In any geopolitical theater, Pakistan is infamous. One unifying perception about Pakistan is to being the progeny of terror in the world. It keeps a facade of democracy to slip past the attention of international forums.
Parts of its territory along its northern borders are run by Pushtu warlords of 19th century mindset. But Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities are often seen as a free pass that they hold. Using this violence along Afghanistan and Indian borders are outsourced to non-state actors.
Leverage its geographic location as an instrument of foreign intervention.
Military thinkers of Pakistan believe Pakistan’s strategic importance to have derived from its geographic location. Pakistan falls right in the region connecting Central Asia with the Subcontinent and China. Historically the land of Baluchistan, Sindh and Punjab have been confluence points for many cultures and religions.
Pakistan believes that it can leverage importance by causing existential problems in the entire region and creating a monopoly in trying to be the only one to provide solutions to the problems it created. A way to exemplify this would be the Kashmir issue. What is clear as day is that Pakistan provides training, guns and weapons to jihadis, and recruits them through various channels, the latest of which is the internet and social media. And now due to the prolonged insurgency and terrorism, a large portion of Kashmiri youth have fallen trap to the propaganda of Pakistan. This reduces the number of viable options left with India to handle the situation. If Indian government uses more force in terms of security personnel, they play into the hands of Pakistani propaganda of oppression in Kashmir and if they do not use force, the terrorists will run amuck and cause both civilian and military casualties. Either way Pakistan gains an upper hand.
Pakistan wants its neighbors to believe, although not explicitly, but through their actions, that only Pakistan has the mechanisms to remedy the situations in Kashmir, Afghanistan, and even Iran; this is their assumed trump card. In the context of Kashmir, if India gives in the Pakistani secessionist demands, the terrorism will quiet definitely end.
The notion might have been true when the Kashmir insurgency had peaked back in the 1990s. But as the brains in New Delhi would have it, this strategy of Pakistan has been obsolete for an exceptionally long time, and has drained Pakistan economical, diplomatically and geopolitically. While the Pakistani propaganda of an oppression and occupation in Kashmir may have been bought in the Islamic world possibly because of the sentiment of a united Ummah, it certainly did not make any inroads in European or American ties of India. All diplomatic observers of the Kashmir issue have identified it to be either an internal issue of India, or a bilateral issue because of the terror element that is spawning in Pakistan. Even after having lost four wars with India, Pakistan has failed to understand that its misconstrued fantasies of gaining territory within India are based on misguided ideals of its geographic significance and ethnic superiority.
Invade India as per Islamic divine intervention
Pakistan is officially identified as an Islamic republic. This identity along with the reasons behind the partition form a binding fake unity that Pakistan as a state seems to have conjured up. In words of former Pakistani diplomat politician, Hussian Haqqani, the Pakistani establishment sees itself as the ideological successor of the Mughal sultanate, and that they have been authorized by divinity to invade and conquer the land of Al-Hind (India) as per the canonical texts of Ghazwa e Hind. The authenticity of said literature is obscure, but what is not under contention is the belief that the Pakistanis hold over the issue. One simple glance at the Pakistani Army’s motto (Iman Taqwa Jihad Fi Sabilillah) opens the hatch down the rabbit hole of the Pakistani psyche. This religious and metahistorical inspiration invoked by Pakistan has caused its own citizenry more problems than it has caused elsewhere.
Negotiate with a looming threat of a gun to its head
The third and final problem that Pakistan faces from its own impaired vision is the idea that if Pakistan hypothetically ceased to exist tomorrow, the chaos that ensues would be too big for the world to end. This chaos Pakistan believes would emerge from the power vacuum and the nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands. The belief strictly works with the assumption that geopolitical players are aware of the existence and influence of non-state actors in Pakistan. So essentially what Pakistan tries to communicate is like hostage situations, but with a slight modification where the hostage as well as the captor are the same person (aka Pakistan). In other words, Pakistan negotiates with nations that detest it or are morbidly hostile to it by putting a gun to its own head. And like the aforementioned beliefs, this one too has failed to stand the test of time, as Pakistani establishment itself has communicated several times that it’s the Army that holds paramount power and that it is too big of an enterprise to suddenly cease to exist.