07
June

Waziristan at Peace

Written By: Jennifer McKay

North Waziristan was the last of the seven tribal agencies, along with Swat, to be cleared. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been successful with the Army, Frontier Corps and Air Force, carrying out courageous and intensive operations. Along the way, there have been many sacrifices. Several hundred soldiers were martyred during operations. Their families will always grieve their loss but all should always remember their sacrifice in making the country safer.

A new kind of normalcy is taking root in North Waziristan. After years of being at the mercy of terrorist groups, the local people are finally free to build a new and better life. The rapid change in this once ‘no-go’ area is impressive.


What’s happening in North Waziristan is too extensive to do justice to in one article. This perspective will be the first of three in a series to provide insights into this, until now, rarely visited area. Driving from Bannu through Mir Ali into Miranshah on new roads, through valleys scattered with date palms, and surrounded by the extraordinary rugged beauty of the hills and mountains, is exhilarating. Arrival in Miranshah and touring around brings many surprises about this spectacular and intriguing region.


North Waziristan was the last of the seven tribal agencies, along with Swat, to be cleared. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been successful with the Army, Frontier Corps and Air Force, carrying out courageous and intensive operations. Along the way, there have been many sacrifices. Several hundred soldiers were martyred during operations. Their families will always grieve their loss but all should always remember their sacrifice in making the country safer.

 

Miranshah is just few kilometres away from the Afghanistan border. With what was then a porous border, terrorists who managed to flee the Army would cross into Afghanistan when the chase got too hot. What I have never quite understood, is why with all the criticism of Pakistan "not doing enough", and at a time when there were massive numbers of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan Army, so little was done to stop them when they fled across the border or those from the Afghan side attempted to infiltrate into Pakistan. One can only speculate.

Several thousand terrorists were killed. Others were captured or surrendered. Many were not Pakistanis. Uzbeks, Chechens, and other nationalities joined forces and based themselves with local terrorists amongst the local population in North Waziristan. The level of capability of the terrorist groups is far removed from the common perception. Their operations were quite sophisticated. But that does not flatter their intelligence, merely highlights the level of their capacity and monstrosity. Networks of tunnels under houses and markets, barbaric slaughter rooms, ingenious camouflage of air circulation for the tunnels and underground war rooms were discovered during the operations. A sophisticated media centre with multiple screens, communications’ equipment, and a medical centre were hidden under a mosque.


A walk-through of a reconstruction of a terrorist ‘markaz’ with General Officer Commanding, North Waziristan, Major General Hassan Hayat, showed just what the Army was facing. A relatively innocent-looking building – similar to many – could ingeniously disguise a maze of tunnels and huge caches of weapons. A display of just a fraction of the weapons, communication equipment, explosives, suicide vests, gas cylinders and other deadly equipment for vehicle-borne-explosives and improvised explosive devices, gives rise to the thought of what would have happened if just a fraction of the massive cache had made its way into the cities and villages of Pakistan. Terrorists were buying explosives as they would buy spices from the market.

 

wazirstanpeace.jpgUnder the markaz were rooms where young suicide bombers spent their time preparing for what they were told would be paradise. Viewing a room decorated with photos of pretty girls, beautiful scenery, carpets and cushions, one could only wonder about the state of a child’s mind as he prepared to meet a ghastly end. The boys were kept intoxicated to keep them under the power of their handlers. The barbarism and sheer cowardice of sending children to their death, taking their innocence with them, is beyond the comprehension of any normal human being.


One thing that I found almost comical amongst the paraphernalia captured by the Pakistan Army, were wigs – long, black, curly wigs. This does conjure up some interesting visions of the purpose of such glamour-enhancing objects. Perhaps even terrorists fall victim to the perils of vanity or perhaps they just wanted to look scary in their videos. No other cosmetic enhancements were sighted.

 

The majority of families have returned home and more will follow soon including those who moved across the border to stay with families in Afghanistan. Life is returning to normal. Families and communities are busy rebuilding, restocking their animals, and planting crops. Freedom has come at a price but there is a determination to live in peace and become a prosperous and educated region.

Miranshah is just few kilometres away from the Afghanistan border. With what was then a porous border, terrorists who managed to flee the Army would cross into Afghanistan when the chase got too hot. What I have never quite understood, is why with all the criticism of Pakistan "not doing enough", and at a time when there were massive numbers of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan Army, so little was done to stop them when they fled across the border or those from the Afghan side attempted to infiltrate into Pakistan. One can only speculate.


The border is now secured. New forts have been built on mountains and ridges. The crossing points are closed and a ‘smart’ fence is being constructed on the Pakistan side of the border. The terrain is a challenge for the erection of such a barrier. Mountains, valleys and crevices form a chain that stretches the entire length of the border. The new Border Management arrangements will do much to reduce the movement of terrorists from Afghanistan into Pakistan and for local felons to flee.


Miranshah today would be unrecognizable to those who served there in earlier times. The market is bustling and a new shopping centre is under construction by a private investor. A modern bus terminal that will be a comfortable starting place for journeys to other cities like Lahore is also about to begin construction.


In the cantonment, trees, including many varieties of fruit trees, and flowers have been planted, the streets are immaculate, and in the midst of all this, stands a small Christian Church. It is hard to imagine that only a short time ago, this whole area was under attack from rockets, and that the tanks I saw parked near beautiful flowering trees were in live action.

 

wazirstanpeace1.jpgWhile there is little doubt that some profited from the presence of the terrorist groups, others who had no option but to stay through the dreadful times of terror, abuse and intimidation, were courageous. Through courage and determination, they managed to adapt to their circumstances and survive to see the onset of peace.


Millions of people were displaced from their homes for their own protection as military operations were launched to defeat the terrorists. There was no other option to ensure civilian safety. When the Army moved the population out to launch the military operations, many lost their homes, their livestock, crops, and livelihoods. Some were fortunate that in displacement they could stay with host families or even rent a house elsewhere. But for others, it was the indignity of a camp for displaced persons. Try to imagine a Pakistani summer or winter in a tent with your whole family. It would be very unpleasant indeed.


The process to return home takes time, as families cannot return until a village is de-notified and basic facilities are reconstructed by the Army and government to facilitate resettlement. On arrival at the checkpoint for North Waziristan, all family members undergo biometric checking and clearance to ensure they receive their proper entitlements and can move about. The process is efficient and when I visited, there were only very small queues. No weapons are allowed and vehicles are inspected for compliance with the rules. The biometric checking process is mandatory every time any person enters or leaves the area to ensure that security is maintained.


The majority of families have returned home and more will follow soon including those who moved across the border to stay with families in Afghanistan. Life is returning to normal. Families and communities are busy rebuilding, restocking their animals, and planting crops. Freedom has come at a price but there is a determination to live in peace and become a prosperous and educated region.


Women often suffer most in conflict and complex emergencies. Not being used to living in camps where there is little privacy is particularly difficult. I spoke with many women and girls about the tough times and how they see their future. A number of well-equipped Women’s Vocational Training Centres have been established for women and girls to learn dressmaking, knitting, cookery, and techniques for hair and beauty treatments. Each centre has a bright and cheerful nursery for babies and small children to be cared for and entertained while their mothers are in class. The kitchens in the women’s centres would be the envy of any chef in a major city.


Away from the men, the women are talkative, warm, and engaging. There were emotional moments as they shared their stories. An elderly lady in a village that had been in a terrorist stronghold and the scene of significant operations, told me, “I only have Allah now. My family is all dead.” Hugging me tightly, she went on to whisper, “But I have peace, too”. Surrounded by the women and the children of the village, it was clear that she also would be nurtured and cared for by her community.


Another woman told me of the terrible times she faced when the terrorists kidnapped her husband. In between tears remembering what it was like, she managed to smile when she said, “but look now, we have peace at last and we thank the Army for making us safe. Our girls are going to school and learning so much. They will have a better life than me”.


Fathers waited patiently at the school gate for their daughters. One man told the GOC how happy he was that his daughter was going to school and asked if the Army would build yet another girls’ school in his nearby village. It is not possible to have a school in every village but the villages are close together so it is never too far to travel. It is heartening to see that education is a top priority for parents for both their boys and their girls and the Army has a campaign to get all children to school. There is even a Montessori school opening in the area. A beautiful place surrounded by trees and fields, close to a stream, it will be a wonderful place for children to learn.

