By: Prof Rahmat Karim Baig
Pakistan is hemmed in by hostile neighbours? from the very beginning,? on the one hand for its ideology and on the other for its geography and due to the negative attitude of? India and Afghanistan we have had? to keep a standing Army? plus civil Military Forces to carry out day night vigilance along our borders.
The eastern border was given much importance due to belligerence of India but in the west we had presumed that Kabul will not commit any kind of hostile activity? just for the sake of mischief but despite that prepossession they resorted to economic interference in the shape of smuggling of foreign goods as they foresaw an economic juggling with the fragile financial position of a newly born state with little knowledge of commerce and trade, would do much serious damages as expected by Hindu businessmen who had been predicting that Pakistan will not be able to reach economic stability for Muslim inefficiency in managing financial issues and so it will collapse.
This interference in our trade, as far as I remember, began at Landi Kotal where a juicy business of foreign and illegal goods? was developed and reached such heights that smugglers from Punjab came to Landi Kotal and smuggled Japanese electronic gadgets, fabrics, cigarettes, perfumes and all kind of luxury items were made available and that ?business hub was later?? shifted to Bara, near Peshawar city and then it was moved to other centres within the country.
The goods came via Karachi port and under a mutual? transit agreement, were allowed to go to Afghanistan? through Torkham and then smuggled back into Tribal territory to Pakistan that caused great loss to our custom revenue.? So the role of vigilance by para military Forces, on the western border required to be enhanced and then? was doubled to oversee the border movements of the Afghans and the smuggling activities of the trading? people.
Since the Pak-Afghan border from Chitral to the western most tip of Baluchistan is said to be more than? 2400 km long? and mostly hilly and porous regions, populated with Azad tribes who are not under Pakistani Law but had their own home made maze of labyrinths that was suitable for them but harmful for Pakistan, its Law and order situation and revenue sources. The Army had to deal with a situation for which they had to be trained again and again to cope with smuggling? mafias.
The soldiers are so trained that they could live in very inhospitable conditions. Long ago at? Boroghil border, Jawans of Chitral Scouts were stationed for summer? border duty and in October when I visited that region I had no option as a tourist but to go to the camp of the Jawans. They were most friendly and did? me great honour? compared to the conditions? of their out post at great height. I studied their courage, agility, capacity of adaptation to the harsh conditions and was proud to have such Jawans of high moral and patriotic zeal for the defence of their mother land.
The gist of? the story is that our soldiers are performing in very hard conditions on the borders facing dangerous situations about which a common man knows very little. It must be? known to all of us that in the conditions that we are facing now? it is important to have good soldiers with good weapons to beat any onslaught from either side and at the same time develop? defence technology to keep abreast with the volatile scenario that is being imposed on us. I am very proud of Pak Army. Pak Army Zindabad .. Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 14 Nov 2017