Call for urgent measures: ‘Poor governance undermining national security responses’

Dr Cheema said that there was a consensus that the country was suffering from poor governance

Our Correspondent June 01, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Academics, military experts, diplomats have stressed the need for improvement in governance.  At a three-day conference organised by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI) on Wednesday they warned that poor governance was undermining the country’s ability to deal with national security challenges.

The observation was made by the experts specialising in security and nuclear issues, at the conclusion of a three day seminar on “National security, deterrence and regional stability in South Asia” on Wednesday.

The seminar was divided into three parts covering “National security imperatives of South Asia”; “Contemporary nuclear debate: policy and doctrinal postures”; and “Deterrence equilibrium and strategic stability in South Asia”.

“Pakistan is militarily well equipped to maintain an adequate conventional and nuclear deterrence equilibrium vis-à-vis India. There are no major worries in military or nuclear realm as far as Pakistan’s preparedness is concerned for dealing with threat emanating from India,” SVI President Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said, while wrapping up the seminar.

Challenges to national security, he noted, were coming in the political and diplomatic fields.

Dr Cheema said that there was a consensus that the country was suffering from poor governance.

“This (poor governance) does not enable us to deal with non-military challenges to national security,” he said.

The SVI, based on the proceedings of the seminar, he said, calls for urgent remedial measures.

Emphasising on the urgency of the situation, the SVI head said, India was expanding the conflict spectrum.

Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal of Quaid-i-Azam University in his presentation too expressed the concern that India was focused on encircling Pakistan.

He said that Modi’s recent visits to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and upcoming trips to Qatar and the US indicated Indian government’s policy direction and priorities.

Another scholar Dr Rizwana Abbasi noted that Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts for breaking out of the encirclement were lacking.

She maintained that besides improving the diplomatic effort, Pakistan would have to better its image and work for strengthening economy to make it attractive for global players.

In earlier sessions, Secretary Defense Production Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Owais had cautioned that with space for conventional war reduced, India would rely on “other means” to undermine and weaken Pakistan including through political, economic and diplomatic coercion, cultural dominance and intensification of subversive activities here.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2016.


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