Addressing Brain Drain in Pakistan: Challenges, Causes, & Policy Recommendations

Addressing Brain Drain in Pakistan: Challenges, Causes, & Policy Recommendations

Addressing Brain Drain in Pakistan: Challenges, Causes, & Policy Recommendations

Shehzad Masood

Brain drain, or the migration of highly educated and skilled individuals from a country, is happening in Pakistan for a number of reasons. One of the primary reasons is a lack of job opportunities and job security in the country. Many educated young people find it difficult to find suitable jobs that match their skills and abilities.

            Additionally, there are several challenges that make it difficult for educated young people to find opportunities within Pakistan, including poor governance, corruption, and a lack of investment in education and human capital. The lack of investment in these areas has resulted in inadequate infrastructure, insufficient support for businesses, and a lack of access to capital and technology.

            Another reason for brain drain in Pakistan is the lack of social and economic stability. Many young people are drawn to the stability and security that they can find in other countries, where they have better opportunities to advance their careers and improve their standard of living.

            Lack of industrial development is one of the key factors that is forcing Pakistani young minds to leave for better learning and job opportunities abroad. In many developing countries like Pakistan, the lack of industrial development can limit job opportunities for highly educated young people. This is because the majority of jobs in the country are in the agricultural sector, and there is a limited number of jobs in other industries such as technology, manufacturing, and service.

            Furthermore, the lack of investment in education and training programs in Pakistan also contributes to the problem. Many young people are unable to find the training and support they need to develop the skills and knowledge  to succeed in their chosen fields. This leads to a shortage of highly skilled workers in the country and makes it difficult for businesses to grow and compete in the global marketplace.

            In the long run, brain drain can have serious consequences for a country like Pakistan, as it results in a loss of human capital and a reduction in the country’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. To change this pattern of brain drain, the government of Pakistan must invest in education and human capital, promote entrepreneurship and innovation, and create a stable and secure environment for businesses to thrive. The government must also take steps to reduce corruption and improve governance in order to provide a supportive

environment for educated young people to find opportunities and build their careers within the country.

Below are few policy steps that can be taken by the Pakistani government to improve the situation at home for educated youth so that they can find better opportunities within their country.

Invest in education and human capital:

The government of Pakistan must invest in education and training programs to provide young people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the global marketplace. This will help to create a more skilled and competitive workforce and provide young people with the opportunities they need to build their careers and improve their standard of living.

Promote entrepreneurship and innovation:

The government must support and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation by providing access to capital, technology, and training programs. This will help to create new job opportunities and promote economic growth, which will in turn provide young people with better opportunities to build their careers and improve their standard of living.

Improve governance and reduce corruption:

The government must take steps to reduce corruption and improve governance in order to create a stable and secure environment for businesses to thrive. This will help to reduce the uncertainty and risk associated with doing business in the country and provide young people with more job opportunities and a better standard of living.

Create a supportive environment for businesses:

The government must create a supportive environment for businesses by reducing bureaucracy, improving infrastructure, and providing access to capital and technology. This will help to create more job opportunities for young people and keep them from seeking better opportunities abroad.

Encourage the return of expatriates:

The government must encourage the return of expatriates who have left the country to find better job opportunities abroad. This can be done by providing incentives for them to return, such as tax breaks, access to capital, and support for starting new businesses. By bringing back highly skilled workers, the government can help to build a more competitive and innovative workforce and provide young people with better opportunities to build their careers and improve their standard of living.

Pakistan in 21st century

Pakistan in 21st century


By Shahzad Masood Roomi

Pakistan has witnessed many upheavals and challenges in its 75 years history. Many of these were orchestrated but quite a few were genuine outcome of various historic political realities. Since its inception, Pakistan was opposed first as an idea then as sovereign state. In 1971, Pakistan became victim of internal divide that was fueled by external conspiracies and propaganda. This propaganda against Pakistan as a sovereign state continues till today. It has both local and foreign sources.

Propaganda is a warfare tool and it’s as old as the warfare itself. Pakistan’s recent wave of challenges date back to 9/11. There is a clear pattern that whenever Pakistan goes through turbulent times certain actors in international media, intelligentsia, and politics start a debate about Pakistan being a failed state. Political chaos and ongoing economic situation are making the use of propaganda tools far easier. It is again contested that if Pakistan will be able to fulfill its international financial obligations or not.

Pakistan’s traditional foe is fueling the air of disbelief to take advantage of current internal political chaos in Pakistan.

Currently the country is facing the challenge of severe financial constraints due to lack of foreign exchange and consequent balance of payment crisis. This is manmade crisis ushered by weak fiscal planning and management during previous years. Indian media which is mouthpiece of Indian establishment keeps presenting a doom’s day scenario about Pakistan, its viability as economic sovereign state. Many in Pakistan fall for this propaganda. One must not forget how same Indian media was partner in Delhi’s 15 years long anti-Pakistan campaign internationally using fake and bogus news reports and citations which now have been exposed by international media watchdogs. This campaign was originally orchestrated by Indian deep state and was part of a long-haul, non-kinetic strategy to paint Pakistan as a failing state that must be deprived of its strategic capability.

Though this propaganda failed but it sowed the seeds of uncertainty in many young Pakistani minds. It’s therefore imperative to tell Pakistani youth about the natural strengths this land has due to which its enemies will never able to see their nefarious dreams fulfilled.

First of all, Pakistanis are religiously patriotic and ready to sacrifice all they have for their homeland. This is not a subjective view but is based on many social polls, studies and research. Believe in the idea of Pakistan is undoubtedly the biggest strength of Pakistani nation and cohesion within. This is precise reason why such propaganda campaigns are run against us.

Secondly, Pakistan is a blessed land filled with natural resources and very industrious people. Though currently Pakistan’s economic profile presents a very bleak picture but this is not something permanent. As soon as Pakistan gets a competent lot at top, things will turnaround as has been seen in many other places in the world. Apart from natural resources like minerals, the plains of Punjab and Sindh are among the most fertile lands while its coastline marine wealth. All this form a diverse economic landscape. Pakistan’s economic potential provides a robust foundation for its stability in the long term.

