Pakistan's doomsday: Sinking, shrinking & engulfed by terror
Pakistan is sinking on all fronts right now. Besides its political and economical crises, the country has witnessed a sharp rise in terror activities in recent times.
Pakistan is politically and economically sinking and shrinking day by day and is also consumed in terror activities.
United States President Joe Biden's statement "one of the most dangerous nations in the world" as the country has "nuclear weapons without any cohesion," has been given after calibrating the political polarization, an economic crisis, and resurgent terror of Pakistan. The US President's statement baffled Pakistan's political and military establishment. Imran Khan, Chairman PTI, taking political advantage of the situation held Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif responsible for the US President's controversial statement regarding the nuclear program. Khan said that Biden's statement proved the total failure of the imported government's foreign policy. Leaders of the PTI, have started harping on the US behind a regime-change operation against their ousted government, seized on Biden's remarks.
The United States' "kiss and yell" policy for Pakistan has brought its political system to an unstable position with a definite purpose. On one side UN humanitarian coordinator sanctioned around $90m so far to Pakistan's flood relief efforts by UN member states, despite an appeal for $816m. The final flood-related damages have yet to be completed, as estimated Pakistan has suffered more than $30bn in losses. While on the other hand, America has established long-term engagement with Pakistan, in particular with its military in recent months. Last month, the US announced a $450 million F-16 fighter jet sustenance package for Pakistan.
In the present scenario, Chief of the Pakistan Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's five-day visit to the United States has diplomatically been pointed out by experts as part of an effort to reset US-Pakistan ties. Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's timing of his visit is in focus, with many questioning as to why at the end of his tenure. The PTI leader also called out the Pakistan Army and "imported government" for choosing to stay silent on "Biden's tirade".
Bajwa, after his return, immediately promoted twelve Pakistan Army major generals to the rank of lieutenant general, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) which is unprecedented. Those promoted included Major General Inam Haider Malik, Major General Fayyaz Hussain Shah, Major General Nauman Zakria, Major General Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Major General Ayman Bilal Safdar, Major General Ahsan Gulrez, Major General Syed Aamer Raza, Major General Shahid Imtiaz, Major General Muhammad Munir Afsar, Major General Babar Iftikhar, Major General Yousaf Jamal, and Major General Kashif Nazir. Promotions at this level in the army are the sole prerogative of the COAS. But traditionally the chiefs hold informal consultations with other senior generals while taking these decisions. Interestingly, among the newly promoted officers, Vice Chief of General Staff-A Gen Nauman Zikriya, DG ISPR Gen Babar Iftikhar, and DG Perspective Planning Cell Gen Ayman Bilal Safdar had worked closely with Gen Bajwa.
The political murmurs are rife in Pakistan that the US has maintained its command to direct Pakistan's establishment through remote control of its army. Bajwa, having a soft corner for Pakistan, has been chosen to manage political affairs after his retirement through its blue-eyed generals.
Meanwhile, when looking at terrorist violence in Pakistan, there has been an increase. A living example is the brutal killing of the former high court chief justice of Balochistan at Kharan area Muhammad Noor Meskanzai outside the mosque on Oct 14, 2022. The terrorist act directly indicates the involvement of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It has been acknowledged by the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NaCTA) of Pakistan in a high-level meeting headed by the PM on the resurgence of terrorism as a serious threat. The meeting also discussed the status of the proscribed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) responsible for terror activities in Pakistan.
There has been an increase in terrorist attacks with 42 per cent witnessed in September as compared to 35 per cent in August. The Pakistani think-tank has observed an increase of 106 per cent in violence in erstwhile Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). In August this year, the think-tank said the militants carried out 31 attacks across Pakistan, in which 37 people were killed and 55 others injured.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is gaining ground across the rest of the Malakand region. It has been four years since 'Pakhtun Spring'. But today Swat - the 'war on terror in Waziristan - is again grappling with the return of the shadowy force known as the TTP. The Taliban's re-conquest of Afghanistan has emboldened their brethren in Pakistan, and they are steadily gaining ground. Swat, Waziristan, and other parts of the Pakhtun periphery are very much like Baloch, Gilgit-Baltistani, Sindhi, and Seraiki peripheries whose natural resources are also subject to violent grabs by the nexus of capital and state.
(R C Ganjoo is a senior journalist and columnist having more than 30 years experience of covering issues concerning national security, particularly Kashmir. He has worked with several prominent media groups and his articles have been published in many national and international publications.)
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