Extremely Fluid – internal and external dynamics Pakistan | By Brig Tariq Khalil (R)

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Extremely Fluid – internal and external dynamics Pakistan

GOOD some better sense prevailed and a peaceful end is attained at last in the saga under-going from the last many weeks on the issue of TLP.

Tehrik Lbaik must not have been pushed into the arms of elements who are waiting on the wings to capitalize from any space they get. It was mishandled.

The dialogue only succeeds from position of strength and the resolve has to be shown by the government. Yet to avoid bloodshed of own people dialogue is always necessary.

My view is always to defuse an issue politically rater than use of force. Force generates new problems. Certainly there are elements that have penetrated in TLP for their ulterior motives.

It is important to go to the genesis of the issue. Why time and again this problem crops up. Certainly some elements remain active in such situations to exploit the space so created.

Anti-Pakistan forces always find such a scenario a golden opportunity. It is noted phenomenon such movements slip from the hands of originators. Indian media has been abuzz promoting and reporting fake news.

Second, the timing, it coincided with the FATF meeting, IMF negotiations and increasing incidences of sabotage, insurgent activity in Waziristan and Baluchistan. Sudden activity of some rejected elements and intrusion of Indian Submarine in Pakistani waters indicate integrated plan to destabilize the region…

India needs some activity to distract the world from the worsening situation in Kashmir, where as the atrocities in Kashmir have increased many-fold.

To counter whatever actions are generated, are on the recommendation of RSS Kashmir Affiliate policy. Forced integration is the key.

In Kashmir growing unrest and tension not only have intensified but in tandem intensified diplomacy. Recent NSA conference though on Afghanistan failed to distract the world. Indian forces now have changed the ground tactics.

All the streets are blocked with intensive patrolling in all cities and towns of Kashmir by almost 35000 Indian additional troops as per reports filtering through international media.

NY Time video reports indicated Kashmiri youths keep vigil inside the blocked lanes and streets day and night as young boys and men are picked up by security forces. The major part of Kashmir has no internet, telephone services except for the officials. It is now virtually a large prison.

In Eastern India, in Arnachulerdesh and Chickens neck passage in Bhutan, PLA has consolidated itself. The latest statement of Indian CDS Gen Rawa that the Chinese are not in Indian tertiary has opened a new front between military and politicians.

China-India standoff in Ladakh is turning in to hot conflict and entering in red zone. It will have spillover effect not only in the region but directly on Pakistan.

In the west, the situation in Afghanistan is very fluid. TTP and ISIS {K) and half a dozen other groups are active. They have upped their activities. It is no secret who are sponsoring them. TTP on the other hand is in a corner wants to negotiate from the position of strength, this must be denied to them.

Nevertheless ISISK and other groups, more than a dozen, will continue their activities against Pakistan for reasons well known.

As election is only less than one and half years away in Pakistan, price spiral impact is severe for the salaried class.

It is ammunition for the opposition to politically press the government knowing well internationally the prices of petroleum products, shipping and overall raw material price has impacted Pakistan. The prices in USA, EU and world over have increased from 60 to 120%.

The opposition well knows they have no solution either to counter global inflation, politics apart. There are governance issues as well. The government has failed to stop smuggling of US dollar.

It has wreaked Pakistani Rupee creating inflation and increase in the prices. More so the Pakistan reserves are increasing, the weakening of Rupee smells rat. IMF alone cannot be reason. There are other forces who are manipulating dollar l Pak rupee, the motive is strategic and political.

In conjunction, the collation partners always look forward an opportunity to pressurize the ruling party which itself failed to create internal cohesion and discipline.

Opposition always exploits rising prices as an issue. The increased diplomatic activity and meeting of US diplomats with the elements outside Parliament is also suspect.

Disruption in the country will damage not only the parties themselves but also the entire democratic structure. Such a disruption will be counterproductive in the present strategic milieu for the state.

Opposition should come up with alternate plan to control the prices to substantiate their claim.

USA’s concern is to regain some foot hold in Pakistan is well known. Every effort is being made by way of stick and carrot approach to ensure this. That is the reason they decided to sit in the recent extended troika meeting with China, Russia and Pakistan.

The Nation has to pay a price to have independent foreign policy. Pakistan is no exception. As the time passes, US anxiety is increasing due to very fluid strategic milieu regionally and internationally. Russia-EU standoff also going to have global impact the Black sea and Caspian Sea issue.

It is generating tension due to Turkish efforts to control the rim states of Caspian. US therefore cannot remain detached from the region, especially from Afghanistan, and allow China and Russia unhindered logistics.

In the game of power play Pakistan is a pivot. Pakistan’s decision not to involve itself in any conflict or be a proxy but for peace deny the space to USA, it has so for been enjoying in the region. On the part of Pakistan, it is bold and daring stand and would invite all sorts of pressures.

Thus US will use every tool to engage and make Pakistan agree in lieu of lucrative incentives and at the same time exercising other multiple options.

Pakistan has to be mindful of of fissures within; to ensure stability and to keep its head high. It should take a lead from China, Pakistan should adopt life of austerity; shun consumerism for few years to put economy on rail. It is vital to gain economic strength to pursue independent foreign policy.

—The writer, a retired Brigadier, a veteran of 1965, 1971 wars with SJ, SI, and IS Bar Gallantry. A senior Defence and Industry analyst.

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