Thirdly, Pakistan’s strategic location makes it most relevant geography in the region despite all the negative propaganda against it. Due to its location at a critical junction of South, West and Central Asia, it will continue to play a significant role in regional politics and commerce (role of CPEC, significance of CPEC/ Kci/ Gwadar port, connectivity to CAR/ Afg etc). This geography gives Pakistan a key geopolitical and geoeconomics advantage which needs to be tapped.

 Fourthly, Pakistan’s Cultural Diversity interconnect its people. Many secessionist ideologies died down due to this cultural diversity and national cohesion. People in one part of the country welcomes their brethren from other parts and culture. Lahore and Karachi are not Pashtun cities traditionally, but today there is strong presence of Pushtun people in both cities and locals have embraced them and conversely Pushtun people have become permanent part of local communities. A new generation of Pakistanis with mixed blood is being raised whose cultural identity is first Muslim and then Pakistani. Similarly, many Punjabi, Sindhi are doing businesses in Baluchistan and vice a versa.

 Fifthly, Pakistan has a dynamic & active civil society that has access to latest information and independent analysis due to free media in the country. Various organizations are working to highlight social and economic issues, thereby creating a system of checks and balances that helps to prevent it from becoming a failed state. This civil society rejected any kind of extremism.

Sixthly, Pakistan boasts a robust military, which serves to preserve regional stability, national sovereignty, and its territorial integrity. Strategic capability of Pakistan put it in an elite club of nuclear powers. This capability is a decisive deterrence against any foreign invasion by much larger traditional foe.

 Lastly, Pakistan’s biggest potential is its abundant youth demography which could lead to a prosperous future provided this potential is effectively harnessed. Many young Pakistanis have made their name in various fields across the world.

Pakistani nation has displayed an unbelievable resolve to rise above challenges in its short history despite the heaviest odds. The most recent example is how Pakistan delt with COVID-19 pandemic and its management was recognized globally. Given the sustained and long-term policies to channel the resources, Pakistan can not only turn around its own economy but can become a provider for many countries. Thus it is critical that Pakistanis do not pay heed to propaganda run by hostile entities about Pakistan’s future. Pakistan is here to stay and it will contribute towards human development as a responsible member of comity of nations, InshaAllah.


Kashmir Solidarity Day

Like every year, Kashmir Solidarity Day is being observed today, on 5th February, in Pakistan and across the world where Kashmiris and Pakistani diaspora exists. The day is a significant annual occasion, as it is marked as a show of solidarity with the people of Indian-administered Kashmir and to express support for their right to self-determination. The day serves as a reminder to the world about the forgotten promise made to strand Kashmiris about 73 years ago by United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It also holds significance in the context of prevailing human rights situation inside the Valley, where Indian occupying forces are committing heinous crimes against humanity.

There have been numerous human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir, including the use of excessive force by security forces, restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, and the arbitrary detention of individuals without trial. Additionally, there have been regular incidents of torture, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances by Indian occupying forces on a daily basis. Indian government always denies the reports of these crimes by its forces, but at the same time, Kashmir is a no-go area for the international press so that they can verify facts independently.

The Kashmir issue was a political dispute initially between India and Pakistan, but due to Indian hegemonic designs and repeated denial of the appeals for right of self-determination by local Kashmiris turned it into a human crisis. After August 2019’s actions by Delhi when articles 35-A and 370 of the Indian constitutions were removed from the constitution by BJP/RSS Hindu supremacist government, Kashmiri Muslims are faced with a real threat of extinction. This is neither a conspiracy theory nor political rhetoric, instead, this is writing on the wall considering the actions of the Indian government, promises and sloganeering of RSS/VHP gangs, and criminal silence by the international community. Indian actions of August 2019 were aimed to find a lasting solution to the issue where India wants to change the demography of the region so that a phoney plebiscite can be held in the valley as promised by India in UNSC. But the issue becomes a far more serious human rights problem when analyzed in the context of the overall approach of RSS/BJP/VHP-led government towards Indian Muslims, even within mainland India.

There is hardly a doubt left that the present Indian government is not only creating the environment of mass genocide of Muslims in India, but it’s also acting as a partner in crime as many of the sitting Ministers in the Indian government are holding public rallies inciting Hindu masses to carry out slaughter of local Muslims. Many Hindu fanatic leaders holding political positions have promised to eradicate all Muslim populations from India, including Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian government has already divided the region into two union territories based on religious demography. Jammu is a majority Hindu territory while the Valley is dominated by a Muslim population. This division is also an indicator that India is preparing for a charade plebiscite after changing the demography of Kashmir for which permits for residents are being issued to Indian army, police, paramilitary forces and others to buy properties. There is a clear and present danger that Kashmiris will meet the same fate on their own lands which Palestinians met.

Kashmir is a regional stability issue as well. Since BJP’s being in power, India has tried many times to stir a regional conflict using false flag operations. Starting the Parliament attack in 2001 to 26/11 to the Pulwama attack in 2019 were all done by hardcore militant Hindu extremist elements within the Indian military establishment on the behest of their political leaders within the Indian political elite. Pakistan and India came to the brink of a nuclear exchange in 2019 when India for the first time, since 1971, used its air power against Pakistan. Pakistan’s prompt reply and clear determination of thwarting any misadventure kept Indian nefarious designs in check and the region avoided a massive humanitarian crisis. But the question remains how long this difficult peace between India and Pakistan will prevail in the presence of the Hindutva ruling elite and protracted unsolved issues like Kashmir?

Usually, Kashmir Solidarity Day is marked with speeches, rallies and demonstrations across Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to raise awareness about the issue and ongoing human rights violations by Indian occupying forces. It’s high time for Pakistan to revisit the strategy to highlight Kashmir as a serious human rights and security issue across the world. Pakistan needs to engage with global media more proactively about Indian future designs and seek alliances with international partners with credible voices to highlight this issue in foreign societies instead of relying on old bilateral engagements with other countries. We need to create local pressures from as many countries as possible so that the world can act in a meaningful manner on Kashmir instead of giving diplomatic statements where usually Pakistan gets the blame due to India’s bigger economic clout. New challenges demand innovation in statecraft and Kashmir is the lifeline of Pakistan strangled by India, there are no reasons for us to keep striving to showcase what India has been doing there for decades. One venue of this fight is social media where a lot can be done to highlight the core issue, Pakistan’s principled stance, and the plight of common Kashmir due to Indian atrocities.

