From Protest to Proxy

Aisha Saeed 11:29 AM | 5 Jun, 2018
From Protest to Proxy
Few survived the Arab spring that started from Tunisia but soon became a call across the Arab world.  It did not reach Pakistan but the idea appealed to the like-minded.

Post 9/11, Pakistan had to make a tough call. Clear out insurgents or be cleared off the map.

Soon after,  Balochistan stood on the verge of freedom from the greater State. The victim accused Pakistan of being a repressive state clawing on the prey due to its resources. The opposite narrative where the elders of dominant tribes continued to enjoy state benefits and feudalism to keep a following was overturned when negotiations failed to pave the way for the socio-economic betterment and law enforcement agencies in the area were targeted.

Days later,  in resistance, a prominent leader was killed by the forces.  Protests against the killing and arrests that followed later made way to the international press and few local sleeper cells were activated.  Balochistan suddenly became an occupied land but a perfect pretext to engage Pakistan silently.

When many thought Pakistan had seen it all, there came another uprising.  Not in months but days. Shorthanded as PTM,  with one leading man, the Federally administrated area in the Northwest of Pakistan took at the state and its agencies once again.

The slogans raised were not new but become a threat to the normalization of the valley.  The area was cleared of insurgents when Pakistan launched its own war on terror.  Like the previous movement that took place in Balochistan, the PTM was not short of international sympathy.  Many questioned the legality of the protest and demands made by PTM but perhaps when protests are designed to achieve goals other than the genuine grievances of the actual group -  legal means are not in the handbook.

Recent reports of clashes between the followers of PTM and the Amman Committee are followed by Pakistan's decision to merge those tribal areas into KPK.  The news was enough to suck out the oxygen the PTM thrived on.  Pakistan is securing its Afghan front with a fence. The supporters of PTM on the other side of the fence are not pleased -  with the fence and the merger of FATA.

Genuine protests in most countries are resolved without third-party intervention. Stronger governments turn to the means necessary to not leave a vacuum for exploitation. In case of  Pakistan,  the support for such movements raises alarms when other states or certain actors in form of activists are involved.  Protests then do not remain protests but proxies against a state.

The clash between the PTM followers and the Amman committee and Afghanistan's escalation on the border are not mere coincidences but the enemy's enemy is a friend proxy at play. If not understood and addressed urgently,  the clash between the PTM and local bound peace committee could spring a civil war type situation for Pakistan.

Pakistan does not need to read the older chapters of world history nor its own but only the recent. Protests have turned into civil wars,  civil wars have led to more wars.  Pakistan remains to be an active ground for such proxies that when combined are more lethal than direct attacks.  Pakistan has been dodging the invisible bullets, but to counter the recent act by PTM,  it needs to address the cause no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

Aisha Saeed
Aisha Saeed

Aisha Saeed is an independent Research Analyst on Media and Foreign Policy


KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 4, 2023 (Saturday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.9 283.2
Euro EUR 300.98 301.58
UK Pound Sterling GBP 337.01 337.71
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.14 75.44
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.55 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 189 192
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.72 720.69
Canadian Dollar CAD 200 202.2
China Yuan CNY 39.67 39.73
Danish Krone DKK 39.33 39.73
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 878 887
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.79 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.30

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 205,200 on Saturday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,930.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Karachi PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Islamabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Peshawar PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Quetta PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sialkot PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Attock PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujranwala PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Jehlum PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Multan PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Bahawalpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujrat PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nawabshah PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Chakwal PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Hyderabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nowshehra PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sargodha PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Faisalabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Mirpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430


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