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We will have to redefine its military doctrine: Pak PM

January 05, 2013 14:10 IST

Warning that "forces of doom and gloom" are bent on derailing the system, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that Pakistan will have to redefine its military doctrine to comprehensively tackle terrorism.

"We need to work on a strategy which can comprehensively tackle (terrorism). We have to redesign and redefine our military doctrine to achieve this objective," Ashraf said.

"The forces of doom and gloom thrive in an environment of chaos, uncertainty and instability. We need to guard against all such forces, who are out to derail the system so assiduously put in place after a protracted struggle," the premier said while addressing a gathering at the National Defence University on Friday.

Ashraf's comments came in the wake of a recent spike in attacks by the Taliban and reports that the Pakistan Army had made a paradigm shift in its new doctrine by describing homegrown militant groups and internal dangers as the biggest threat to security.

The premier said threats to Pakistan's national security "stem from mainly non-state actors who are targeting state's symbols and institutions in a bid to impose their agenda".

This was an "enemy which is nameless and faceless", he said.

While highlighting the sacrifices of the security forces, law enforcement agencies and citizens in the war against terrorism, Ashraf stressed the need to redefine the military doctrine.

"Our national security institutions must improve intelligence gathering and establish effective coordination among civil and military institutions to attain optimum results," he said.

The government will provide all possible support and resources for such efforts, he added.

At the same time, Ashraf pointed out that political will and people's support are "critical" for the success of any military action.

The parliament is the "mother of all institutions, a repository of people's aspirations and the custodian of national interests", he said.

The country and parliament are standing behind the armed forces in "their struggle to secure the future of our children", he said.

In this regard, he mentioned that the military operation against the Taliban in the Swat Valley in 2009 had succeeded because the government had given "political ownership to the war against terrorism".

The premier also made a reference to uncertainty in political circles due to tensions between state institutions like the executive and the judiciary, saying: "For a country to be able to protect its national security, it is incumbent that every institution works within the constitutional ambit. Political stability is critically linked to national security."

National security is multi-faceted and is "neither a pursuit of the military alone nor is its management the exclusive domain of a selected few", he said.

In a world of dynamic changes, there is a need to come to grips with the flux in intra-state and international relations, he added.

The main features of a comprehensive national security paradigm include sustainable socio-economic growth, political stability, rule of law, food security, stable state institutions and technological advancements, Ashraf said.

Terrorism and extremism involves a clash of ideas and battle for hearts and minds and the "hollowness of (the) regressive mindset" of militants has to be exposed by the media, the premier said.

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