Nationalism vs National Cohension

Societal Trends of Sub-Nationalism Versus National Cohesion

When Pakistan got its independence in 1947, it was faced with, among many others, one particular challenge that not only caused us the greatest national tragedy in 1971 but hitherto remains a bone of contention as far as national integration and security are concerned. That challenge was the rise of sub-nationalist tendencies in different factions of society.

Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, which was supposed to become the dominant identity of the people of Pakistan. Had this happened, sub-nationalism had died its natural death as Islam opposes any other division based on language and ethnicity.

After Quaid e Azam, such tendencies came to the fore in national politics. The year 1954 was an important juncture of our history in this particular context of sub-nationalism. Former East Pakistan adopted Bengali as their national/official language. Bengali identity began to take over Muslim or Pakistani identity and this led to the 1971 debacle. In the same decade, ethnic and linguistic uprisings were observed in Baluchistan and former NWFP provinces.

Foreign aid was certain there with the rebel groups but the main causes were domestic and political in nature. Many Pakistanis suffered due to these insurgencies/uprisings. Free Baluchistan and Pashtunistan slogans were raised to save the Baluch and Pushtun identities.  Though kinetic parts of both insurgencies were crushed by the state idea and narrative behind them hitherto remain alive and continue to pose challenges to national integration.

There have been many historic reasons for these uprisings butthe issues such as leadership dilemmas, bad governance, socio-economic disparity, ethno-culturalpolarisation, sub-nationalist politics, and fragile national unity under federalism, extremism, national identity crisis, and modernity confusion are the main challenges to Pakistan’s efforts of national integration.

The idea behind the devolution of power through the 18th amendment was to curtail these ethnic and linguistic-based sub-national tendencies from flourishing but it seems that the above-mentioned challenges in Pakistan’s polity are major contributors to exacerbating these centrifugal tendencies in the national discourse.

In the post-9/11 world, the changing geopolitical landscape of the region became another catalyst for sub-nationalism in Pakistan. This time, sub-national elements raised the slogan of insecurity and the state’s ignorance towards it. To make the matters worse, terrorist insurgent groups like BLA/BLF/BRA in Baluchistan and TTP in KPK aligned their operations with an anti-Pakistan narrative.

Pakistani leadership and intelligentsia must approach this problem of sub-nationalism from a humane perspective. There is ample evidence in the existing scholarship about sociology that the ultimate desire of every human being is to improve his/her quality of life which has certain key requirements like the safety of life, the safety of livelihood, the safety of honor (respect), and availability of equal rights and opportunities to progress. Pakistan, unfortunately, has failed on many of these key requirements and the result is that the average Pakistani living in an underdeveloped part of the country or remote area of the country feels annihilated and the socio-economic disparity has been growing. So, what has gone wrong and how to fix it? Well, first of all, it must be understood that humans will always look for a better and better quality of life with all securities mentioned above. In this context, it must also be understood that the quality of life that a person leads depends critically on where it is led.

With a chaotic world order, every country is faced with the challenge of variations in the well-being of its citizen due to clear differences in economic development, the chances of an individual surviving through infancy, living a healthy life, etc. These variations are everywhere; between the states and within the states. The question of solidarity and the resultant sense of security can only be answered after addressing these variations in society (mainly caused by social injustice). Kinetic operations against terrorist groups and social media campaigns are great contributors to national solidarity but they are not the main recipe for it. Both go side-by-side. The state must not show any weakness towards rebels, insurgents, or terrorists but at the same time, it is responsible to create an environment where fresh recruitments can be denied by the people.

National solidarity emerges from a sense of shared identity and this identity can only thrive when every citizen of the state feels “equally” empowered socially, politically, and financially. Adopting this thinking will be a departure from the traditional emphasis on the role of class and electoral politics, as well as from the dominant view of the negative implications of identity for welfare.

There is a need that appropriate political and economic measures tobe taken to bring young minds to the national fold, which are the target of almost all sub-nationalist groups.It has been seen in Pakistan that these groups particularly target the youth mainly in educational institutions.

This youth must be engaged in dialog within the premises of their educational institutes. Many of these young minds fell prey to hostile propaganda and fake news. The such debate must help in freeing these young minds from propaganda and fake news which sub-nationalists paddle through social and print media. Educational institutions must be the focus of Pakistan’s security managers as these can easily become breeding grounds for young sub-nationalist activists and leaders. In 1971, India used Bengali students to raise Mukti Bahini. Our enemies are once again looking for a similar opportunity and are employing all their soft power for their nefarious designs. It’s up to national leadership to chart a long-term strategy to minimize the impact of sub-nationalists’ propaganda. The primary aim for such a strategy must be to create a visible and lasting difference in the socio-economic landscape of areas affected most by sub-nationalist propaganda. Pakistan must deny these groups to cast a shadow of doubt over the intentions of the state towards the people of these areas. This is going to be a long, tedious, and challenging task and would require continuity of policies. InshaAllah Pakistan will overcome this challenge of sub-nationalism on both physical and intellectual fronts.


