PAKISTAN: CHALLENGES IN THE NEXT YEAR

Created: 7/20/1984

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4 Pakistan: Challenges in the *ext Year

Pakistan in Ihiyear facet potintlilly serious threets lo It* security "cm the Soviets in Afghanistan and India. Islamabad's support for the Afghan resistance has Increased the risk ofoughe- Soviet policy toward Pak1stan--tnclud1 no linlted coss-border atif Moscow concludes that President Zli's domestic support has weakened, there are Pew strains in US-Pakistani rel.it tens,ntied States Is intensifying its efforts throutn Pakistan to MeedSoviets in Afghanistan, letattans with India are tense and co-jidesult of1 accusa'

il efforts

'

The Sov1et Threat

A significant increase in insurqent effectiveness in Afqhanistan could leadougher Soviet policy towardincludingorder attacks:

Hoseow reqards President Zla's commitment to the Afghan resistanceajor reason for us failure to control Afqh*nistan, and the Soviets' crowing frustration In containing the insurgency increases their incentive to intimidate andie Pakistan;

So *ar, however. Hoscow has notbilling to exert greater pressure on Pakistan to control Afghanistan, and the Soviet leadership probably Mill continue to avoid policies that carry the potential of confrontation with the United States.

A significant increase in casualties and equipment losses--particularlyled Moscow to believe the United States was funnelling tiore and betterto the insuroents would increase the chances of greater Soviet military pressure on Pakistan, f

That the Soviets have not increased pressure on Pakistan probably reflects theirt iorrougher policy in the present conditions would be less likely to alter Zia's Policies or lead to his overthrew than to strengthen his regime ard result In closer US-Pakistan ties, including in regional security matters :

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan actually has strengthened Zla's hand athy providing him considerable latitude in dealing with domestic problems and the political ooposlt.on, and allowing hi* to resurrect security ties vith the United States,

Most Pakistanis .iudge present Soviet capabilities to pressure Pakistan as limited by the Afghanhe relatively snail force the Soviets have in Afghanistan, andill poorly developed military infrastructure in Afghanistan.

The Zia reolm* would not be Intimidated bv the potential of limited cross-border raids by Soviet or Afghan forces SO long as it has US suppnrt. 3

The Soviets probahly could not unilaterally destabilize Pakistan, hut they could take advantage of dooestic unrest to try to neutralise Pakistan, Moscow presumably might believe that If besieged domestlca1-v, Islamabad would be vulnerable to outside pressure to alter its foreion policies. The Soviets would have to be careful, however, to avoid overt threats to Pakistan's

security whichallow 2ia to redefine the crisisopular referendum on his rule to the issue of Pakistan's Survival as an independent country. |

Even if Zia's regineuccessor government would not necessarily he more acco-nmcdatinq to Moscow:

Another militarv refine would be likely to continue the broad outlines of Zia's policies reaarrfing Afghanistan, closer relations with the United States,omnftme-it to Middle East security.

llf an governmenteven one led oy theakistan People'se constrained from a

Pakistanis view Indiahreat to their country's survival, and Zia has exploited this national consensus to buttress Hisin times of domesticividly, last foir durino the Sind crisis:

long has bren prone to meddle in Pakistani affjirs, but faces most of the sane constraints in trying to instigate domestic unrest as the Soviets.

The Indians, however, probably would be better able than the Soviets to take advantage of domestic crises in Pakistan because of their closer ties to the oolltical OPpns it ion. B

Tndia and the Soviet Union share the co^non qoal of diminishing and neutralising Pakistan's role in the reoion, but from different oersoectives :

the principal Soviet concern is Afghanistan, the Indians are worried that US-Pakistani cooperation undermines New DeIhi*vreglona1 political and military dominance and threatens their security interests in the Indian Ocean.

India sees the US-Pakistan relationship as havinqynamic of its own and no longer dependent on connonin Afghan 1st an,

3 4 7 t

It is fron this perspective that India regards the US entree to PaMstan--pjrticularhe sale of nod**rn arns--as destabilizing to regional security. SB

india nay consideriversionary conflict on the border with pakistan if mrs. gandhi's domestic support begins to crumble because of the deve1oonentt in punjab, although this is unlikely.

t

for instability in pakistan

the external threats from the soviets in afghanistan and india, pakistan's most serious challenges are domestic. president ziaood chance of remmninn fn power for the text fen yoars because his political opposition it fraonenied and

HOFOftN MOCJIKTRACT OftCO*

lacks credibility. His handling of the Slnd crisis last fall strengthened his support In the Army. Nonetheless, there are political, economic, and sectional factors that could quickly undermine Zia'swhich could be exploited by the Soviets and India:

Mismanagement of the transition to civilianis to begin with elections promised byS--by orecluding greater political activity and suppressing opposition parties could resultacklash against Zia within his most Important constituencies unjab Province and in tht* Army,

a decline in the economyapid drop in foreign remittances would lead to opposition by important Interest oroups and the public generally, particularly if domesHc competition for resources increased.

Failure to address political and economic grievances in Sind and Baluchistan Provinces could lead to serious ethnic violence with nationwide implications, including the prospect of militant regional separatism.

The growing number of Afghan refugees in Pakistan could aggravate all of these factors as theyolitical constituency in their own right, especially to the extent they conclude they could never return to a liberated Afghanistan.

Implications forolicy

In view of Pakistan's uncertain situation in the cooing years, the United States will face potentially difficulternat1ves:

S oolicv airted at closer allftary cooperationin regional securIty natters couldand bars Zia's politicalo* the broad support in Pakistan olicy would further harmwith India and aggravate Indo-Pak

upport for theime of domestic turmoil could provoke widespreadm in Pakistan and potentially harm relationsucctssor government. On the other hand, failure to back Zia could undermine his regim* and leave Pakistan more vulnerable to Increased Soviet pressure from Afghanistan,

Failure of the us to meet Pakistan's expectatlonsinthesupply. rcUt.;onOip, or aid^

stanis that the"Dnited States is an

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