Pakistan is misunderstood and underestimated. Pakistan and India cannot remain enemies forever. Ruling hearts and minds is the key to unlocking Balochistan’s problems. The world must take India to task over Kashmir.
National security is more important than ever in an overheated global political environment and NSA Janjua addressed the members of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) on 14 April 2017. Trump’s strikes on Syria, his use of the dreaded MOAB against ISIS/ISIL in Afghanistan, his deteriorating ties with the Kremlin and his standoff with North Korea are examples of global events that demonstrate spiralling volatility in international relations. Closer to home, the destruction of traditional secular power structures in the Arab world has resulted in extreme turmoil, innumerable civilian deaths and untold human misery. Stratospheric levels of terrorism have resulted in new military partnerships. The Saudi conceived Islamic Military Alliance – the “Muslim NATO” – is headed by Pakistan’s former army chief General Raheel Sharif. To see Saudi Arabia’s special forces marching alongside Pakistan’s military during last month’s Independence Day parade was one thing.
But to have also witnessed the attendance of China’s presidential guard of honour in Islamabad as a symbolic show of solidarity must have irked India where the present treatment of minorities must be making its secular founders turn in their graves. Regarding the ongoing bloodshed in Kashmir, it is hard to surpass Arundhati Roy’s sublime conclusion that “India has no option but to colonise itself”. China is keen to show India that Pakistan has friends and that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an important project for Beijing. Mian Nawaz Sharif seems quite secure against his rivals because of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision that, despite clearly unflattering parallels to The Godfather, he is not obliged to resign because of revelations about his wealth in the Panama Papers.
Coverage of our event is available below:
Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua on Friday said the two nuclear powers – Pakistan and India – could not remain enemies forever and need to interact with each other to resolve their bilateral disputes.
He said this while addressing members of the PIIA in Karachi on national security perspective in Pakistan. He said the understanding would soon prevail within India that for how long it could remain the enemy of Pakistan.
He was of the view that:
We can do everything through cooperation, but not by the way of competition. We are acting as a frontline state in the war against terrorism but unfortunately the world fails to acknowledge the role of Pakistan.
Janjua said terrorism in Pakistan was the aftermath of “supporting” foreign forces in Afghanistan which the world had now forgotten. He also briefly discussed the operations launched by armed forces in different parts of the country against terrorism.
He claimed that the acts of terrorism across the country had visibly reduced after launching of operations against terrorists. He also shared details of Karachi operation as well as the pre and post-operation environments in the port city.
NSA Janjua also briefed the audience on initiatives taken to improve the situation in Balochistan besides highlighting the economic potential and geographic importance of the province. He also delivered a detailed presentation on The National Security Perspective in Pakistan. The audience highly appreciated the pictures of diverse landscapes of different parts of the country shown by Janjua in his presentation.
The visible improvement in the Balochistan situation came about not by imposing force but by ruling the hearts and minds of the people – by accommodation.
These views were expressed by Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua while addressing a gathering at the PIIA comprising members of the institute, the media, and diplomats on Friday evening. His talk was titled, “Pakistan’s security environment and future prospects”.
He acknowledged that the initial fault lay in our failure to integrate Balochistan. However, he asserted that it was not only our failure to integrate Balochistan but also the failure of sections in Balochistan to get integrated. The root cause of insurgency, he said, was sub-nationalism.
This, he said, boiled down to formulation of a viable strategy. So, he said, a people-centric civil-military strategy was formulated. General Janjua said:
We saw to the needs of the people of Balochistan, tried our level best to redress them. We brought people together through events like horse and cattle shows and games, tournaments, with the result that there was a thaw in the bickerings harboured by the people. Over due course of time, the situation transited from flag burning to flag raising.
Change in the hearts and minds of the people in Balochistan had not been brought about through force. It came about through love. The people there were made conscious of the fact that they were as much Pakistanis as the others.
The situation changed from Jeevey Jeevey Balochistan to Jeevey Jeevey Pakistan, he said. He showed slides of various events like horse and cattle shows, cricket, wrestling, and other game tournaments, as well as dancing camels and dancing horses. He explained further that:
We took it upon ourselves to mitigate the prevailing sense of deprivation there. Of course we had to resort to a selective use of force. We had to resort to intelligence-based operations and this resulted in a large haul of arms and ammunition.
The insurgency, whatever of it was left, was among the Baloch who were residing overseas and, by and large, it had been marginalised. “Consequently, we have covered the journey from flag burning to flag raising,” he said.
Balochistan, he said, had the maximum potential in agriculture, wind energy, solar energy, and mineral resources. It had close to 50 trillion dollars worth of resources. Balochistan, he said, had the potential of a massive trading hub. Asia was becoming an economic giant and Balochistan would have a pivotal role to play amid this scenario. Asia contained 70 percent of the globe’s population, he said.
In reply to a question about the appointment of Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif as the head of the Islamic Military Alliance, he assured that Sharif would play a balanced role. “The Muslim world will gain from his presence,” he said. Talking about the CPEC, he said, “We will bring about economic connectivity with the world.”
