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Role of Armed Forces of Pakistan in Disaster Management

The Pakistan Military has always played a critical role in Pakistan’s civil society. It has contributed in several ways to the nation’s development. No nation in the world is protected against calamities. The same applies to Pakistan. History demonstrates Pakistan’s high susceptibility to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, avalanches, cyclones, storms, epidemics, droughts, glacial lake outbursts, landslides, pest attacks, river erosion, and tsunami. The same is true for the category of human-caused disasters that pose a threat to the nation, which also includes industrial accidents, oil spills, forest, and urban fires, civil conflicts, and the internal displacement of communities as a result of various circumstances. Terrorism-related calamities have just been added to the list.

The past events show that the military has played an important role in dealing with these emergencies faced by the nation. When a natural or man-made calamity strikes Pakistan, the government frequently turns to the military for assistance. It suffices to say that military actions to handle disasters and respond to humanitarian catastrophes are necessary. In Pakistan’s history, the army has played a crucial role in disaster management.

The Pakistani army has all the necessary tools and a well-organized management team to help the government in times of need for rescue efforts, medical assistance, and support services. Traditionally, a state’s reaction to a crisis is centered on its armed forces. Pakistan has a higher reliance on its armed personnel for a variety of reasons, including their instructional prowess, feeling of sacrifice, generosity, organizational skills, etc. The Armed Forces personnel of Pakistan are professionally skilled and well-trained to help in the disaster crisis the nation is facing in cooperation with the National Disaster Management Authority.

The earthquake of 8 October 2005, the deadliest disaster in Pakistani history, pushed the government to create the Province/District Disaster Management Authority (PMDA/DDMA) at the provincial and district levels as well as the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at the federal level. The goal of this is to coordinate all efforts toward better catastrophe management. The creation of disaster management organizations is intended to respond to disasters proactively and to take drastic action to reduce future risk. All interested parties, including government ministries, departments, and organizations, the armed forces, INGOs, NGOs, and UN agencies, collaborate with and are represented by the NDMA to carry out one-window operations in the case of a disaster.

Hence, the Pakistani army has been instrumental in helping the nation manage its disasters. Despite playing a supportive role in disaster management, the army has always gone above and beyond for the good of the country. People in Pakistan expect the army to offer relief and rescue during emergencies, and the army has always lived up to their expectations, helping to build Pakistan a safer, more tranquil, and more affluent nation.

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