The Pakistan Army and “the history of the stick”

February 27, 2009

In his book on the Pakistan Army, South Asia expert Stephen Cohen quotes a senior lieutenant-general as warning the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto against using the military to control political opposition. “If you use a stick too often, the stick will take over,” Cohen quotes the general as saying. “This has always been the history of the stick.”

There’s no sign yet of the Pakistan Army reverting to its usual role of wielding the big stick. But with the police out in force to quell protests in Punjab over a Supreme Court ruling excluding former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz from office, the obvious question to ask is whether we are about to see a repeat of the old cycle in which security forces are called out to restore order and end up taking over altogether. Indeed, the Pakistan Army’s first involvement in politics is generally dated to the 1953 imposition of martial law in Lahore – where protests erupted on Thursday over the court ruling.  Sharif has blamed President Asif Ali Zardari, widower of the late Benazir Bhutto, for the ruling.

Historical parallels can, of course, be misleading.  Pakistan Army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, has made it clear he wants to keep the military out of politics. He is currently visiting the United States, where the administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly stressed its commitment to civilian democracy in Pakistan.

And Zardari, who has imposed governor’s rule in Punjab to replace an administration run by Shabaz Sharif, may yet find an accommodation with the powerful Sharif brothers over the issues that divide them — the restoration of judges sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf along with Zardari’s retention of presidential powers he inherited when Musharraf quit last year. Or we might be set for a long period of political manoeuvring between Pakistan’s bickering politicians which drags on for weeks or months.

Yet you have to wonder how well, and for how long, Kayani’s resolve to keep the army out of politics will survive if unrest in Punjab escalates. Punjab is not only the most populous province in Pakistan and heartland of popular support for the Sharif brothers – it is where the Pakistan Army has its roots.  A Taliban insurgency against the Pakistan government has already spread from the country’s tribal areas on the borders with Afghanistan into its North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The Taliban have also been blamed for suicide bombings in Punjab and according to this article in the News could reach further into the province by picking up fresh recruits among the country’s poor.

Pakistan is already on edge after the government agreed a ceasefire with Taliban militants in the Swat valley in NWFP in exchange for promising to introduce sharia law. Now with this political confrontation blowing up between Zardari and the Sharif brothers, events are moving very fast.

“The two parties are going for the kill,” the Daily Times said in an editorial. “As in the past, they might both come a cropper. This time, however, there is real danger that the state they are trampling upon in the process may join the failed ranks of Somalia, Sudan, Congo and Zimbabwe.”

To return to the history of the stick, here is what Cohen quoted a Pakistani writer as saying in a book published in 1963:

“The more (the Army) wanted to stand aloof and devote its energies to the real duties of any army, the more it found itself entangled in civil tasks. Hard pressed governments were forced to call for its assistance in times of grave natural and man-made calamities, which became increasingly common in Pakistan.”

Are we heading for a repetition of history? Or do we assume all the players involved have learned from experience?

(Reuters photos: vehicles torched in Lahore and file photo of General Ashfaq Kayani)

Comments

Interesting development in Pakistan lately. Imagine, in this confrontation, Nawaz Sharif gets assasinated just like Benazir. Zardari is held responsible and the government is sent packing through a military coup.

Posted by SMJ | Report as abusive
 

I think it’s getting to the point where Sharia law or a failed state are the only two options. We could try to help the Pakistani government crush popular will, but that has never served our interests in the past. Maybe what we could do is refrain from interfering while Sharia law is established in Pakistan and then make it a policy to grant asylum to Pakistani women.

Posted by Hilary Smith | Report as abusive
 

It’s time for relocation of Pak army from Rawalpindi to Islamabad.
Democracy bye bye, Army rule hai hai!!

Posted by Venkat | Report as abusive
 

Democracy has been the biggest gift to the subcontinent and should be protected at any cost. It’s the right of any human being to live free. Pakistan needs be saved from savages inside it so that the poor people don’t have to pay for the greed of power shared by politicians and other influential people. From these poor people some become terrorists as they can be brain washed easily. So to keep world at peace Pakistan must be in peace.