 

Away from the men, the women are talkative, warm, and engaging. There were emotional moments as they shared their stories. An elderly lady in a village that had been in a terrorist stronghold and the scene of significant operations, told me, “I only have Allah now. My family is all dead.” Hugging me tightly, she went on to whisper, “But I have peace, too”. Surrounded by the women and the children of the village, it was clear that she also would be nurtured and cared for by her community.

Health and education are paramount. In the Boya and Degan area, malaria and leishmaniasis – a painful and debilitating illness caused by sandflies – are problematic. A new small hospital, staffed by Army medical officers, locals and lady health workers, is addressing these issues. The hospital also has cardiac and other equipment including blood-testing facilities not previously available in the area. The presence of these facilities will make a great difference to the health of the local people.


In Miranshah, an impressive hospital is now operational with numerous facilities never previously available. A women’s wing is also under construction. Mir Ali too has a new hospital. Nutrition is a problem not only in FATA but also across the country. A nutrition clinic, operated by an NGO has opened at the Miranshah Hospital. This is a great step forward to improve the nutritional aspects of child health. This is particularly important when 43 percent of children in Pakistan are feeling the effects of stunting due to poor nutrition. More assistance will be needed in the future for the health of the people of Waziristan. Telemedicine is helping fill some of the gaps but more doctors, including gynaecologists and other specialists, nurses, medicines and facilities will make a significant difference.


The crucial question many ask is: “Is this sustainable peace?” I believe so. Peace does not happen overnight. Suspicions and old family feuds are likely to still be present but are now managed. Peace building is a long process but the enthusiastic work done so far by the Army to rebuild and rehabilitate North Waziristan is some of the best I’ve seen. In a short span of time, great roads, schools for boys and girls, hospitals and clinics, model villages, 149 solar water-pumping stations, a Post Office, and PTCL are now all operational. Four schools have been designated as Golden Arrow Army Public Schools and these will be replicated elsewhere in FATA.


The Younus Khan Sports Complex with its beautiful cricket stadium, jogging track, children’s park, and sports courts is impressive and beautifully laid out. On Pakistan Day 2017, 8,000 people gathered in the stadium for the festivities. Astounding really, when you think that not so long ago, this was a place too dangerous to move. The locals' love of sports is apparent everywhere. Smaller sports stadiums have been built in a number of areas and wherever you drive, children and adults are out in the fields or any available space, playing cricket.


As much as some would find this surprising, the potential for tourism is substantial. The beautiful historic hill station of Razmak, at an altitude similar to Murree, is thriving again and surprisingly, even has a very modern coffee shop that would not look out of place in Islamabad or Lahore. The Cadet College has reopened and the students have returned after being evacuated to other Cadet Colleges several years ago when rocket attacks and kidnapping threats made life too perilous. But now Razmak is at peace and thriving. The beautiful vistas and highland climate, and the good roads, provide the opportunity for a whole new industry; Tourism. There are even plans for a festival there in July.


New crops have been planted across the agency. The first crop of potatoes will be harvested with an expected yield of 1,500 tons, providing both nutrition and income for locals. Tunnel and vertical farms have been established for vegetable crops. Poultry and fish farms are becoming prosperous. A million new trees are taking root and will provide fruit, shade, and stabilization on hillsides. Most importantly, the community is engaged in the process every step of the way. Pine nuts, olives, and other ‘gourmet’ ingredients provide potential high-return markets and exports.


The youth are engaged in learning skills at vocational centres that will provide them with ‘work-ready’ capabilities and certificates in carpentry, electricals, vehicle repairs, and other trades. Construction of roads and infrastructure, and copper mining at Degan, are providing new jobs. Private investors are starting to see the commercial opportunities. Additional infrastructure, particularly electricity, is needed and the government will need to address this costly challenge.


Winning peace in such a historically troubled area has been an enormous challenge but many are now starting to see what extraordinary achievements have been made. Speaking recently at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, at an event to mark the 70th independence anniversary of Pakistan, the Commander British Field Army, Lieutenant General Patrick Nicholas Sanders said, “Pakistan had made breathtaking gains against terrorists and extremists in tribal areas unmatched in over 150 years”. He went on to say that Pakistan Army had done more than anyone to combat extremism and terrorism and the achievements were extraordinary.


The Army is doing an impressive job leading the reconstruction and rehabilitation work alongside the FATA Secretariat, the Political Agent and his team. Bilateral and multilateral donors, humanitarian and development organisations are also working in support of initiatives and are continuing to extend their projects now that the area is opening up. The FATA Reforms are underway although these may take some time to be fully implemented.


To build on these massive achievements, it is also up to the broader community to support peace in North Waziristan and other regions of FATA through ‘adopting’ schools, clinics, and other initiatives that provide long-term benefits for stability. North Waziristan may seem remote from the cities of Pakistan but peace in this once-troubled area, also means peace in the cities.

 

The writer is Australian Disaster Management and Civil-Military Relations Consultant, based in Islamabad where she consults for Government and UN agencies. She has also worked with ERRA and NDMA.

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09
June

پاکستان۔ بالخصوص کراچی میں امن ہر قیمت پر ۔مگر کیسے

Published in Hilal Urdu June 2017

تحریر: محمود شام

قلم کا قرطاس سے‘ذہن کا انگلیوں سے‘ سوچ کا تحریر سے رشتہ جوڑتے نصف صدی سے زیادہ عرصہ ہوگیا ہے‘ مگر ایسا انتشار‘ ایسی انارکی اور بے یقینی کبھی نہیں دیکھی تھی‘ نہ اتنی تشویش محسوس کی تھی۔ہر جانے والا دن‘ ہر ڈوبنے والا سورج بہت سی اُمیدیں لے کر ڈوب جاتا ہے۔ آرزوئیں رخصت ہوجاتی ہیں۔ اتنی شدت پسندی پہلے کبھی مشاہدہ نہیں کی تھی۔ مذہبی انتہا پسندی بھی عروج پر ہے۔ سیاسی وفاداریوں میں بھی انتہائی شدت ہے بلکہ ایک جنون ہے۔ سیاسی لیڈروں کی پالیسیاں غلط ہوں یا درست‘ ان کے کارکن اور عہدیدار ان کی ہر بات پر آمَنَّا و صَدَّقْنَا کہتے ہیں۔ لیڈر دن کو رات کہے تو یہ بھی لازم ہے کہ دن کو رات مانیں۔ اپنے ذہن کا استعمال ممنوع ہے۔ اسی لئے معاشرے میں ہر طرف ایک افراتفری کی کیفیت نظر آرہی ہے۔ نفسا نفسی بھی ہے۔ اکثریت کی زندگی بہت کٹھن ہوگئی ہے۔

bilkhasooskarachi.jpg
ایک طرف تو یہ عدم استحکام ہے۔ کوئی قوم کو ایک سمت میں لے جانے والا نہیں ہے۔ کسی سیاسی جماعت نے قومی مفادات اور قومی روڈ میپ کا تعین نہیں کیا ہے۔ ایسی صورتِ حال میں جب سرحدوں کے اس پار سے بھی دھمکیاں ملنے لگیں تو دل یہ سوچنے اور ذہن اپنے آپ سے سوال کرنے پر مجبور ہوجاتا ہے کہ کیا ہم محفوظ ہاتھوں میں ہیں۔ یہ سب کچھ اچانک نہیں ہورہا ہے۔ ہم نے جب سے دوسروں کی لڑائیاں لڑنا شروع کی ہیں ‘ جب سے دوسروں کے مفادات کے تحفظ کو اپنی ذمہ داری سمجھا ہے‘ جب سے بڑی طاقتوں کے آلۂ کار بننے شروع ہوئے ہیں‘ ہماری سرحدیں مخدوش ہونے لگی ہیں۔ ہمارے شہروں میں شدت پسندی کا غلبہ ہونے لگا ہے۔ مذہب آپس میں بیر رکھنا نہیں سکھاتا۔ اسلام سلامتی کا مذہب ہے۔ امن کا دین ہے۔ انسانوں کے درمیان محبت پیدا کرتا ہے۔ ہمارے رسول اکرمﷺ ؐ کو اللہ تعالیٰ نے دونوں جہانوں کے لئے رحمت بناکر اتارا ہے۔اسلام کو صوفیائے کرام اور اولیائے عظام نے پیار اور محبت سے دنیا میں پھیلایا۔ اب بھی غیر مسلم پیارے نبیﷺ کے اسوۂ حسنہ اور اچھے مسلمانوں کے کردار کو دیکھ کر اسلام قبول کررہے ہیں۔ لیکن اس مملکت خداد میں مسلمان مسلمان کو جس طرح ہلاک کرنے لگے تھے اور مذہب کا نام استعمال کرکے دوسروں کو تہ تیغ کیا جارہا تھا اس سے بہت زیادہ خوف و ہراس پھیل گیا تھا۔

