Countering the Shifting Paradigm

Pakistan’s geostrategic location and terrorist acts within the country have obscured its endeavors for peace despite its unprecedented success against terrorism. Such forces have repeatedly made attempts to obscure the efforts and opportunities for peace within Pakistan. The adversaries have also played their part in negative non-peace characterization of the country, which fails to take into account the strides it has made towards world peace. On the other hand, India’s hybrid warfare against the regional sovereign countries is posing a direct threat to the regional security landscape. The oscillating challenges ranging from the conventional to grey zones are making the environment precarious with changes occurring at an unprecedented pace. Pakistan is no exception to such threats; it requires a composite response and a whole of nation approach to counter the situation.
Although, the country at large has faced terrorism, some areas felt the effects far more than the rest. Besides Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan is one such part where terrorism has hit the hardest in terms of death toll and destruction of infrastructure. It also had a drastic effect on the socioeconomic fabric of the province in different spheres, such as family, communal, and business. The geopolitical position of the province makes it all the more important as it shares border with two countries and the activities that take place there have an impact on Balochistan. The borders between these countries are long and porous, and therefore difficult to manage.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has added another dimension to India’s explicit strategic objective to sabotage the project and neutralize Pakistan, further intensifying its ambition to become a regional hegemon. To that end, its present array of warfare constitutes an all-encompassing spectrum which includes fanning the sectarian, religious, and ethnic tensions with the objective of undermining peace of the province and pushing it towards instability, while expanding the conflict to a more diversified threat which would curtail development, connectivity and becoming the economic hub of the region.
Pakistan Army has made use of effective response mechanisms to keep the emerging threats in check and curtail the hostile elements from destabilizing Balochistan while ensuring the safety and security of the local population. It has also made efforts to break the nexus between terrorists and their support base/sympathizers to defeat terrorism while ensuring they won’t reverse the hard-earned gains of the war against terrorism. The people of Balochistan and their tribal elders extended support to the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to fight the menace of terrorism, while they were assured support for creating an environment of development and prosperity and timely completion of the socioeconomic projects. Pakistan has gained substantial success, however the threat isn’t completely neutralized yet, as every passing day brings a new challenge. A hybrid threat can’t be diffused at once, therefore it is important to defuse it by identifying and targeting the echelons that bring about the onslaught.
Not only in conventional, but also in the unconventional domain, i.e., human security, Pakistan Army has made enormous contributions. Recently, during the heatwave, Cholera outbreak in Pir Koh and Shirani Forest wildfire, Pakistan Army came to the nation’s rescue once again, providing relief to the affected population and leaving no stone unturned to serve the nation in the time of need.
Given the richness of the province, it is important to implement consistent policy frameworks besides the right policies and programs. An accelerated economic and social progress can take place and the province can become a regional hub for trade, provided concerted effort is made by all stakeholders for economic growth, social development and generating employment opportunities. The initiatives such as improvement in education, healthcare and development in the last decade has brought about a meaningful improvement in the province, and a new dawn appears to be awaiting Balochistan with further development avenues opening up.

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