Posted by Shashank | Report as abusive
 

Pakistani politicians have wasted the opportunities to build democracy in the 1950′s, 1970′s, 1990′s and now after 2008.

This current confrontation is no surprise to me as it is repeat of the 1990′s, when Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were at each other’s throats for 11 years finally resulting in an army takeover.

Pakistanis voted for the same old faces in the Feb 18 elections, so I say this is what they deserve.

 

Ali is right. Not only are we committing an error but we repeating it again and again,a failure to learn from our mistakes. I thought Sharif had transformed after his return from hell,but I was wrong. The politician in him is not dead and that thing will never allow Pakistan to prosper. He is burning Lahore for his own greed.

Posted by pk | Report as abusive
 

The world is entering a very difficult period. Here we are talking about the imminent collapse of Pakistan and the US involvement. As I type this, there is news about the collapse of the Mexican government due to drug wars. They are talking about the US military involvement, refugees etc.

 

Hilary Smith
–”grant asylum to Pakistani women.”

— Where? in the USA? excellent suggestion! how bout extending the same courtesy to Afghan women…

Shashank
“So to keep world at peace Pakistan must be in peace.”
—lemme rephrase it —”So to keep world at peace Pakistan must be in pieces.”

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive
 

Myra:

Pakistan is at a stage where only those whose real/permanent interests lie can help. US/NATO are guest actors—but useful since they have technology, needed for military operations. It is easier said than done that Pakistan will die silently. China has $billions of investment in Pakistan and will be concerned as they have indicated by the deal also. Chinese don’t do anything for nothing. So the question is would Chinese let Pakistan crumble? No, I don’t think so. They will keep on medicating Pak to save it for their own interests. Situation is much like the modern day medicine—average life span is increasing-not necessarily the quality of life. The result is patient does not die, but nor is happy. If Pakistan is true to its people, they must ask India for help (asking for moon?)—sometimes one has to swallow personal ego, which is ruining everything. There is no one better than India as a player if India fears collapse of nuclear-armed Pakistan. But will India trust the promise of Pak state/alone? Pakistanis stomping their boots at lowering-the-flag ceremony at the Wagah-Atari border is no more a symbol of stregth—it is comic under the situation. Any taker?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Three A’s drive pakisatn – Allha, America and Army. Islamic (Allha) ideology or pretext of overthrowing a tyrannical Army general serves the few oligarchs to gain power through democracy. Once dream of democracy setters and country comes at the brink of disintegration, Army bounces back and take over the country. But third A – America – control the puppet show through strings of economic and military aids.

Posted by sandeep singh | Report as abusive
 

well i would say if i would have been a paki citizen there is nothing much i would have been able to do..the politicians over here in india are a bit responsible..i think the root cause for all this is that …pakistan became a fundamentalist islamic republic and india because a secular country and instead of having a good relationship with india they choose to have a proxy war..military has actually done a lot of damage for pakistan… east pakistan was a disaster…where they had human right issues..i agree there are human right’s issue in kashmir also, thought i think all is not lost there …but india’s military is disiplined and stays in barracks..follows the democratic gov..even after general manekshaw won the 1971 bangladesh war with 90000 pow’s and was more popular that indira gandhi.. there was no coup..or any other issues with the political govt.
its hard for pakistan to come out it as there are so many issues… democracy can not be strenthened unless people are educated.. and there are islamist terrorists also… whose telling people to follow whabi islam rather that sufi islam which is basis on of religion like sikhism…hope taliban is crushed and normalcy come ther…

Posted by Raging bull | Report as abusive
 

Here is a classical example of two leaders of a distressed country which is fighting Islam, terrorist, pressured by outside forces and forces from within and some danger of being having border security problems.

One one hand the President is Mr 10% and the opposition is totally corrupt and stick or no stick how how big or heavy stick will not make any difference.

Posted by vj | Report as abusive
 

Come back the Army please. Pakistan can only be administered by the army. The stick is the best way and only way. These politicians have their days numbered.