دہشت گردی کی تازہ لہر اور قومی یکجہتی کے تقاضے

ملک عزیز ایک بار پھر دہشت گردی کی لپیٹ میں ہے۔  افغانستان میں موجود کالعدم دہشت گرد تنظیم ٹی ٹی پی نے کمزور افغان ریاستی عملداری اور پاکستان میں جاری سیاسی کشمکش کا فائدہ اٹھاتے ہوئے ایک بار پھر سے ریاست پاکستان کی جانب سے امن کو ایک موقعہ دینے کی ایک اور کوشش کو تاراج کر ڈالا ہے۔  ستمبر میں امن معاہدہ یکطرفہ ختم کرنے کے بعد اب تک ٹی ٹی پی پاک فوج اور دیگر اداروں پر 100 سے زائد بار حملہ آور ہو چکی ہے۔  پاک  فوج کے متعدد افسر ان اور جوان وطن عزیز کی سالمیت کو یقینی بنانے کے لیے  اپنی جانیں نچا ور کر چکے ہیں۔ دوسری جانب دہشت گردوں کے تمام گروہ ایک بار پھر سے منظم ہو کر ایک ساتھ ریاست پاکستان پر حملہ آور ہو چکے ہیں۔ اگر ٹی ٹی پی  قبائلی اضلاع  اور خیبر پختو خواہ میں کارروائیاں کر رہی ہے تو بلوچ دہشت گرد بلوچستان میں پاک فوج کے قافلوں کو نشانہ بنا رہے ہیں۔ اسلام آباد کے بارے میں حساس ادارے پہلے ہی خبر دار کر چکے ہیں۔

 اس ساری صورتحال میں جب ہم  ملک میں سیاسی ہم آہنگی اور باہم اعتماد سازی کا تجزیہ کرتے ہیں تو یہ بات حوصلہ شکن صورت میں سامنے آتی ہے کہ مختلف سیاسی و مذہبی جماعتوں کے درمیان جاری اقتدار کی رسہ کشی نے عوام اور پاک فوج کے درمیان بھی غلط فہمیوں کو جنم دیا ہے جس کا فائدہ پاکستان کے دشمن اٹھا رہے ہیں۔

 حقیقت یہ ہے کہ قومی اور ملکی مفاد کی بنیاد پر اتحاد و یکجہتی کا عنصر دکھائی نہیں دیتا اورہر جماعت مخالف سیاسی جماعت کے خلاف دست و گریبان دکھائی دیتی ہے  بلکہ بعض سیاسی جماعتیں تو اپنے خلاف ہونے والی تمام کارروائیؤں کا ملبہ پاک فوج پر ڈالتی نظر آتی ہیں ۔دوسری جانب یہ بھی پاکستان کی سیاسی تاریخ کی ایک تلخ حقیقت ہے کہ سیاسی قائدین کی اکثریت بھی لسانی، نسلی، گروہی اور سیاسی اختلافات کی بنیاد پر  باہم متصادم نظر آتی ہے۔  پاکستان نے 1971 کے بعد کبھی اس قسم کی تقسیم معاشرے میں سیاسی بنیادوں پر نہیں دیکھی جیسا کہ آج کل دیکھنے میں نظر آ رہی ہے۔ انہی اختلافات کی وجہ پاکستان ماضی میں دولخت ہوا اور آج بھی پاکستان دشمن عناصر اس صورتحال سے فائدہ اٹھانے میں مصروف ہیں، ضرور ت اس امر کی ہے کہ پوری قوم ،تمام سیاسی اور مذہبی جماعتیں ملکی و قومی مفادات کو اولیت دیتے ہوئے ملک و قوم کی بقاء کی فکر کریں۔بلاشبہ ہر سیاسی اور مذہبی جماعت کا اپنا ایک پروگرام ہوتا ہے اور اسی کی بنیاد پر وہ عوام کی تائید حاصل کرنے کی  کوشش کرتی ہیں لیکن اس کے لئے پاک فوج کے ساتھ ساتھ  پوری قوم کو اجتماعی طور پر  اپنی بہادر افواج کے شانہ بشانہ کھڑے ہونا ہو گا۔  سیاسی مصلحتوں کو پس پشت ڈال کر ملکی سالمیت کو اہمیت دنیا ہو گی۔

یہ سوال بھی عام طور پر پوچھا جاتا ہے کہ اس ساری صورتحال میں عوام کیا کر سکتی ہے؟  اس سوال کے جواب کے لیے ہمیں یہ دیکھنا ہے کہ پہلی بار جب ٹی ٹی پی نے ریاست کو خطرے میں ڈالا تو اس کے خلاف  عوام  اور سیکورٹی اداروں نے ملکر جنگ لڑی اور جیتی جسے پوری دنیا میں ایک مثال کے طور پر پیش کیا جاتا ہے۔ آج جب ایک بار پھر سے دہشت گرد ملکر پاکستان کے خلاف صف آراء ہیں تویہاں عوام کی ذمہ داری بنتی ہے کہ کسی بھی مشکوک شخص یا مشکوک سرگرمی کی اطلاع سیکیورٹی اداروں کو دیں۔ دہشت گردوں کی جانب سےکسی بھی خوف یا دھمکی کیوجہ سے اپنے گھر بار چھوڑنے سے انکار کریں اور اگر ان علاقوں میں سیکیورٹی ادارے کوئی فوجی آپریشن کرنا چاہتے ہیں تو اسکو سپورٹ کریں۔ کیونکہ عوامی حمایت کے بغیر کچھ بھی ممکن نہیں ہے۔

تمام سیاسی جماعتوں کو بلا تفریق اس مقصد کیلئے متحد ہونے کی ضرورت ہے۔ پاکستان کو دپشت گردی کے اس عفریت سے نمٹنے کے لیے اندرونی یگانگت درکار ہے۔ نہ صرف یہ کہ تمام سیاسی جماعتوں کو دہشت گردی جیسے حساس مسئلے کے خلاف یکجا ہونا پڑے گا بلکہ  سیاسی جماعتوں، عوام اور پاک فوج کو بھی ایک متحد طریقے سے  دہشت گردی کے خلاف  اکٹھا ہونا پڑے گا۔ ہمیں یہ سمجھنا ہو گا کہ اس وقت پاکستان کے دشمنوں کا اصل نشانہ پاک فوج اور عوام کے درمیان  ہم آہنگی ہے اگر ایک بار اس رشتے میں دراڑ آئی تو ملکی سالمیت خطرے سے دوچار ہو سکتی ہے۔ اس کام کے لیے ہمارے دشمن نوجوان اذہان پر کام کر رہے ہیں اورسیاسی افراتفری کا ماحول  اس جنگ میں صرف دشمن کے ہاتھ مضبوط کر رہا ہے، ہمیں ہر حال میں اس سے بچنا ہے تاکہ پاکستان کے دشمن اس کو نقصان نہ پہنچا پائیں۔


Remembering APS

16th December was already a dark day in our history and its darkness further increased on the same day in 2014, 8 years back, when 148 people, including 132 children from APS Peshawar lost their lives in what can be described as the most ruthless and brutal terror attack during the last 20 years of war against terror.

