Pakistan, having entered into 2014, has been welcomed with sectarian killings in Quetta, generating the impression that this year will be no better than the previous one. Terrorism so far tops as a challenge to incumbent leadership, if at all it has any realization what problems it faces. To put a complete halt to the scourge, all law-enforcement agencies must collaborate through intelligence-gathering and sharing, pre-emptive strikes, and this could finish this plethora for us.
Other immediate areas of concern are a weak economy which is surviving on peanuts thrown by IMF. In spite of increasing tariffs and taxes, besides improving its relations with middle eastern countries and China especially, the government. should widen the tax-base bringing into its fold all industrialists, landlords, politicians, bureaucrats, etc, as such widening of tax-base and if successful it would be helpful in the long run.
On regional level, the situation does not seem very favourable for Pakistan as after the US drawdown from Afghanistan, there is the chance of war’s spillover into Pakistan. The power struggle in Afghanistan is very much there but also it appears Pakistan will be pushed to isolation like it did after the Soviet collapse. On this front, Pakistan must engage with the powers in Afghanistan and US for smooth transition avoiding any conflict with this immediate neighbor. The situation in India does not seem to have changed as Narenda Modi’s BJP is more likely to gain the upper hand in the upcoming elections. If that be the case, skirmishes along the LOC, or any terrorist attack in India would more likely invite the adventurous response from India and censure from international community. To counter such offensive response, Pakistan should realign and strengthen its relations with superpowers, especially China.
With the conclusion of US-IRAN deal and with the emergence of China and Russia, world political scenario is heading towards a new political setup which necessitates that Pakistan should reconsider its policies and devise such policies that become fruitful in the long run. However, in order to deal with internal and external threats, there should be a political will, which is nowhere in sight.
ZAKAULLAH MIRBAHAR,
Khairpur Mirs, January 7.