Security dilemma plays an important part in determining state relations when particularly they are next door neighbors. In such a condition, it becomes difficult for the states to keep their security protected. Nations have to adopt policies that are beneficial for their national interest. An important function of security dilemma is that it also supports the balance of power theory which helps in balancing and counter-balancing of the countries. As far as, Pakistan’s security is concerned, it has two dimensions; the internal dimension which has greatly subsided during the present government while external dimension has always been like a Hanging Sword of Damocles. Pakistan is faced with this dilemma on both its eastern and western borders. The eastern border has caused three wars against India while the western border created trouble for Pakistan in the post-9/11 scenario. This paper discusses Pakistan’s security dilemma with Afghanistan and India.
Security Dilemma, India, Afghanistan, Border
Two broad strands of theories shape the politics of International Relations in determining world relations. Of the two the first one concerns the economy and is deeply rooted in supposition of instrumental shrewdness and efficacy concerns while the second one concerns Sociological aspect with its particular emphasis on issues of legitimacy and power (Michael & Martha, 1999). Realism, an important theory of International Relations, falls within the purview of the second strand of theories and looks at the things from the non-normative approach which perceives world politics as it is and not what it ought to be (Morgenthau, 1978). Looking at the world politics and international relations from the view point of ground realities is the chief concern of this theory. The chief protagonist of this theory is Hans Morgenthau, who views power as an end in itself since the leaders and statesmen try to concentrate greater power within their hands. Neo-realism or structural realism also sees power as a powerful weapon of getting their objectives realized (Tariq, 2018). The states that have either too much of the power or little of it, run risk of it. The intervention of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan are some of the dazzling examples of neo-realism. Hans Morgenthau acknowledges that at times it may act for motives other than power (Waltz, 2006). National interest or security paradigm of the country may fall within its ambit.
Security Dilemma is a societal assemblage in which units of authority such as states and nations find themselves in incompatible state of affairs whenever they subsist next to each other without supreme power that may impose standard of behavior upon them by thus shielding them from the aggressive acts of each other (Tariq, 2015). Such a condition is fraught with a sense of insecurity, a sense of mutual distrust, and misperception that induces these units for gaining more and more power for the sake of gaining strength for the purpose of increasing their security but this usually leads to a sense of self-defeating condition since complete security is unobtainable (Herz, 1951). The developments that overpowered Afghanistan in the post-9/11 scenario and consequently the drawdown of the NATO forces from Afghanistan provide an opportunity to look at Afghanistan from the viewpoint of Neo-realism in general and Security Dilemma in particular (Tariq M, 2015).
Security dilemma of Pakistan greatly suffers from two factors; the internal dimension and the external dimension. The internal dimension of Pakistan suffers from three sets of non-set actors. The first set of these non-state actors comprise the various groups of Taliban, the Quetta Shura, the Haqqani Network and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. These networks have been engaged in different terrorist activities alongside the Pak-Afghan border and seek refuge in the safe havens on the border. The second set of non-state actors comprises the Lashkar-e-Tayyba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. These networks are generally Kashmir-specific and carry on their activities for the survival of Kashmir and are opposed to the Indian activities against Kashmiri people. The Hizbul Mujahideen is a Kashmiri organization and is not involved in any violence and terrorist activities. Lashkar-e Tayyba is also India centric organization and is led by Hafiz Saeed. The third set of non-state actors comprises the sectarian groups including multiple Sunni groups of Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jiash-e-Muhammad. This set basically comprises Punjabi fighters and work along with the Pak-Afghan border and Kurram and Orakzai areas. It is important to mention that the internal dimension of security has not caused any security concern for the country under the present regime of the Pakistan Tehrik-e- Insaf. Credit goes to the National Action Plan that was brought in vogue in Pakistan in the post-Army Public School Peshawar attack in December 2014 that resulted in a series of activities by the law enforcement agencies for curbing terrorism and establishing the writ of the government in both the settled and tribal areas of the country.
Instability and insecurity in Pakistan are mainly due to both the eastern and western border of Pakistan with India and Afghanistan (Tariq, 2020). As far as deteriorating security situation in Pakistan is concerned, it is mainly due to the porous and windy nature of the Pak-Afghan border that has provided sanctuaries to the insurgents and terrorists after getting their nefarious designs fulfilled. It is also pertinent to mention that it is a source of great economic hub for the Pashtun people across the border. Besides, it caters for the illegal activities, narcotics, and smuggling. Just as the withdrawal of the Soviet from Afghanistan in 1989 destined Afghanistan with lawlessness, insecurity and state of civil war coupled with power vacuum. Similarly, the withdrawal of the US Forces from Afghanistan within the stipulated time frame of fourteen months as of US-Taliban Agreement of February 29, 2020, may destine it for civil war, issues of security, settlement of deadlocks over leadership particularly the office of presidency and power distribution among the various stakeholders of the country (Tariq , 2020). Security Dilemma plays the most significant role in determining the world politics. It brought about the First World War since the whole European powers were compelled by the sense of insecurity over the alliances of their neighbors, though not actually likely to have a desire for war.
