Guardian of National Frontiers | Zubair Fakhar3 million Afghan refugees,bear the brunt of sectarian and anti-state terrorism, suffer economic sanctions for becoming a nuclear power, etc. But none might have been as crucial as the challenges of today when the nation is facing a fifth generation war where the enemy is using all available means to create chaos and anarchy in the Pakistani nation.
For the last decade or so, the nation has been infested by terrorism by the likes of TTP throughout Pakistan, BLA in Balochistan, multiple militant wings of political parties in Karachi and Sindh in general etc. The enemies were quick to harness their objectives through both overt and covert means. In the face of such chaos, it seemed that the Pakistani state was losing control. All eyes were on one institute for recovering from a failing state and that was Armed Forces in Pakistan. By design, the Army was trained.
Countering Guerrilla warfare and lone wolf-attacks was something new for the Army in general. However it was quick to learn the new rules of the game. Internal threats were given top priority and tactics and training were developed to counter the threats. Swat valley was recovered, major portions of Waziristan have been cleared as well; Karachi operation is bringing back peace to the city of Lights, Bara and Peshawar operations have also brought peace there, sectarian outfits siding with TTP in Punjab have been cleared at large & BLF in Balochistan has also been hit hard.
Pakistan is fast regaining control over its territory and neutralizing the proxy elements unleashing the scourge of terrorism ion Pakistan. The faith of the common man in Pakistan has been restored thanks to the Armed Forces of Pakistan. The bad governance bu Political regimes put the disaster management and relief operations on the shoulders of the Armed Forces. And this habit gets repeated elsewhere as well such as Earthquake of 2008.
Relationships with other nations are a critical ingredient for national role at international level. The armed forces have diverse military ties with numerous countries securing access for Pakistani state, people, military, industry etc. The role of Pak Army in UN has served many a humanitarian missions as well as brought repute for Pakistan. Collaboration with China through military projects has brought up huge industrial setups such as POF & PAC helping Pakistan get self-sufficiency, save foreign exchange.
The Pak Army has recently built a large portion of CPEC trade route and the task is on its way. It also built multiple schools and road networks in Waziristan and other agencies. Its field hospitals are often helping the needy such as those in Thar.
The Armed Forces are actively working to provide a secure environment to the nation so that businesses can flourish and foreign investment can be attracted once again. They have also been at times in enabling activities such as infrastructure development so that economic activities may kick-off.
The armed forces are composed of people coming from all areas of Pakistan with diverse backgrounds. This helps build cohesion among various peoples of Pakistan differing in their race, language or area. People in turn go back to their areas and remove misunderstandings that some vested groups propagate. The Armed forces have played a pivotal role in the security and development of the nation. There competency and productivity make them popular with the nation. They have played a much bigger role than their share and have strived to make up for the shortcomings of others. Their role in the progress and build-up of the nation is remarkable.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Rawalpindi.