WORLD NEWS TOMORROW– Pakistan – European Centre for Information Policy and Security (ECIPS)  reports. The world is rapidly changing in the 21st century. This demands changes in the configuration and operation styles of the security institutions of the Government of Pakistan (GOP)   The new Nawaz Government must ensure delivery of  a vital public services like public security in a cost effective and effective manner.  Pakistan’s public institutions have come a long way from Independence in 1947.

Today, we have a budding democracy and a vast state apparatus to serve public needs. However, much more need to be done to propel Pakistan’s rapid development. What are the next steps that the new Nawaz Government must take immediately to put Pakistan on the path of rapid modernization and development?

The GOP must immediately carry out an in-dept study of the competencies of various GOP departments and agencies related to national security and simultaneously determine the international standards which they must strive to meet. The Nawaz Government should evaluate and improve the entire federal national security bureaucracy, including but not limited to, evaluation and improvement of its personnel development process to achieve high standards.

The Nawaz Government must also immediately strive to better align incentives to outputs and reward excellence. Plus, a paradigm shift must be on the table. Changed times require a rethink of Pakistan’s government security structures. Pakistan is faced with a very grave security challenge which is thwarting its ability to develop decently. The country is threatened from within by instability because of domestic terrorism. Immediate counter-terrorism measures are needed to tackle the grave problem. A holistic counter-terrorism strategy must be envisaged and implemented to tackle the severe problem engulfing the nation as never before in hits history.

In Pakistan the main internal security threats facing it come from the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda sympathizers active in Waziristan FATA. Despite scarce resources, the Armed Forces of Pakistan has achieved some success in confronting these threats. We have seen a steady decline in the recorded strengths of these threat groups.    Pakistan’s efforts in addressing these security threats begin with the task of increasing the capability of the GOP in its internal security operations.    Evidently, the internal security threats the country was faced has had a severe negative impact on the economy and the resolution of these threats will obviously foster a climate conducive to faster economic growth.

The intermittent conflict in Waziristan, FATA has rendered local governance difficult in some of its remote locations. This situation has been exploited by the Al Qaeda and the Taliban terrorists.  Addressing the threats posed by these groups is the primary responsibility of the Armed Forces. Primarily, it continues to undertake sustained military operations against them. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease of the recorded strength of these groups. The relentless military pressure has denied these terrorists their training grounds, lairs and sanctuaries and prevented their resurgence. But evidently, the job is far from over.

Although their numbers have substantially decreased, their potential to launch terrorist attacks remains a serious concern.    Based on a new assessment made by the GOP, an updated plan should enable it to exert firm and continuous military pressure that, in combination with other effective economic and political efforts, will resolve Pakistan’s internal security threats in the next few years.     A better our counter-insurgency campaign has to be undertaken to tackle the terrorism problem.

Successful intelligence operations are vital in the GOP’s counter-terrorism efforts. The Intelligence Services, both civilian and that of the Armed Forces, must better coordinate efforts and also continue to closely coordinate with foreign intelligence agencies of friendly countries. A new super Homeland Department on the lines of the US Homeland |Department must be established for the purpose. Essentially, the effort must bring all counter-terrorism resources under one roof so to speak, including both foreign and domestic. .. To further enhance Pakistan’s intelligence capability, the GOP must now embark on a new thrust to modernize and strength its intelligence services. The public must be brought in through new community policing programs.  A vigilant community is essential in this campaign. Thus, local government officials, particularly the leaders of the smallest political unit at the village level, must be successfully mobilized to provide intelligence and information to the GOP’s law enforcement agencies and the Armed Forces through a robust local intelligence network. For the campaign against terror to succeed, the Nawaz Government must constantly check every attempt to radicalize the vulnerable segments of the populace. The GOP must somehow spread the thinking, even among those who have taken-up arms against the government, that engaging in acts of terror or providing support to those who do, is totally unacceptable and will not go unpunished. It must be clear to all that those who harbor terrorists that they will find no safe havens.

Considering that terrorism is a problem that knows no borders, Pakistan should continue to enhance cooperation with friends and allies. To guard the borders, the GOP must be engaged in border patrol exercises with Afghanistan and Iran. The next logical step may to establish the GOP’s constant situational awareness of these borders through efficient exchange of intelligence and information.

This will enhance, among others, the efficiency of Pakistan’s respective border patrols and provide the means for seamless security coverage in this important domain. Securing this area benefits all the three states and enhances the individual capabilities to protect Pakistan’s national interest. Along with this new thrust a new effort be undertaken to facilitate in any way possible the exit strategy of the United States from Afghanistan. The Nawaz Government must also make new efforts to end the war in Afghanistan. The violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty through continuous drone attacks is creating resentment in the nation. The departure of the United States from Afghanistan will restore Pakistan’s perceived sovereignty loss.

The GOP must also look forward to close cooperation with India to protect Pakistan’s eastern borders from terrorist and criminal activities.  Most importantly, the GOP must realize that much more needs to be done in the war against terrorism. Unless and until the root causes of terrorism are addressed the military component in the Global War on Terror will remain largely inadequate.

The terrorist problem can only be solved if the genuine grievances of the radicals are met. It is imperative that the perceived injustices of the radicals must also be addressed. In short, the use of force by itself will remain insufficient to solve the problem. A successful counter-terrorism strategy must have a formidable political and economic component also.  The Nawaz Government must take immediate steps to redress the local grievances of the tribal areas to address the terrorism issues.

Decent employment opportunities must be created for the people on a war-footing basis. The regional infrastructure is in a shambles and must be rebuilt immediately. In short, a new thrust must be made to bring economic opportunity to the poor people of the border regions to counter terrorism. If and when, Pakistan is able to stabilize it domestic security environment, Foreign Direct Investment may then ensure rapid development of the economy. Proper strategy, commitment and patience may turnaround Pakistan to wards domestic prosperity, security and rapid economic development.

Exclusive for World News Tomorrow by Dr Sohail Mahmood European Centre for Information Policy and Security (ECIPS)

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