GEN (r) MIRZA ASLAM BEG– Of the several activities of our national life that have bearing on national security, two aspects, i.e., Defence and the Psycho-social, enjoy the status of National Power. These will be discussed briefly to identify the threat to our National Security Power Matrix, caused by the nexus: America and India, as well as by our own failings.
Defense and development: by the grace of Allah, Pakistan has achieved considerable success by developing state of the art weapon systems, such as tanks, guns, missiles, battleships (nuclear powered submarines are under development) and the versatile fighter aircraft J-17. Our land forces have achieved 90% self-sufficiency in all kinds of weapon, equipment and ammunition. Thus, for the first time, since 1990s, Pakistan Army is maintaining war reserves of over forty days, whereas India could hardly manage ten days war reserves. India is suffering from chronic failures in achieving their primary goal of a regional power status.
No doubt Indian Armed Forces suffers from serious weaknesses that would take them considerable time to make-up the deficiencies. In the short term, therefore India would take advantage of the Strategic Defense Partnership (SDP) with America, to acquire high-tech weapon and equipment, to provide timely superiority over Pakistan, at the cutting-edge of technology, related to a few selected weapon systems, supported by cyber and electronic warfare technologies. This support would be easy to acquire from the members of the SDP, such as Israel, Australia and United Kingdom. Therefore, Pakistan doesn’t have to take it easy or be complacent about it, and must continue to upgrade, improve and modernize the existing military hardware.
Psycho-social imbalance: in 1947, the moderate Muslims voted for Pakistan with “democracy as the system of governance based on the principle of Quran and Sunnah.” This was later affirmed by the 1973 Constitution given by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, but he was soon pulled-down and so was democracy, by the Evil Nexus of 4As (America, Army, Adliah and the Allies). Matters got worse in 2007, when America invested US$ 1.5 Bn for perception management of the Pakistani nation, with the result that as a nation, we now are more than half secular/liberal, creating “a dangerous unruly socio-political power vertical.” Such a situation arose in Indonesia in 1965, exploding into a civil war.
America launched the First Crusade in 9/11 and in the process destroyed and decimated Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Trump has now launched the Second Crusade, under the malicious logic:
“Islam is a malignant cancer in the body of one billion and seven hundred million people on the planet and must be eradicated as we did with Communism and Nazism. We not only target sects but Muslims as a whole”, according Trump’s national security advisor, General Flynn, who no longer is part of the Trump administration. He was fired for the Russian connection.
Trumps recent 9 days rushed visit to ‘Pivot Asia’ was to seek confirmation, that the plan could be implemented, starting with Lebanon, to dismantle Iranian ingress around the Arabian Peninsula. The purpose is to redraw the map of Middle East and eliminate the threat of Islam. In order to protect their base of offensive, they would retain their military control over Afghanistan, despite the impending shameful retreat waiting for them. They have no plan for a negotiated settlement of Afghan problem, but the treacherous motive is to turn Afghan into Daeshtan for all the neighboring countries.
Pakistan has faced challenges of myriad dimensions during the last three decades, yet it is politically stable despite weak governance and poor decision making. Now the focus is on the elections 2018, which would lead the nation to a stable democratic order. Pakistan has found its rightful place internationally, based on geo-political and geo-economic cooperative relationship – the forceful trend sweeping the region that would actualize a peaceful environment, without fighting a war. The unruly psycho-social power imbalance is self-created and dangerously embedded into our national psyche. A very strong socio-political surge therefore is needed to correct this dangerous drift. Our national institutions are fully functional though some are debased by corruption and mismanagement but they do provide the hope for an uninterrupted stable democratic order.
The writer is a former COAS, Pakistan.
(A version of the article appeared in The Nation)