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Daily Times

Published Date: Oct 11, 2011


Experts chastise decision-makers for erroneous policies
Pakistan has massively compromised security and development of its poor people, absence of governance and decision-making at all levels, grim economic, energy situations and corruption are some of the key challenges to the country.

Pakistan foreign affairs’ former Secretary General Mohammad Akram Zaki, defense and security analyst Lt-Gen (r) Asad Durrani, media analyst Syed Talat Hussain and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Executive Director (ED) Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri gave these remarks during a seminar on “Violations and threats to Pakistan’s sovereignty and response” organized by the SDPI on Monday.

ED was of the view no country is completely sovereign today and Pakistan has been struggling for its complete sovereignty since its creation. He said the near economic future of the country seems really grim due to worsening energy crises and gas shortages amid increasing demand. He said that IMF-government’s inconclusive agreement and former’s reluctance to issue letter of comfort to government for loans from other institutions will have a significant impact.

Zaki said the country is going through multiple crises as the security situation at western, eastern and at internal fronts worsens. He also said initial alliance between US and Pakistan was on wrong notations as Pakistan thought it was getting strong against India and US intended to secure low-cost soldiers to protect its interests in the region. He highlighted varying phases of Pak-US relations and lamented that Pakistan never formulated its national security, economic, social and development policies amid going through drifting phases involving adhocism-based decision-making approach.

He urged Pakistan should follow a policy of dialogue with caution, patience and firmness; it should explore options for coordination with Iran, China, Russia and Turkey.
He further said the US is not going to withdraw from Afghanistan but it is changing its role from a combating player to a long-term strategic presence involving India as a partner. He said India has adopted a new strategy, which involves weakening of Pakistan from western side focusing Balochistan and Fata, strengthening control of flow of waters of Pakistan and thirdly having an offensive doctrine of military deployment at eastern-side.
Hussain, talking of Haqani-ISI relationship and US accusations, said Haqqani’s are bound to drift between Af-Pak borders due to border proximity. He said power-game is going on among stakeholders for defense and security reasons in the region. Pakistan faces numerous challenges to its sovereignty involving India in the East, unstable Afghanistan with US-NATO presence in the West and internal challenges. He said two-front scenario of insecurity have now grown up. The re-grouping of Talibans and their connections with banned militant groups across Pakistan leading to continuous incursions, bombings and attacks; weak economy, fragmentation of society, uncontrollable gangsters in Karachi were some of the key challenges to country’s sovereignty, he added.
Durrani said a country that much depends upon others for its political and strategic reasons would have to struggle for its sovereignty. Allegations of Haqani-ISI relationship are not entirely baseless as Pakistan is the strategic depth of Afghanistan since whenever foreign powers invaded Afghanistan there has been influx of invasions into Pakistan due to open borders and proximity of terrain, he added.