Changing Security Dynamics for Pakistan:
The strategic realities are changing and decisive shifts occurring
Pakistan faces a full spectrum of security challenges – terrorism and militancy, conventional threats and the imperative to ensure the credibility of its nuclear deterrence, which is India-specific.
In fact, the combination of terrorist and conventional challenges has meant Pakistani forces have had to simultaneously operate in two arenas – deal with external challenges and internal security. This dual engagement and deployment is reflected in the evolution of the doctrine of ‘comprehensive response’.
The regional security in South Asia and the adjacent regions to the west and north are on the cusp of a profound transformation. Broadly, there are three vectors involved here:
1. Iran’s integration with the international community
2. The historic entente between Russia and China which has consolidated almost immeasurably in the past one year period since the New Cold War tendencies began appearing;
3. A largely-unnoticed but extremely significant shift in the foreign-policy priorities of Pakistan
Regional Trends and Transformations:
The rise of China and the US pivot to Asia
China’s relations with the Central Asian region are advancing to a high level
Renewed tensions between a resurgent Russia and the West
Russia’s dominant presence in the Central region
The Russian-Chinese entente
Both China and Russia have become stakeholders in the region’s security and the stability of the regimes there
CPEC: Pakistan becomes a gateway for China to the world market
Counterbalance to India-US nexus
Pakistan-Russia Rapprochement: Increasing political, strategic and defense ties
US and the Region:
Growing strategic ties with India: Creating strategic Imbalance in the region
Mounting Pressure on Pakistan against Haqqani network
China, Russia, US, India: Cooperation vs Confrontation: Increased Uncertainty as trends and processes are moving both ways.
New wave of Kashmir Insurgency
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and their associates’ sanctuaries across the Western border
Growing conventional and strategic asymmetry between Pakistan and India: It further undermines the delicate regional equilibrium
Continuing tensions on the Line of Control and firing across the Working Boundary
Indus Water Treaty
There is little chance of India and Pakistan developing a shared view of regional security.
Relations on bumpy road
Peace in Afghanistan
Increasing Indian influence
Refugees: Pakistan is sending back Afghan refugees on massive scale.
Iran’s Nuclear deal
Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline
Chahbahar Port-a rival to Gawadar port
Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.
Qatar-Pakistan Gas Pipeline (LNG deal signed on Feb 10, 2016)
Spreading turmoil in the Middle East
The future holds tremendous economic opportunities for Pakistan.
Pakistan's highest priority should be improvement of internal security, elimination of religious extremism and terrorism, economic renewal and especially addressing the shortages of electricity and gas.
The improvement of internal security and economic revival will make Pakistan positively more relevant to the international system which will increase its diplomatic clout
Moving towards Geo-economic approach instead of Geostrategic.
Pakistan should contribute meaningfully to the Afghan-led and owned peace talks (reconciliation process).
Comprehensive and enduring partnership with neighbor countries.
Ensure smooth and successful implementation of the CPEC
Maintaining close economic and diplomatic interaction with the international community.
Maintaining the requisite external conventional security and nuclear deterrence.
Changing security dynamics of the region will continue to pose tough choices and in response a constant review of strategy.
Changing threat environment requires full attention to addressing internal issues including socio-political consolidation, economic development and distributive justice and serving as the corridor for regional economic activity.
This approach will have to be coupled with peace on the borders through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and by maintaining the requisite external conventional security and nuclear deterrence.
For detailed study, consult:
"A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP"