– Gen. Jahangir Karamat ex COAS
February 1st, 2009
By now so much has been said and written and has happened that there is a dire need to draw conclusions. Not just draw conclusions but to evaluate them, prioritize them and act on them.
The general consensus is that India and Pakistan need to talk. This is a decision that the political leadership on both sides needs to take. The how, when, where and what can be sorted out once this political decision has been made.
By now it is clear to all except the ostriches that Pakistan faces a serious internal crisis. This crisis is multifaceted and has many interconnected dimensions. It cannot be addressed unless there is an in-depth understanding of its reality. To do this it is necessary to develop a comprehensive picture of the scale and magnitude of the internal threat.
Recent writings, discussions and decisions have made it abundantly clear that Pakistan lacks a national intelligence coordination mechanism and a policy planning and decision making structure. This gap leads to reliance on intelligence agencies for not just intelligence but also the response options. This must change. Coordinated intelligence will produce the threat picture and the policy planning process will develop response options. From these options the decision maker will choose the course of action. This process will also respond to the criticism of intelligence agencies.
Political stability will be one facet of the response to the internal threat but the general conclusion being reached by most Pakistanis is that has to be the first step and it can be a comparatively easy step if personal ambitions and vendettas are shelved and simple decisions taken on restoring the parliamentary system, empowering the judiciary and election commission and removing controversial appointees.
There is a dawning realization that Pakistan should not seek an identity beyond our region in Arab lands. Our identity is in the greater South Asian sub-continent that includes Afghanistan. If we come to terms with this reality our bilateral relations with our neighbors will take on a whole new significance and urgency. For this a process of re-education has to start. Muslim countries and particularly Arab countries will remain our close allies and friends.
Finally it is clear that in a globalized world Pakistan’s foreign policy has to be on a global scale and Pakistan should never be seen as a threat to global peace. To climb out of the economic quagmire Pakistan has to forge relationships on the basis of trade, economic activity, technology transfers, investment, education, health care and support at the international level. This should help in prioritizing relationships and developing public opinion that supports foreign policy rather than opposing it. This is what will redefine and drive our relationship with the West.
Courtesy and Thanks: Wichaar.com