Archive for July 1st, 2009

Preserving military potential

July 1st, 2009

Pakistan needs to be militarily strong in order to keep the country’s integrity intact. At the same time it cannot be disputed that elements aiming to destabilize Pakistan have to be neutralised. This is what the Army is trying its best to do. The Army must preserve itself through this ongoing and seemingly endless fight. The only way to do this is to ensure that the present situation is not allowed to spread out of the disturbed areas such as Swat. The Army must guard against overstretching itself.

Consolidation of the military gains would include a permanent military presence in Swat, restructuring and re-establishing the local government machinery, rehabilitation of the displaced people, revival of the judicial process and the ensuring of peace that would enable normal life. The next military move should be made only once this consolidation is achieved in places where the Army is already heavily engaged. Till then the military presence being maintained in other potentially threatened areas should just contain militant activity to those areas. The Army must never allow itself to be entirely engaged in counterinsurgency operations with no potential left to defend the country’s international borders. Such an eventually would have grave consequences for Pakistan.

We must learn from our own history, that if Pakistan has to continue to exist and move from strength to strength then Pakistan has to ensure its own military shield. Pakistan has to ensure that it maintains, at all times, the ability to counter any military move against it from any quarter. Building an army takes ages and we built the Pakistani Army with so much love, sacrifices, dedication and devotion. We must not allow it to be frittered away to a position of weakness so that when the threat begins to develop the threat becomes too big for the Army to handle – just like in 1971.
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