By: Abdul Shakoor Shah
We annually celebrate “Defence Day” to pay tribute to the martyrs who laid their lives in the 1965 war to save the country. The key event in the national history led to the eventual defeat of India on all accounts with an excellent display of defence from Pakistan. Despite all trials and tribulations of the time, Pakistani Nation has been tested on many junctures, whereon it showed its guts to cope with any challenge. We’ve always emerged stronger than ever before, after every act of aggression, extremism, terrorism and economic instability by following Quaid’s golden motto, “Faith, Unity and Discipline.”The spirit of Defence Day requires us to refurbish our vow to be on our toe for any sacrifice for the country when the need arises. The nation will be like a clenched fist in case of any danger to the country like 1965 when we stood together and defeated the enemy. Defence Day demands to be united, determined, resolute and cautious to counter all the internal and external problems to defend Pakistan. We should believe in Quaid’s words, “Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the task…..Pakistan has come to stay.”
Pakistan is facing copious internal and external challenges, which have ever been culminating. Internal factors namely, economy, social problems and internal security are worth mentioning. The lay man aspires economic protection for survival. The youths, educated or illiterate are hankering after jobs. The working force is craving for job security. The masses must not take breath in trepidation. The dwindling economy due to the corrupt influential rules, bureaucrats, officials and malfunctioning are pushing the country to blind alley. The nation is dumb, dull, deaf and blind to ongoing loot and plunder, which is pushing the country to bust.The failure of the govt. to collect taxes and recover looted wealth has ushered a new horizon for future corruption. Financial stability and national security are part and parcel. Without economic strength, the dream of defence turns to a nightmare. Degrading the economy, increasing loans and debt and economic dependency leads to instability. Economically unstable countries cannot defend their borders for a longer time and fall to the enemy’s hands on all fronts. Economic sustenance, political stability and harmony of all the institutions are vital for the rock-hard defence of the country. The govt. must prioritize economic uplift. There is not an easy road to attain economic stability and sustenance but we have to get ahead collectively to reach some way out. There is a dire need to cut down extra expenditures to soothe the economy.
We have the worst railway and city system, WAPDA, PIA, Police, administration and judicial institutions have collapsed. Law and order situation has nose-dived due to the crime wave. The burglary and theft have become the order of the day. Vehicle theft, mobile and snatching, sectarian and ethnic massacres, bomb blast, and religious extremism is the proof of administrative breakdown and failure of law and order machinery. If we keep on deploying an army for all rescue purposes and for the protection of the civilians outside religious places, then who will defend our borders?
Ironically, we have a wearied psyche, instead of stabilizing, organizing and training civil institutions, we are calling out to the army in every case. We need major surgery in the system to get rid of social and administrative cancers. The benefits of the government. policies should trickle down to the layman and power must be shifted to public representatives as well as local bodies. Delay in just is justice denied. Delay in justice is breeding insecurity and crime culmination. The hostile agencies are perpetrating on a large scale to sabotage peace and security of the country. They have a hand in unrest and terrorist activities in the country. Our police are inefficient and poorly trained to curb these evils in the bud. Domestic instability is becoming dangerously corrosive and a threat to national security. The govt. must hold things back on track with the will powers of doing something for the peace and security of the country before it is too late. For ensuring national security entails, we need to grasp the enemy’s strategy of operation. Both the rivals have always chalked out short and swift war plans. Conventional skirmishes can be enacted in Kashmir and along with LoC but we need to set up an army of trained civilians and natives for assistance in case of war instead of sole dependency on regular army. We can mobilize, motivate and train the youth only after the economy starts ticking back again. If the nation is ensured about the honesty, patriotism and dedication of leadership through practical initiatives, it will jump to the peaks of feat.
In the context of India-U.S-Israel realignment and strategic partnership has raised concerns to national security. The West baked India is threatening the peace of the region. India is dreaming of monopolizing Asian region. India has ventured to empower its defence through war jets. The U.S is also facilitating India to improve its naval nuclear capabilities to subjugate China, Russia and Pakistan. It is of pivotal significance for us to ponder over deterrence against the enemy at present and in future. We need to reshape our foreign policy to push India back from the world power umbrella. The long Washington-Islamabad ties experiences have manifested that Pakistan should look for alternative options in the international community especially in strategic fields. Moscow and Beijing can prove very valuable in this regard. Along with emotions; we must contemplate on the practical initiative to safeguard our country both internally and externally to get economic and strategic sovereignty. Unluckily, we are not only tackling traditional threats but also facing numerous non-conventional challenges. Economic growth, social sector, political stability, population explosion and many more have created multiple complications. Water and food scarcity, poverty, unemployment and the list goes on. According to the World Bank, Pakistan is facing a water shortage. Our agricultural production is falling down, we are facing severe load-shedding issues, and devastating climatic changes have pushed the country to drastic rains, flood, drought and infrastructural damage.
The writer is a Prof. in English and Freelance Columnist based in Lahore