 

فوجی کارروائی کے ذریعے وقتی طور پر تو استحکام اور امن آجاتا ہے۔ جیسے کہ کراچی میں آگیا ہے لیکن اگر یہاں کے دو کروڑ باشندوں کو صبح شام ٹریفک کی مشکلات پیش ہوں گی ان کے کئی کئی گھنٹے سڑکوں پر گزریں گے۔ لاکھوں کا پیٹرول ضائع ہوگا‘ تو ان کے ذہن پھر بپھرے دریا بن جائیں گے۔ دنیا بھر میں اصول ہوتا ہے کہ فوجی آپریشن کے ذریعے حاصل ہونے والی کامیابیوں کو سول ادارے اپنی فرض شناسی اور دیانت داری سے مستحکم کرتے ہیں ۔ اس کا فقدان نظر آرہا ہے۔

یہ فرقہ پرستی مسلک دشمنی اور اپنے عقیدے کو دوسرے پر مسلط کرنے کا سلسلہ بتدریج ہوا ہے‘ اچانک نہیں ہوا۔ اسے روکنے کی کوشش نہیں کی گئی۔ بلکہ مختلف مقتدر حلقوں کی طرف سے اس کی سرپرستی بھی کی گئی۔ پھر یہ بھی ہوا کہ ہمارے ملک کو اللہ تعالیٰ نے نوجوان اکثریت کی جس نعمت سے نوازا تھا‘ اس کو ہم نے اپنے غلط رویوں ‘ پالیسیوں اور صحیح قیادت نہ ہونے کی بدولت اپنے لیے ایک زحمت بنالیا۔ نوجوان بلا شبہ ایک طاقت ہیں‘ توانائی ہیں‘ ایک دریا ہیں جس میں طغیانی آئی ہوتی ہے۔ اگر اس کے کنارے پختہ نہ بنائے جائیں‘ دریاؤں میں سے ریت نہ نکالی جائے‘ پانی کے لئے گنجائش نہ بڑھائی جائے تو وہ کناروں سے بغاوت کردیتے ہیں‘ چھلک جاتے ہیں‘ آس پاس تباہی مچادیتے ہیں۔ اگر ان کی سوچ سمجھ کر منصوبہ بندی کی جائے ‘ بند باندھے جائیں‘ نہریں نکالی جائیں تو وہ زمین کو زرخیز بنادیتے ہیں۔ نوجوانوں کے ذہن بھی بپھرے ہوئے دریاؤں کی مانند ہیں۔ جہاں ناانصافی بڑھ جائے‘ نفرتوں کے سلسلے ختم نہ ہوں‘ انسانیت کی قدر نہ ہو۔ میرٹ پرروزگار نہ ملے‘ وہاں پھر یہ دریا کناروں سے اچھلنے لگتے ہیں۔ ہر معاشرے میں مقامی طور پر بھی ایسے مافیاز موجود ہوتے ہیں جنہیں دشمن ایجنسیوں کی حمایت بھی حاصل ہوجاتی ہے۔ وہ ان نوجوانوں کو اپنے حلقۂ عاطفت میں لے لیتے ہیں۔ یہ نوجوان کسی ایسی پناہ یا سہارے کی تلاش میں ہوتے ہیں۔ کچھ تنظیمیں انہیں نسلی بنیادوں پر گمراہ کرتی ہیں۔ کچھ زبان کا استحصال کرکے انہیں بغاوت پر اُکساتی ہیں۔ جب سے دنیا میں مختلف واقعات کو بہانہ بناکر مسلمانوں اور اسلام کے خلاف جارحیت شروع ہوئی ہے‘ مغرب نے کبھی جمہوریت کے قیام کا عذر تراش کر‘ کبھی شدت پسندی کا الزام لگاکر مختلف اسلامی ملکوں میں فساد برپا کئے ہیں۔ بعض مسلم حکمران مغربی جارح قوتوں کے گماشتے بن گئے۔ مسلم ممالک میں زیادہ تر شہری آزادیاں نہیں ہیں۔ آج کا پڑھا لکھا مسلم نوجوان اپنے حکمرانوں سے خوش نہیں ہوتا۔ وہ بغاوت کرنے کے لیے سڑک پر آتا ہے تو اسے پابہ زنجیر کردیا جاتا ہے۔ فلسطین اور کشمیر میں تو نصف صدی سے ظلم و ستم ڈھائے جارہے تھے۔ اکثر مسلمان حکمران ہر جبر و تشدد خاموشی سے دیکھ رہے تھے۔بہت سی تنظیموں نے مسلم نوجوانوں کے ان باغیانہ رُجحانات سے فائدہ اٹھایا اور انہیں شدت پسندی کا راستہ دکھایا۔ بے بس اور بے کس نوجوانوں کو ہتھیار دے کر طاقت ور ہونے کا احساس دلایا اور کہا گیا کہ یہ راستہ جنت کا راستہ ہے۔

 

نظریات کی کشمکش زوروں پر ہے۔ تنازعات بڑھ رہے ہیں۔عدالتیں تصفیوں میں بہت دیر لگاتی ھیں۔ حکومتوں کی پہلی کوشش تو یہ ہونی چاہئے کہ سماج میں ٹہراؤ ہو۔ معاملات پہلے تو پولیس اسٹیشن جانے سے پہلے طے ہوں۔ بزرگ اپنا کردار ادا کریں۔ پولیس تک بات پہنچے تو وہ مصالحت کروائیں۔ عدالت تک جانے سے گریز کیا جائے ۔ عدالت میں آجائے تو وہ جلد از جلد فیصلے دیں۔

یہ سارے ملے جلے رُجحانات چاہے وہ لسانی حوالے سے شدت پکڑ رہے تھے یا نسلی اعتبار سے یا پھر فرقہ وارانہ وابستگی کے حوالے سے‘ انہوں نے پُر امن شہروں کو تشدد اور ہلاکت خیزیوں کا مرکز بنادیا۔ کراچی میں لسانی حوالہ لاشیں گراتا رہا۔ بلوچستان میں نسلی شناخت۔ کے پی کے‘ فاٹا‘ جنوبی پنجاب میں مذہبی شدت پسندی۔ پھر فوج اور قوم نے مل کر ان ساری شدتوں‘ عصبیتوں کے خاتمے کا پروگرام بنایا ۔ پارلیمنٹ نے بھی اس عزم کی توثیق کی۔ ضرب عضب کا آغاز کیا گیا۔ فاٹا میں اور دوسرے علاقوں میں انتہا پسندوں اور دہشت گردوں کے ٹھکانے فوجی کارروائی سے ختم کئے گئے۔ اس کے لئے فاٹا کے ہزاروں رہائشیوں کواپنے ہی گھروں سے بے دخل ہونا پڑا۔ کیمپوں میں زندگی گزارنی پڑی۔ ان قابل فخر پاکستانیوں نے یہ قربانی صرف اسی لئے دی کہ پاکستان پُر امن ہوجائے۔ انسانی خون بہنا بند ہوجائے۔ مسلمان مسلمان کو‘ پاکستانی پاکستانی کو ہلاک نہ کرے۔ ہمارے نوجوان دشمنوں اور غیروں کے ہاتھوں میں نہ کھیلیں۔
اب موجودہ سپہ سالار‘ چیف آف آرمی اسٹاف جنرل قمر باجوہ نے دو ٹوک الفاظ میں کہا ہے کہ پاکستان میں اور بالخصوص کراچی میں ہر قیمت پر امن قائم کیا جائے گا۔


