Security Threats Within Pakistan
February 11, 2008 by TMO
By Zeeshan Bakhsh
Ethnicity, sectarianism and economic instability are fundamental variables of internal security threats to Pakistan. The claim of religious extremism creates a poor image of Pakistan in the eyes of the rest of the world and has affected the country adversely. Also, inter-provincial grievances could cause serious damage to Pakistan. The biggest cause of these grievances is the need for resources in the provinces even though these resources are being produced in different areas of the country. Each province believes that their share is being given to others; causing conflict and hostility. The people of the different provinces then accuse each other and show violent behavior towards each other.
Despite recent economic recovery and sound macro economic policies, the absence of genuine socio-economic development has provided ethno-sectarian elements and regional forces grounds to exploit and weaken Pakistan internally. The Pakistani stock market has therefore crashed. We had a historical boom of our stock market last year and then due to security threats we saw the biggest fall. This stopped development and caused unemployment, poverty and inflation.
The Pakistani Government is claiming their foreign reserves have increased in the past years. Is this the reality or just the fudging of facts? What do Pakistani people think about it? Are they getting the basic needs at their door step or do they have to go to great lengths to find them? Do they feel secure in Pakistan or is there any element of insecurity among them especially after the current wave of suicidal attacks in the country? What are they planning for the future? Do they still want to stay here or want to leave at their earliest convenience?
Lahore, Punjab; also known as peace, liberty, sovereignty, freedom andÂ harmony, also known as the land of saints and Oliya Karaam. The same place now presents the picture of terrorism, violence, intimidation, aggression, hostility, instability, and insecurity. This panic and chaos started from our Northern areas after 9/11 when we started helping the allied forces. Our tribal leaders refused to work in favor of the allied forces and they started a movement against them and in favor of the Taliban. Therefore, when our government started targeting tribal public along with their well wishers, they stood against the government as well. This was the start of suicidal attacks in Pakistan. This wave of fear came in Punjab after effecting tribal areas N.W.F.P, Karachi and then the Federal Capital Islamabad. But now Punjab is under the same threat especially after the suicide blast outside the Lahore High Court.
10th January, 2007 was a day of fear and panic for the people of Lahore who were not used to such things before. 25 people died and around 70 were injured in this suicide attack in front of the Lahore High Court. The objective of the attackers is still in question as to whether its target was law enforcement agencies or the lawyers. Moreover, this could have been done to create terror in the city.
There was a time when mothers proudly sent their sons to work but now days after seeing them off they sit on the prayer rug start praying for their safety. The shopkeepers used to keep their shops open until late hours but now they feel apprehensive to continue their businesses into the night; they prefer to lose significant business rather than their lives. At the time the customers feel anxious and avoid shopping until absolutely necessary because of the current security situation. For example Karachi is our industrial and economic hub from where we have earned huge foreign reserves. Unfortunately after the incidents ofÂ May 12th and October 18th, 2007 the karachittes have to think hard on how to make Karachi light up again.
If the situation remains the same the foreign investors will lose their interest and at the same time we will also lose the confidence of foreign donor agencies. As a cause of this fright our imports and exports are also decreasing rapidly. Another dilemma is strikes that have disturbed the whole economy of the country. Internal growth is also tripping over due to scarcity, inflation and idleness and these things cause inferiority complex among the people which they exhale in the form of violence. These are not the actual threats in the country but because of the lack of these we are facing security threats. The immediate requirement is to introduce political, economic and educational reforms and take bold initiatives to obviate present and future threats.
Government should make sure the implementation of the rule of law, Proper recovery of taxes also try to illuminate regional disparities.