Posted by Yusuf | Report as abusive
 

the pakistan government need to recognise the pushtoon interest unless the pushtoon have been recognised you will never have a peace in this part of the region. Pushtoon on both side of durrani line need to be recognised in the world pushtoon need to be united if not this part of land will be used and abused by foreign interest when i say foreign interest i mean panjabi urdu speakers arabs iraniuns dont forget the european and british americans

Posted by nazar rabi | Report as abusive
 

Every culture is different and may not be ready for democracy. Chinese culture seems to work better under autocratic leadership (even Singapore is not all that democratic). The middle East is not ready for it. The culture is very strong.

India in general was not ready until the British influence became strong. And it still had a strong inclination to go for aristocracy. Despite the democratization of India over the years, people are still attracted to hero worship. The Nehru dynasty ruled India for almost 40 odd years until regional leaders began to assert themselves. Charisma plays a big role even now.

May be the Pakistanis are not ready for democracy. They are bordering on regions where tribalism, clans prevail. These people are not used to a central authority. Even big Afghan kings left these people to manage their own affairs. They have evolved mostly as raiders and plunderers over eons. It is not going to be easy getting them to settle issues democratically. They believe in quick justice and the sword.

I can bet as soon as the US troops withdraw from Iraq, another Saddam Hussein will take over. And Pakistan has shown a strong tendency towards military dictatorship. May be they will do well under a military ruler. The reason Taliban has been welcomed in Swat valley is due to “quick justice.”

In today’s world warfare and weaponry have advanced tremendously. The corresponding damage that they can inflict is also large. To possess these weapons, the society needs to have the needed maturity. Only industrial advancement, freedom, rights, democracy etc will bring that maturity. Without such development, the weapons will empower the wrong people, leading to self destruction. Pakistan has failed to develop along the right path. And there is not much time to start from scratch again. The inevitable will happen and we will be silent spectators to it.

 

Myra,
The happenings and power struggle between Pakistan Army and politicians have been of great concern to us in India. Pak army’s involvement with Al-Queda , Taliban and other jehadi elements as well as their involvement in illicit drug trade in Afghanistan and bordering ares in Pakistan have made this region the most dangerous place on earth.

Pakistan has 2 principal political parties , one controlled by Nawaz Sharif and the other controlled by Zardari which in turn represents interests of army commanders, if Pakistan is not ruled by army, it must then be ruled by the political party which represents their interest. This is what happening now, Pakistan is ruled by Zardari who in proxy represents the interests of army commanders , and hence there is little likelihood of Zardari being toppled in a military coup. Kayani has clearly stated in US that army does not want to topple this government , when he is ruling the country by proxy,why should he topple a so called democratically elected govt .

Through this column I want to draw the attention of the international community , Pak army and ISI , the intelligence agency of Pakistan are principal sponsor of terrorism and drug trade in this region, and the presence of nuclear weapons in Pakistan make this region more dangerous , so far the nuclear arsenals have not been fallen in the hands of terrorists, the international community must put pressure on Pakistan to either dismantle them or put them under international safe guards . People like A.Q.Khan should be tried in the international courts for illegally proliferating nuclear technology

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive
 

The general rule of thumb and standard US and EU policy toward Pakistan is to throw a ton of unsupervised, unaccounted pile of money and arms “to get the Pakistani monkey off the American back” no matter how these resources are used or as in most cases vastly misused by the Pakistani leadership, both civilian and military.
This action, kills civilians both in Pakistan and in India (Mumbai), who are frequently victims of terrorism and ethnic violence designed almost always by Pakistani military intelligence staff (source: David Sanger’s new book The Inheritance) because of their fears, aspirations and to train new “monkeys to jump on the unwitting USA’s back” to secure more aid in the future.
But at the end, the United State’s unsupervised and unaccounted generosity to Pakistani people, being stolen and misused is not USA’s fault nor do they really care or can control. It will be the Pakistani peoples choice to “live and let live”, have a strong military under good civilian leadership,and defeat terrorism in all its forms. Otherwise, Pakistan will consumed by jihadi culture, destroying individual freedom and become Somalia with a much worse dictator using a much bigger stick on the Pakistani people, 24×7.
Peace.