ضرب عضب کے ساتھ ساتھ آپریشن ردّالفساد شروع کردیا گیا ہے۔ میں کراچی میں رہتا ہوں۔ میں نے 90کے عشرے میں ایسے دن بھی دیکھے ہیں جب چند گھنٹوں میں ہی پچاس ساٹھ سے زیادہ لاشیں گرادی جاتی تھیں۔ ہم نے حکیم محمد سعید شہید جیسے سچے پاکستانی بھی انہی وحشیانہ وارداتوں میں کھوئے۔ کتنے ہی ڈاکٹر شہید کئے گئے۔ سیاسی شخصیتوں کی جانیں لے لی گئیں۔ بعض تنظیموں نے ایک دوسرے کے کارکن بیدردی سے مارے۔ ہم تو خیر رہتے ہی کراچی میں تھے۔ لیکن ان وارداتوں اور خونریزی کے باعث دوسرے ملکوں سے سرمایہ کاروں نے پاکستان آنا چھوڑ دیا۔ خاص طور پر کراچی میں کاروباری میٹنگ کرنے سے منع کرتے تھے۔ زیادہ تر دوبئی میں ملنے کو ترجیح دیتے تھے۔
پاک فوج کی طرف سے پارلیمنٹ کی قرارداد کی روشنی میں اور منتخب حکومت سے مشاورت کے بعد کراچی آپریشن نے بہت کامیابیاں حاصل کیں۔ کیونکہ اس میں کراچی کے شہریوں‘ تاجروں ‘ صنعتکاروں‘ دانشوروں‘ ادیبوں‘ شاعروں‘ علمائے حق اور سیاسی کارکنوں نے بھرپور ساتھ دیا۔ رینجرز سے مکمل تعاون کیا گیا۔ اس میں رینجرز کو بھی قربانیاں دینا پڑیں۔ مگر رفتہ رفتہ کراچی کی رونقیں بحال ہونے لگیں۔ شہریوں کے دل سے خوف رفتہ رفتہ جاتا رہا ‘اب ساحل پر پھر وہی ہجوم دکھائی دینے لگے ہیں۔ سیمینارز‘ کنسرٹس کا سلسلہ بحال ہوگیا ہے۔ کتاب میلے منعقد ہورہے ہیں۔ یونیورسٹیوں‘ کالجوں اورسکولوں میں پھر سرگرمیاں شروع ہوگئی ہیں۔


کراچی ابھی تک 1960 اور 1970 والا تو واپس نہیں آیا ہے لیکن بڑی حد تک شہریوں کا اعتماد واپس آگیا ہے۔ کارخانوں میں ساری شفٹیں کام کررہی ہیں۔ بازاروں اور مارکیٹوں میں خریداروں کے ہجوم نظر آتے ہیں۔ مگر بہتر حکمرانی کا خواب اب بھی شرمندۂ تعبیر نہیں ہوا ہے۔ صوبائی حکومتیں اپنے لئے تو خود مختاری مانگتی ہیں۔ لیکن بلدیاتی اداروں کی خود مختاری سلب کرلیتی ہیں۔ کراچی میں امن تو بحال ہوگیا ہے‘ لیکن بلدیاتی اداروں اور صوبائی حکومت کے درمیان اختیارات کی جنگ نے شہریوں کی زندگی اجیرن بنارہی ہے۔ کچرا اٹھانے کا بندوبست نہیں ہورہا ہے۔ شہر کی ساری سڑکیں کھدی پڑی ہیں۔ ٹریفک ہر وقت جام رہتا ہے۔ صبح ہو‘ دوپہر یاشام بڑی بڑی سڑکوں پر گاڑیاں دوڑتی نہیں‘ رینگنے پر مجبور ہوتی ہیں۔ کوئی تدبر یا حسن انتظام نہیں ہے۔
شہریوں کا ذہنی سکون برباد ہورہا ہے۔ یہ بحث ہوتی رہتی ہے کہ پاک فوج کے آپریشن۔ رینجرز کی مسلسل کاوشوں سے قائم ہونے والا امن خراب حکمرانی‘ شہریوں کی پریشانی‘ پبلک پرائیویٹ سہولتوں کی عدم فراہمی کے باعث پھر بد امنی میں نہ بدل جائے۔


فوجی کارروائی کے ذریعے وقتی طور پر تو استحکام اور امن آجاتا ہے۔ جیسے کہ کراچی میں آگیا ہے لیکن اگر یہاں کے دو کروڑ باشندوں کو صبح شام ٹریفک کی مشکلات پیش ہوں گی ان کے کئی کئی گھنٹے سڑکوں پر گزریں گے۔ لاکھوں کا پیٹرول ضائع ہوگا‘ تو ان کے ذہن پھر بپھرے دریا بن جائیں گے۔ دنیا بھر میں اصول ہوتا ہے کہ فوجی آپریشن کے ذریعے حاصل ہونے والی کامیابیوں کو سول ادارے اپنی فرض شناسی اور دیانت داری سے مستحکم کرتے ہیں ۔ اس کا فقدان نظر آرہا ہے۔


اسی طرح ملک بھر میں ضرب عضب پھر ردّالفساد کے ذریعے حاصل ہونے والی کامیابیوں کو بھی متعلقہ صوبائی حکومتیں ہی مستحکم اور دیرپا کرسکتی ہیں۔ ’ردّالفساد‘ کی اصطلاح بہت وسیع معانی رکھتی ہے۔ مذہبی حوالے سے بھی اور انتظامی نکتہ نظر سے بھی۔ جسے بہت سے شدت پسند اپنے نقطۂ نظر سے جہاد کہتے ہیں‘ جنت کا راستہ خیال کرتے ہیں‘ وہ علمائے حق کے نزدیک فساد ہے۔ اسکا ردّ بہت ضروری ہے۔ اس ردّالفساد کے ذریعے پنجاب‘ سندھ‘ کے پی کے اور بلوچستان سب جگہ ہی کارروائیاں کی جارہی ہیں۔ بہت سے مقامات پر پہلے سے کارروائی کرکے بڑی مقدار میں گولہ بارود‘ ہتھیار پکڑ کے ان دہشت گردوں کے ممکنہ حملوں کو ناکام بنادیا گیا۔ اب تک ہزاروں کی تعداد میں ایسے مشکوک افراد پکڑے جاچکے ہیں‘ ان کے خلاف مقدمات تیار کرکے عدالتوں میں پیش کئے جارہے ہیں۔ ان آپریشنوں کی کامیابی کی شہادت اس امر سے مل سکتی ہے کہ اب پہلے کی طرح بم دھماکوں کی وارداتیں نہیں ہورہیں۔ پبلک مقامات‘ مساجد‘ بازار اور حساس تنصیبات اب محفوظ ہوتی جارہی ہیں۔ پارلیمنٹ کی قرارداد اور سیاسی فوجی قیادت نے ملک کر حکمتِ عملی مرتب کی جسے نیشنل ایکشن پلان کا نام دیا گیا اس میں سے فوری نوعیت کی کارروائی تو ہورہی ہے۔ دہشت گردوں کا صفایا ہورہا ہے۔ فوجی عدالتوں سے سزائیں بھی ہورہی ہیں۔ سزائے موت پر عملدرآمد بھی ہورہا ہے۔


لیکن اس کے ساتھ ساتھ یہ بھی ضروری ہے کہ ان تمام عوامل اور اسباب کا بھی خاتمہ کیا جائے جن کی وجہ سے فساد برپا ہوتا ہے‘ جن محرومیوں سے مجبور ہوکر نوجوان لسانی‘ نسلی اور مذہبی شدت پسند تنظیموں کا آلۂ کار بنتے ہیں۔خاص طور پر بے روزگار نوجوان کو ماہانہ معقول تنخواہ بھی دی جاتی ہے اور اس کے اہل خانہ کی مالی مدد بھی کی جاتی ہے۔


