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Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Indispensable Role of the Pakistan Army

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Pakistan, a nation with a rich history and diverse cultural heritage, has faced numerous challenges since its inception. However, amidst these challenges, the Pakistan Army has emerged as a crucial institution that plays a pivotal role in the country’s progress. Beyond its traditional role of ensuring national security, the Pakistan Army has actively contributed to various aspects of development, including infrastructure, disaster relief, and promoting peace and stability. In this opinion article, we will explore the indispensable role of the Pakistan Army in driving the progress of the country.

 The Pakistan Army is responsible for protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation.  It accomplishes this by preventing foreign threats from entering the country, combating terrorism, safeguarding vital infrastructure, and upholding law and order. The Army has taken up the duty of cybersecurity in the digital age. To stop unauthorized intrusions or sovereignty breaches, the Army regularly patrols and monitors the nation’s frontiers. To recognize and neutralize potential threats, it also participates in strategic thinking and intelligence collection. Targeted military offensives by the Army have been made targeting terrorist networks including their lairs. These efforts have made a substantial contribution to Pakistan’s decline in terrorism and violence. To safeguard crucial infrastructure, including nuclear reactors, airports, seaports, and communication networks, the Army uses cutting-edge security measures, intelligence networks, and surveillance systems. To keep the nation’s peace and order, the Army engages effectively with law enforcement organizations and other pertinent authorities. The Army’s presence and assistance to civil administration in areas plagued by internal disputes, insurgencies, or intergroup violence aid in reestablishing peace and stability. To combat cyber threats, the Army maintains specialized units and cutting-edge technology. This ensures the security of crucial information systems and stops unauthorized access or cyberattacks that can jeopardize national security. The Pakistan Army is essential in defending the country from a variety of dangers. Its work is crucial to the stability and security of the nation.

The Pakistan Army has faced significant challenges from terrorist organizations operating within the country, which pose a threat to national security, social fabric, economic stability, and overall progress. The Army has carried out military operations like Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad to confront terrorism. Launched in 2014, Zarb-e-Azb was designed to destroy terrorist infrastructure and safe havens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA. With intelligence-based operations such as targeted raids, Radd-ul-Fasaad, a 2017 initiative, aims to consolidate gains and eradicate terrorist remnants throughout Pakistan. To improve the efficiency of counterterrorism operations, the Army coordinates information sharing with both domestic and foreign intelligence organizations. Another top objective is to break up the financial networks of terrorist groups. This can be done by keeping an eye out for questionable transactions, tracking cash movements, and collaborating with international organizations that fight money laundering. To help ex-militants reintegrate into society, the Army runs deradicalization and rehabilitation programs. These programs provide education, job training, psychological support, and religious counseling. To fight terrorism and advance world peace, the Pakistan Army collaborates with allies through joint operations, intelligence sharing, training initiatives, and participation in UN peacekeeping missions.

The Engineering Corps of the Pakistan Army is heavily involved in national infrastructure development initiatives. Particularly in isolated and poor areas, they help with the building and repair of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and water supply systems. Their participation raises living standards, connectedness, and accessibility for marginalized populations. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a showpiece project including the development of roads, railroads, energy projects, and industrial zones, is secured by the Army’s presence. To lessen the effects of natural catastrophes, they also concentrate on developing disaster-resistant infrastructure. In cooperation with civil authorities, the Army offers technical know-how and assistance for successful project execution.

The Pakistan Army plays a crucial role In responding to and providing relief during natural disasters in Pakistan. They quickly deploy skilled workers and specialized equipment to the impacted areas. Their rescue operations result in the prompt provision of aid and the saving of lives. To meet the injured soldiers’ medical needs, the Army sets up field hospitals and medical camps. They also provide afflicted communities with necessities like food, water, and shelter. The Army takes part in recovery and construction work after disasters, repairing critical infrastructure and resuming vital services. By constructing relief camps and ensuring that their basic needs are satisfied, they help the displaced populations. The Pakistan Army also offers help abroad by taking part in humanitarian operations in other nations.

The Pakistan Army has been actively involved in UN peacekeeping missions since 1960, making significant contributions to global peace and security.  They have served in several conflict areas while exhibiting professionalism, restraint, and dedication. Pakistani peacekeepers carry out a variety of tasks, such as upholding the rule of law, safeguarding civilians, and assisting in conflict resolution procedures. To successfully address difficulties in the field, they go through intensive training at the Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS). Additionally, they support long-term peace and development by helping with post-conflict reconstruction initiatives like infrastructure development and medical aid. The Pakistan Army’s involvement in peacekeeping operations strengthens the country’s reputation as a responsible and helpful member of the international community and helps present a positive picture of Pakistan worldwide. Despite the costs involved, the world community respects and recognizes the bravery and tenacity of Pakistani peacekeepers.

 In conclusion, the Pakistan Army’s contributions to the progress of the country are invaluable. Through their unwavering commitment, professionalism, and dedication, the Army has played a crucial role in ensuring national security, countering terrorism, promoting infrastructure development, providing disaster relief, and contributing to global peacekeeping efforts. Their sacrifices and accomplishments have not only safeguarded the nation but have also projected a positive image of Pakistan on the international stage. As the nation moves forward, it is essential to recognize and appreciate the role of the Pakistan Army in shaping a brighter and more prosperous future. Collaboration between the Army, civil authorities, and other stakeholders will be crucial in harnessing the full potential of these contributions and building a resilient, inclusive, and progressive Pakistan. By continuing to prioritize security, development, and humanitarian concerns, the Pakistan Army can further contribute to the country’s progress and help create a better future for all its citizens.

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The writer is a student at the School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad.

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