What is meant by the term “Proxy War”? Are there any extrinsic factors at play in the internal security situation of Pakistan?


CSS Solved Past Papers | CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Paper 2020 | What is meant by the term “Proxy War”? Are there any extrinsic factors at play in the internal security situation of Pakistan?

The following question of CSS Pakistan Affairs 2020 is solved by Muhammad Bilal under the supervision of Miss Nirmal Hasni. She learnt how to attempt 20 marks question and essay writing from Sir Syed Kazim Ali, Pakistan’s best CSS and PMS English essay and precis teacher with the highest success rate of his students. This solved past paper question is attempted on the pattern taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory and optional subjects for years, and uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.



A proxy war is an indirect war between two or more powers and their allies on other land and territory. Pakistan’s internal security is challenged by India, the West, Israel, Afghanistan, and Iran through lethal proxies by exploiting non-state actors within Pakistan. Proxy wars against Pakistan are enhanced due to the changing geopolitical situation. To curb this menace, Pakistan has to formulate different strategies.

Understanding the term Proxy War

External Factors and Their Objectives in Waging proxy war to Threaten Pakistan’s Internal Security 

Indian objectives to use proxy war

  • Historical rivalry
  • To force Pakistan to accept India’s hegemony on Indian sub-continent
  • To take over Jammu and Kashmir, AJK, and GB easily
  • To contain China and its CPEC projects
  • To contain Pakistan from both sides- east and West
  • To get hurdle free access to CARs
  • To eradicate the nuclear threat from Pakistan
  • To dismember the Sino-Pak bond
  • To isolate Pakistan
  • To declare Pakistan a terrorist nation
  • To officially label Pakistan as a rogue nation
  • To hamper western support for Pakistan

USA’s interest

  • The new cold war against China
  • Wants presence in the region
  • Chose India as a regional Power
  • Containment of Chinese role in Afghanistan
  • To contain the mobility of Central Asian Republics and South Asian Countries

Israel’s Interest 

  • Ally of India
  • Long-term approach
  • Only Muslim Nuclear state
  • The biggest threat to Israel after Iran

Iran and Afghanistan’s Interest 

  • Hamper Chabahar port
  • Takes Iran’s advantage of CAR’s access
  • Shia community

Non-state Actors Used by External Powers to create an Internal Security Threat for Pakistan


  • Pashtoon Tahafuz Movement (KPK)
  • Sindhu Desh Liberation Army
  • MQM London
  • Balochistan liberation Army, Balochistan liberation Front


  • Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP)
  • Islamic State (IS)/ Daesh

Recent Events that challenge Internal Security of Pakistan 

  • Attack on Gawadar port
  • Attack on Dasu Dam Project; the killing of Chinese Engineers
  • Bomb Blast in Peshawar Mosque in the presence of Australian Cricket Team
  • Funding to Create Anarchy and Pro-West Government

Road Map to neutralize proxy wars In Pakistan 

  • Removing inter-provincial disharmony
  • Dealing with the insurgents with an iron hand

Critical Analysis 


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Answer to the Question


A proxy war is an indirect war fight against an enemy to fulfil objectives without going into a full-scale war. Pakistan’s internal security is challenged due to various non-state actors, ethnic and sectarian, within the country that India exploits- an ancient rival of Pakistan and the West- especially the USA. Moreover, Israel, Iran, and Afghanistan are also involved in the proxy war against Pakistan. The most significant challenge to Pakistan’s security comes from India because Pakistan is the biggest hurdle in its desire of becoming a regional power. However, the West also uses its proxies with India to sabotage the role of China in the south Asian region. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of their prime targets. Ethnic and Sectarian groups within Pakistan are involved in destabilizing Pakistan on the orders of external powers. Time and again internal security of Pakistan is challenged. Recently, the attack on Chinese engineers, the Gwadar port, and Peshawar Mosque are vivid examples of proxy war against Pakistan. To plug this loophole, Pakistan would have to break this network and address the grievances of non-state actors.