The incident was a wake up call for Pakistan.  Op Zarb e Azb was launched to root out the menace of terrorism from Pakistani soil. Thousands of terrorists were killed while many of them, including top leadership of militant groups  shifted across the border in Afghanistan. Till date, the terrorists continue their war against the Pakistan Army in Afghanistan. Sniper attack on Pakistani check posts on Afghan border,

The National Action Plan (NAP) was adopted only after this tragic incident. It outlined many areas for both the federal government and Pakistani security institutions to work on. The Pakistan Army initiated multiple operations and reform activities to meet the requirements of NAP. The response from the civilian side was not very quick. For example, Pakistan took many years to reconfigure its banking system to deny terrorists easy financing facilities. Pakistan had to spend many years on FATF’s gray list and its removal from that list was only possible due to the Pakistan Army’s active participation in this process of streamlining the local banking system as per the requirements of international standards set by the global watchdog. Similarly, there were few points about addressing the spread of extremism in NAP which hitherto remain unfulfilled.

Thousands of Pakistan Army officers and Jawans have laid down their lives in this prolonged, ruthless, low-intensity conflict. Pakistan’s traditional foe continued to stir violence in Pakistan with the collusion of Afghan security forces, intel apparatus and local sleeper cells in Pakistan. Pakistan presented proof of Indian involvement in violent activities in Pakistan, including the money trail flowing from Indian banks to terrorists’ accounts through international banking channels. The selection of date for APS attack was no coincidence. The Pakistani nation already had bitter memories of 16th December 1971 and every year this day reminds us of our greatest national tragedy. In 2014, the attack on APS Peshawar the nation was wounded even deeper.

It’s of the utmost importance that the youth of Pakistan must feel secure within their homeland and to achieve that, both the state and people of Pakistan will have to stand behind its gallant security forces. Our enemies are after this unique bond of love and appreciation between the people of Pakistan and their armed forces. This is a constant struggle as, in the age of digital media and fake news paddling on it, many might fall victim to this lethal combination of modern hybrid warfare which Pakistan has been fighting for many years now. We must never forget 16 December 2014 and the best way to achieve that is to deny the enemy any success on the propaganda front.





26/11: Busting Indian Propaganda War against Pakistan

In 2008, there was a terrorist attack in Mumbai. Eight locations in the Indian city of Mumbai were attacked. The attacks took place at the busiest Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, two five-star hotels including the famous Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal Palace and Towers near Mumbai Gateway, Leopold Cafe, a well-known tourist restaurant, Kama Hospital. , Jewish Center Nariman House, Metro Adelbos Movie Theater and Police Headquarters. The attacks were carried out by ten youths and continued for three days. 166 Indian citizens were killed and 300 injured in the attacks.

It was astonishing aspect of the entire 26/11 episode that Pakistan was blamed by Indian media and certain officials without any trial in court or investigations. In fact, Pakistan was blamed right in the middle of security operation. It is also strange that somehow the alleged terrorists were able to find time to converse with Indian media channels which was televised live.

Fact of the matter is that the entire 26/11 incident is shrouded in mysteries as Indian government / state hitherto has failed to answer some key questions that have been raised by many local and international analysts about the authenticity of Indian state version of this entire episode.

For example, SM Ashraf, the former IG of the Indian province of Maharashtra, revealed in his book that Hemant Karkare was killed by extremist Hindus in the Mumbai incidents. This book created a stir all over India. In this book, “Who Killed Karkare”, it is claimed that Hindu Brahmins are involved in terrorist incidents in India, including the Mumbai attacks where Karkare was eliminated.

This is a crucial aspect of 26/11 debate as Karkare was investigating the role of certain Indian military officer. Col Prohit, in various previous terrorist attacks inside India. It’s claimed that he had reached near to this evil nexus of Indian military establishment and Hindutva terror machine. His elimination served multiple purposes. Not only his death eliminated the imminent threat to Hindutva penetration in Indian military, but it also provide Indian elite to play a victim card and divert attention towards Pakistan.

Similarly, one German author Alice Davidson’s book titled “India’s Betrayal, Revisiting the Evidence of November 26” has not only made revelations, but the book has also critically evaluated the evidence and evidence of the Mumbai attacks. According to the author, the facts brought to light by the Indian security and intelligence agencies regarding the incident are not correct. The book by the well-known German author Alice Davidson show that the Mumbai attack was India’s own planning and its cooperation with Israel and the United States. The secret of the nexus was revealed. The book reinforces Pakistan’s position that the entire Mumbai attacks case is suspicious and that India itself is likely to be involved.

Indian security and intelligence agencies distorted the facts under the plan. The judicial proceedings regarding the Mumbai attack were also not impartial. Several important evidences and witnesses were ignored during the court proceedings. All three countries were involved in planning, directing and executing the attack. The aim of the attack was to benefit Hindu extremists, nationalists and security agencies and to spread the impression that India is a constant threat. Its aim was to increase India’s ties with countries engaged in the war against terrorism. Important information regarding the killing of Hemant Karkre and other police officers was kept secret. Statements of eyewitnesses who do not agree with the government’s position were not recorded. The statement of presence of Ajmal Kasab and other terrorists in Nariman House 2 days before the attack was also ignored. The statement of the shopkeepers is also not part of the record that all the terrorists were staying in Nariman House for 15 days. Many witnesses were trained before giving statements.

According to the German author, the Indian and Israeli governments fabricated evidence related to Nariman House and fabricated statements that the phone used by the terrorist facilitators was an American number. What actions did the military commandos take? Indian authorities have not informed anyone till date. According to Ajmal Kasab, he was arrested 20 days before the attack, later he changed his statement. The Indian government claimed that Ajmal Kasab wanted to blow up the entire Taj Hotel, but the 4 bombs of 8 kg received from Ajmal Kasab were not enough for the task.

