Pakistan is at war with insurgent forces led by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP’s war objective is to take over political control of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The TTP’s signature weapon is fear. The TTP’s military strategy is unconventional – fidayeen attacks, suicide attacks and bomb blasts. The TTP’s military goals are: to isolate Pakistan; to mutilate governance and then gain complete control over each and every kilometre of 796,095 sq kilometres we call Pakistan.
Insurgent force: The TTP is dependent on three factors – a geographical safe haven, a financial pipeline and supply of manpower.
Counter-insurgency: Pakistan Army’s XI Corps is the counter-insurgent force fighting to establish Pakistan’s writ over each and every kilometre of 796,095 sq kms we call Pakistan. XI Corps’ military objectives are: to disrupt, dismantle and destroy the TTP.
Counter-insurgency implementation: XI Corps is responsible for ‘clearing’ each and every TTP-held geographical safe haven. The federal government is responsible for shutting down the TTP’s financial pipeline. The federal government is responsible for cutting of the TTP’s supply of manpower. Counter-insurgency is, therefore, 33 percent military and 66 percent civil.
Economy: Economic power is one of the most critical elements of national power. Pakistan’s economic security depends on at least six factors: energy security, national debt, economic equality, human capital, industrial production growth and the right priorities.
Energy security: In 2015, Pakistan will lose around Rs700 billion of GDP because of power outages (that is the equivalent of our annual defence budget). In 2015, Pakistan will lose around Rs300 billion in line losses (that is the equivalent of what the entire army spends in a year). For the record, Pakistan’s installed capacity stands at 23,040MW but in 2015 Pakistan will produce an average of 11,000MW per day. To be certain, power outages are not because of lack of generation capacity but because of lack of governance.
National debt: On August 18, 2008, the day President Musharraf resigned, per capita debt stood at Rs40,000. On September 8, 2013, the day President Zardari resigned, per capita debt stood at Rs80,000 (we took on more debt in five years than we had done in the preceding 60 years). As of the last day of December 2014, per capita debt was recorded at Rs103,000. If the trend persists, per capita debt will cross Rs200,000 by 2018.
Economic inequality: Over the past 10 years, an estimated 90 percent of the wealth generated in Pakistan has gone into the coffers of the top two percent of the population. The income and asset gap between rich and poor continues to widen by the hour; the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer. The economy is getting more and more cartelised and the cartels are becoming more and more powerful – the power cartel, the oil cartel, the sugar cartel, the cement cartel, the banking cartel and the land mafia. One, there is an inverse link between income inequality and social cohesion. Two, crime rate and income inequality are correlated.
Human capital: Pakistan’s ranking in the Human Development Index is at 146th position out of 187 countries. India and Bangladesh are ranked at 135th and 142nd, respectively.
Industrial growth: Pakistan’s industrial growth rate peaked at 13 percent in 2004. In 2009, it turned negative and has since hovered around three percent.
Priorities: Rs260 billion for Hyderabad-Sukkur motorway. Rs44 billion for the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metrobus. Rs15 billion for Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Rs0 for the National Action Plan.
Conclusion 1: Counter-insurgency is a civil-military effort; 33 percent military and 66 percent civil. Conclusion 2: Economic security is the grossly neglected dimension of Pakistan’s national security. Conclusion 3: Pakistan’s energy security is a governance issue. Conclusion 4: Our economic priorities are all messed up.
By Furrukh Saleem
Agenda 2015: Security and economy. Background:
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @saleemfarrukh