Articles

“Dilemma of policy making in Pakistan” BY Aimal Khattak

With no sign of ending of violence in the south and central Asian region and peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflicts, the need for policy overhaul and revision is time and again debated upon and becoming a hot issue of national discourse. Amid growing isolation, its unclear whether the Pakistani policy makers have the necessary understanding and realization of the gravity of the situation? Has this realization started translating in to the policies? Is there any substantial policy shift? If there is a shift, is it real or just cosmetic? Is the state willing to redefine and revisit  its ideology basics? Is Pakistani state ready to abandon its  policy of expansion of ideology and set its trade and economic interest at the core of its foreign relations?  Whether the state has the will and capacity to bottle the jinni of extremism and terrorism?  Is the state ready to disengage with its creatures (militant groups)? Will the military continue to monologise the vital strategic decision making process ? These are some of the questions under discussion for years by the concerned citizens at different public forums.

Pakistan Army has so far completed several operations and there is a talk about the new crack down and search operations. An operation is just one of the simplest, traditional tool of dealing with menace of terrorism while the current phenomenon of terrorism is very complex and multi-dimensional which needs a more comprehensive and inclusive approach.  Extremism is well-entrenched in all aspect of our society and it can be dealt with concerted efforts and a strategy addressing its social, ideological, cultural and economic aspects.

Pakistan is one of those few countries of the world where majority of its citizens criticize or disown its policies – both internal as well as external.  It is mainly because of inherent strategic confusion, non-inclusive policy making process and the traditional and faulty national security doctrines.

The government is under tremendous internal and external pressure for policy revision.  The multi-faceted crisis currently faced by the country and triggered by these wrong policies is not only a manifestation of the depth and severity of the crisis but also a cumulative effect of these policies, drafted and implemented over the last 50 years.

During the last three years, the civil-military balance is visibly tilted in favor of the later. With the resignation of Mian Nawaz Sharif from premiership, the civil- military relations further imbalanced in favour of later. For most if the observers , Nawaz Sharif ouster is the result of deep rooted mistrust over his government policies or his policy designs among military dominated establishment.  The military encroachment upon strategic policy making is expected to further deepen and civilians appear to be cornered.

As far as the strategic policy making process is concerned, it is flawed in many ways. Its base is closed, India-centric, military led and ideological-oriented. Normally, states keep some of its strategic policies secret but in Pakistan the whole policy making process is secretive. In every state there exist groups, lobbies and vested interests which strive for influencing its policies for furthering their interests but the civilized nations always try to strike an optimum balance between the conflicting interests. Due to lack of inclusive and participatory policy making process, sometimes a majority ethnic or religious group start dominating the policy making process which further deepens the mistrust or deprivation among minority cultural, ethnic and religious group.  One ought not be surprised if there is someone among the Pakistani policy makers who honestly considers one or more sects as infidel or an ethnic group unpatriotic.

Amid closed and secretive policy making process, it becomes extremely difficult to hold any one responsible for any policy blunders. Ironically, we did not yet formally held any one individual or institution responsible for the debacle of East Pakistan that occurred 45 years ago. The dilemma, where the constitutionally mandated bodies are expelled from policy making process and the encroachers are dominating it often, cause confusion. This is one of the reasons of lack of ownership of the policies among the mandated ones. If the key foreign policies are not made by foreign office then how they could defend it.

Two factors are contributing to the above mentioned confusion. Firstly, there is no clear ideological differentiation between the state and anti-state actors. Secondly, there is still confusion whether the state has really decided to disengage with its proxies or continue its engagement under different pretexts or forms.

Still, in the conflict-hit areas, for most of the people military and militants are two sides of the same coin as ordinary people daily see, witness and hear stories about the engagement of state with non-state actors. It might be of some importance for the policy makers for providing lame excuses or justifications to its policy misgivings but most of the people in conflict-hit areas did not subscribe to the narrative of Good and Bad Taliban.

Furthering trade and economic interests is one of the main components of modern day diplomacy rather than exporting extremism. Due to our policies, Pakistan became an epicentre of Jihad or in outsiders’ view a hotbed of terrorism, which attracted volunteers from all over the world but failed to record any significant achievements in our trade. Yes, we got some quota concession and access to international market as a meager compensation to our role in war on terror.

In the past, policymakers have successfully used two cards –religion and India – to justify or cover its blunders or policy miscarriages. One can do anything in Pakistan in the name of religion and justify anything by fomenting and using anti-India feelings.  No doubt India has long been considered an enemy but there exists an enmity between India and China as well but it did not restrict or hinder both the countries to strengthen their trade and economic ties.

One of the elements of the viable and successful counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism strategies is differentiation of ideology of state and anti-state actors and subsequently its ideological positions.

One cannot check or curtail religious extremism unless and until the religious commonalities between state and non-state actors either clearly differentiated or done away with. As an Islamic Republic, it is the foremost duty of the state to come up with a clear policy on Jihad and clarify the confusion not only in the minds of common people but also in its own ranks and file.

It’s an open secret now that the non-state actors were indoctrinated by the state on religious lines and motivations. Later on the ideological base of the non-state actors further diversified and deepened when the Pakistani state facilitated its links with some external state and non-state actors, particularly certain conservative Gulf States  and Arab extremist groups.

The Pakistani state is targeting militants while there is no viable policy for checking the extremism which is the mother of all evils.