پاکستان میں ایک محتاط اندازے کے مطابق قریباً 12کروڑ افراد 15سے 25سال تک کی عمر کے ہیں۔ یہ قدرت کا بہت بڑا احسان ہے۔ اللہ تعالیٰ کا فضل ہے‘ یہ ہماری طاقت ہیں‘ توانائی ہیں۔ لیکن مقامی حکومتوں کی بے اختیاری‘ صوبائی حکومتوں کی غیر ذمہ داری اور سیاسی قیادت کی لا پروائی سے یہ قیمتی اثاثہ بوجھ بن رہا ہے۔ ہمارے کونسلروں‘ میئروں‘ چیئرمینوں کی ذمہ داری ہے ۔ قومی اور صوبائی اسمبلی کے ارکان کا قومی فریضہ ہے کہ وہ اپنے اپنے علاقے میں نوجوانوں کی سرگرمیوں کا جائزہ لیں۔ ان کی معاشی کیفیت سے آگاہی حاصل کریں۔ان نوجوانوں کو اگر مناسب تعلیم ملے اور موزوں تربیت تو وہ پاکستان کو حقیقت میں ایشیا کا ٹائیگر بناسکتے ہیں۔ یہ بنیادی طور پر سیاسی قیادتوں کی ذمہ داری ہے۔ پھرہماری غریب اکثریت کو قدم قدم با اثر افراد کے مظالم کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے ۔ جاگیردار اپنے علاقے میں سکول نہیں کھلنے دیتے۔ ہر صوبے کے دیہی علاقوں میں کئی ہزار اسکول بند پڑے ہیں۔ عمارتیں ہیں مگر وہاں کچھ اور ہورہا ہے۔ اسکول ہیں‘ طالب علم ہیں مگر ٹیچر نہیں ہیں۔ پولیس‘ مقامی ایم این اے‘ ایم پی اے کی مرضی سے تعینات ہوتی ہے۔ اس لئے وہ قانون کے مطابق کارروائی کرنے کے بجائے ایم این اے‘ ایم پی اے کا حکم مانتی ہے جس سے نا انصافی جنم لیتی ہے۔ اکثریت کی زندگی اجیرن ہوجاتی ہے ۔ قانون کا نفاذ یکساں نہیں ہوگا۔نا انصافیوں ‘ زیادتیوں اور ظلم کے شکار خاندان ہی پھر شدت پسندوں کا ہتھیار بنتے ہیں اور جب اس کے ساتھ مذہب کا سہارا مل جائے تو یہ اشتراک خطرناک ہوجاتا ہے۔جہالت اور جذباتیت بڑا خطرناک گٹھ جوڑ ہے۔ ملک میں جہالت بھی بہت ہے اور جذباتیت بھی۔ تعلیم ہی انسان کو دلیل کا استعمال سکھاتی ہے۔ برداشت پیدا کرتی ہے۔تحمل کا درس دیتی ہے۔ پاکستانی قوم مزاجاً جذباتی ہے۔ اس لئے وہ آسانی سے چند خود غرض سیاستدانوں اور مذہبی سوداگروں کے ہاتھوں میں کھلونا بن جاتی ہے۔ شایدحکمران طبقے کا ایک حصہ یہ چاہتا ہی نہیں ہے کہ یہ قوم پڑھے لکھے ۔ کیونکہ اگر یہ پڑھ لکھ گئی تو ان کے ہاتھ سے نکل جائے گی۔
پاکستان میں کسی بھی بھائی بہن بزرگ سے پوچھا جائے تو وہ فوج کے اس عزم کی مکمل تائید کرتا ہے کہ ملک میں اور بالخصوص کراچی میں امن ہر قیمت پر۔ امن کسی بھی قوم کی ترقی کے لیے ناگزیر ہوتا ہے۔ پُر سکون ماحول بھی سرمایہ کاری اور نئی صنعتوں کے لئے سازگار ہوتا ہے۔ فوج نے اپنا یہ عزم بڑی حد تک پایۂ تکمیل کو پہنچادیا ہے۔ آج 2017 کے نصف میں 2015-2016 اور اس سے پہلے کے پُر آشوب برسوں کی نسبت حالات بہت زیادہ پُر امن اور پُر سکون ہیں۔ لیکن اگر ان عوامل اور محرّکات کے خاتمے کے لیے کوششیں نہ کی گئیں جن کے باعث 90-80 کے عشروں اور اکیسویں صدی کے اوائل میں شدت پسندی اور افراتفری اور انتشار پیدا ہوا‘ جسے بڑی قربانیاں دے کر پاک فوج‘ رینجرز اور پولیس نے بحال کیا ہے۔ جس کے لئے ہمارے فوجی جوانوں اور افسروں نے بھی قربانیاں دی ہیں۔ پولیس والے بھی شہید ہوئے ہیں۔ اور عام شہریوں‘ بچوں‘ بزرگوں۔ ماؤں بہنوں کا خون بھی بہا ہے تو یہ خونریزی دوبارہ بھی شروع ہوسکتی ہے۔ سکولوں‘ کالجوں اور یونیورسٹیوں میں نصاب کا جائزہ لینا ہوگا۔ مساجد اور مدارس کے خطبات کو بھی دیکھنا ہوگا۔ میڈیا پر بھی نظر رکھنا ہوگی‘ وہاں کوئی تربیت ہے نہ نصب العین‘ وہ مجرموں اور دہشت گردوں کو ہیرو اور شاندار انسان بناکر پیش کرتے ہیں۔ ان کو بہت زیادہ با اثر دکھاتے ہیں۔


نظریات کی کشمکش زوروں پر ہے۔ تنازعات بڑھ رہے ہیں۔عدالتیں تصفیوں میں بہت دیر لگاتی ہیں۔ حکومتوں کی پہلی کوشش تو یہ ہونی چاہئے کہ سماج میں ٹھہراؤ ہو۔ معاملات پہلے تو پولیس اسٹیشن جانے سے پہلے طے ہوں۔ بزرگ اپنا کردار ادا کریں۔ پولیس تک بات پہنچے تو وہ مصالحت کروائیں۔ عدالت تک جانے سے گریز کیا جائے ۔ عدالت میں آجائے تو وہ جلد از جلد فیصلے دیں۔
ہر ادارے کو اس قومی جہاد میں اپنا کردار بھرپور انداز میں ادا کرنا ہوگا۔ تب ہی ہم ہر قیمت پر قائم کئے گئے امن سے فائدہ اٹھاسکیں گے۔ ملک میں استحکام پیداکرسکیں گے۔

مضمون نگار نامورصحافی‘ تجزیہ نگار‘ شاعر‘ ادیب اور متعدد کتب کے مصنف ہیں۔

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07
June

Pakistan-India Defense Spending - A Comparison

Written By: Dr. Muhammad Mujeeb Afzal

In 2016, the world spent U.S. $1686 billion that was around 2.3 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). India plans to spend $ 55.7 billion in 2017 which is 2.25 percent of its GDP; in comparison Pakistan’s defense budget is $9 billion which is 3.4 percent of its total economy. Thus, Pakistan trails far behind India in defense spending; its financial provision is almost 7 times short of India’s defense resources. It has to defend its autonomy and meaningfulness in the South Asian state system within these limited resources. This is an attempt to understand the need and importance of defense spending for a nation-state, examine a comparative analysis of India and Pakistan’s patterns of defense spending and its impact on Pakistan.

 

According to Global Index of Defense Budgets, India has surpassed Germany at eighth position in highest military expenditure. It spends more on national defense compared to Brazil, South Korea, Italy and Canada. Pakistan on the other hand is on the 27 number of the same index; accordingly, it is expected that by 2020 India will rank third in world defense expenditure of 70 billion dollars after USA and China.