The investigation into the November 26 attack proves five things. Indian government and institutions hid the facts related to the incident. Indian courts also failed to seek truth and deliver justice. By killing Karkre and other officers, fuel was provided to Hindu extremist circles. Not only India, but the businessmen, politicians and military circles of America and Israel benefited from the Mumbai attack. The Pakistani government or the Pakistan Army did not gain any benefit from the Mumbai attack. This was expressed by former Maharashtra ISM Musharraf here on the occasion of the release of German author Alice David Son’s English compilation Battle of India related to the 26/11 attacks. He said that why the IB did not inform the police department and other security agencies despite the notification of “RA” a week ago, this also raises suspicion. If it is believed that Lashkar-e-Taiba has planned, but the role of our agencies should also be investigated so that the truth comes out. Because the bullets recovered from Hemant Karkre’s body, the ballistics test revealed that they were not the weapons of Ismail or Ajmal Kasab. The gender role is highly questionable.

Pakistani options on current Pak-Afghan border tensions

Afghanistan is strategically the most important geography for Asia particularly for South East Asia. This landlocked country is a land-bridge between Indian subcontinent and Central Asia and Western Asia (commonly known as the Middle East). The country has been the victim of global geopolitical contest for control of pivotal lands, minerals and strategic encirclement of competitors. First former USSR and then USA invaded Afghanistan under different pretexts but at both times, respective agendas were not what was told to the world. The US war on terror actually failed the region as after 2001, the entire subcontinent witnessed the worst terrorism particularly both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In August 2021, when US appetite for Afghan war ended, Kabul took over Afghanistan after a negotiated settlement with the US. Soon afterwards, hostilities between Afghan Taliban and Pakistan began to surface.  Since August 2021, there have been multiple incidents of border clashes between the 2 sides on lower scale. TTP continued to attack Pakistani troops manning Pak-Afghan international border.

These tenacious tensions highlight 2 major reasons behind Taliban’s hostile demeanor towards Pakistan.

  1. Post 9/11 policies of Pakistan towards Afghan Taliban
  2. Historic Pak-Afghan border claims

Firstly, the foreign policy adopted by Pakistan after 9/11 has created a deep rift between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban. This rift was further deepen by previous Afghan regimes and Indian intelligence apparatus working on Afghan soil from where a ruthless war was imposed on Pakistan. All these forces are still trying to maintain and inflate this tension. Pak-Afghan relations are subject to Indian and the US media where small incidents like current land dispute are being portrayed as some large scale conflict.

Secondly, Ever since the Taliban took control of Kabul in 2021, there have been fears that the Taliban, who came to power by hailing the US withdrawal as a victory, would reignite the historic border dispute with Pakistan where Afghanistan considers current Pak-Afghan border demarcation against her sovereignty.

These fears met with reality when Taliban, after taking control over Kabul, began the process of tearing down the border fence on the Pak-Afghan border. The Afghan position on the border demarcation is that the Pakistan-Afghan border should be demarcated on the east of the entire ​​Malakand Division. Although internationally this Afghan position is not accepted globally the Taliban have been maintaining this position since the times of Mullah Omar who was considered as strategic ally of Pakistan.

In last 30 days, multiple incidents of clashes between the two sides have been reported from both KPK and Baluchistan parts of Pak-Afghan border. Exchange of fire between two sides is nothing new but not only frequency of such incidents is increasing, the lethality is also multiplied resulting in larger and more intense clashes. Pakistani troops sustained multiple fatalities during fresh rounds of clashes.

Many reasons are being described behind this renewed tension like land disputes originated by erection of border fencing by Pakistan or smugglers staging fake incidents of security but this increasing hostilities at tactical levels demands a more comprehensive appraisal.

As Pakistani security forces have upped the pace of their COIN/CT operations in KPK large number of terrorists are fleeing from Pakistan who are being instigated against Pakistan again. On the other hand, there are remnants of NDS who do not allow any chance of terrorism against Pakistan. All these activities are being sponsored by India and other allies of her. These events are creating a chain-reaction leading to more anti-Pakistan sentiments in Afghanistan.

Such incidents of border fire exchange leads to closure of border and suspension of trade which in turn contributes to poor economic situation in Afghanistan creating a conducive environment for hostile forces to recruit new cadre of TTP/ISKP and launch them against Pakistan leading to fresh round of hostilities. Right now, Pak-Afghan relations have become hostage of this vicious cycle.

To make the matters worse, the efforts made by the tribal elders to resolve the tension fail to bear any fruit as fragile peace at border continue to break for one reason or the other.

Now the question is, what can Pakistan do in this situation? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Pakistan should not enter into any armed conflict with Afghanistan at any cost as this will be a disaster of unimaginable scale and intensity on Western borders. But at the same time, Islamabad must ensure that the Afghan Taliban keep their promise of not letting their territory to be used for terrorism against Pakistan. They made this promise in Doha during the negotiations with the US before taking control of Kabul. In this regard, Pakistan will have to make it clear to the world through aggressive diplomacy that Pakistan will go to any extent to ensure its integrity and whosoever is involved in terrorism in Pakistan will be held accountable and will be punished. Kinetic options must remain on the table as an option if diplomacy fails.

Finally, it’s a strategic imperative for Islamabad to make Kabul understand, either through diplomacy or kinetic options, that Pak-Afghan relations, stability, and connectivity hold paramount importance for the stability of the entire region.  Frequent occurrences like border tensions and unrest can create permanent hostilities between the two countries with serious implications, particularly in a scenario where multiple anti-peace forces are desperately trying to wedge a gulf between Islamabad and Kabul.


