clear targets-aims and objectives- at all levels
Two: Evolve appropriate strategic level (national identity, purpose, interests and security policies) Ends
Three: Derive correct operational level (public policies by IOSC) Ends.
Four: Affirm these Ends and values into national belief.
Five: Ensure that Strategic Level Controls the Operational and the Tactical.
Six: Its leaders must build public opinion in favour of correct ,well
Eight: View sovereignty as relative when concluding alliances with other nations.
Nine: Treat nation-building as a top-down process, instead of emphasizing tactical levelactivities, by cutting ribbons on minor inaugurations of gas and telephone facilities.
Ten: Ensure mutual social inclusivity -as opposed to exclusivity – because any person or group that wishes to be exclusive shall face exclusion one day.
Pakistan’s Strategic Contradictions
Pakistan suffers from serious contradictions at the strategic level, which need to be reconciled at the earliest. Allowed to fester, these may not only destabilize the country and prevent realization of its true national potential.
Nation – State vs. Ummah We are signatory to the UN charter and thereby also to the Westphalia Treaty of 1648 which recognizes the nation state as inviolable. On the contrary our religious extreme Right thinks that Islam cannot be contained within the borders of a nation– state.Thus Pakistan is called “the only Ideological Muslim/Islamic State” and “Islam Ka Qala” rather than- more realistically- “a home for Pakistani Muslims”. Other Muslim countries are not in agreement with this concept, and some may well be misusing this belief to our detriment.
Dynamic vs. Static Islam Iqbal preached Ijtehad to secure ourselves. The difference is that the former is a collective Shariah state and the latter essentially provides an enabling environment where the Muslims should, at least individually, be able to live their lives according to Islam. Because of this acute contradiction, today we cannot even peacefully pray five times in our mosques.
Pakistan Resolutions vs. Federal Structure The initial Lahore Resolution called for “autonomous and sovereign states”. While the same concept of “independent states” was maintained at the Madras Session, the language was changed to “…a sovereign independent state” at Delhi. Like explained earlier, we consequently tended to have a strong centre but a continually weakening federation.A correct balance has yet to be achieved.
A Strong Pakistani Nationalism vs. Sub nationalisms We are passionately emotional about belonging to an ‘Ideological Islamic Pakistan’ which is supposedly a ‘Bastion or Fort (Qala) of Islam’ throughout the world. Not only does a water tight ideology result in mutual exclusivity, such strong passions and emotions tend to suppress any legitimate sub-national pride, making national integration that much more difficult.
State security vs. Peoples Security Pakistan faced a grave, physical military threat from India immediately after partition. Short of resources, it had either to apportion a disproportional part of its resources for defence or else find military hardware and support from abroad through alliances. Consequently, it ended up adhering to the Doctrine of Containment. National preference for physical and military security meant lesser stress on prosperity and well being of the people. Ever since, the nation has continued to define security in terms of relations with India. It may be noted that recently the military itself has gradually started to define security in more generic and people-centric ways.
Mere Lip Service to Founding Fathers’ Vision While we continue to celebrate our national days with zeal and fervor, none dares truly debate the political concepts from the Quaids’ 11th August 1947 speech or Iqbals’ Allahabad address. These concepts are not even mentioned in newspaper supplements on our National Days. While it is understandable that the two leaders were human, hence they cannot embody gospel truths, but their beliefs must not be ignored and condemned to oblivion without a dispassionate debate.
The Identity Crisis We are confused about our national identity. While some like to tell us that we are Arab descendents, others may call us as heirs to the Central Asian culture. Some believe in the ‘Indus man’ vs. the ‘Ganges Man’ concept and that we have been a nation for almost the last over ten thousand years. We thus do not have to have to seek nationhood from outside. Whilst we must take pride in our Muslim identity we should be equally proud of being Pakistani Muslims. There is no consus on who we really are.
Non-State Actors (NSAs) vs. the Writ of the state During the Cold War, the US spent billions to promote up a right-of-centre identity in Pakistan, as part of a Western bulwark against communism. It concluded that extreme religious beliefs can be mobilized better against the communist/ atheist beliefs. Hence we are paying the price for our alliances! Then again during the Afghan War against the erstwhile USSR in the 80’s the US sponsored all sorts of people with American money to wage a Jihad under the same concept i.e. against the” atheists”.
Today these NSAs not only challenge the writ of state but also destablise the region and the world at large. This contradiction has consequences in that a populace believing in the Ummah-concept and mentally supporting the NSAs (deliberately created under a formalized policy during the cold war) is obviously confused when we decide to take out the Non-State-Actors as a consequence of the War on Terror.
Globalisation Today’s globalised world discourages strong religious ideological identities and encourages adherence to moderate National Policies. Our “Islam ka Qala” identity thus tends to clash with global trends. This phenomenon in turn causes problems in dealing with the world at large. Some of us may be very proud of our Ummah identity but it puts us at odds with a globalised world.
The Need to Reconcile
To live peacefully at home and abroad with dignity and honor, it is essential to reconcile and resolve these contradictions failing which Pakistan will continue to bleed. It is only a pragmatic, Islamic and homegrown National Identity and Common Purpose that will enable focused use of our talent and resources. Courtesy globalization, fortunately we have powerful IOSC which can enable us not only help reengineer values but also reconcile these contradictions – in relatively shorter time periods than previously feasible.
Unipolar World The US shall predictably be the preeminent superpower in the immediate future. While the EU, China and Russia will try to provide balance, smaller nations do not have the luxury of the security umbrella of one sponsor power or an alliance today, unlike in the cold war era.
International Terrorism A globalised world that facilitates people to people interaction across the globe, also empowers the NSAs to threaten global, regional and national peace. This fact will continue to fuel clash between peoples with diverse ideologies, identities and cultures, in the present neo colonial scenario.
Islamic World and Terrorism While the future may not be anything like the ‘Crusades’, friction between the Muslim and the Christian worlds will endure. This shall be further fuelled by the so called War Against Terrorism by the West. In turn, continued pressure on organizations like the OIC will intensify, making them more fractious and less effective.
Water Scarcity With changing climate patterns and alarming population growth rates, there will be added pressures on water resources. This will generate ever greater friction between countries in South Asia and between provinces at home. In nations lacking clear concepts of nationhood, and consequent dysfunctional governance, these problems get aggravated because of the inability to manage anything well, inclusive of water as a resource.
