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Peace and stability

National Security Challenges, internal and external, that Pakistan faces are numerous. Regional peace depends on maintenance of strategic stability in South Asia. Keeping a watch on forces and factors, including attitudes and approaches and outlook of the sole super power, the United States of America and other global players is of vital significance. The United States is under growing influence of Indian Lobby in the White House, where Pakistan’s fight against terrorism is not appreciated much. Terrorism alone is not the thorn is the eyes of India and the United States of America, china is also an important factor. Our diplomats must see to it that ties with the United States do not suffer unnecessarily and that those with our neighbours remain intact. We need to explain our sustained and irreversible steps against militants to the world. Times are changing fast. Pompeo minced no words, when he said recently, “we realize that it is different deal with the likes of China and Pakistan from across the Ocean than it is when they are on your borders”. On one hand the United States seeks Pakistan’s help in sorting out the Afghanistan issue, on the other it doubts the intents and sincerity of a partner in the war on terror.

Strategic as well as contemporary research shows that “as a sequel to the on-going competition of the mighty three, middle and small sized countries willingly or otherwise are getting aligned with their favourite blocks. The smaller partner countries with strategic and economic significance are the likely battlegrounds. Pakistan and India also fall in that category of allies. So it is for the leadership of these two nuclear countries to understand their positions, and rather than allowing themselves to play subservient roles, take charge of their destinies and refuse to make this subcontinent, a battleground for the clashing egos of bigger powers.

The member states of Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) have resolved to accelerate efforts to promote socio-economic and anti-corruption cooperation as well as to introduce the use of local currency in mutual transactions. It was emphasized that the SCO was an effective and constructive mechanism for multilateral cooperation that played an important role in maintaining regional peace and stability. The participating leaders resolved to focus on the need for expanding joint efforts to ensure reliable security and sustainable development in the SCO region. They reaffirmed the SCO member states’ commitment to enhancing the central coordinating role of the U.N, and itsSecurity Council as a body vested with the main responsibility for maintaining international peace and security under the United Nations Charter. The member States resolutely condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and urged the international community to strengthen global cooperation in efforts against terrorism under the United Nations’ central role including implementation of UN resolutions and without politicization and double standards.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comprehensive statement at 19th meeting of council of heads of state of shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) member states and the eight-pronged course of action underscored Pakistan’s commitment to contribute substantially to the advancement of SCO’s goals and objectives in the political, security and economic sphere. There was need to reinforce SCO’s vision of cooperation that rejects confrontation, and advances the imperatives of peaceful co-existence at the regional and international levels, promoting stability, establishing a comprehensive framework for combating corruption and white collar crime, launching feasibilities for creating centers of excellence on poverty alleviation, de-radicalization, connectivity, and new technologies. The Bishkek Declaration emphasizes the “Shanghai” Spirit” characterized by mutual trust and benefit, equality, joint consultations, respect for cultural diversity and aspiration for collective development.

To overcome the challenge of extremism, stabilize the region, and align Pakistan’s development with the contemporary currents of modernization, clarity is essential for a way forward

Pakistan can no longer be blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Prime Minister Imran Khan telephoned Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad the other day to thank Malaysia for its support of Pakistan’s bid to avoid being black-listed by the F.A.T.F. Dr. Mahathir told the Malaysian media that Malaysia showed its support to Pakistan as the country has upped its war against money laundering. “We decided based on rule of law. We admit that money laundering is a major problem and it is happening because of the borderless world that allows free flow of capital he said, adding there was no point blacklisting any particular nation with Malaysia’s support, Pakistan has three nations behind it, with the other two being china and Turkey, and hence it could no longer be blacklisted.

It is time to have a re-look at strategic concerns of Pakistan’ country’s strategic location, domestic security issues, regions and areas of discontentment, issues of extremism, militancy, and emerging terror groups as well policy to address these issues; the never ending security concerns; Pakistan, the United States, and Afghanistan. The difficult neighborhood is the greatest challenge. There are regional and international implications of emerging security issues. Armed with nuclear weaponry, Pakistan is situated in an extremely volatile geographic location. Pakistan’s role in war on terrorism has to be duly acknowledge. We need to understand the cost-benefit analysis of what the government and private – sector businesses do and how well they are performing. Strategic management is that set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of an organization. It entails all of the basic management functions thatis the organization’s strategies must be planned, organized, put into effect, and controlled.

The strategic management process involves 1) Identifying the organization’s current mission, objectives, and strategies, 2) Analyza the environment, 3) Identify the opportunities and threats, 4) Analyze the organization’s resources, 5) Identify strengths and weaknesses, 6) Formulate strategies , 7) Implement strategies, 8) Evaluate results.

A stability strategy is a corporate – level strategy characterized by an absence of significant change. Managers pursue stability when they view the organization’s performance as satisfactory and the environment appears to be stable and unchanging, that is, the organization is content to continue what it has been doing and sees no reason to change. Growth strategy is given preference over retrenchment strategies. Managers who make a dynamic balance possible enjoy more positive image.

To overcome the challenge of extremism, stabilize the region, and align Pakistan’s development with the contemporary currents of modernization, clarity is essential for a way forward. The conflicts and military interventions in the “Arc of crisis” (Pakistan and Afghanistan form one of the two poles of the “Arc of crisis” covering Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East, with Palestine and Iraq forming the other pole.) have soured the promise of global peace and the dividend briefly held out by the end of the cold war and removal of the global confrontation threat from the erstwhile bipolar world. Special responsibility lies with the regional countries to contain their rivalry and help Afghanistan to stabilize. The experience of the past more than two decades has underscored the relevance of stabilization in Afghanistan and equanimity in Pakistan for the future of the region and for global peace, and most important, for the security and economic development of the two countries.

The writer is former Director National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) Government of Pakistan, a political analyst, a public policy expert, and a published author


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