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Editorials/Opinions Analysis for UPSC 19 January 2022

Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 19 January 2022

Contents:

  1. Challenge next door

Challenge next door

Context:

The National Security Policy document issued by Pakistan recently is an effort to codify the Bajwa Doctrine into an actionable statement of purpose and a strategy for its realisation.

Relevance:

GS Paper – 2: Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests, India and its Neighbourhood

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. The “Bajwa Doctrine”
  2. Does Pakistan, have the will and capability to implement it?
  3. India-Pakistan recent Issues
  4. Way Forward

The “Bajwa Doctrine”:

  • The case for major reform to get Pakistan out of the multiple crises confronting it has been articulated by its Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in recent years. 
  • The “Bajwa Doctrine” emphasises the importance of restoring peace within by
    • putting down various internal insurgencies,
    • reviving economic growth,
    • reconciling with the neighbours,
    • rebuilding ties with the US without abandoning the strategic partnership with China, and
    • regaining its traditional political goodwill in the Gulf. 
  • Focus on Economic Development: The document identifies a wide range of unexceptionable goals; what stands out is the ambition to integrate economic development into the traditional military conception of national security.
    • The external complement to this is the emphasis on “geo-economics” in contrast to the traditional obsession of the Pakistan Army with “geopolitics”. The former focuses on trade and connectivity while the latter is about power and its projection.
  • Implications on India: No one has a higher stake than India in the success of the Bajwa doctrine that calls for a Pakistan at peace with itself and the region.

Does Pakistan, have the will and capability to implement it?

  • One reason development took a back seat to security in Pakistan is the political dominance of the army that cornered most of the economic resources, in the name of protecting the nation from the “Indian threat”.
  • Pakistan has gone to the IMF more than twenty times but has been unable to forge long overdue structural changes in the economy.
  • If the NSP is about modernising Pakistan, the Prime Minister is looking to the past for political survival amidst growing unpopularity of his government whose economic incompetence imposed huge costs on the people.
    • Barely two days after releasing the National Security Policy, Imran Khan published an op-ed outlining his vision for “Riyasat-e-Madina” in Pakistan based on the order that Prophet Mohammed had created in Madina after leading his followers out of Mecca in the early seventh century.

India-Pakistan recent Issues:

  • The Pakistan Government may not be in sync with the army is also borne out by India’s recent engagement with Pakistan.
    • Delhi negotiated a ceasefire agreement with the Pakistan Army last February that was to be followed by a series of confidence-building measures, including trade. 
  • The decision to resume limited overland commerce was quickly overturned by Imran Khan, who insisted there can be no engagement with India until Delhi reversed the 2019 constitutional changes in Kashmir.

Way Forward:

  • Pakistan’s geo-economic transition can’t succeed without a fundamental shift in its India policy.
  • Discarding the many impossible goals that Pakistan has set for itself against India and coming to terms with Pakistan’s relative economic decline in relation to India will be immensely painful.
  • If Pakistan can get its act together on “burying the past” — as Gen Bajwa said last March — India should be ready to extend a hand.

-Source: Indian Express

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