The Geo-economic vs. geo-strategic A clear shift from primacy of geo-strategic to geo-economic considerations, over the last century. Globalisation promotes the latter and generally frowns upon redrawing of borders (unless it suits the West-e.g. Sudan). Policies have focused on economics and commerce rather than on merely geography. Desire for access to natural resources complicates the picture. Secure nations would prefer to pursue their interests through globalization and deregulated economies rather than the use of force if found cost effective. Even in the past , geography was important because of potential mineral, energy and agricultural resources, so it is merely a matter of a shift of emphasis.
Population Explosion vs. Growth in Economy If not arrested, the rate of growth in population will continue to seriously erode the gains made by economic growth in Pakistan.
Globalisation This phenomenon is here to stay. Democratisation of technology, information, capital (finances) and of late violence and war, would continue to gain momentum and strength. This phenomenon shall strengthen nations with moderate identities and ideologies to the disadvantage of radical nations. NSAs would gain strength from globalisation because of freer access and movement of technology, information and money.
Free Market Economics Free Market Economics will continue to be strengthened. Even though powerful countries may flout its regulations with subsidies and tariff manipulation for their products, smaller nations may not have a choice other than to innovate and improve their competitiveness. The sooner our national economy gears up for such an environments,the better. Overall such fierce competition will force introspection and hopefully lead to creative solutions, or else developing nations could suffer grievous harm from poor economies.
International Trade and Commerce International aspects of business and commerce (trade, transport, telecommunications, investment and finance, manufacturing, and professional services) will continue to expand. As the premier engine for Economic Growth, wise nations would invest heavily in these areas. Needless to say, pragmatic and politically stable nations shall benefit maximally.
Science and Technology S&T Shall continue to advance, become more widely available and be utilized around the world. But their benefits will be unevenly distributed. With an inefficient educational base and weak administrative functioning, Pakistan will continue to remain part of the disadvantaged category.
Global Energy Sources World energy supplies will remain largely based on fossil fuels with a progressive shift to renewable resources as the price of oil rises to a level where use of the latter makes economic sense.
NGOs Non-Governmental Organisations (refugee aid organisations, religious and ethnic advocacy groups, environmental and other single issue lobbies, international professional associations etc) will continue to grow in importance, numbers, and in their international role. Their outside funding would continue to influence the national debate on critical issues.
Collective Security Though it will raise serious issues of sovereignty, most nations will find it convenient and in their interest to work with and strengthen regional alliances and a variety of global organisations.
Fragility of Alliances As nations confront a variety of complex issues and threats, they must inevitably collaborate with friends and allies. Due to its internal dynamics, however, Pakistan would find it difficult to establish and sustain reliable alliances.
WMD Unconventional weapons or weapons of mass destruction i.e. nuclear, biological and chemical; and weapons of mass disruption i.e. information warfare, will slowly continue to proliferate to a wider range of state and non-state actors.
Pakistan-Suggested Strategic Ends
We have ample guidance to derive our all-important bases of nationhood by revisiting the fourteen articles of the Objectives Resolution. Additionally, Quaid’s speech to the Constituent Assembly and Iqbal’s Allahabad Address provide us with adequate direction for the purpose.
Suggested National Purpose for Pakistan Presently our National Purpose is stated in Article four of the Objectives Resolution. It is recommended that the five principles listed there may be cosolidated into a three-value statement Equality, freedom/liberty, fraternity/ brotherhood, for easy focus. Equality as a value caters for and enables achievement of democracy, tolerance and social justice. If equality is affirmed into belief then we shall become accountable to one another, and that in turn shall promote justice. Thus equality should precede all other values.
Implications for All, especially Leadership
Implications of Equality: Equality of all humans in terms of life, liberty, pursuit of education, health and job opportunities; equality in access to justice; equality of all national institutions; and equality before the law.
Implications of Freedom: To exercise freedom of thought and expression; to apply oneself in arts and sciences; to apply oneself in religion and to exercise Ijtehad; to enjoy the fruits of equality, liberty, fraternity, tolerance and social justice; and to pursue our respective languages, cultures and religious beliefs.
The degree of freedom would only be limited by laws made by the parliament and reviewed by the courts. Individuals and demagogues will have no say in who can or cannot do what.
Implications of Fraternity and Brotherhood: It means, ideally, brotherhood of all human beings as per Surah Aale Imran, “O’ Prophet (PBUH) tell the people of the book; let us get together on what is common amongst us (one Allah)”( 3/24. )
Fraternity and brotherhood have the following implications: they ensure affirmation and reinforcing of equality of all human beings, institutions and federating units; encourage desegregation and interaction of the people of any color, caste, creed and belief; encourage sub-nationalisms, languages and cultures under one overarching “pluralist” Pakistani culture and nationalism; and help create an enabling environment where democracy, tolerance and social justice shall prevail.
Pakistan’s Suggested Vital National Interests (VNIs) Following six VNIs are suggested as per universal paradigms: National integration and harmony; Defence and security; Economic well being; Favourable regional and global order; Peoples’ security vs. state security; and Promotion of our national values.
Important National Interests Four interests are suggested – Equitable distribution of wealth among all sections of society; grooming of a thinking, tolerant nation with strong/ correct beliefs; developing a culture of dynamism, patience and tolerance; protecting national environment and helping protect regional and global environments.
Peripheral National Interests* To attain global relevance by becoming a part of the universal value system seven interests are suggested: help prevent, deter and reduce threat of use of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons anywhere in the world; help prevent regional and global proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their delivery systems; help promote acceptance of international rule of law and global mechanisms for resolving or managing disputes; help prevent regional hegemons in important regions, (especially in south Asia); help promote democracy, prosperity and stability in the world in general and south Asia in particular; help suppress crime and human/ drug trafficking; help prevent genocide; discourage massive human rights violations.
Challenges and Opportunities
The twenty-first century is going to be increasingly complex and hectic in pace. Statecraft thus is going to be ever more complex and difficult to practice. National Security Leaders will have to accordingly demonstrate deft handling of policies and strategies at all levels i.e. grand-strategic, strategic, operational and tactical. They will also have to ensure that there is no lag between policy formulation and implementation. Needless to say there shall be daunting internal and external challenges to National Security. Not controlled and mitigated, some of these could possibly pose existential threats to Pakistan.
Most Serious Challenges
Poor Nationhood This is the single biggest challenge that Pakistan faces. Successive governments have tried to handle it in their own ways, with limited success. We suffer from provincial, sectarian, institutional and social polarisation. Unfortunately our constitution has not been able to mold us all into one national main stream. Mechanisms like the Council of Common Interests (CCI) have not been allowed to work for nation building and provincial harmony. Various sects have failed to achieve harmony within one peaceful society. The consequent lack of certainty as a nation about the future forces everyone to fend for himself. Subsequently we have lost faith as a cohesive nation and tend to adhere to smaller groupings in the hope that they would provide support when needed.