موسمی تبدیلیاں اور پاکستان

ماہرینِ موسمیات کے مطابق، پاکستان  اپنے محل وقوع کی وجہ سےشدید موسموں کے علاوہ اپنی آب و ہوا میں موسمی تبدیلیوں جیسا کہ بارش کے عجیب و غریب ادوار، بڑھتے ہوئے درجہ حرارت اور خشک  سردی  وغیرہ  کے لیے دیگر ممالک کے مقابلے میں زیادہ حساس ہے۔ گزشتہ سال جاری ہونے والی ایک مشترکہ رپورٹ میں ورلڈ بینک اور ایشیائی ترقیاتی بینک نے پیش گوئی کی تھی کہ آئندہ دو دہائیوں کے دوران پاکستان کا درجہ حرارت 2.5 ڈگری سیلسیس بڑھے گا جس سے زرعی پیداوار کو بری طرح نقصان پہنچے گا۔ اگرچہ حکومت عمل میں تیاریوں کا دعویٰ کرتی  چلی آ رہی ہے لیکن خدشہ ہے کہ پاکستان کو موسمیاتی تبدیلی کے ایک اہم خطرے کا  مستقل سامنا ہے۔

پاکستان بھر میں حالیہ سیلاب سے ملک کے متعدد علاقے زیر آب آگئے ۔ محکمہ موسمیات نے مہینوں پہلے  رواں  برس مون سون کے دوران سندھ، بلوچستان اور جنوبی پنجاب میں  موسلادھار بارشوں  اور ممکنہ شدید سیلاب کی پیش گوئی کی تھی مگر افسوس کہ وفاقی اور صوبائی حکومتیں نہ صرف اس سلسلے میں بروقت اقدامات میں فیل ہوئیں بلکہ لاکھوں پاکستانی اس نا اہلی کی سزا آج اپنے گھر بار کی تباہی کی صورت میں بھگت ر ہے ہیں اور 1500 سے زائد جانوں کا ضیاع ایک الگ المیہ ہے۔

 خیبرپختونخوا اور سندھ کے بیشتر علاقوں سے  سامنے آنے والی فوٹیجز میں پریشان کن مناظر دکھائے دئیے اور اب تک سیلاب سے پاکستان میں ہونے والی تباہی کا جو تخمینہ سامنے آیا وہ 20 ارب ڈالر سے زائد تھا۔ پاکستان کی زراعت کو بارشوں، سیلابوں اور گرمی کی لہروں کے نتیجے میں بیماریوں کے پھیلنے اور فصلوں کو زیادہ نقصان پہنچا ہے۔ موسمیاتی تبدیلی کا ایک ناگزیر اثر یہ ہے کہ گرم موسم پاکستان کے خشک علاقوں میں گندم کی تشکیل کا مرحلہ زیادہ تیزی سے شروع ہونے کا سبب بنتا ہے۔ پروڈیوسرز اور ایکسپورٹرز ایسوسی ایشن کے سربراہ کے مطابق درجہ حرارت میں غیر متوقع تبدیلیوں اور پانی کی پابندیوں نے فصل کو متاثر کیا ہے۔ آبی وسائل کو موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں سے شدید خطرات لاحق ہیں۔ ملک کے پیداواری، گھریلو اور زراعت کے شعبے کو فوری طور پر پانی کی فراہمی کی ضرورت ہے۔

دوسری جانب اقوام متحدہ کے بین الحکومتی پینل آن کلائمیٹ چینج (آئی پی سی سی) کے مطابق پاکستان مستقبل قریب میں موسمیاتی تبدیلی کے اثرات سے زیادہ متاثر ہوگا۔ اس سال سیلاب سے ہونے والی تباہی کو دیکھ کر یہ  اندازہ لگانا مشکل نہیں ہے کہ پاکستان میں موسمیاتی تبدیلی سے لڑنے کے لیے ضروری وژن  اور انتظامی صلاحیتوں دونوں کا شدید فقدان ہے۔ پانی کی کمی اور غلط واٹر میجنمنٹ دونوں ہی قوم کی بقا کے لیے نقصان دہ ہیں۔ پاکستان میں توانائی کے حالیہ بحران نے پہلے سے  اوور لوڈڈاور بگڑتے ہوئے گرڈ سسٹم کو معذور کر دیا ہے جو ملک بھر میں بجلی کی بڑھتی ہوئی ضروریات کو پورا کرنے سے قاصر ہے۔

موسمیاتی تبدیلی کی وزارت نے آئندہ  سال  بھی میٹروپولیٹن علاقوں میں طوفانی بارشوں کے امکان کے بارے میں بھی خدشات کا اظہار کیا ہے جس میں ندی اور ندیوں کے سیلاب بھی شامل ہیں۔ انتہائی موسمی واقعات، بارشیں، خشک سالی، سمندری طوفان، اور سطح سمندر میں اضافہ میٹروپولیٹن علاقوں میں لوگوں کی زندگیوں پر سنگین اثرہو گا۔ پاکستان کا گرم ترین شہر حیدرآباد ہوگا جس کے بعد جیکب آباد اور ممکنہ طور پر کراچی بھی شامل ہوگا۔ اس  سال  بھی سندھ اور بلوچستان میں بارشیں معمول سے بہت زیادہ ہیں  اور آئندہ سالوں میں بھی یہی رجحان جاری رہے گا۔ دنیا  کے تمام ماہرین اس بات پر متفق ہیں کہ  پاکستان دنیا بھر سے گرین ہاؤس گیسوں کے اخراج میں اضافے کی وجہ سے موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں سے سب سے زیادہ متاثر ہونے والے ممالک میں شامل ہے۔ نیشنل ڈیزاسٹر مینجمنٹ اتھارٹی کے مطابق ملک میں گزشتہ ایک ماہ کے دوران بارشوں کے باعث 1500 سے زائد افراد ہلاک ہو چکے ہیں۔ موسمیاتی تبدیلی کا سبب بننے والے عوامل ماحولیاتی کارکنوں کا دعویٰ ہے کہ جنگلات اور کاربن کے اخراج سے نمٹنے کے لیے ناکافی حکومتی اقدامات کی وجہ سے، پاکستان موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں کے نتائج کا بہت زیادہ شکار ہے۔

