Since its engagement in the War on Terror, Pakistan has faced a cost us US $ 35 billion. The IMF reported in 2010 that Pakistan has incurred a loss of Rs2.082 trillion in exports, foreign investment, industrial output and tax collection between 2005 and 2010 due to the War on Terror. Apart from that, estimates of the devastation caused by the flooding in 2010 are approximated at US $ 9.5 billion. The national economy is in a bad shape, and both employment and investment have been at dangerously low levels for an unsustainable period of time. This lack of economic alternatives and grass-roots political motivation - especially in terms of mainstreaming the impoverished - has created mammoth problems for Pakistan’s overall security situation. Despite continuous military engagements in settled areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, militancy, extremism and intolerance only seem to swell deeper into Pakistan’s settled (and more importantly, rural) areas. 

To maintain and ensure law & order in cities, mainly in the provincial capitals and the federal capital territory, new SOPs had to be developed and security presence was beefed up along all sensitive installations, important buildings, and entry-exit points of the cities. The most ominous sign of these enhanced security measures were checkposts that sprang up on major arteries of each city; especially at entry and exit points to cantonment areas of major urban cities. These posts are manned by police sentries, and sometimes by the military (MP, GSF, and Paramilitaries) as well. One can only conjecture so far as to whether these are increasing the perception of security in urban areas, or causing greater woes to the general citizenry, or merely enacting the response and reaction to insecurity that had been enacted in lawless and insecure areas elsewhere in Pakistan. While the Pakistan Army got a taste of urban warfare in Swat, it does not seem feasible to allow the same situation to develop in Lahore or Karachi to tackle it thereafter, ostensibly because of the mammoth destruction of economic livelihood and scarce infrastructure it would cause. 

It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that the survival of Pakistan, not Afghanistan, is the most important issue for Western and global security. Counter-extremism, urban intelligence and counter-intelligence are desperately required vis-a-vis the sense of security, the prevalence of law and order, and the writ of the Pakistani state. It is extremely necessary to evolve national consensus on a counter-extremism doctrine that accounts for the function of the Constitution of Pakistan, the writ of Pakistan’s laws and codes throughout its territorial confines, the safety and security of its people at large, the foundations of unity, faith, discipline and tolerance, and the need to progress societally by eliminating poverty and by using acceptable common denominators to mainstream fringe elements.

Political will must augment enforcement of state supremacy in all aspects and manners - the writ of the state must be exercised as the general will of the people, not the imposition of an arbitrary and disconnected governance programme. It is only when the people and the soldiers know who they are fighting for that a national unity and a common purpose in the defeat of the enemy can be visualized, and eventually achieved.

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Who else is extremely annoyed by the army's sheer arrogance and disdain for civilians?

Here’s what happened exactly a year back (originally posted on Facebook):

‎45 mins on Sherpao bridge, headed toward Defence. Guess why? At the checkpost, they decided to ask EVERYONE to get off, frisk them, check their IDs, check the cabin and the boot. THANK YOU for being careful. Much appreciated. But why did it take especially long to check each car? There was only ONE soldier doing all that, for EVERY car. Naturally, I was annoyed. I asked him: Why don’t you have two more people with you? We don’t have enough soldiers, and that’s because people like YOU don’t make any noise. What the hell?! I’m telling you so you pass the message? No you talk to the seniors. Where is your superior? He’s not around. Who’s in-charge? MOVE THE CAR! I went ahead, and parked right after the barrier. Told the guard there to call the superior. He refused, said he couldn’t. I yelled. He called him. I asked him why there were more than THREE people standing on the side, and only ONE checking? Reply: WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? My reply: Why don’t you put more people on checking?! The line is a kilometer long! Reply: WE WILL NOT TAKE ORDERS FROM YOU!!! And he started walking back. My mom was also with me. Didn’t make much difference.

I was driving to my grandparents’ house. There, I got a lecture on how one must NEVER question a military man, or even dare give a suggestion. They will slap you, put you in the back of a jeep, and lock you up. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Late last year, we moved to Defence, which you could call their side of the fence.

On Eid-ul-Fitr a few days back, we went to offer prayers at our family masjid on Mozang Road. On the way back, we took the Sherpao route. There was a long line at the check-post before the bridge. I was surprised because they normally don’t stop you there. But maybe they’re being extra vigilant for Eid so let’s give them due credit. We slowly inched closer to the barrier. The officer walked up to our car. I don’t carry my ID card so I showed him the driving license instead. He said it didn’t have a Defence or Cantonment address. I told him we were living in a rented place. He said entry was banned for non-residents. My dad told him that we had not been told to carry proof but the officer simply refused to listen. He said we need to turn back and go from Kalma Chowk. We asked him what proof did he have that we won’t have to face the same problem there? He simply walked off. My dad got pissed and went to talk to the person at the barrier. He told him that we’re living in a rented place so naturally none of our IDs will have a Defence or Cantonment address. If we had been told to carry proof, we would definitely have kept a copy of the “rent agreement”. The officer refused to budge. My dad told him that he’s spoiling everyone’s Eid by his stupidity. He, in turn, started lambasting my dad for not letting him obey orders. Clearly, it was a lost cause.

We weren’t the only ones angered by their insolence. Another guy stopped was going to meet his mamu (uncle). What proof could he show? This drama lasted for several minutes. Then, out of the blue, another officer came running from behind and announced that the orders had been cancelled. Orders? Cancelled? Without any further checking, they simply let all the cars stopped at the barrier to pass.

Thank you, sir.


Multan Customs captures smuggled goods worth Rs38m

Multan Customs captures smuggled goods worth Rs38m

MULTAN: Customs Intelligence recovered smuggled goods worth Rs38.133 million in the first month of the current fiscal year.
Customs Additional Director (Intelligence) Nisar Ahmad informed newsmen that the smuggled items also included six non-customs-paid vehicles worth Rs 9.5 million. Other items included generators, dry milk, carbon, steel rolls, cloth, bicycle auto parts and diesel.
Nisar said…

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