Likewise the constitution has not been able to limit the power of the executive and truly empower the common man – the intended result of a good constitution. Equally important, the moderate and pragmatic nation-building concepts of our founding fathers that could have helped us integrate different religious, ethnic and linguistic groups, have gradually vanished even from our text books and media debates. Consequently we continue to discuss what divides us further rather than what would integrate us into one harmonious whole.
Alleged Sponsorship of Terrorism Although Pakistan itself has been a principle victim of terrorism, it continues to be labeled as a sponsor of global terror.Even though we have our own disgruntled elements and Jihadists, various NSAs from different Muslim countries continue to operate from our border areas with relative impunity. They not only commit terrorist acts in Pakistan but also sponsor similar crimes in other countries. Despite our vigorous contribution as part of the International Coalition against Terrorism, pressure continues to increase especially, from regional adversary nations.The US doctrine of PREEMPTION threatens to exacerbate terrorism because the resulting collateral damage breeds more terrorists. The doctrine also encourages other adversarial states in the region to threaten similar operations against Pakistan.
Alleged Charges of Nuclear Proliferation Despite our unequivocal denials to the charges and unrestrained commitment towards efforts to uncover the black market (encouraged by all nuclear powers), Pakistan continues to be blamed by some. There have also been irresponsible statements (no more than chest-thumping jingoism) by some Pakistanis state-actors in the past that encourages such allegations. Fired by the Pan-Islamic zeal, these people may be doing more harm than good to Pakistan.
Sectarian Terrorism Even though there have been subtle differences in opinions about religion, Pakistani Muslims lived in harmony till the 80’s. Gradual erosion of patience and tolerance, and self-serving agendas of some leaders to strengthen one sect against another, has caused serious sectarian strife. The induction of the hard-line, extreme right actors into the Afghan war, combined with complex socio-political factors in home-countries, and their interaction with local religious groups, has accentuated Sectarian Strife in Pakistan. Having been encouraged by the international terrorist groups, sectarian strife has gradually escalated from minor clashes to major conflict , and in a dangerous paradigm shift to suicide bombing. The phenomenon grievously affects the harmony and homogeneity of society and adversely influences national security.
Water Discord Despite efforts from all governments, the four provinces have divergent views on distribution of water, which we have had in relative abundance. Such differences stem from the absence of a strong nationhood and a common National Purpose. In fact both phenomena reinforce one another. Even though the country direly needs a consensus policy on water storage and its use, the same has become virtually impossible to formulate due to grave differences between the federating units. Simultaneously the differences with India on application of the Indus Basin Water Treaty and not creating enough storage reservoirs , multiply our challenges.
Non State Actors Upon hindsight, NSAs are a logical result of the US Containment Operations in and through Pakistan. These, in combination with the far-right, have evolved into a deadly mix of lawlessness and disorderliness that threaten our nationhood. Their activities stretch the national law and order resources thin. The doctrine of Pre-Emption in some ways strengthens these elements. Consequently they can gain sympathies from the Muslim world at large by portraying the West as cruel aggressors against Islam. This adds a complex foreign dimension, which puts Pakistan under added pressure.
Agrarian Dependence Even though Pakistan is gifted with fertile land and water, its economy need not be entirely agriculture-based. In a globalised world, agriculture products without appropriate value- addition may not find markets. Being signatory to the global “Free Market Economy” we have to enhance competitiveness by refining our agricultural-products. We have options. Sitting near two of the biggest energy reserves, we can become a rich energy corridor for the entire world but only with foresight and correct policies.
Sensitivity to Oil Price Fluctuations While our economy may sometime do well with its micro-economic gains and reasonable FE reserves, yet it is sensitive to oil price changes in the global market. With the uncertainties of the 21st century and the North-South and East-West tensions, along with the post 9/11 effects, there could be crises that send the oil prices soaring . This will continue to cause grievous harm to our fragile economy.
Economic Growth vs. a Burgeoning Population Pakistan has had a roller-coaster economic performance. Growth rates of seven percent are unattainable at present. The benefits of any future economic recovery shall continue to be denied to the public because of an alarming population growth rate.
Absence of an FDI–Friendly Environment: governments have made efforts to attract investment from abroad; the prevailing environment in the country is not entirely conducive for this purpose. In the bargain. GOP is forced to offer terms to foreign investors which are detrimental to national interest e.g. PTCL privatization, some Chinese funded and contracted Projects. NSAs continue to destabilize the country, scaring away FDI. It is also unfortunate that the MNCs that have helped build robust economies for many South East Asian countries are despised by the far right and are termed as instruments to enslave Muslims.
Rote vs. Cognitive Education For long we have ignored the free ‘Spirit of Inquiry’ pursued by great Muslim thinkers like Al-Farabi, Al-Kindi and Ibne-Sina who produced great intellectual works between the 8th and the 12th century. Our primary and secondary education systems make students depend on commitment of text to memory, rather than any creative learning. This prevents us from the requisite grooming for the unpredictable 21st century. The change to Cognitive Education is essential, to encourage a shift towards creative teaching and learning.
Biased and Prejudiced Text: Absence of creative thinking, demolishing of the liberal left at the cost of a strong orthodox right; have resulted into inclusion of sometimes fictitious and distorted history and text in the curricula. This has had adverse effects on teaching and learning in Pakistan. These include taking the populace away from moderation, creation of myths of invincibility, departure from rational views and aversion to critical thinking.
Most important, it distanced the country from a homegrown identity and purpose. Adulterated opinions expressed in the text books also caused racial, cultural, political and religious disharmony, leading to conflict in society. Such polarization, with clear dominance by the Right, influenced the entire education system. Today no one truly prints or correctly evaluates the Quaid’s 11th Aug 1947 historic speech, or Iqbal’s famous and all important Allahabad lecture, where the two founding fathers defined Pakistan and the Muslim nation-state.
Higher Education Commission’s Questionable Investment HEC has relatively done well but has invested heavily into higher education. Pumping billions of rupees only into the post-graduate levels would help little in over-hauling a rotten system especially when it is intended to produce instantaneous, and at times fictitious, results. If the primary, secondary and under-graduate education remain under-funded and texts continue to be memorized, students cannot benefit when faced with complex concepts in the post-graduate studies and the semester systems. Additionally ,literalist and contextual application of Quran continues to promote mediocrity in our education system.