Posted by Nathuram Waghmare | Report as abusive
 

Having worked with Pakistani’s who are from the military class in Pakistan, I have gotten to know a few things about people who are related to or work for the Pak Military:

1) It is a place for distinction in society to be known to be from the military is social prestige.

2) Pak. Military people get the best land to build their houses on, at cheaper rates than everybody else.

3) Pak. Military people get significantly huge buying discounts shopping anywhere in the stores, when buying clothes or daily personal items.

4) Pak. Military pays itself what it wants to at the expense of building public debt on the heads of the average working Pakistani, while they live in their gated and grassed communities.

5) Pak. Military is extremely corrupt to ensure and maintain its position of dominance and preference over the rest of the civilian population.

6) Pak. Military kills and murders dissidents at will, or anyone speaking out against them.

7) Pak Military, terrorism is actually a business for them. Pak Military trains terrorists in camps, sets them free, then gets money from U.S.A., China and Saudi to fight them, and line their own pockets with cash, as well as those of their relatives in their posh gated communities with servants. This is a cushy little niche for them.

8) Pak Military, is also keeping Pakistan hostage, by constantly antagonizing India, thereby creating the artificial need of keeping a huge military deterant against India. This is a very good business for them. They keep everybody in Pakistan in a state of fear over India and then promise use the Jihadis in a proxy war, and even pay them a salary and citizens of Pakistan are kept in the dark and propaganda used on their psyche to justify an artificially aggressive stance towards India.

9) Pak Military has built silent Jihad against India as a business scenario to line its pockets with cash.

10) Pak Military officials actively promote Jihadist training camps and Hatred against India. Go under youtube, you will find many Pak Military clips, standing hand in hand with beareded Jihadists extremists.

In short, Pakistan military has the stick always to do as it please and wants to protect its own business interests.

The root of this arrogant behavior is those Pakistani nukes. The world must confiscate those. For this is the backbone of the reason the Pak Miltary is so high on itself.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

The Pak. Military is double, triple dealing with the Terorists, its civilians, American and the world, while holding its civilian governments and now Zardari, on a leash with a huge, long stick in the other hand.

It is a dirty little show that the Pak. Military puts on to gather huge crowds, collect cash, as they wear their military uniforms, which we as the world so jokingly and outwardly see as their Halloween costumes.

I just also have to say that the Pak. Military does not want any peace, peace is not good for its business model of the Pak. Military. Terrorism and drugs fuel cash for the Pak. Military and ISI.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher,

You are spot on regarding Pak military. Every country has a military. In Pakistan, the military has a country. That is dangerous for the region. The only way to break this shackle up is by dividing up Pakistan into smaller countries. Afghanistan should also be broken up into smaller countries. There is no real Afghan. There are Pashtuns, Ozbegs, Iranians, Kyrgyz and so on. And they fight each other all the time. That is why Afghanistan could never survive as a nation. The same goes for Pakistan. It is better to divide them into Balochistan, Sindhu Desh, Pakistan (Punjab), and Kashmir. East Pakistan has already spun off. The Pashtun regions inside Pakistan and Afghanistan should be merged into one nation. Then divide Afghanistan along ethnic lines. This is the only way peace will prevail in this region.

India cannot be compared with these nations. A cohesive India has managed to find its way out of misery over the years. Had Indira Gandhi and her son had continued, may be India would be facing the same situation. Fortunately, those selfish politicians are no more.

Before civil wars erupt inside Pakistan and Afghanistan, the world powers should get in and make sure that the divisions happen peacefully.

 

@Mauryan,

First of all, India’s strength is its cohesiveness with all religions, cultures, languages. Although at times it is less than perfect, it is still a shining example of collective human bonds, secularity, pluralism and democracy. What other place can brag of having 1.2 billion people in such a small footprint as India, where everbody is equal under the consitution and law, irrespective of religion? India’s unity is its strength and India will continue to become stronger than ever in every way possible.