A proxy war is a war between two nations in which neither country directly engages the other. Instead, it is fought with allies that may be other nations, non-state actors, or both. Powerful nations assist or neutralize other allies. This warfare gained popularity after the second world war and became widespread during the cold war. Today, many proxies are fought in different parts of the world, including the Middle East and South Asia. This warfare is preferred over confrontation due to several reasons. The most prominent reason is the fear of a nuclear holocaust, which may occur if two atomic power countries face each other eyeball to eyeball. This strategy is also less expensive as compared to the direct warfare in which everything used to be at stake. Apart from that, this strategy is also used when there is a striking difference in the military between the two parties; for example, Arabs use non-state actors like Hizbullah and Hamas to challenge the unjust hegemony of Israel. Moreover, they are sometimes being fought to avoid international sanctions, as in the case of Saudia Arabia and Iran; other times, it is being fought when the public is not in favour of war. Whatever may be the reason for a proxy war, it is fought with the same tools and would have similar consequences. Sponsoring countries provide aid, intelligence, weapons, and training to the clients whose aim is either to get a swift victory or to prolong the war until the enemy retreats. As a result of this warfare, many people died, migrated, and lost their wealth. Additionally, a huge loss of infrastructure occurs, and the region remains to destabilize.

Pakistan, being an important Muslim nuclear country, possesses old rivalry with India, and it is also located in one of the pivotal geopolitical locations of the world. Due to this reason, it has significance in the world, but it has to pay a cost that results in the shape of proxy wars. India wants to become a regional power and a complete takeover of Kashmir by subjugating the Kashmiri Muslims. Moreover, it wants to nullify the importance of China in the South Asian region. Still, Pakistan is the biggest obstacle in India’s cruel designs, so to fulfil its objectives, India wants to destabilize Pakistan by avoiding a full-scale war. Therefore, it prefers proxy war against Pakistan. Likewise, The United States of America, along with its European allies, wants to contain the peaceful rise of China that has large stakes in Pakistan. It already hinted to Pakistan to stay away from the alignment of China, but, for Pakistan, China is a tested friend, and its friendship is important for Pakistan’s economy and defence. The West, therefore, is hampering China’s interests in this pivotal region. The most significant stake is China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Moreover, the USA has chosen India to become a regional power; therefore, it wants Pakistan to accept its hegemony, but Pakistan could not accept this. Hence, the West has also started Proxy wars against Pakistan.

Despite India and the West, Israel is also involved in proxy wars by considering its long-term interests. After Iran, Pakistan could become the biggest threat to Israel, so it engaged close ties in neutralizing Pakistan. Due to regional and sectarian reasons, Iran and Afghanistan are also engaged in low-scaled proxy wars against Pakistan. Their interests lie in connecting to the central Asian countries and access to warm waters.

Despite the objectives of the external powers, the tool used by them to fight a proxy war is non-state actors. There exist two major categories of non-state actors: ethnic and sectarian. As Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multilingual country, it possesses several issues between different ethnicities due to meagre resources. It causes resentment and a sense of alienation among minorities, which the enemies of Pakistan fully exploit. Every province of Pakistan has different groups, such as BLA in Balochistan, Sindhu Daesh and MQM London in Sindh, and PTM in KPK. These people act as a tool of foreign powers to destabilize Pakistan. Similarly, sectarian groups like TTP and IS are used in creating anarchy in Pakistan.

Today, these proxies are become potent and active due to the swift change in the country’s geopolitical situation. Several incidents are recorded every month. Recently, Chinese engineers were massacred near the Dasu hydropower project, attacked on an army camp in Gwadar, and a bomb blast in Peshawar in the presence of the Australian cricket team in Pakistan. In addition to this, analysts are reporting foreign hands in creating anarchy in Pakistan by creating a massive political crisis in the country.

It is the need of the hour to plug the loopholes wisely and to fail these foreign-backed proxies. Therefore, two strategies should be adopted by the country simultaneously. In other words, the incumbent government should adopt the carrot and stick policy. On the one hand, it should address the genuine demands of the marginalized communities, and on the other hand, it should deal with these proxies with an iron hand.

Critically, proxy war is the significant warfare of the hybrid fight against Pakistan. After getting a Nazi-styled government, India has sped up its jingoistic policies. Awareness, good governance, development, and a just system are the tools that can counter proxies and strengthen law and enforcement agencies.

To Conclude, Proxy war is warfare fought to avoid a direct conflict between two nations. It is fought through allies. Pakistan is one of the biggest victims of proxy war, especially due to the rivalry with India and its positioning at the geo-strategic location of the world. The West is ready to use Pakistani land to contain China’s rise. The non-state actors within Pakistan are performing this goal. Therefore, to curb this menace and bring stability, peace, and prosperity to the region, Pakistan must deal with the proxies shrewdly by using both hard and soft policies side by side.

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