Changing nature of the Pakistan State in International Affairs

Pakistan’s status in international affairs is closely associated with their diplomatic relations with India, originating from their common historical growth. It took birth in the year 1947, when the country saw the birth of nationalism during its war with India over the annexation of Kashmir. Ever since, India has been an external enemy state for Pakistan.

In the contemporary era, Pakistani military and state structure has been identified with its loose hold on terrorist organizations that are targeting India with increased frequency, one of the most significant being the Udhampur attack.  During these attacks, Mohammed Naved was caught who identified himself as a recruit of the Lakshar – e- Taiba, considered one of the largest networking terrorist organizations in the world. Major terrorist attacks earlier restricted to Jammu & Kashmir, is seeing a greater outreach & spread, particularly with the attack on the police station in Gurdaspur, Punjab.

A research study by Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate at Carnegie endowment for international peace, highlights 5 broad categories of terrorist organizations in Pakistan that are: Sectarian, Anti Indian, Afghan Taliban, Al Qaeda and The Pakistani Taliban. This study brings out the essential question of whether Pakistan is a theocratic state that it claims to be or a terrorist state?

Religion is a key factor of basis in the state, with Muslims comprising of approximately 96% of the population. It is in popular voice that Hindus and Sikhs belong to India, Christians to the west, and Shias to Iran. This is analogous with the low tolerance of other faiths within the state of Pakistan.

Furthermore, Religious and Sectarian extremism is seeing an intensive growth rate, being considered as the main issue that hinders peace and justice in Pakistan. With the December 2014 attacks in Peshawar, where Taliban massacred almost 200 students and teachers in Army Public School, the government claims to have taken several measures to curb extremism and terrorism. In regard of the fundamental duty of the state to protect its citizens, Pakistan sets a poor example. The terrorists are moving freely on the streets carrying out criminal activities, which shows the poor functioning of the government. The recent attacks ranging from Kabul to Gurdaspur, Udhampur to smaller parts of Afghanistan reiterate the fact that there has been no apparent change in Pakistan’s policy with regard to the use of terrorism to further its security objectives in the region and sees a sheer lack of external or state deterrent.

These factors indicate that the ‘Theocratic’ nature of the state of Pakistan is becoming of diminishing objective, despite religion continuing to hold imperative importance in Pakistan. The characteristics and events in contemporary Pakistan indicate its involvement as a ‘Terrorist state.’

Anushree Rai

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