Unequal Education Opportunities Lack of resources, deficient will power and absence of a common world view/purpose have made it difficult to provide equal educational opportunities to all. This has resulted in not only poor standards but also mushrooming of private schools and colleges. Because of pre-occupation of successive governments with complex national security problems, appropriate emphasis or funding were not provided to the public institutions to impart the requisite good education to the masses.
Inappropriate Federal Structure While every year we celebrate the Pakistan Resolution passed at Lahore we have probably ended up implementing the Delhi Resolution by All India Muslim League. The former promised that “…North Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states, in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign”, the latter said “…It is necessary to constitute a sovereign and independent state comprising Bengal and Assam in the North-East zone and the Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan in the North-West Zone”. This has caused a serious dichotomy in our socio-political thinking. Consequently we have developed a strong and overbearing center and weak federating units. Eighteenth Amendment might help address this problem, but many problems have already arisen in implementation.
Westphalia Nation-State vs. the Ummah We are signatory to the UN charter and thus are responsible to the world to honor international treaties. The 1648 treaty of Westphalia recognized the nation-state for the first time which couldn’t be violated except for self-defence (notwithstanding the newly proclaimed Doctrine of Pre-emption). Contrary to the spirit of this treaty, some of us believe that Islam cannot be contained within a nation-state. Thus we emphasize the physical rather than the spiritual universality of our great faith. This in turn manifests into the Ummah concept, which clashes with the very basis of the Nation-state. Some amongst us unfortunately work to export the Islamic teachings thereby creating a “We” versus “Them” syndrome. This results in a dangerous confrontation with the world and is probably one of our foremost challenges. The only realistic solution is to secure our nation and shelve the Ummah project.
Basic Human Rights vs. Constitutional Provisions. Pakistan has been accused of human right violations at home. While we are signatory to the universal charters on the subject, there are provisions in our constitution that promise to protect all universal human rights. These most unfortunately are flouted because of many reasons. Allegedly the Blasphemy Law has victimized one particular minority, and the Hudood Ordinance has tended to increase the miseries of our woman. Cultural traditions like Karo-Kari, Wanni and Family honour result in heinous crimes against women. Such man-made laws and customs not only increase human suffering and insecuritity but also have international repercussions. The world opinion then becomes ever-more critical of our alleged poor human rights record.
Literalist Quran vs. Ijtehad The far right interprets article One of the Objectives Resolution as Carte Blanche for implementing a literalist or contextual Quran as the supreme law for the country. They also insist on creating an Islamic (Sharia) state. In this regard Iqbal has emphasized that if we can not execute Ijtehad, we should instead create a Muslim state (enabling environment for executing the five pillars of Islam) rather than an Islamic state. This factor creates serious difficulties in legislation with consequent insecurities for the people of Pakistan.
Internal security vs. the Law and Order Agencies Our law and order agencies were barely equipped and resourced to cater for the pre-asymmetric Warfare and pre-terrorism era. Defending against the current huge threats to people and the state, these forces are stretched too thin. Our infrastructure i.e. communications, gas pipelines and bridges etc are also under threat. Having insufficient resources to even maintain Law and Order, we now face a daunting task of lawlessness and disorder. International terrorism adds to these difficulties, thereby creating a multi-faceted internal security problem for Pakistan.
An Overbearing Executive We have had governments which have dominated other organs of state, primarily because we have identified ourselves with different ideals. This has affected the inter nal working and harmony of the country. Occasionally the Executive has employed its law and order forces against its own national instruments or sub- instruments leading to avoidable security problems that hampered national well being and progress.
Defence and Military Challenges
Multi-front Threats Since 1947 we had concentrated our military against a single military threat in the east. The Afghan War of the 80’s added another dimension in the north-west. Post-911 responses culminated in terrorism in our cities also. Now that we are involved in a twin struggle against an unprecedented unconventional asymmetric threat, destabilization could come from almost anywhere within or around us.
Pakistan’s geo-strategic location Pakistan location close to two major world energy sources puts us in the centre of likely global political, diplomatic and military confrontation. Thus we could have Extra Regional Forces (ERFs) operating from around Pakistan (especially from the south and the North-West), that might destabilize us quickly in various scenarios. Allegations about Iran developing a nuclear weapons program add to our problems. Some rethinking about sources of military threats to Pakistan.is emerging. But we need to come up with a comprehensive Defence Policy in this regard.
Big Military We must reassess the size and character of our military forces, especially in view of the highly unconventional, asymmetric threats and requirements of 21st century warfare. Our armed forces must develop the ability to match this threat with speed, in quality and quantity (especially the latter), and at the right point in time and space. This can probably be fulfilled by a smaller , leaner, mobile and more networked military. The transition towards this objective will have to be deliberate considering the wide gulf in perceptions.
Military Training Systems Our present training systems were evolved by the Germans in the 17th and 18th centuries. Those were the times of close, hand to hand combat, where the greatest resulting emotion was fear. The Germans decided to counter fear with discipline and decided to inculcate the same through Militarism. Now that modern weapons have taken combat beyond the visual range capability, the asymmetric threats could come up from anywhere, the First World Militaries have found the old training systems to be woefully inadequate. They have thus cut down on discipline and increased emphasis on creative, independent initiative.
Foreign Policy Challenges
Reprisals for Violation of International Compacts It is no longer legally possible to invade another nation in a globalised world , except for super-powers. Violating WMD and NBC agreements and other world treaties could bring rebuke if not punishment to the defaulters. Such problems would cause major diplomatic challenges for a country.
Ummah-Motivated Initiatives It is difficult to explain our national position in the event of alleged Islamic terrorist attacks across the world with supposed connections to Pakistan. Be it the 9/11 or the 7/7 bombings, more often than not some alleged roots are established within our country.
Collective Security Challenges
Regional and Global Alliances Every nation has to barter away some of its sovereignty when it gets into alliances to become more secure. But this is the need of the times. No one nation can attain total security through its own resources and thus seeks allies, especially against grave external threats. We too shall have to rethink the very concept of Absolute Sovereignty and go for regional and global alliances that will enable us achieve greater security. Malaysia as an example has chosen to handle only light and moderate threats through its own means, and has chosen alliances (as the national security policy) to resolve extreme challenges. Forward diplomatic or military presence (in the form of alliances) in distant areas with proactive diplomacy is therefore the norm and can be pursued as a policy.
Good Enabling Environment for Nation-Building Today’s globalised world presents many opportunities for nation building that were hitherto not available. It prefers multilateralism which opens many more avenues for dispute resolution. Crucial help comes from a global community which discourages conflict and encourages moderate nation building within the boundaries of a nation state. It does not countenance redrawing of borders and wants stability in the world.