Pakistan’s Security Dilemma with Afghanistan
Pakistan is faced with several crises of existential nature comprising both external and internal threats from various terrorist networks. The dimension of external threat includes the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, the regional hegemonic designs of India, the strategic objectives of the United States in the region and role of other foreign powers in the region. The dimension of internal threat comprises the negative effect of internal security, political turbulence and the corona pandemic that has almost stricken the whole world at the moment (Haq, 2010). In the post 9/11, Pakistan played the role of a frontline state against fighting terrorism that made Pakistan the center of attention. Although Pakistan is fighting against terrorism shoulder to shoulder with the International Community, the former has suffered a lot as a result of the war on terror (Tariq, 2018). Total death casualties and injuries in the post 9/11 reached a total of 61,549 deaths, and 67011 injuries. Analyzing them in terms of various categories, the number of militants’ death stands at 31,000 followed by the civilians 22,100, followed by the security personnel which ranges to 8,214, while in the case of injuries the number of civilians stands at 40,792 followed by the security personnel comprising 14,583 injuries followed by militants comprising 11,415 injuries (Tariq, 2018). But it is also important to note that round about 150,000 people, especially the Pashtun cross the Pak-Afghan border on daily basis for various purposes since the Pashtuns across both sides of the border meet for different purposes including commercial and noncommercial activities.
Pak-Afghan Border and Security Dilemma
The contending issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan centers around the issue of Pak-Afghan border with respect to its legal status. Drawdown of the NATO forces from Afghanistan in December 2014 created leadership gap and political instability which may further exacerbate regional security and particularly the security of Pakistan (Tariq, 2015). Owing to the porous nature of the Pak-Afghan border, there is a great need to manage this border for the long and sustaining peace of the two countries and the region in general. However, certain issues still haunt the historical and legal perspective of the border, which according to the Pashtun Community of Afghanistan, would delink them from their Pashtun brethren. Two diverse views on both sides of the border, shape this relation, Kabul wants to utilize the border for its vested interests by questioning the validity of the border while Pakistan wants a friendly regime in Kabul for ensuring that the Pak-Afghan border does not become a hot border fraught with the jingoistic and chauvinistic issue of Pashtun Nationalism (Tariq, 2018). One of the main concerns of Pakistan in installing a friendly regime in Kabul is to keep its western border protected as it is already faced with threats and dangers on the eastern border.
Another area of concern for Pakistan is the notion of strategic depth, a term used in international relations, to seek shelter in Afghanistan in the wake of an attack by the Indian army. So far, the notion of strategic depth has not given any benefit to Pakistan but has faced the reverse situation on almost all occasions. It has never been used by Pakistan but has always been used by Afghanistan to take shelter in the mountains and return back to Afghanistan after committing terrorist acts of perpetration in Pakistan. This has been clear in many of the cases as in the case of attack on the Army Public School Peshawar when its mastermind was allegedly proclaimed to have sought refuge in Afghanistan. The notion of strategic depth was used by Pakistan for the sake of enhancing national interest but it has always gone against the national interest of Pakistan.
India’s Strategic Interest in Afghanistan
Pakistan also wants Afghanistan not to fall prey to any foreign influence, particularly the India as this would fuel the issue of sub-nationalism in Pakistan (Chandran, 2012). India has been helping Afghanistan ever since the Taliban were dethroned from power in 2001 by the allied forces of the United States. Some of the key areas where Kabul has been helped by New Dehli include the construction of building of Afghanistan Parliament, which also includes a library. It also includes rebuilding of Habibia High School in the city of Kabul, reconstruction of the Salma Dam, now called as the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, construction of an electricity transmission line, ranging from Pul-e-Khumari to Kabul, building of a hospital named as Indira Gandhi Institute for Child Health/Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital for the ailing persons equipped with a modern technology, giving financial aid to the Afghan National Agriculture Sciences and Technology University (ANASTU) in Kandahar, building a cricket stadium in Kandahar, upgrading telephone exchanges in some provinces, expanding the national television network, besides being providing the Afghan National Army with military and security training on modern lines (Iwanek, 2109).
