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The Statesman

Published Date: May 31, 2011

REAL THREAT IS WITHIN: SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT HAS TO END ITS DOUBLE GAME: SDPI

Experts have demanded that the security estab­lishment should broaden their defi­nition of security while talking into account the human and citizens’ security. The double game with dif­ferent stakeholders and military’s penetration into country’s affairs such as politics and economy should end now and the military should focus more on professionalism and defending the country against wors­ening internal and external threats.

Imtiaz Gull, Chairman, Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad, Dr Perviz Hoodbhoy, Analyst and Professor at Quaid-E-Azam. University and LUMS, Air Marshal Ayaz Ahmed Khan and Lt-Gen Abdul Qayyum, Former Chairman Pakistan Ordi­nance Factory and Pakistan Steel Mills spoke at the seminar on “Rethinking national security: laps­es, threats and strategies” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Executive Director of SDPI, Dr Abid. Q. Suleri moderated the pro­ceedings. Dr Abid said the economic dependence of the country has been at the centre of state policies so far and added that the time has come for this nation to think beyond this per­sistent dependence. He said there are various levels of security but the Abbottabad incident has generated a debate, which mainly evolves around physical security and defense while the real security is human security and human develop­ment, which is, neglected altogether in this country. He said defense bud­get is three times more than Public Sector. Development Programme (PSDP) even in the forthcoming budget while sixty percent people are food insecure with livelihood sources endangered and energy cri­sis is worsening including looming gas crisis in winter.

He said that during last three budgets, the country heavily relied on promises of Friends of Pakistan, Tokyo pledges and Kerry-Lugar Bill but none of these instruments were fulfilled appropriately and enabled Pakistan to overcome the economic dependence. The country has received over II billion dollar remittances this year and added that such opportunities can be utilized for economic independence.

He lamented over the double­ game of establishment including General Musharraf’s double game with people and the world and added that perhaps Pakistan was using Osama as a bargain chip for some economic gains to deal with the economic dependence.

Imtiaz Gul said it is very diffi­cult for the military establishment to abandon the obsession of geo-strate­gic relevance, which have bled the country and led this nation to an irreparable and dangerous situation. Currently security apparatus is under attack and can this security apparatus, which is busy in running the affairs of country, will rethink the national security, he questioned. He said the security establishment involving the dominance of military, ISI and other forces run the country. The entire security apparatus determines foreign policy and also the internal counter terrorism tactics across Pakistan. Pre-dominance of national security forces into coun­try’s affairs have eroded the trans­parency and accountability culture. He said the country is economi­cally weak and army is tactically stretched from North to South in dealing with conflict situations. “The real enemy is within-the sup­porters of Tali ban and Al-Qaeeda” it is a school of thought, which believes that you can kill anybody who disagrees with you.

Dr Hoodbhoy urged that the security establishment should end the double game of good and bad, militants and their use in the region: including Kashmir. He lamented over sharp decrease of professional­ism in army due to its deep penetra­tion into economy. He said that it was a shocking lack of competence if Osama was hiding in Abbotabad but the military and ISI were unaware besides failure to mobilize the air force during the Osama oper­ation. He deplored the military is consuming overwhelming resources of this country but is unable to defend the nation and has lost its efficacy.

He further questioned the politi­cal wisdom of the security establish­ment while criticizing its double game with US and Tali ban. He said that the military has now been hit by both sides as the country has lost 30 thousand innocent people while the double dealing have alienated all our allies and the world.

He said but military still insists that it knows better and can better run the country’s affair. It has two trump cards to blackmail the world, which included the possible vacuum in Afghanistan in Post-US withdrawal and the Atomic bomb.