Why does Pakistan support terrorist groups?

Why does Pakistan support terrorist groups?

Whenever any terrorist attack happen in India, Pakistan has it’s hand in it. It results to India breaking it’s ties with Pakistan, International Condemnation of Pakistan and situation of War sometimes. Many times due to international pressure, Pakistan takes action against terrorist groups but repeals the action after sometimes. This cycle goes on and on!

Pakistan uses terrorist attacks against India is an open ‘secret’. Pakistan is using these attacks from 1989 to carry out different strategic objectives of it’s own. What are these objectives? Why Pakistan uses these terrorist groups indirectly instead of war? What refers to ‘deep state’?

Let’s find out!

Pakistan’s ‘Deep State’

The combination of ISI and Pakistan’s army is known as ‘deep state’, which may not visible on surface but holds control on issues like internal security and foreign policy. Pakistan’s army is more dominant than it’s civilian government and reason behind it is

  1. After partition in 1947, a war happened between India and Pakistan for Kashmir. Due to this war and existential threat from India, 70% budget of Pakistan for 3 years goes to it’s military. This resulted into it’s army becoming dominant.
  2. Pakistan had seen many military coups, which made it’s civilian government less powerful.
Image depicting Pakistan’s secret relation with terrorist groups.

Why Deep State supports Terrorist groups?

Pakistan deep state supports terrorist groups because of their strategic beliefs and objectives. But these beliefs are non justified and objectives are unattainable. Here are these objectives and beliefs :-

  • Pakistan has existential threat from India– Pakistan’s deep state thinks that, Pakistan has existential threat from India. This thought is prevalent since independence of Pakistan. But, India acknowledge and respect the existence of Pakistan since Independence. So this belief is totally wrong.
  • Stop India’s Rise – Pakistan wants to stop India’s growth by these terrorist attacks. The reason behind is, if India become developed country, then it can pressurize Pakistan on many fronts. Pakistan however, had not been able to stop India’s growth by these attacks.
  • Seize J&K – Deep State wants to seize J&K by these terrorist attacks and groups, but it is not possible to seize J&K by power, as both India & Pakistan are nuclear states.
  • Avenge past defeats – Pakistan’s deep state wants to avenge all the past defeats it had suffered from India by these terrorist attacks. It want to avenge the 1971 partition of Bangladesh but the formation of Bangladesh was due to the oppress policies of Pakistan state which resulted into it’s partition.
  • Continued Conflict helps Deep State – Continued conflict between India and Pakistan help deep state in remaining as superior power in Pakistan. Peace between two countries may affect their power.
  • Deniability– If any terrorist attack happen in India, then Pakistani Military can easily deny about it’s involvement in it. Help of terrorist groups give power of deniability to deep state.
  • Low Cost – Terrorist groups and attacks costs lower than army to deep state. That’s why they support terrorist groups for attacks on India.

What can happen in Pakistan to stop the support to terrorist groups?

To stop the support to terrorist groups, there are not many options available. Because army is the superior power in Pakistan and it support the terrorist groups. However, there are 3 possibilities through which support to terrorist groups can end.

  • Civilian Government becomes more dominant than Army – To stop the supports of terrorist attacks, the civilian government needs to be more powerful than Army. Because civilian government are more on the side of peace than war. However it is unlikely to happen, as there is very less chances of government getting more power than army in Pakistan.
  • Military leader changes objectives– Top leaders can change the above mentioned objectives as they have all the power of Military in Pakistan. But it is somehow impossible, because all these threats and objectives are in roots of Pakistani Military.
  • Change in Cost-benefit military – Pakistan support terrorist groups due to cost benefit. But if the cost benefit changes then it can stop supporting them.

What can India do to keep safe itself?

As military in Pakistan keep on supporting terrorist groups, India needs to implement some points to keep itself safe. Here are these points :-

  • Kashmir Issue – Government needs to focus more on Kashmir issue. Rather than seeing it as a military issue, it should be seen as Political issue. Also, government should make Kashmir more developed, as it will help in decrease in militancy there.
  • Focus on Economic Growth – India should focus more on it’s economic growth because at one time it will surely give advantage to it over Pakistan. In 2017, India’s GDP was 8 time that of Pakistan. So more Economic growth = more pressure on Pakistan.
India’s and Pakistan’s GDP and growth comparison of 2016.
  • Upgrade Military Capability – India already have better military capability than Pakistan but still it needs to upgrade it’s military capacity. India should also focus on armed preparedness and counter terrorism.

Conclusion –

Pakistan is on the FATF‘s grey list and it needs to control terrorism in the country to remove itself from the grey list. Also, Pakistan and India had agreed to stop cease fire on LoC. Still, Pakistan cannot be trusted, as it always had betrayed in the past. Maybe, in future, situation may change for Pakistan & it’s support to terrorism.

Countries which are on the list of FATF

Thank you for reading!

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