Of late, the Pakistani policy makers started to realize and accept the disastrous nature and impact of its strategic policies but still complete disengagement is lacking. Due to the old mind set and disastrous and confused policy of Good and Bad Taliban, the process of revision, formulation and even implementation of the new policies is slow and half-hearted. Most important is the change in institutional mindset rather than individual overtures. The process of change of mind set is a very slow and time consuming but with strong will, commitment and deliberate action it could be changed.

For change of institutional mind set there is need for revision of syllabus at academies for the civil and military officers, strict adherence to the constitutional mandate and redefining the national security doctrines.

Policy change is not merely a process of categorizing the evil into bigger or lesser or in our case in Good or Bad Taliban but it needs concrete actions and will for rooting it out in all its forms.

The author is a political commentator mainly covering socio-political and peace issues. He frequently comments on regional issues, especially Afghanistan. Aimal Khattak can be contacted at: aimalk@yahoo.com

Facebook Comments
23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. AC Maintenance Dubai

    February 22, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Al Hadi AC Refrigration and Repairing is committed to giving your ACs a new lease of life. We have a team of experienced professionals which has serviced more than a 1000 units, much to the satisfaction of our clients. The effort at Al Hadi has always been to service a call in the shortest span of time and to close it with a happy client. The referrals we get is a testimony to our work. Try our services today!

  2. free movie download

    February 21, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Hey can you inform me which platform you are making use of? I am going to start out my own site on free online movie sites in the near future though I’m having a tough time making a choice.

  3. packers and movers mumbai

    February 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    We certainly love your blog and find the vast majority of your content to be exactly I am trying to find. Would you offer guest writers to post content for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing an article regarding movers and packers in mumbai or on some of the things you write about on this site. Great information site!

  4. entry level environmental jobs

    February 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Hey! This is my very first comment on this site so I really wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your articles. Can you recommend other sites which cover entry level environmental jobs? I am as well particularly intrigued by that thing! Thanks a ton!

  5. Forex Robot Trading

    February 13, 2018 at 1:15 am

    I am intrigued to know what site system you have been using? I’m experiencing several minor safety difficulties with my most recent site dealing with best expert advisor and I’d love to find a thing far more risk-free. Have you got any suggestions?

  6. best wedding planners in hyderabad

    February 12, 2018 at 9:26 am

    621456 773655Woh I like your content material , saved to favorites ! . 146345

  7. ppc consutant google partners

    February 10, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    980567 195811Youd outstanding guidelines there. I did a search about the field and identified that very likely the majority will agree along with your internet page. 93133

  8. starting a real estate development firm

    February 10, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    There are actually remarkable improvements on the layout of this webpage, I certainly love this! My site is relating to investment property and now there are plenty of stuff to be done, I am yet still a novice in website development. Thanks!

  9. how to jailbreak ios 11

    February 8, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Hello can you let me know which platform you’re using? I’m seeking to get started with my very own website on latest jailbreak in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a choice.

  10. instagram takipci satin al

    February 3, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I’m really intrigued to know just what blog platform you’re utilizing? I am having some minor security difficulties with my most recent blog about real likes for instagram and I would like to find a thing far more risk-free. Are there any suggestions?

  11. visita nuestra web

    February 2, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  12. Rickey Freisner

    January 29, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    That is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!|

  13. best forex robot

    January 28, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    110517 20678I got what you mean ,bookmarked , very nice internet web site . 690567

  14. this link

    January 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    It was actually wonderful reading this and I think you are completely right. Let me know in the event that you’re curious about wealth generators review, that’s my principal competency. I really hope to hear from you in the near future, take care!

  15. شهرزاد سوم

    January 26, 2018 at 7:12 am

    I am actually loving the design of your internet site. Do you ever encounter any kind of web browser interface situations? A lot of the website visitors have lamented regarding my websites to watch movies site not operating the right way in Internet Explorer yet appears wonderful in Chrome. Are there any kind of suggestions to aid fix the matter?

  16. menpan

    January 26, 2018 at 12:32 am

    578833 40180Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he truly bought me lunch as I identified it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! 231399

  17. GVK Bioscience

    January 19, 2018 at 9:19 am

    986735 115821I agree with most of your points, but a few need to be discussed further, I will hold a small talk with my partners and possibly I will look for you some suggestion soon. 67067

  18. cpnsnews.com

    January 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    139024 499858The Twitter application page will open. This really is great if youve got a few thousand followers, but as you get a lot more and a lot more the usefulness of this tool is downgraded. 641457

  19. Carlton

    January 4, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    This really answered my problem, thank you!

  20. DMPK Testing Services

    November 29, 2017 at 11:42 am

    56032 930123I adore reading and I conceive this site got some genuinely utilitarian stuff on it! . 4483

  21. this post

    November 16, 2017 at 11:31 am

    182059 410468You ought to get involved in a contest personally with the finest blogs on-line. I will recommend this page! 598708

  22. SCR888 Casino

    November 7, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    422119 12571My brother suggested I would possibly like this weblog. He was once entirely appropriate. This submit truly made my day. You cant believe just how so a lot time I had spent for this info! Thank you! 693618

  23. Aws Colarts Diyala

    October 27, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    141681 389402There is noticeably a great deal to realize about this. I suppose you created certain nice points in capabilities also. 468780

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top
Shares