iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times
Islamabad, January 06, 2013
In what can best be described as a paradigm shift in its policy, the Pakistan Army has described homegrown militancy as the "biggest threat" to national security, even bigger than the threat from India.

The army doctrine deals with operational preparedness and is reviewed on and off, and this doctrine is being given final touches by the army top brass who met at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Analysts say that for decades, the army considered India as its number 1 enemy but growing extremism in the country compelled the military authorities to review its strategy and under the new doctrine activities of Taliban in the restive tribal regions and unabated terrorist attacks on government installations in cities are posing a real threat to Pakistan's security.

A military official told local media that the new doctrine would now also include threats posed by sub-conventional warfare. Preparation of the new doctrine started a year ago and has been adopted recently.

Last week, ahead of the Corps Commanders meeting, the army confirmed through its public relations directorate that the new doctrine was now being put into place.  The doctrine also blames "foreign proxies" for creating unrest in some parts of the country, although it does not name any country. Observers say here the blame is on India for what the army feels is its role in creating trouble.

The political leadership also gave its blessings to the military doctrine. PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said at the National Defence University that it was essential to stand against those forces "who want to derail the system."