موسمیاتی تبدیلی بنیادی طور پر صنعتی انقلاب کی وجہ سے ہوتی ہے۔ کاربن ڈائی آکسائیڈ پر مشتمل کوئلے کے دہن جیسے صنعتی سرگرمیوں کے نتیجے میں زمین کا درجہ حرارت بڑھتا ہے۔ امریکی محکمہ دفاع کے مطابق موسمیاتی تبدیلی آزاد ریاستوں کی قومی سلامتی کے لیے سب سے بڑا خطرہ ہے۔ موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں کی وجہ سے ہمارا سیارہ اور ماحول دونوں بدل رہے ہیں۔ شدید بارشوں کی وجہ سے گلگت بلتستان کی چٹانوں اور لینڈ سلائیڈنگ کا سامنا کرنا پڑا۔

فضا اور زمین پر زہریلے مادوں کی سطح خطرناک حد تک زیادہ ہے۔ زمینی پانی اور زمین پر کاشت کی گئی خوراک دونوں صنعتی فضلے سے آلودہ ہو چکے ہیں۔ اسی آلودگی کی وجہ سے خشک سالی اور سیلاب دونوں آتے ہیں جو موسم بدل رہی ہے۔ میٹ آفس کے مطابق، لوگ موسمیاتی تبدیلی کے ذمہ دار ہیں کیونکہ وہ ماحول میں کاربن ڈائی آکسائیڈ جیسی گرین ہاؤس گیسیں چھوڑتے ہیں۔ کم از کم پچھلے 2 ملین سالوں سے، فضا میں کاربن ڈائی آکسائیڈ کی مقدار میں اضافہ ہوا ہے۔ 20ویں اور 21ویں صدی میں کاربن ڈائی آکسائیڈ کی سطح میں 40% اضافہ ہوا۔ ماحول کی کاربن ڈائی آکسائیڈ کو جنگلات کے ذریعہ پکڑا اور ذخیرہ کیا جاتا ہے۔ ان کے ہٹانے کے نتیجے میں، کاربن ڈائی آکسائیڈ زیادہ تیزی سے جمع ہوتی ہے کیونکہ اسے بھگانے کے لیے کوئی پودے نہیں ہوتے ہیں۔ مزید برآں، جب ہم درختوں کو آگ لگاتے ہیں، تو ان کے پاس موجود کاربن ریل ہوتا ہے۔

پاکستان کو ضرورت ہے کہ وہ دنیا میں موسمی تبدیلیوں سے ہونے والے   بحرانوں سے نمٹنے کی حکمت عملی بنانے کے سلسلے میں دنیا کے ماہرین کو ایک کانفرنس میں بلائے جہاں  موسمی تبدیلیوں کے مضر اثررات سے نبرد آزما ہونے کے لیے حکومت کے متعلقہ محکموں کے لیے ہدایات تیار کی جائیں، ان ہدایات کی روشنی میں مناسب قانون سازی کی جائے اور اس امر کو یقینی بنایا جائے کہ تمام لوگ ان قوانین کی پابندی کریں!

Politics over Law and Order in KPK

As the political tension in the country is rising due to an ongoing tug-of-war between the sitting government and the opposition, the law and order situation in KPK is becoming worrisome with each passing day. Some political actors in the country, taking advantage of this situation are trying to put forward dangerous political narratives that are against the national security interests of the country. One such narrative is based on misinformation that TTP has returned to Swat/Malakand division and border areas adjacent to Pak-Afghan international border. It’s an undeniable fact that there have been some serious law and order issues in KPK during last few weeks but that’s not more than in any other part of the country.

Kidnapping, murder for revenge, robberies, and extortion are crimes on the rise in KPK but we didn’t see any high profile terrorist incidents anywhere in the province during the same period. Political ambitions by some parties and irresponsible media reporting are creating an impression that terrorists have returned in the province’s urban centers. For example, on October 10, two school vans came under attack in the Lower Dir and Gulibagh areas of Swat district. He said that both the attacks created impressions of terrorist attacks but now police investigations have revealed that the causes of these attacks were not related to TTP/ISKP terrorism. This irresponsible behavior of political parties and media houses cast a bad shadow on the performance of Pakistan’s security institutions which have made countless sacrifices to ensure that terrorists would never return to KPK or any other part of the country from where their strong bastions were eliminated.  The war against terrorism is still going on as the security forces are constantly searching and destroying terrorist sleeper cells through intelligence based operations orIBOs.

Fact remains that after the 18th amendment, law and order is a local government responsibility.

Yesterday, KP Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari revealed that the attack on a school van earlier this month which resulted in the killing of its driver was a case of honor killing. IG police categorically denied any link of this particular incident with terrorism and also revealed that the driver of this van, Hussain Ali, was murdered by his brother-in-law and his two accomplices in the name of honor. He said that three accused have been arrested while another has fled to Dubai. Earlier, protests had erupted across Swat even before the killing of the school van driver with the largest gathering taking place in Mingora under the banner of Swat Ulasi Prasun at the Nishat Chowk Mingora. The sit-in was ended after two days following successful talks with authorities wherein authorities announced a martyrs’ package for the slain heirs and promised to arrest his killers.

He also told that the killers remained present in the protests following his murder and funeral. These protests were covered as anti-terrorism protests and certain elements in political circles used them to prove the return of TTP after which they blamed Pakistan Army as well. On the other hand, the fact is that police did recover the muder weapon and the motorbike used in this attack.

The police chief of KP also said that the Taliban have left Swat district and there was no reason for fear and panic as the police is in the process of setting up check posts on the mountain tops in Upper Swat. The fact that local and foreign tourists are visiting peaceful Swat speaks volumes about the unashamed behavior of those who want to exploit the situation by mixing misinformation and lies in their political narratives. These elements are playing with the future of Pakistan.

Both FATF and IMF teams will be in Pakistan this week for their final assessments regarding Pakistan’s performance on both economy and anti-terror financing. Incidents like the honor killing of driver and subsequent media narratives, sit-ins and protests have put Pakistan in a tight spot as now the federal government will have to satisfy both international watchdogs.

Provincial governments must focus on their duty towards the people by ensuring that law and order remain intact and political ambitions must not overtake this sacred duty.