He started off his talk by the question, “How are we seen?” and answered his own question by saying that we were seen as a terrorism-prone country. We were viewed as a country with negatives because of terrorism. “We have to carry out a reality check and see the actual situation for ourselves. We are a beautiful country,” he stressed to the audience and to illustrate his point, he showed slides of Pakistan’s breath-taking natural scenery encompassing all kinds of topography including Lake Saiful Malook in Kaghan; Hunza, Gojal, Shangrila in Skardu; dancing horses, dancing camels and racing bullocks; Hanna Lake in Balochistan; the deserts of Sindh and Balochistan, the lush verdant fields of the Punjab; fairy meadows in Gilgit-Baltistan, and others.
“We are largely misunderstood and underestimated,” he said. “We have been acting as a frontline state and saved Afghanistan,” he said. He said had Pakistan not stood by the US and the West as regards Afghanistan, things in the region would have taken a very serious turn. He quite rightly queried the low value placed on Pakistan by its numerous western allies. Throwing up the issue “was the invasion of Afghanistan Pakistan’s doing?”, he answered the question himself by saying: “This is the role and character of Pakistan which has not been valued by the West.”
NSA Janjua said that the dismemberment of the USSR and the hasty abandonment of Afghanistan by the West resulted in the Al-Qaeda-Taliban compact. Pakistan, he said, stood with the world against those who perpetrated the 9/11.
Massive indiscriminate bombing of Afghanistan by the US left the Afghan society grievously bruised and bloodied. Terrorism in Pakistan, he said, was the result of siding with the West. “It is easy to level allegations against Pakistan but where is the proof,” he queried.
About Operation Zarb-e-Azb, he said that Pakistan suffered the maximum casualties in 2013-14. As such, Zarb-e-Azb was launched in June 2014. As a result of the operation, 250,000 people returned to their homes; terrorism incidents in Karachi registered a visible decline, and 6,867 anti-social elements were arrested.
Live Rostrum News Agency Coverage.
Full coverage of the event is available on Live Rostrum which extracted some of the key points of NSA Janjua’s lecture as:
- Terrorism in Pakistan was the aftermath of “supporting” foreign forces in Afghanistan, which the world had now forgotten. Nobody sent their soldiers to fight the USSR in Afghanistan; Pakistan stood by its neighbour.
- We are acting as a frontline state in the war against terrorism, but, unfortunately the world has failed to acknowledge the role of Pakistan.
- The two nuclear powers – Pakistan and India – could not remain enemies forever and need to interact with each other to resolve their bilateral disputes. The understanding would soon prevail within India on how long it could remain the enemy of Pakistan.
- India’s inclusion in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is preconditioned to the resolution of outstanding dispute on Kashmir. CPEC will provide great connectivity to the world.
- The world must tell India to resolve the Kashmir dispute. The animosity has to go out of the window – for the sake of wellbeing of the people.
- We are a Muslim country, suffering from extremism. Terrorism has made us an insecure county, at the global level. Because we are a nuclear state, other world countries fear that our nuclear weapons may fall in terrorists’ hands. We are also economically poor. Some view us as playing a double game in case of Afghanistan and by claiming we are supporting the Taliban.
- While addressing the Balochistan issue, he said there had been a change in heart and mind of the people of Balochistan, because of the power of love. We address their issues; lick their wounds and concerns of sense of deprivation. These are honoured, valuable people. The insurgents are sitting abroad. They are the only ones left to win over.
- “Largely, as I see insurgency has been marginalized in Balochistan. The state is ready to reconcile with such people, if they come forward and don’t hedge on it. They should come forward and equally play their part in the country’s politics.”
- Balochistan was the area, where the national flag was being burnt, but now once again, it was being raised, and we have connected with the people.
- Addressing the issues of Fata, Karachi and Balochistan, he said the operations carried out by the armed forces have resulted in lessening terrorist activities like bombings; a climax was reached in February 2014.
- The fallout of the war against terrorism has greatly affected Pakistanis and we have lost as many as 40,000 civilians and 5,000 military personnel.
- The acts of terrorism across the country have visibly reduced after launching of operations against terrorists.
We note with interest that rather than draining the swamp, Trump has been sucked into it. In the Middle Eastern theatre of war, he is also firmly entrenched in the Syrian quagmire. As explained in an earlier post, in November 2017, PIIA will be hosting some special events in relation to our Seventieth Anniversary. Coverage of our recent events can be found via the links below:
- Adviser Sartaj Aziz: The Role of Russia and China is Vital for Regional Changes
- ‘The Legacy of Barack Obama’: A Talk by Ambassador Karamatullah Ghori
- Pakistan’s Seventieth Anniversary and International Relations in 2017
- ‘A German Perspective on Pakistan and its Big Neighbours’: A Talk by Professor Conrad Schetter
- ‘The Future of Afghanistan’: A Talk by Professor Marvin Weinbaum
- Pakistan and the Panama Papers
- Dr Bärbel Kofler: Transferring the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights into Practice in Germany
- Dr Gunter Mulack: Crisis in the Middle East: A German Perspective
- Ahmed Rashid: Continuing Search for Stability: Pakistan and Afghanistan
- Regional Challenges and Opportunities for South Asia in the Decades Ahead
- A Talk by Ambassador Brigitta Blaha on Austria’s Foreign Policy
- Why Think Tanks Matter to Policy Makers and the Public
- Mani Shankar Aiyar: Continuity and Change in India’s Foreign Policy
- The Middle East in Turmoil: A Talk by Ambassador Karamatullah Ghori
- ‘The Future of Syria’: A Talk by H.E. Ambassador Radwan Loutfi