The debate on the defense spending generally focuses on the notion of guns versus butter model that demonstrates a relationship between a nation's investment in defense and civilian goods. It is argued that the basic responsibility of a state is to protect itself and its citizens from outside aggression. Any failure on this count will stun the growth of all the sectors of a state and its society. It might lead to disorder in the society and result in the ultimate collapse or possible annihilation of the state. Keeping this perspective in view, a number of studies both qualitative and quantitative have been done to demonstrate the linkage between the defense spending and the increase in economic growth of a nation-state. The best example is the European Union that started with the Marshall Plan, taking roots after the establishment of the security structure in the form of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).


pakindiadefspend.jpgThe opponents of this perspective argue that defense spending is a process of diversion of resources from productive economic sector to unproductive defense sector. They perceive the defense spending as a burden on the national economy that distorts the growth of all sectors of a nation-state. The studies done in this perspective have focused on the linkage between defense spending and the increase in the ratio of poverty in a country especially in the Least Developed Countries (LDC). Interestingly, most of the developed states spend huge proportion of their resources on the modernization of equipment and training of their forces. These developed states benefit immensely from the returns of their dominant strategic relationship with other states, trading in defense-related equipment and technology and using their defense-related knowledge and technical know-how in the civilian areas. Essentially, it is difficult for any state to differentiate between two fundamental objectives of its existence that is to ensure the national security and welfare of its citizens. No subordinate state can provide its citizens protection and prosperity against direct or indirect intervention or aggression of the other dominant state.

 

Thus, gun and butter are inseparable interests of a meaningfully autonomous nation-state; they pursue at the same time the twin objectives of security and prosperity. For an autonomous state, allocation of an adequate amount of funds for defense is a compulsory and competitive phenomenon that is conducted through the interpretation of the balance of threat and geo-strategic location in which it is placed. It is a perpetual, rational and integrated phenomenon of adjustment-readjustment of resource spending priorities to maintain mutually beneficial balance. That is why; defense spending is an ever-changing and complex behavior of a nation-state. It continuously swings focus between security and economic priorities.


In the South Asian state system, two factors determine defense spending of a state. Firstly, the relatively dominant position of India as compared to the rest of the regional states in terms of almost all the elements of power – geography, population and economy. This position of India gives it an illusion of grandeur and power and encourages it to struggle for the establishment of a hegemonic relationship with the smaller states of the region. Secondly, Pakistan with its middle power stature desires to remain autonomous and seek solution of the Kashmir issue through revision of the South Asian state systems borders. A unique asymmetrical strategic position exists in the region in which Pakistan cannot allow India to treat it like other small states of the region because this will turn it into an insignificant colony of Indian cheap goods. This meaningless position has never been acceptable to its people. Therefore, Pakistan is pushed to resist Indian attempts to establish its hegemony and defend its autonomy to remain meaningful to itself, regional and international powers’ structure.

 

India considered it essential to modernize its armed forces through establishment of defense industry and transfer of technology. Its 362 million people – almost 29.5 percent of its population – live in abject poverty. Ignoring them totally, it has spent huge amount of its finances to accumulate weapons systems and develop defense-related industry.

 On the other hand, India faces no serious threat, both regional and international, to its security and way of life. Its struggle is for a status and role at the international level by its domination of the South Asian region. It wishes to attain power to extend or deny security and prosperity to the regional states. The hegemonic policy is projected as a defense against the threat mainly from China and secondly from Pakistan though relatively not very significant. India considered it essential to modernize its armed forces through establishment of defense industry and transfer of technology. Its 362 million people – almost 29.5 percent of its population – live in abject poverty. Ignoring them totally, it has spent huge amount of its finances to accumulate weapons’ systems and develop defense-related industry.

 

In 2003 and 2004, the Indian defense budget was around 14 billion dollars, 2.3 percent of its GDP; since then it has increased by 7 to 9 percent every year and has reached 55.7 billion. Russia has been the main beneficiary of this defense spending. It has filled almost 70 percent of weapons and technology needs of India to make its aggressive doctrine – Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) – a reality. In return, Russia has received huge amounts of payment; for instance, it received 9.355 billion dollars in the period 2001-05. India accounted for 14 percent of global arms imports from 2011-2015, a 90 percent increase over the previous five years. Due to this Indian arms manufacturers are among the top 100 companies worldwide, with billions of earnings. Now United States has also jumped into the business; in 2014-15, it sold over 1.4 billion dollars worth of weapons to India.


The obsessive power accumulation on the part of India to achieve regional hegemony has very serious consequences for the autonomous existence of Pakistan. It has faced three wars with India; in one conflict in 1971, its eastern part was separated from Pakistan and established as a separate state, Bangladesh. The Indian intervention through the instrument of Mukti Bahini converted a normal protest movement, after a decade long autocratic rule, for political rights into a violent secessionist movement; later India invaded East Pakistan to complete its hegemonic designs. It was part of Indian covert warfare against Pakistan that resurfaced in 1980s in Sindh, and now in Karachi and Balochistan. It also supports sectarian terrorism to weaken Pakistan. Thus Pakistan has been forced to invest relatively more of its national resources into defense.

 

India accounted for 14 percent of global arms imports from 2011-2015, a 90 percent increase over the previous five years. Due to this Indian arms manufacturers are among the top 100 companies worldwide, with billions of earnings. Now United States has also jumped into the business; in 2014-15, it sold over 1.4 billion dollars’ worth of weapons to India.

The Pakistani leadership realized that it had to match its capabilities against the sophisticated weaponry of its adversary; that is why it demonstrated no hesitation in investing in the defense of the country. But two factors weighed in the minds of the decision-makers: firstly, that they cannot match many times bigger economy of India; and secondly, no plan should undermine the economic health of Pakistan. Therefore, at times of high defense spending like the conflict with India and the Afghan crisis, the rate of growth was high, like in the late 50s and 60s, it was more than 8 percent. Additionally, the defense spending, despite extreme situations, remained far less than the 45 percent for loan repayment. The decade of 90s was the most difficult period for Pakistan. Due to unstable domestic political situation, foreign aid had been discontinued and sanctions were imposed on Pakistan because it had conducted nuclear tests. The defense spending till 1999 was around an average of 6.4 percent of the GDP but after that it started to decline further to provide more space to other sectors of the economy. In 2000, it was 5.1 percent of the GDP; it was to the tune of $2,842 million back to the level of 1990. It was a decrease of 22.48 percent. The year 2000 was a period of major transformation of the economy. Pakistan privatized state-subsidized utilities companies such as banks and Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation. Additionally, reforms were also introduced in trade and tariff, higher education, money laundering, intellectual property piracy, and agricultural and industrial sectors.

 

In order to support the economy the defense spending was further brought down to 4.1 percent; in 2007-8, the defense spending was frozen. By the end of the decade, Pakistan’s economy started to show signs of improvement. The defense spending was around 3.1 percent of the GDP; in terms of dollars, it was $ 7,641 million. But these figures are in sharp contrast to Indian GDP of two trillion dollars with the defense spending of 55.7 billion dollars, a fact that can never be lost to Pakistani decision-makers and people.

 

In conclusion, it is argued that the growing sharp imbalance between India and Pakistan could have very serious consequences both for Pakistan’s meaningful autonomous survival and strategic harmony and prosperity of the South Asian region. Pakistan cannot ignore its security and welfare of its people. It will face extreme difficulties if its economy does not grow and increase the amount that is needed to defend itself.

Pakistan has always tried to reduce the burden of defense expenditure on the economy while improving the quality of its men and material for a credible security apparatus. In this regard, Pakistan has followed two policies. One, it has attempted to build alliances with the developed states to have access to sophisticated technology and capital. The pursuit of such a policy brought it closer to the United States and China. Two, Pakistan has developed indigenous defense industry to reduce its dependence on foreign sources and to contribute its share in the domestic economy. Pakistan joined the U.S.-sponsored defense pacts in the 50s. In return, it received help to develop both its armed forces and its domestic economy. The growth of import substitute industries in the 60s was the result of this policy. In 1965, Pakistan was able to effectively defend itself against the aggression of many times more powerful India. Similarly, the U.S. assistance during the Afghan Jihad and war against terror improved the capabilities of Pakistan and helped it to sustain the economic losses.