Whatever has Indian done in Afghanistan is not on the basis of humanity or that Afghanistan is alms-eater but the fact is that India has a strategic interest in Afghanistan. The greatest concern of India in doing so is to curtail Pakistani influence there and secure friendly relations with the Kabul (Tariq, 2015). The construction of Zaranj-Delaram road is not only significant for Afghanistan but also for India. This creates a better communication link between the Iranian borders with the most important avenue of Afghanistan, the Ring Road, which again serves a link for most of the important cities of the country. This road will lessen the burden of Afghanistan on Pakistan, which is mainly dependent on Pakistan for its transportation of goods and infrastructure, being landlocked itself. Now, Afghanistan can also have trade routes with Iran by using the Zaranj-e-Delaram road. This will have the capacity to transport goods from Daranj to Iran’s Chabahar Port. The construction of the road was financed, completed, and partially protected by Indian institution.
The Case of COVID-19
Pakistan’s security at present is also hit by the pandemic disease of Corona Virus in its present shape COVID-19. For the last four months it has engulfed thousands of people around the globe and has also affected millions of people in the world. According to a report of the World Health Organization (WHO), the total confirmed cases of COVID -19 across the globe are 2.92M, Recovered cases are 829K, while total death cases are 204 K (T & News, 2020). Among all the countries, USA is on the top of the list with death-casualties of 53,000and 900,000 infected patients. In Pakistan, the number of confirmed cases of Corona Virus is 13,106 that of recovered cases 2,866 and death cases are 272. This has greatly affected the economy of Pakistan since the issue of Lockdown has greatly affected the working and lower middle class of the country as it has been under lockdown since 15 March 2020. This will have many ramifications for the entire economy of the country. All the educational Institutions of the country are close since 14 April 2020 while most of the Universities have been converted into Quarantine Centers to be used by the Patients till their recovery from the pandemic disease.
Pakistan’s Security Dilemma with India
Basically, Pakistan has security threats from both its eastern and western borders. Security threat from the western border increased in the post-9/11 scenario with Pakistan provided logistic support to the United States and the allied forces. But security issues from the eastern border have been there since the very creation of the country. Some of the factors that have contributed to the worst security situation are the Kashmir issue, water dispute and cross border terrorism. Both India and Pakistan has been at daggers drawn over the issue of Kashmir (Reveron & Murer, 2013). It is on this issue that both the countries have fought three wars but no substantial solutions seem to bring the two arch-enemies closer at any time Both the regional as well as the international stakeholders do recognize the strategic importance of Kashmir for both India and Pakistan (Fayyaz, 2016). It is also significant to mention that both the countries consider Kashmir very important for the solidarity of their respective countries.
Security Dilemma Over Kashmir Dispute
The strategic location of Kashmir has made it a bone of contention between the two countries. Kashmir is very important to both the countries since the water of most of the important rivers flowing to Pakistan has its origin in Kashmir. The great stakeholders have their own stances over the resolution of Kashmir issue while the stance of Kashmir, as a third stakeholder has always been bypassed (Fayyaz, 2016). India has never been in a position to give Kashmiris the right of self-determination as this would strengthen the position of Pakistan since majority of the Kashmiri people are Muslims (Hussain, 2015). Pakistan, on the other hand, strongly adheres to the claim of the Kashmiri people for their right of self-determination by rejecting the stance, at the same time, the stance of the Indian people that Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan (Fayyaz, 2016). For the sake of their vested interests, India has always used propaganda against Pakistan that she is interfering in the affairs of Kashmir. They have been deprived of their right to free movement and have been locked down in their homes for the last eight months since October 29, 2019. In such a state of affairs, the international community and regional stakeholders are also silent upon the undue security lockdown imposed upon them by the Indian people. So, the tactics of increased deployment of security personnel over the border, armed conflict against the Muslims, supporting terrorist networks in Pakistan and brutal killing of the innocent Kashmiri people that have added to the increased tension and security dilemma between the two countries (Usman, Hussain, Amjad, Tariq, & Sajjad, 2017). Another important area of concern is the years longing ongoing dispute over the water of rivers and particularly construction of Dams and various power projects on River Jhelum.
