“…the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State”
– Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Internal security holds pivotal place in national security policy of any country. Pakistan faces extensive internal threats and challenges to its physical and human security, which arise mainly out of intolerance, extremism, militancy and terrorism – both in the hinterlands and urban areas. Criminal corruption and societal crimes further compound the problem. On the whole, these threats hamper prosperity of the people and progress of the state. Pakistani state and society have suffered huge social, economic, infrastructural and human cost due to militancy and terrorism. The country is today being considered in line with the countries like Iraq and Afghanistan with regard to internal order. Notions like the most dangerous place in the world are oft-appearing
in international media.
Pakistan shares 6,774 kilometers of border with other countries; 2,430 kilometers with Afghanistan, 523 kilometers with China, 2,912 kilometers with India and 909 kilometers with Iran, besides 1046 kilometers of coastline. Amongst these, porous and volatile border with Afghanistan poses the greatest threat in form of illegal movement, smuggling of arms / stolen vehicles, and drug trafficking. 10,000 to 30,000 people cross Chaman and Torkham border points daily, which include legal immigrants, traders, personnel from NGOs and NATO assets. Besides, 5000 to 6000 illegal crossings take place daily using frequented and unfrequented routes. This happens despite the fact that there are some 821 border posts held by Pakistan’s security forces on Pakistani side of the border and around 120 NATO and Afghan posts on Afghan side. The greatest threat along Pak-Afghan border is from movement of militant elements and drug traffickers. To increase control on Pak-Afghan Border, official immigration points along the border should be increased. There is a need to have at least one immigration point for each province so as to check the tendency of illegal crossing. Besides, bio metric system needs to be installed at all official immigration points. Fencing should be carried out in selected areas with electronic sensors, night surveillance capability and vertical checking by establishing posts along the roads leading from border to built-up areas and involvement of community in urban centers. Security is a shared responsibility of state and society. However, it is primary obligation of the state not only to ensure security using all instruments of statecraft but also to take on board all segments of the nation. The kind of complex internal security environment that we live in today cannot be patched up
without breaking foreign nexuses. This all is possible only if we carry out bold analysis of internal issues facing Pakistan and employ a multi-pronged strategy transparently. If done, the dream of a secure, stable and prosperous Pakistan can certainly come true.
References and facts:
Internal security strategy of Pakistan !!