 

At the same time, the alliance with the U.S. created a dependency on the U.S. and entangled Pakistan first in the international conflicts of the Cold War and later in the war against terror. At the domestic level, it created social divisions that hindered the process of integration of various sections of the society in the post-independence nation-building process. At the time of independence, Pakistan had practically no defense industry that could fulfill its basic defense needs. India refused to give it its due share in defense equipment; after a lot of reluctance it merely gave six crore rupees as compensation. In 1951, Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) was established to initiate the process of indigenous production of equipment. In 1971, the Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) was set up to fulfill the requirements of the Army to rebuild, upgrade, and manufacture tanks, tank guns and armored personnel carriers. In order to fulfill the requirements of the Air Force, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex was built at Kamra in 1972, the Heavy Forge Foundry in 1978, and the Heavy Rebuild Factory in 1979. Pakistan’s defense industry provided equipment worth 6.3 billion dollars in 2009 and 10.4 billion dollars in 2015 to armed forces to fulfill its requirements through domestic infrastructure. In 2016, the local defense industry saved foreign exchange worth 1.5 billion dollars. During four years, 2012 to 2015, the defense industry also exported its products worth over 100 million dollars to more than forty countries; and in just one year, 2016, the exports reached 63 million dollars. Though it is a commendable achievement but still it is far behind the Indian exports of 330 million dollars in 2016 and its defense minister Manohar Parrikar has set the export target of 2 billion dollars by 2019 as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” scheme.


The comparison of India-Pakistan defense spending is a reflection of relative power differentiation between the two countries. The Indian economy is 8 times the size of Pakistani economy and is growing by over 7 percent as compared to 4 percent of Pakistan. In economic terms India virtually adds one whole of Pakistan’s total economic turnover to its economy every year. According to Global Index of Defense Budgets, India has surpassed Germany at eighth position in highest military expenditure. It spends more on national defense compared to Brazil, South Korea, Italy and Canada. Pakistan on the other hand is on the 27th number of the same index; accordingly, it is expected that by 2020 India will rank third in world defense expenditure of 70 billion dollars after USA and China. This rising Indian power is continually increasing Pakistan’s historic sense of vulnerability. Pakistan’s situation becomes more complicated when it is facing a domestic challenge of terrorism that is getting covert support from India through unsettled Afghanistan. Its present allocation that is around 18 percent of its budgetary expenditure is not quite adequate. It badly needs to expand its economy to broaden the national cake so that within the present percentage the required volume of resources are multiplied. Additionally, it is also required to increase its technological level to balance the Indian edge.

 

In this regard, it may not have the support of USA that is developing closer strategic relations with India against China. China has a 53 billion dollars trade surplus with India. Furthermore, India is the largest importer of arms in the world, from 2011 to 2015 its arms import accounted for 14 percent of the global arms imports. Almost every country wants to have a share of this trade. This purchasing power has provided India a new sense of power and influence in the region and beyond. It likes to dictate terms of state-to-state interaction in the South Asian State system whose limited effect Pakistan has faced in the shape of eight F-16 sale deal with USA or in case of JF-17 sale deal to Sri Lanka. In future with increased strategic and economic imbalance it can attempt to block Pakistani access to high-end technologies.


Pakistan for long thought that conventional strategic imbalance can reasonably be corrected with the development of a nuclear deterrence. It has developed a relatively effective nuclear deterrence against India. Nuclear weapons are political instrument and cannot be used rationally in war situation because after a nuclear war there will be no difference between the victor and the vanquished. Thus, nuclear deterrence is used as a psychological phenomenon to achieve strategic-political objective. It is a delicate deterrence which requires constant upkeeping in order to yield positive results; if any action undermines the nature of deterrence, its effectiveness is undermined. The new weapon system that Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is developing can have negative impact on the nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan. It is developing K-4 (SLBM). K-4 is a nuclear capable intermediate-range 3500 km submarine-launched ballistic missile that will nuclearize the Indian-ocean with Indian Arihant-class submarines and give India second strike capability. Secondly, India is developing indigenous ballistic missile defense (BMD) system. It has tested Ashwin missile that is an advanced air defense (AAD) anti-ballistic missile designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in the endo-atmosphere at an altitude of 30 km. Though, anti-nuclear defense systems are very expensive to develop and to give an illusion of defense against a nuclear attack, there is no deference whether a nuclear weapon explodes at ground or in air. These developments have a theoretical possibility to undermine the deterrence value of the nuclear deterrence. These proactive and aggressive Indian strategic plans can in future lower the nuclear threshold level and force Pakistan to enter into regional arms’ race.


In conclusion, it is argued that the growing sharp imbalance between India and Pakistan could have very serious consequences both for Pakistan’s meaningful autonomous survival and strategic harmony and prosperity of the South Asian region. Pakistan cannot ignore its security and welfare of its people. It will face extreme difficulties if its economy does not grow and increase the amount that is needed to defend itself. India as the larger state in the region has the key to restore strategic harmony and utilize the potential of the region in new economic world to end poverty and bring prosperity to the people. It will never be able to subjugate the region because of its people and competing foreign powers; even the USA will not allow it to pursue regional hegemony thoughtlessly which will push India to a disastrous arms race and outside great powers intervention. For a peaceful South Asia, it needs to resolve its long-standing conflicting issues and stop its interference in the domestic affairs of the regional states.

 

The writer is on the faculty of Quaid-i-Azam University (School of Politics and International Relations)

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07
June

The Defense Spending of Major Powers in Comparison to Pakistan

Written By: Dr. Minhas Majeed Khan

Various myths about the defense budget of Pakistan have been created, not only at international forums but national as well, which need to be looked at from the perspective of its internal as well as external security challenges.

Concepts like state survival, security and national interest are termed to be some of the principal objectives of foreign policy of any country. National interest is the fundamental interest of a state, of which survival is the first and foremost interest. A state's independence and territorial integrity come above all other interests. Therefore, the supreme duty of the state is to preserve itself. If the state disappears, then no other interest remains. For survival, security, and securing its national interests, states increase their military might by spending more on defense. A country’s defense spending depends on different factors that include: war or the perceived risk of war, security environment such as military expenditure acquired by its neighbours keeping in view the relationship between the two neighbours; the impetus of the regional and international arms race; geo-strategic considerations; and the availability of economic resources.

thedefspending.jpgThe violent conflicts in different regions of the world help explain the one-year military spending growth in nearly all of the nations with the largest spending increases. For example, the apparent threats from Russia, which used its colossal military strength to annex Crimea in 2014, likely prompted Poland to increase its military spending. The Philippines is another example that swelled its military budget by over 25 percent due to territorial dispute and heightened tensions with China over the South China Sea. However, Sam Perlo-Freeman, Olawale Ismail and Solmirano, in their findings compiled in June 2010 in Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPIRI) Yearbook, mention the U.S. to have led the rise in military spending along with other regions in these words:


“The USA led the rise [in military spending], but it was not alone. Of those countries for which data was available, 65% increased their military spending in real terms in 2009. The increase was particularly pronounced among larger economies, both developing and developed: 16 of the 19 states in the G20 saw real-terms increases in military spending in 2009.”

 

The general perception about Pakistan is that it has increased its military expenditure than other sectors over the years. However, as opposed to the general perception, the percentage of its GDP 'vis-à-vis' various challenges, Pakistan’s defense spending has remarkably declined. It is particularly so when viewed in the light of Pakistan Army’s additional responsibilities in recent years, like countering extremism and terrorism, and fighting separatists supported by foreign agencies besides many other challenges.

The current article assesses the defense expenditure of major powers including Pakistan. The numerical data for the purpose of this article has been collected from diverse sources with minor differences in numbers of the defense expenditure of the major powers. While scholars and thinkers debate on the lack of success in promoting strategic restraint among nuclear armed states, for example the relations between and among the U.S., China, Pakistan and India, whether on unilateral or bilateral or plurilateral basis.


Taking the case of the four nuclear states mentioned above, the reasons are long-standing conflicts, changing concepts of the national interest and its needs, prevalent mistrust among them, domestic pressures, and resentment toward foreign interference. But one factor that has been ignored is the strategic chain that links Pakistan to India, India to China, and China to the U.S. Pakistan is unlikely to restrict its nuclear programs unilaterally if India continues to build up its arsenal. Without Chinese restraint, India will be reluctant to limit its programs unilaterally or engage in bilateral controls with Pakistan that, according to India, would limit its options vis-à-vis China. And without U.S. constraints on capabilities of concern to China, Beijing may continue to resist curbing its strategic modernization efforts.