Security Dilemma Over Water Dispute
Water is very important for the survival of human life. It is from water that many needs of human lives such as electricity, irrigation purposes, power projects, and dams are built from these sources. Unfortunately, water dispute stated between Pakistan and during the initial stages of the creation of Pakistan but this issue was resolved in 1960 through World Bank according to a treaty known as the Indus Basin Treaty (Akhtar, 2015). Water Dispute has served as a security dilemma between the two countries. Most of the statesmen are of the view that international water conflicts are more detrimental than the domestic water conflicts (Mustafa, Akhtar, & Nasrullah, 2013). Besides, water disputes in Pakistan are closely linked with the hegemonic designs of the Indian upstream position which is going to further exacerbate relations between the two countries. Moreover, South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular, is facing the problems of water scarcity that will bear a very negative impact on the economy and social structure of Pakistan. According to a report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Pakistan ranked third among the countries facing severe water shortage very at a rapid speed ( Khan, & Kumar, 2019). According to Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Pakistan will run short of water by 2025, where very less amount of water or no water will be available in the country (Shukla, 2018). Moreover, presently only 20% of people have access to clean drinking water while the remaining 80% depend on contaminated water (Daud, et al., 2017). Since the geographical location of India is upstream to Pakistan, it is very easy for India to control the river water, which will cause severe loss to Pakistan (Mustafa, Akhtar, & Nasrullah, 2013). But to the great tragedy of Pakistan, India has been constructing Baglihar Dam on River Chenab and Kishanganga Dam on River Jhelum, very much against the interest of Pakistan and norms of international law (Khan, 2016). This is also very much against the norms of the Indus Basin Treaty of 1960, which has clearly bifurcated the river systems for both Pakistan and India. Not only this, besides constructing dams, India also storing huge amount of water which will have a very negative impact on the economy of Pakistan. This has created more tension in the relations of the two countries and is adding fuel to the security dilemma of Pakistan with India.
Security Dilemma Emanating from the Pak-India Border
Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, India has been violating the norms of human rights on the border by ruthlessly killing the innocent people through shelling on the civilians and the security posts of Pakistan. India has been trying to destabilize Pakistan in the region through various tactics and particularly through false propaganda that Pakistan is supporting terrorism in the region but by this they are actually hiding their atrocities in Kashmir and their excessive involvement in the affairs of Afghanistan. Both Pakistan and India accuse and counter-accuse each other for the interference in each other’s affairs (Virk, 2013) (Yadav, 2014). Regardless of the blame game, India has always been engaged in interfering in the internal affairs of Pakistan and trying to destabilize Pakistan in the region (Muzaffar, 2015). Brutality of the Indian people continues in the occupied Kashmir since they have been locked down for more than eight months in their houses and have been tortured both mentally and physically though Kashmir, through plebiscite, had decided to opt for Pakistan (Korbel, 2015). Moreover, India is also fueling the insurgency in Balochistan by creating dissension in Pakistan. A glaring example of this is the arrest of Kalboshan Yadav, an Indian spy in Balochistan. He is allegedly claimed to have been working in Balochistan for the Indian army for several years (Tariq, 2016). It is pertinent to state that one of the main concerns of Kalboshan was to create security issues in the Gawadar and create hurdles in the way of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Stopping Indian interference in the territory of Pakistan would mitigate the danger of security dilemma with India. Pakistan must deal such spies with an iron hand as this would strengthen the position of Pakistan and help in decreasing the security dilemma.
Pakistan enjoys a very strategic location in South Asia. But unfortunately, it is sandwiched on both of its eastern and western borders. There is cross border terrorism from both sides which has made created a bad image for image for Pakistan in the regional and International politics. It is the strategic position of Pakistan that has made more important in many ways but has also created problems for it on account of its border with Afghanistan and India on both its western and eastern side respectively. It is a great tragedy of Pakistan it is not only suffering from the external dimension of security but also the internal dimension of security. Though the internal security dimension has subsided to a great extent during the current regime of the government but security concerns have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 where it is spreading at a very high speed in the whole world. The whole world has been hardly hit by this pandemic disease. The most suffered nation is the United States of America followed by Italy, Spain, France, Germany and UK with the greatest number of death casualties and infected people.
The external dimension of security of Pakistan rests with Afghanistan and India. Enough of discussion has been made with regard to the security threat emanating from Afghanistan. The Pak-Afghan border with its porous nature has created great security concerns for Pakistan. Besides security check posts, and deployment of security personnel on the border has greatly contributed to mitigate the issue of security for Pakistan. The windy and treacherous nature of the border is another security concern for Pakistan because the terrorists and insurgents can cross the mountains after getting their nefarious designs fulfilled. Border management between the two countries will also do a lot in controlling terrorism and insurgency between the two countries. There is a greater need to appoint a joint security force from security personnel of both the countries to maintain law and order situation on the border. As far as, security concerns with India are concerned, it is paramount since three wars have been fought between the two countries causing huge loss to humans and finances besides destroying the infrastructure of the counties. But this is not the end of the episode, there is always likelihood for another war if the major issues of Kashmir, water issues and cross border terrorism are not resolved. The most important issue is the issue of Kashmir, which needs to be resolved on a priority basis. The international community and regional actors can play their significant output by resolving this ever-hot issue.