Pakistan's priorities

I found an article that kind of confirms my recent post about the Afghan-Pakistan border.

It confirms another problem as well; the Pakistani army is half-hearted in its effort against the Taliban in part because it keeps most of its power at the border with India, its supposed and historic arch-enemy. Well, it's either like that or they simply have this as an excuse.

I know from first-hand experience that many Pakistanis (in the army and in national security-related jobs) take the prospect of a war with India really seriously. It's not a faked focus.

Nevertheless, I assume that they are also serving their own partial interests by keeping the fear of a war with India alive; peaceful, relaxed relations would sooner or later cause a crash of the Pakistani army budget.

The prospect of war at the border isn't entirely fiction, though. That's where diplomacy could intervene.

A mediator could motivate India to move its military - or at least its offensive parts of its military (like armoured vehicles and helicopters) away from the border.
Pakistan could in exchange do the same, and thus free enough forces to swamp the troublesome regions with its army troops.

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It's an open secret that Pakistan is in part still considering the Taliban as their present or future proxy. Such a shifting of army units would therefore not defeat the Taliban in Pakistan, but it would re-assert Pakistani authority to some degree and force the Taliban into the underground or non-violent politics.

The problem of Pakistani motivation is tricky, but at least their army availability problem could be solved with good diplomacy.

Sven Ortmann

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