By Sajjad Shaukat

Today our nation stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external threats to the national security of Pakistan, which have co-relationship with each other directly or indirectly.

In this connection, release of the new secret documents which have targeted Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Syria including some other Islamic countries in general and Pakistan in particular are the plot of their collective enemies through WikiLeaks. Especially, the main aim of these diplomatic cables is to distort the image of Pakistan by maligning our political leadership, army and superior spy agency, ISI which is the first defense line of the country in thwarting the conspiracy of the foreign enemies.

At present, our country and its security forces are facing suicide attacks, bomb blasts, sectarian violence and targeted-killings coupled with intermittent battles with the militants. More than three thousand military soldiers and police men have become martyrs in this different war in maintaining the integrity of the federation.

It is noteworthy that some external opportunist elements like the US, India, Afghanistan and Israel are in collusion as part of a plot to ‘destabilize’ Pakistan for their common strategic interests. It was due to new subversive acts of the militants in the tribal areas, backed by American CIA, Indian RAW, Afghan Khad and Israeli Mossad that Prime Minister Gilani has disclosed that there were “several enemies of the country” and “foreign hands were also involved in the acts of terrorism”.

As regards RAW, more than 50 Indian foreign offices, established along with the north-western border of Pakistan are supporting the militants not only in the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, but also Balochistan where a minority group called the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has been waging a separatist war in southwestern Pakistan with the aid of RAW and CIA. Bugti’s death was a blow to neo-BLA, but this group’s external backers did not stop their aggressive activities.After Bugti’s death his grandson, Brahmdagh Bugti is currently operating against Pakistan from Kabul.

On 23 July 2008, in an interview with the BBC, Brahmdagh Bugtti, while answering to a question in relation to getting arms from neighboring countries, replied that they are fighting for self-defence and “have the right to accept any foreign aid in this perspective”.

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Another Indian-backed separatist group, calling their militants Jundollah (God’s soldiers) is alsoworking against the cordial relationship of China and Iran with Pakistan.

Although our security forces are successfully coping with the Taliban militants in some tribal areas, yet situation has deteriorated in Balochistan since April 8, last year after the death of three Baloch nationalist leaders. Now subversive events like targeted killings, attacks on buildings, oil pipelines etc. have intensified in the province. In this drastic scenario, external hands have succeeded in inciting the general masses of Balochistan to oppose country’s federation through Baloch feudal lords (Sardars).

Notably, Pakistan’s civil and military high officials have openly been revealing that Indian secret agency, RAW, Israeli Mossad and other foreign agencies are involved in supporting separatism in Balochistan

It is mentionable that after meeting the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit at Sharm el-Sheikh, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had stated on July 18, 2009 that during the talks, he also raised the issue of Indian interference in Balochistan.

In fact, saboteurs trained in Afghanistan with money and weapons in their hands have been inserted into Pakistan to aggravate extremist passions and to feed into the religious movements including separatist elements and targetted-killings—particulary in Karachi. In this respect, besides other cities of the country, bomb blasts and targetted-killings continue intermmitently in Karachi which is a key seaport of Pakistan. As a matter of fact, Indian RAW wants to create linguistic and ethnic riots in Karachi.

As regards threats to the national security of Pakistan, these are also part of inter-linked developments. In this context, foreign pressure on Pakistan and the self-created foiled-terror attempts in the US are interlinked. Washington wants Islamabad to do more, and to take military action against the Haqqani group in North Waziristan. While Islamabad has already made it clear that army is engaged in other tribal areas and flood-affected regions, so it cannot attack the militants of North Waziristan.

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In this connection, rejecting US duress, Pakistan’s army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said that a decision about military action in North Waziristan will not be made on external dictation.

It is of particular attention that Pakistan’s forces have already broken the backbone of the militants in Swat, Dir, Bunir and South Waziristan, but American demands are increasing. Here, it is mentionable that Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. Therefore, India and Israel with the tactical support of America are creating instability in the country. In this regard, Indo-Israeli lobbies are working in the US and other western countries in order to malign Islamabad. Particularly, with the help of American media, these lobbies are propagating that the next terror-plan to attack the US homeland will be prepared in Pakistan.

We cannot note the above mentioned threats to the national security of our country in isolation as India’s war-mongering policy is also part of it. In this regard, Indian present Army Chief General VK Singh has said on October 15, 2010 that China and Pakistan posed a major threat to India’s security, while calling for a need to upgrade country’s defence. Notably, General Singh after taking over the charge on March 30 had said in his first strategic statement, “Indian Army is well prepared to face any threat from China.” Before him, Indian former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor had vocally revealed on December 29, 2009 that Indian Army “is now revising its five-year-old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”

As regards some internal threats, since its inception, Pakistan has been facing ethnic, linguistic and communal problems. A blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed creates hatred in one group against the other, which ends in violence. Economic injustices further worsen the situation as our society is extremely divided into rich and poor classes. Regional and provincial political leaders who exploit these disparities at the cost of federation have hindered the path of national unity. Besides other issues which could be resolved through mutual negotiations in accordance with the constitution, a prolonged controversy over president’s impeachment and reinstatement of the sacked judges might be noted as an instance in this regard.

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Concentration of wealth in few hands has created a privileged class of landowners and industrialists who contest elections against each other again and again. By dominating the political parties, they have dominated the politics of the country and have always sacrificed national interests for their personal and selfish gains. Thus they forget the real aim of public mandate to resolve the economic and social problems—the factors which cause frustration among the people. Formation of alliances and counter alliances, based upon the principle of hostility for the sake of hostility shows that our leaders are themselves responsible for lack of national cohesion among various segments of society.

The ongoing adverse circumstances have enveloped the country from all sides, weather we gauge in political or economic terms. Drastic implications of the situation cannot be grasped by the general masses at large, who abruptly change their opinion without reason. Hence, they become easy prey to the internal exploiters, unintentionally benefiting the external conspirators who want to weaken Pakistan by creating a rift between our general masses led by politicians and the security forces. Apart from it, foreign agents misguide the disgruntled elements that national institutions are not made to develop the backward areas and policies formulated at Islamabad are not congenial to other provinces except Punjab.

At this critical juncture, our defence forces, politicians and general masses need a strong sense of unity in order to cope with internal and external threats to the national security of Pakistan.

Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.