Information Technology IT helps build nations in ways hitherto impossible. It enables us to affirm value systems in months and years that would take generations in the 20th century and earlier. Today IT provides the enabling environment to strengthen all Instruments of Statecraft for nation building. Having decided the appropriate values for nationhood, the IT-enabled environment can truly help us affirm these into belief. We must be careful in its use because it can also polarize and alienate people because of its ability to spread hate and bigotry.
Free and Cheap Access to Knowledge Fortunately the World Wide Web has linked vast amount of knowledge and the academia the world over. Valuable research material on all subjects including nation building is now cheaply and readily available, only a touch of a key away.
Easier to Express and Convey Government Policies It is possible today to convey government policies to the people with ease. Till now we had a relative gap between what the people thought and what the government planned. Today’s technology-assisted media not only enables the executive to bridge this gap between policy introduction and implementation but also to build public opinion in favour of the same.
Strong Emotional (not Rational) Commitment to the Nation Despite the crisis of Identity and being poorly led, Pakistanis have displayed a deep commitment to the state and to the nation during emergencies. Examples abound. Be it 65 or 71 wars or the rebuilding in the wake of the devastating earthquake or floods, our people showed strong national bonding. Such sporadic commitment can be moulded into an Identity and enduring Purpose that people can readily and constructively identify with. Such passionate love for the nation needs to be encouraged and channelized for the implementation of all future National Security Policies and Strategies.
A Vibrant Civil Society Comprising various unions, the media, journalists and NGOs and individuals, civil society can be a potent Instrument for nation building. A strong civil society has been used by developed countries to not only keep governmental excesses in check but to also to suggest fresh approaches to reinventing both nation and the state. Fortunately for Pakistan it has benefitted of late by the globalised environment. The success of the Lawyers’ Movement that resulted in the restoration of the Supreme Court Chief Justice is a good portent for the future.
Most Major Challenges and Opportunities that Adversely Affect Our Vital National Interests
Vital National Interest 1: “National integration and harmony”
Poor Nationhood Even though the Objectives Resolution mentions a National Purpose, the same has seldom been debated by the parliament or any other forum. Consequently, we have had at best questionable notions of nationhood that everyone could identify with. Be it the 71 War crisis , the discord on water distribution or the woes of fiscal resources distribution, all are symptoms of the deep malaise called Poorly Defined Nationhood.
Right of Centre Shift through Cold War Alliances The US made investment to promote an extreme right polity in Pakistan to counter the so called the atheist (La-deen) USSR. We became a willing partner in a war which may have brought critical respite against a military threat from India. But in the bargain we ended up almost demolishing the liberal left, so crucial to nation-building along with a conservative right, hence the consequent difficulties in forging critical national harmony and integration.
Sectarian Strife Aided by International Jihadists The present day NSAs were created under a deliberate state policy during the 70s and 80s. A poorly defined nationhood further enabled various sects to spread their venom. These two decades saw an influx of money in aid of the Deobandi and Barelvi sects. The Zia period saw the infiltration of Sunni Deobandi actors into peaceful Shia areas in Northern Areas and FATA. This resulted in a bitter sectarian conflict which was further fanned by the NSAs at home and from abroad. Today our security forces are at war against not only a terrorist-based insurgency but sectarian strife that shows few signs of abating.
Vital National Interest 2: “Defence and Security”
Absence of National Integration By far the biggest challenge, it has led to provincial, social and political friction, if not more serious feuds. This caused unnecessary squandering away of scarce resources which could have been utilized to secure the nation. It is not easy to defend a nation with serious problems of national integration because of poor commitment towards one another, on part of the people.
Non State Actors Operations by NSAs encouraged by a pan-Islamist view (orchestrated over the last three decades) threaten the state both from within and outside. From the inside it challenges the writ of the state and from the outside it invites adverse, sometime painful reprisals. It may be remembered that a nation usually first loses internal and then external sovereignty. Unfortunately such activities by the NSAs are encouraged by the far Right as the “Battle for Pakistan” and the “Battle for Islam” under the ‘Islam ka Qala’ concept. NSAs render us vulnerable to foreign manipulation. In extreme cases we could become a victim of the Doctrine of Preemption even by some nations other than the US.
Allegations of Nuclear Proliferation Some western nations have imposed embargoes on Pakistan because of proliferation allegations. The Pressler Amendment caused such problems for us for almost one decade till the post-911 scenario.
Multi-front Defence While we prepared for a single front in the east, as explained, we are now faced with the twin menace of an insurgency and terrorism. With scarce resources and a weakened federation it has become difficult to deal with this multi-threat environment.
Vital National Interest 3: “Economic Well Being”
Absence of National Integration Lack of national cohesion fritters away resources because of: Discord on water and fiscal allocations; Weak and not properly focused IOSC; and Law and Order difficulties affecting local and foreign investment. Most importantly terrorism and kidnappings of foreigners by NSAs have scared away FDI so crucial to economic development.
Constitutional Challenges Inappropriate federal structure creates problems of integration and thus poor economy, because everyone tends to be on one’s own. Our ‘Security through the Ummah Doctrine’ causes friction with other states affecting our exterior maneuver and consequently the economic ties.
Educational Challenges People who graduate by committing the text to rote, cannot be enlightened enough to run and manage a prosperous, modern day economy, especially in a complex globalised world with attendant vulnerabilities. Today’s world needs critical thinking abilities to manage and lead a third world nation into a secure entity.
Agrarian Dependence No country today can secure itself with an agrarian-dependent economy alone. Additionally, lack of adequate industrialization and our inability to add value to the agricultural produce make us less competitive in the world.
Vital National Interest 4: Developing a Favourable Regional and Global Environment
Absence of National Integration A strong foreign policy enables a country cultivate a favourable regional and global environment. A divided and polarized Pakistan cannot be expected to put together a strong exterior maneuver, which should gain it the requisite support in South Asia and the world.
Alleged Source of Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation These allegations continue to irk our relations with many countries. The first world in particular is so upset that there are regular leaks to the press regarding insecurity of our nuclear weapons, with hostile intent.
Vital National Interest 5: “Peoples’ Security vs. State Security” Absence of National Integration Everyone goes one’s own way in a poorly defined nation. Leaders too tend to become unaccountable .The strongest IOSC suppresses the efficient working of other important instruments. This makes it difficult to run a truly representative government of the people, for the people and by the people.
