Militaries helping their Governments
However, Militaries across the world adapted to new realities as well. They have adjusted to carry out secondary roles by reaching out to their citizens to reinforce national efforts to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. The active role of militaries defines their key capabilities useful during any crisis. At their most fundamental level, armed forces have a significant number of disciplined manpower with a vast array of skills such as crisis planning, deployment at short notice, etc.
Read More: Pak Afghan Relations and Future Challenges
Militaries have their key assets in hand which can be helpful like field hospitals, air ambulances, etc. Their highly trained and experienced medical staff can be easily made available for assistance. The most significant task which any armed force can efficiently perform is logistic support. The transport of necessary equipment like ventilators to the hospitals. The military communication setup can help set command and control centers for the smooth flow of information among various institutions. Finally, armed forces can help civilian institutions to maintain law and order in the country.
Role of Pakistan Armed Forces
Along with the smart lockdown policy of the government, armed forces and other paramilitary forces were on the ground to assist the civil administration in restricting the movement of the masses. The military troops were ordered in all provinces of the country to ensure public health security.
Besides this, the military hospitals also provided the necessary medical facilities, and the men in uniform assisted the civil administration in the distribution of ration, maintaining law and order, etc.
In the meantime, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC)has been established to coordinate all activities related to Covid-19. The NCOC is filling in as a core for one window operation to synergize and articulate national efforts against COVID-19. Federal Minister Asad Umer was appointed as Chairperson and Commander Army Air Defense Command Lieutenant General Hamooduz Zaman Khan was assigned responsibilities of Chief coordinator.
NCOC has worked effectively under civil-military leadership to ensure smooth functioning. It has worked with all provinces along with Northern areas and the AJ&K government to ensure the safety and security of civilians in the Pandemic. It has derived successful vaccination campaign across the country with 137 MN doses administered so far.
Likewise, amid COVID-19 another non-traditional threat loomed over. The locust attacks on crops across the country created new insecurity. This food security threat was more intimidating for a country like Pakistan which is mostly dependent on agriculture. The military once again had been helpful as helicopters were used for aerial spray.
Moreover, Pakistan Navy set up its response to help the backward area of the country. It has reached out to residents of coastal areas, particularly in Sindh and Baluchistan province. Naval teams distributed food, cash amount, medical safety items like masks, sanitizers, and gloves. In addition to this, naval medical camps were being set up in far-flung areas to help civilians in necessary treatment and awareness about preventive measures against COVID-19.
Similarly, on the instructions of the Government of Pakistan, PAF Plane carried out relief missions carrying Zaireen to their home Gilgit-Baltistan. The PAF’s Air Transport fleet remained active in carrying out relief efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its jets brought vaccine doses from China which helped the government to start a vaccination program in the country.