In this scenario, according to figures from 2016 in a report by SIPRI, the U.S. has the highest annual military expenditure. In 2016, it grew by 1.7 percent and reached $611 billion. China remains in second place, by increasing its military spending by 5.4 percent, or $215 billion. Russia ranks at number 3 in the world by increasing $ 5.9 percent in military spending, overtaking Saudi Arabia. The U.S. and China maintained their top positions and Europe presented a progression in military spending for the second consecutive year. India's military expenditure reached $55.9 billion in 2016, making it the fifth largest spender. The report showed the military spending to grow continuously in Asia and Oceania, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, in North America and in North Africa. At the same time, North America saw its first annual increase since 2010.


The countries perceived to be most powerful in the world, including Germany and UK also rank in the top 10 for military spending. The defense budget of UK after 9/11 has increased yearly, reaching £ 45 billion in 2011. Since then, the defense budget has remained steady at £ 44 – 45 billion per year. In terms of GDP, its defense spending from 2002 to 2009 was constant at about 2.65 – 2.70 percent of GDP. However, since the Great Recession, defense spending has been in steady decline, breaking below 2.4 percent GDP in 2016. The above figure illustrates the military spending of countries in billions in 2014.

 

Indo-U.S. strategic partnership has changed the balance of power in South Asia and has significant implications for Pakistan. While India and the U.S. are expressing their concerns about the longstanding Pakistan-China cooperation in important areas, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is also concerned about Indo-U.S. cooperation in areas like U.S.-India nuclear civil deal, which is also viewed with suspicions by many states in the region.

In case of the U.S., the current President, Donald Trump during his election campaigns asked the NATO members to allocate more budget to defense spending so as to help reduce international commitments of the U.S. However, he expressed that he would be willing to intensify the war on ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which could be very expensive. According to the SIPRI report, more than 10 percent of the U.S. defense budget goes toward developing and testing products. Even if U.S. military spending was cut by 10 percent, it would still be more than double to China's military spending which is the second largest. According to the report when it comes to military spending per person and as a percentage of total government budget, the U.S. falls behind Israel that spends nearly $2,000 per person annually on defense, and Saudi Arabia where more than a quarter of government spending goes to defense. While the above figure shows the ranks and the defense budget of major powers in billions in 2016, it also mentions how India has increased its defense expenditure and was ranked at number 5 in the year 2016.
Various myths about the defense budget of Pakistan have been created, not only at international forums but national as well, which need to be looked at from the perspective of its internal as well as external security challenges. Certain quarters have been assessing Pakistan’s foreign and defense policy to be India centric, this scribe argues that it has to be India or any other country centric if there is a serious security threat from that country. The history of international relations unveils many states whose foreign policies revolved around those states that were a threat to their security and survival. For example, U.S. foreign policy may be called as Soviet Union centric during the Cold War and vice versa, and now it is China centric keeping in view the latter’s rapid rise as an economic giant. In a similar fashion, India’s foreign policy can be termed as Pakistan and China centric. One reason for this argument is Indian belligerent policy towards Pakistan since its independence as Pakistan has always been a victim of Indian ambitions for hegemony in the region and hence the threat perception is essentially India centric.


It is important to be aware of the reality that Pakistan is sandwiched between a hostile neighbour on its East (India) and neighbour on the West (Afghanistan) that relies more on India than on a its immediate neighbour. While the Indian threat has been there permanently, the border escalation with Afghanistan is also a concern. Therefore, it is understandable that Pakistan, in the wake of the recent mounting clashes with India and Afghanistan, may push for increase in its defense spending.


Unfortunately, Pakistan is struggling with its economy due to its partnership in the war on terror that brought not only a war that was not its own but also non-state international actors to its territory. The general perception about Pakistan is that it has increased its military expenditure than other sectors over the years. However, as opposed to the general perception, the percentage of its GDP 'vis-à-vis' various challenges, Pakistan’s defense spending has remarkably declined. It is particularly so when viewed in the light of Pakistan Army’s additional responsibilities in recent years, like countering extremism and terrorism, and fighting separatists supported by foreign agencies besides many other challenges.

 

thedefspending1.jpgMoreover, for operations like Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan needs more funds to tackle the prevailing law and order and security situation within the country. Additionally, for nuclear development program, a continuous resource allocation is needed since Pakistan conducted nuclear test in response to India’s tests, or else India’s conventional superiority facilitated by nuclear weapons would have become an unacceptable threat to Pakistan. It is not Pakistan that will provoke India, keeping in view the asymmetric power situation besides India’s Cold Start Doctrine which means a precipitous strike by India against Pakistan in the event of a terrorist attack in India where it is India that decides whether or not it is sponsored by Pakistan or not. Moreover, Indo-U.S. strategic partnership has changed the balance of power in South Asia and has significant implications for Pakistan. While India and the U.S. are expressing their concerns about the longstanding Pakistan-China cooperation in important areas, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is also concerned about Indo-U.S. cooperation in areas like U.S.-India nuclear civil deal, which is also viewed with suspicions by many states in the region.


In view of the threat perception as discussed above, Pakistan’s defense budget is still the lowest in the region. The allocated defense budget for 2016-17 was increased by 11-percent from Rs. 775.8 billions to Rs. 860.1 billions. Out of the total budget, only Rs. 216 billion are earmarked for the operational expense whereas the rest of the amount goes into employee related expenditure and physical assets. Keeping in view the size and range of national security challenges faced by Pakistan over the last two decades, its defense spending as a percentage of its GDP is much less than other countries with lesser threat levels.


On the other hand, India has tremendously beefed up its defense expenditure over the years, which is, an increase from $11.8 billion in 2001 to $ 52 billions in 2016-17 – i.e., 2.25 percent of Indian GDP. That explains that India’s defense budget is much more keeping in view its larger GDP. The Indian defense budget is much more than the one mentioned above, as it does not include pension, border forces, nuclear warheads/missile development. It spends roughly 2.30 percent of GDP keeping in view that its GDP is much smaller than India. India is expected to spend a massive amount of $70 billion in the year 2020 on military power projection, leaving Pakistan more susceptible against the former, which is amassing and developing military prowess. The comparison between India and Pakistan is highlighted in a report by SIPRI that reveals that India outspends Pakistan on defense and China is outspending India. It is in this scenario that Pakistan-China strategic partnership is unnerving India.


India is desperately building and introducing aircraft carriers, Su-30MKI jets, artillery guns, stealth destroyers, stealth frigates, conventional and nuclear submarines, various offensive and defensive missile systems, military satellites, new mountain strike corps, attack helicopters and much more every year. Pakistan’s economy in comparison to India has serious size limitations; nevertheless, in wake of Indian designs and the arms race in the region, it will be imprudent of Pakistan not to develop a credible defense system to maintain its security and above all preserve its sovereignty. It is also pertinent to say that in order to preserve itself, Pakistan needs more funding for its security and to address the internal threats aided by foreign agencies and growing external pressures on its Eastern and Western borders. Another source, while compiling the defense spending of both India and Pakistan, compares the difference in the following figure.


To conclude, as indicated by Kamal Monnoo, “India is about to develop a nuclear missile shield, which will not be a defensive but an offensive deployment of radars and ballistic missiles designed and deployed to take down incoming missiles at a faraway distance; thus neutralizing Pakistan’s strategy of off-setting conventional warfare disadvantage by developing nuclear deterrence. With so much at stake, it is essential that Pakistan does not fall behind in securing its national defense. It is in this context one hopes that even if an increase in 2016-17 is not possible, at least the historic pace of rise in defense spending should continue at any cost.”

 

The writer is Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations at University of Peshawar, Pakistan.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

References

• Kamal Monnoo. (May 25, 2016). Pakistan’s Defence Budget. http://nation.com.pk/columns/25-May-2016/pakistan-s-defense-budget
• Sam Perlo-Freeman, Olawale Ismail and Carina Solmirano, (June 2010). Military Expenditure, Chapter 5, SPIRI Yearbook. p.1
• Robert Einhorn and W.P.S. Sidhu. (March 2017). The Strategic Chain Linking Pakistan, India, China, and the United States. Foreign Policy at Brookings. Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Series Paper No. 14.
• http://nationalinterest.org/feature/does-america-really-need-spend-more-defense-17245
• http://www.idsa.in/issuebrief/india-defence-budget-2017-18_lkbehera_030217
• http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending
• http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11936179/What-are-the-biggest-defence-budgets-in-the-world.html
• https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-24/border-clashes-seen-forcing-pakistan-to-boost-defense-spending

 

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