Vital National Interest 6: “Promotion (affirmation into beliefs) of National Values”
Absence of National Integration Lack of an overarching shared identity prevents us from promoting nationally consensual values. Additionally, absence of a common purpose result in social, political and religious factionalisation. Thus various sections of society have their own value systems which often clash with one another. Being signatory to the UN Charter and other international treaties we are all bound to follow the universal value systems which are invariably also Islamic. Unfortunately, some of our factional beliefs also clash with the global value system, thereby adversely affecting all our vital national interests.
Alleged Sponsorship of Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation These are the two biggest allegations that we are charged with. Pakistan is also accused of human right violations. Thus it becomes difficult for us to interact globally to promote and synchronize our value system across the world.
Information Technology Driven Media This can be the single biggest asset for rebuilding a value system and affirming the strategic ends of the nation. It enables us to develop a belief system in months and years that took generations earlier on.
Civil Society A networked civil society can lend an effective helping hand in building a secure society and nation. NGOs, the media and other pressure groups can, if rightly promoted by the executive, invariably provide good advice to the government especially in testing times. It has been seen that be it Watergates, War on Terrorism or negotiations with a regional or global adversary, civil society may have rendered some of the best advice to any government.
Globalised World Globalization discourages abstract ideologies and encourages moderate nationhood. It enables several trillion dollars every 24-hours, to move to the most investment-friendly destinations regardless of creed or ideology. Thus it encourages crafting of sensible nationhood and tends to prevent a factionalized society.
Policy or the Main Course
For Pakistan, lack of National Integration emerges as the number one problem making it insecure today. It is the absence of internal harmony that threatens the state and the nation, even though our military deterrence may be adequate
During the last sixty years, by neglecting this most crucial aspect, we have sadly chose to first lose internal sovereignty, which then gradually eroded the external sovereignty. It was then that foreign state and trans- state actors could manipulate us. Be it the Non State Actors, sectarian strife or terrorism, the discord on water or difficulties in apportionment of resources to federating units; all seem to stem from this single source. Our weak exterior maneuver and creation of multi-front threats also, have much to do with an absence of national integration. The wrangling on the federal structure, the nation state vs. the Ummah debate or the Literalist Quran vs. Ijtehad or the rationalist model squabbles also come from the same source.
All these ills along with a weak economy, our inability to create a favourable regional and global environment and even our failure to create and promote a truly Islamic and universal value system also originates from the same challenge.
We need to look for the central big uniting idea from the factors already highlighted, that can pull the nation together and also help us interact more responsibly with the entire world.
Fortunately ample guidance is available from the Quran (Surae Ale Imran Ayah 64) and from Iqbal’s interpretation (in his 1930 Allahabad Address) of this great verse. Iqbal said “Indeed the first practical step that Islam took towards the realisation of a final combination of humanity was to call upon peoples possessing practically the same ethical ideal to come forward and combine. The Quranic ayah declares: “O people of the Book! Come; let us join together on the ‘word’ (Unity of God) that is common to us all.” The wars of Islam and Christianity, and later, European aggression in its various forms, could not allow the infinite meaning of this verse to work itself out in the world of Islam.” This verse simply means that God shall not bless those who believe in myopic and biased nationalism instead of internationalism.
This guidance amounts to “Peace at Home and Peace Abroad” The Main Course or National Security Policy
If we were to adopt “Peace at Home and Peace Abroad” as our Main National Course or Policy, it would execute and reinforce a “Pakistani-Pakistan” as our Common Identity and strengthen the right to “Democracy, Freedom, Equality, Tolerance and Social Justice” as our National Purpose.
It would also support execution of the six suggested Vital National Interests for Pakistan as follows: all linguistic, cultural, ethnic groups shall feel equal and accountable; all sectarian groups shall find harmony through equality and accountability; all provinces and federating units shall feel equal and accountable to one another; all institutions shall feel equally important; we shall stop fighting unnecessary wars because of kinship with all those who believe in The Sole Creator running this universe-which is the essence of Tauhid; and it should become easier for us to find “what is common” amongst ourselves and all others in the region and the world who share this belief .
The essential proviso is that we as a nation affirm, reaffirm, rehearse and reiterate all these values into belief as per the first verse of Surae Al Baqrah “… This is a book of guidance for those…who believe in the unseen”.
Or else the corollary is that Allah shall not give guidance to those who do not believe in the right values.
At the collective level Allah shall not guide those who believe in oligarchy, fascism or communism instead of democracy; enslaving people instead of freedom; inequality instead of equality; intolerance instead of tolerance; and injustice instead of social justice. At the individual level we shall not be guided if we believe in dishonesty instead of integrity; in selfishness instead of service before self and in mediocrity instead of excellence.
If anyone at home and abroad is not amenable to this belief of “Internationalism” and violates our land or threatens our suggested Common Identity and our Way of Life, then we would be justified in resorting to all measures in self defence as per the UN charter , including the use of force.
Thus “PEACE AT HOME AND PEACE ABROAD” is proposed as the” National Security Policy” for Pakistan to counter the biggest challenge of absence of National Integration and Poor Nationhood.
Accordingly, we suggest the next three years should be a period of reinventing and consolidating a strong Pakistan by affirming and executing the “Internationalism vision” that make the people and the state secure. It must be a vision for a tolerant, moderate, dynamic, pragmatic and a prosperous Pakistan. This should give us adequate maneuvering room in a competitive world, rather than narrowing down our options in the prevailing globalised environment. It would enable us to live at peace with ourselves and with the rest of the world, give us a strong federation and one homogenous peaceful society; many more choices nationally and the internationally; well orchestrated, coordinated and coherently applied instruments of statecraft; easier access to direct foreign investment (DFI); and honorable existence within the comity of nations.
The policy shall be executed by: one, by promoting our vital national interests.
Strategy for Defending and Promoting the Vital National Interests
Vital Interest 1: National Integration and Harmony Promote strong nationhood; reach out and build consensus; promote nationhood through media; build a stakeholder society through a participatory, pluralistic, secure electorate; practice moderation and be proactive against terrorism; strive for a moral, ethical and tolerant society; and redress ethnic, linguistic grievances.
Additionally, Stress on local cultures within the overall national culture; and hold open debates on national issues and courses of action.
Vital National Interest 2: Promoting Defence and Security of Homeland
Short Term Strategy: Craft a well deliberated national security policy, counter terrorism and counter insurgency policies, a defence policy; effective law enforcement; assured security of strategic assets; Orchestrate all instruments of statecraft; and engage the Muslim world and other friendly countries.
