The youth plays a great role in nation-building, for they have the power to help a country develop and move towards progress. It is also responsible for bringing social reform within a country. The youth of a country determine the future of its nation. Fortunately, Pakistan is blessed to have over 64% of its population as youth. That is why from Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal to present day leaders both civil and military pin their hopes on Pakistani youth for growth, development and a better tomorrow. While many have their hopes attached with Pakistani youth, there are many other inimical elements who exploit the potential and energy of this very youth to create chaos, violence and instability in the country for their vested interests. Regrettable, Pakistani polity is witnessing a youth versus state institution crisis these days.
Since Imran Khan’s ouster via a vote of no confidence and new government in place, the country is in economic and political crisis while the nation has been polarized. Though Pakistan has been a polarized polity since ages but it had never been this intense. Nation has seen division along ethnic, religious, ideological and narrow political lines but masses especially youth pitched against state institutions is a new low and can have serious repercussions for the state of Pakistan.
Pakistan is surrounded by a turbulent and hostile neighbourhood especially amid arch-rival India in east and unstable Afghanistan in northwest. Despite instability, Pak-Afghan relations are brotherly as both countries share historical, cultural and religious bonding. However, India’s animosity towards Pakistan from the very beginning of partition of sub-continent is a naked truth. India’s antagonistic hyphenated relationship with Pakistan is continuing to date despite Pakistan’s efforts to make peace. For instance, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has recently claimed, “If all of us work together then in 10 to 15 years, Akhand Bharat will be formed. In 15 years, the country will be rebuilt; all those who come in the way will be erased”. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also said that in order for India to become “truly united”, the country will need to join borders with Sri Lanka, Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Pakistan. Fortunately, Pakistan’s armed forces are the only hurdle in the way of this Akhand Bharat’s dream. The only disciplined, organized and people supported state institution of Pakistan is its military, which is why not just India but all other inimical elements/ forces never miss an opportunity to discredit it.
Ever since the creation of Pakistan, its armed forces have played a crucial role in ensuring its integrity and promoting nation-building. Pakistan’s military is a central actor in many of today’s most pressing security challenges, and few institutions face such extreme pressures from such diverse forces. They have ensured the defense and security of the country against an inimical India whose leadership wanted to break the country before it was able to gel and stabilize as an independent state. To date it is largely due to the professional competence and high morale of the armed forces and support of the people that they have successfully thwarted Indian designs to destabilize Pakistan. Armed forces of Pakistan are the most effective and rational deterrent against foreign evil designs. Not only this, in recent years the military has been asked to simultaneously combat a vicious internal insurgency, suppress international terrorist groups, and respond to Pakistan’s worst floods in eighty years, all while squaring off against a much larger rival in one of the most strategically complex regions in the world.
Hostile forces know very well that Pakistan military is synonym to Pakistan itself and the only state institution trusted by the people of Pakistan and damaging this institution is tantamount to harming Pakistan. To achieve this objective, they have been waging a hybrid war against Pakistan for years. Internal instability, institutional crisis, foreign policy setbacks are some of the factors, which are exploited by the enemies of Pakistan to further their own interest. In recent times, social media is being used for this purpose owing to its usefulness, pace and outreach. Social media is being used to create a wedge between security forces and people of Pakistan especially youth, which comprise over 64% of the total population and makes key users. Paradoxically, social media has become lethal tool to spread disinformation more than entertainment and information these days. Different groups, states and organizations heartlessly using social media platforms not just in pursuance of their own agendas and policies but also to create schism in the society. The Pakistani youth must not fall prey to such tempting schemes.
As armed forces are pride of entire Pakistan so is our youth. Pakistan’s armed forces and youth share multiple but significant commonalities. Both are pride of Pakistan, both are beacon of hope and future of Pakistan. It is time that the youth of Pakistan come forward and play its positive role alongside its army to fail the enemies. In the face of exploiters, opportunists and disgruntled elements at home and abroad, entire Pakistani nation stand united and steadfast with its armed forces.
The author is student of M.Phil IR and can be reached at [email protected].