Long term Strategy: Avoid war through skilful use of conventional and unconventional deterrence and also our role in the international coalition against terrorism; pursue principled,workable strategies to solve the Kashmir dispute; keep a viable conventional and credible minimum nuclear deterrence; continue the policy of engagement–cum-deterrence policy with India; and institutionalize strategic decision making through the National Security Council.
Vital National Interest 3: Economic Well-being—-evolve a safety net for the most deprived , encourage private sector as the main vehicle for growth; emphasize private-public sector partnership; legislate for an autonomous planning commission; create investment friendly environment by removing procedural impediments. Expedite preparations for globalization; ensure value addition to agricultural-products; enable FDI in the form of MNCs etc on the lines of the ASEAN model; reduce energy costs though development and exploitation of own coal reserves; exploit hydel -electricity opportunities in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan
Vital National Interest 4: Shaping Favourable Regional and International Environment Practice Internationalism at home and abroad; avoid confrontation and buy time for nation building without compromising on vital interests; base foreign policy on hard core national interests and ground realities; seek a stable, independent, democratic and friendly Afghanistan; strengthen the existing relations with Muslim nations. Help foreign host governments to get our expats deeply involved in both the host and Pakistani cultural activities to prevent isolation and radicalization; and devise all diplomatic and political safeguards to ensure that India does not block our water resources.
Vital National Interest 5: Promoting Peoples’ Security vs. State Security Make all policy formulation and implementation people centric; interpret the constitution in the same spirit; and ensure that people know all their rights and obligations.
Vital National Interest 6: Promotion (and Affirmation into Beliefs) of Values Affirm equality, freedom/liberty and brotherhood/fraternity at the national level; affirm” integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do” as values at the individual level; include these values in all appropriate curricula; debate these on all appropriate fora for further evolution and affirmation into belief. Enact the national identity and purpose into legislation as the first article of the constitution; and promote these along with vital national interests with full belief.
Orchestration of all Instruments to Achieve Main Purpose
Lead Instrument to execute NSP abroad: Ministry of Foreign Affairs MOFA is to follow up this course in relation to all nations. Special emphasis is to be placed on the region to forestall danger of isolation. Any country that does not respond to this policy, the course is to be modified to “Conditional Internationalism”.
Lead Instrument to execute NSP at Home: Ministry of Interior The ministry is to ensure that our people live in harmony, without targeting of any specific group. It also should treat all people with total equality.
Lead Instrument to Affirm NSP and “Secure Identity”: Ministries of Information and Education Both Ministries shall execute and affirm the strategy of “SECURE IDENTITY” in order to pursue the National Course of INTERNATIONALISM at the tactical, operational and the strategic levels. The Ministry shall help the nation affirm a “SECURE IDENTITY” and the approved “Strategic Ends” at the strategic (long term) level. It shall achieve this by including and cognitively debating appropriate information from the true Islamic, national, regional and universal histories; the Founding Fathers Vision and true Islamic teachings in various syllabi.
Other Ministries: Shall play their specified role, evolving and executing their respective strategies to pursue the national strategic ends.
General All Instruments of Statecraft are to evolve and implement policies that ensure execution of our National Purpose in perpetuity, as also the National Interests as the second most permanent ends in time and space. All are to ensure that no situation is interpreted against the spirit of these values. All ministries are to work to groom a vibrant and dynamic civil society that can provide correct advice to the nation and the government.
Suggested Missions for All Instruments Executive
Suggested Mission “Regulate, administer, manage and lead the nation as per approved National Ends and a well deliberated National Security Policy and Strategy. Reduce the three-front war scenario back to a single front, through Foreign and Defence Ministries. Set an example of individual and collective conduct and shared responsibility which inspires the citizenry.”
Additionally, orchestrate a dispassionate debate on the National Purpose and National interests amongst the people, media, intelligentsia, Common Identity and National Purpose as the first verse of the constitution so that it can be affirmed perpetually through debate, interpretation and execution.
The Executive is to ensure continued reinvention of Pakistan by evolving and implementing a written National Security Policy/Strategy document every three years; and enact an amendment in the constitution on the line of the 1986 US Nicholas-Goldwater Act, in the constitution, to hold the executive accountable for ensuring institutionalized and formalized National security thinking.
Above all, it is to ensure that all bureaucrats know and understand the implications for their intra-department, intra-service and inter- service missions. They should fully understand the same with respect to the National Security level; and endeavour that people know and understand their rights, obligations and their relationship to the National Strategic Ends.
The Executive is to also ensure the grooming of a vibrant and dynamic civil society that can provide correct advice to the nation and the government; and strengthen grass root local governments, to enable genuine autonomy so that they can take care of people they are responsible to administer.
Suggested Mission “Legislate and exercise oversight as per the constitution and the approved and publicly affirmed (commonly- accepted) National Ends”
Additionally, debate the suggested National Security Policy Document for final approval and enact suitable amendments in the constitution. Its parliamentary oversight committees are to ensure affirmation and implementation of all strategic ends and policies.
Suggested Mission “Adjudicate as per the constitution of Pakistan and approved National Interests”.
Suggested Mission “Promote and defend Pakistan’s national interests in light of the approved National Security and Foreign Policies.”
Additionally, it is to help reduce the three-front war scenario back to zero-front scenario; and evolve a foreign policy in line with app roved national values .
Suggested Mission “Defend national sovereignty and integrity, as per the approved National Security Policy and Defence Policy; and derive the relevant “Counter-Insurgency Strategy” there from.
It is to help reduce the three-front war scenario back to zero-front scenario; until then, to prepare for fighting two simultaneous wars: one against an external enemy and an Asymmetric Counter-Insurgency Operation. MOD must clearly identify the number of theatres to be won, or to achieve stalemate, or to deter simultaneously or sequentially.
It must clearly lay down the parameters for the military to be able to deter and fight conventional, unconventional and asymmetric wars; and evolve a Military Training System that grooms thinking and highly committed personnel for the vague, uncertain, complex and ambiguous peace and war environment of the 21st century.
Suggested Mission “Regulate society for security as per the national ends and National Security Policy and derive the relevant Counter- Terrorism Strategy” state and the approved National Ends implemented in letter and spirit. Additionally, MOI is to devise a Para-Military training system to groom thinking personnel for dealing with the vague, uncertain, complex and ambiguous internal situation.
Suggested Mission “Affirm an accurate national , regional and global historical narrative, true Islamic teachings, the Founding Fathers’ Vision and the approved National Ends into belief, and help reengineer a thinking nation”.
The Ministry is to evolve an evaluation system that ensures grooming of students for competence in achieving learning standards as per Bloom’s Taxonomy i.e. information/knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and finally evaluation of the learnt material (today most institutions are stagnant at the knowledge/information and at best comprehension stages).
Suggested Mission “Affirm the approved National Ends into belief, along with educating an increasingly informed and thinking public through infotainment”.
The Ministry must lead the debate to affirm the national strategic ends and policies into beliefs through talk-shows, debates and documentaries in public/private media; and ensure a zealously independent, free and nationally responsible media.
Ministry for Cultural Affairs
Suggested Mission “Help evolve a national culture as per the approved National Security Policies, Strategies as well as the approved national Strategic Ends”.
Additionally, evolve a cultural environment with focus on the future instead of depicting the past with all its woes and miseries. It is also to arrange cultural exchanges with the regional countries and elsewhere, with the explicit aim of accurately portraying and thus helping secure the nation.
Ministry for Religious Affairs
Suggested Mission “Educate the nation for true understanding of Tauhid, Salat, Fasting, Hajj and Zakat as means (and not ends) to achieve the ends of a secure Islamic society ”.It is essential to educate the public about the Quranic concept of Jihad as a struggle against evil, foremost in confrontation with our own internal and social weaknesses. Naturally, such opposition is an unarmed, non-violent,effort.
Additionally, it must wean nationals away from extremist thinking; ensure that all sects are treated equally by the state; that the clergy understands and preaches a moderate, tolerant and dynamic Islam; and ensure that mosques are known as Islamic, rather than sect-specific places of worship.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Having undertaken a study of Pakistan’s security imperatives, a National Security Policy of “Peace at Home and Peace Abroad” has been suggested. It proposes to reinvent and re-emphasize a correct Pakistani nationhood through a suggested National Purpose and Common Identity.
It recommends that a Pakistan at peace with itself, and consequently with others, can help stabilize the region and the world. Clearly only a strong, democratic, dynamic, fair and prosperous Pakistan can look after its people and only thereafter, truly lend legitimate moral and political support to Muslim causes the world over. On the other hand, a weak, disunited and undemocratic Pakistan shall be a liability for its own people and can neither be secure nor safe from harm internally or externally on the contemporary global stage.
Our main goal of “Peace at Home and Peace Abroad” and the strategy of a “Secure Identity”, are mounted against the biggest challenge of “Poor Nationhood”, that threatens achievement of a strong Common Identity, National Purpose or Vital National Interests. This challenge has tended to isolate us in the region and the world. But most crucially it has resulted in a fratricidal war that, if not addressed, could become an existential threat.
This is a consequence of failure of leadership over the last six decades, which has not shown the intent, vision or the will to resolve many vital issues between provinces, ethnic and religious groups, upper and lower riparian communities, the rich and poor, or with our neighbours. Conversely, it has given birth to problems like shameless corruption, breakdown of institutions and of societal values; and a lost sense of moral right or wrong.
Thus we conclude the following:
Pakistan could become increasingly vulnerable to hostile attack from inside (by non-state-actors) or from outside (under the Preemption Doctrine) unless remedial action is taken quickly and firmly. The Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism Operations derived from this NSP, with definite and appropriate policy-guidance, could expedite return to normalcy and help implement this strategy.
Pakistan, with poor comprehension of its nationhood and the consequent ineffective governance, shall be rendered increasingly liable to lagging further behind others in the fiercely competitive contemporary Free Market Economy.
Rapid advances in information and other technologies being easily available to non-state-actors through globalization shall continue to create new dangers and vulnerabilities for Pakistan. Porous borders shall create added pressures.
Pakistan’s proximity to global energy sources shall persist as a lasting source of major strategic significance. Depending on our policies and strategies this factor will either help secure Pakistan or else increase its vulnerabilities.
Last but not the least, an incompetent and insecure leadership, without a strategic vision and fighting for its own political survival, cannot face these challenges effectively.
We must display unwavering resolve to project and affirm the consensually evolved nationhood in all national policies and strategies. Simultaneously we should persevere in convincing all those opposed to it, with logic and rational arguement. It would then be easier to create a stakeholder society. Till then, its citizens, let alone its federating units, will lack enough trust or belief in the nation to effectively help any strategy succeed. Thus following main recommendations are offered:
- Suggested Common Identity: Pakistani Pakistan.
- Suggested National Purpose: Equality, Freedom and Brotherhood.
- Suggested Basis for Nationalism: Pakistani Passport or NIC.
- Suggested National Course: Peace at Home and Peace Abroad.
- Suggested Security Strategy: Emphasize Secure Identity.
Additionally, we need to ensure the following:
We must groom all government servants (especially the senior civil and military bureaucracy) to internalize, clearly define, articulate and apply our consensual values practically to attain the National Security goals of policy formulation.
After due evolution and debate: approve and affirm into belief our Common Identity, National Purpose, Basis for Nationalism and National Identity; strengthen all regional identities within the ambit of Pakistani nationalism; and incorporate the Identity and Purpose as article one of the constitution. Use internet-enabled blogs, discussion forums and Social Media forums like Twitter and Face-book to quickly convert these values as the belief of the people. Jingles and ring-tones to make them popular amongst the nation could be employed.
GOP must enact legislation to bind the Chief Executive to issuing a well-deliberated and formalized National Security Policy and Strategy every three years. It should be issued as a public document under his signatures.
Evolve strategies to wean the nation away from the concept of a theocratic state defending the entire Ummah, to a homeland first for the Pakistani Muslims, where they can at least execute the five pillars of Islam in comfort and security.
Establish a separate Ministry for National Integration and Harmony.
The government should review the flawed existing political structure and make it more responsive and accountable to citizens’ needs. Accordingly, all local governments need to be incrementally empowered with independence and complete financial autonomy.
This exercise at the operational, but more importantly at the strategic level, is aimed at ensuring that: every Pakistani can recall our National Purpose; even better, if at least the intelligentsia can recall the implications of the National Purpose and link it to his/her responsibilties and privileges; even better, if the intelligentsia can also recall our Vital National Interests and their implications; and that each one of us feels proud of our Pakistani-Pakistan identity; and that all who carry a green
Pakistani passport or its NIC are enabled to be treated as first-rate Pakistanis, regardless of caste, sect, colour or religious belief.
Most significantly,all this can only be realised through a leadership that is visionary, competent, legitimate, secure, and sincere to the cause of the people and the country- and not merely to their political parties and ethno-religious groups. A leadership that can inspire the people and empower them! Nothing less shall do!