On the other hand, Pakistan is the exact opposite. It is a candle, burning out and flickering in the darkness. It is high time that the UN member countries devise a staged strategy to split Pakistan along ethnic lines. To contain the individual ethnicities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

@Mauryan, this is a fine idea, easier said than done. The real problem is denuclearization, how do you denuclearize Pakistan, without some sort of confrontation? Our punjabi friends in Pakistan will not surrender their pataka’s (firecrackers) that easily to anybody.

I think therefore, in my humble opinion, that an aggressive covert campaign to bribe and buy the upper echelon nuclear command structure should be initiated by the UN member countries to denuclearize Pakistan. You can’t split or disintegrate it without removing those n*kes.

Pakistan does not really need them against India. India has no need to take over Pakistan, nor will they attack, unprovoked for just some fictitious reason. India never wants to be perceived as the aggressor, therefore will never attack first, for any reason.

The real discussion should be in those confiscation details.

The question is then, how early is it to have that discussion? If ever? When do we have that discussion?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher:

India’s cohesiveness has happened over the years, thanks to Nahru’s emphasis on secular policies and democracy. It is still fragile. It still needs a hundred or more years of nurturing. Economic progress over the past few years has made it stronger. If India had continued along the socialistic path, and the economy had collapsed in the 1990s, India would not have survived. The abuse was too much until then.

Here is another point which many may not like. Pakistan’s antagonism has made our people more cohesive. Thanks to them. Periodically they have tried to hurt India for their own reasons and that has brought the Indians together more. The recent Mumbai attacks had brought out an overwhelming patriotism in people.

Another important thing for cohesiveness is pride by accomplishment – India has become very strong in many fields – education, sports, arts and is now being recognized in international circles. This feed is very important. Pride will motivate people to do better. I remember in the 1970s when we were very dejected. Our sports teams always were expected to lose. Our country was looked at with scorn even by other poor countries. A lot has changed. Government monopoly ended on media. That has helped free opinion to reach every nook and corner of the country. There is a lot of exposure to the outside than ever before.

These factors have contributed to India’s cohesiveness. And I sincerely hope it continues on. We need sincere politicians to carry this on. Let us all pray for that.

Pakistan fell apart because of the aggressive and war mongering nature of their people. They are dominated by one community way too much. The Punjabis are martial in nature and it is a prestige for them to be in the military. Military needs a war to show prowess. And they spent all their time seeking it and never paid attention to growth and infrastructure. Cultures play a very important role in how societies grow. Indians in general are used to losses and take them in good stride. They are more accommodating and accepting. This aspect has helped us in staying cohesive. And war mongering groups are outnumbered in India. That is another reason why India has survived.

India cannot denuclearize Pakistan. It has to be done by the Western powers only. They are the ones the Pakistanis look up to. They look down upon anything Indian. Western powers have to tie in economic and military aid to denuclearization and it will work. It is very dangerous to leave these kinds of weapons with these people. They are irresponsible and emotional in nature. They will have no regrets after misusing them. Look at how irresponsible AQ Khan was. Now North Korea has gained weapon’s expertise in exchange for missile technology to Pakistan. I am wondering why the US and its allies are so polite with Pakistan, whereas they walked right into Iraq against every one’s request.

 

Mauryan

—are you a commie? because it’s the design of the commies to destablize , divide SE Asia & then emark on a grand invasion… all kashmiri symphatizers are mostly commies because they see the disintegration of the sub-con. in it..good for their grand maoism religion to hold sway…

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive
 

Anup writes: “are you a commie?”

If I am a commie, you sure are Hindu equivalent of Taliban. I am ashamed of the actions of your kind in Ayodhya, Godhara, Delhi (1984) and so on. You people will never learn. Your ilk murdered Gandhi. And that guilt will never go away from you people.

Enough said.

 

This time around the Pak general would elect to restrict the army to barracks, to preclude soldiers’ revolt should they be pressurized to kill talibans and in the ordeal get themselves killed in large numbers. Americans have convinced their military guest, now in the country, that Pak will not get a penny if he takes over Islamabad.

US will try to broker a deal between Zardari and Sharif, and, I will not be surprised if president Zardari openly makes a conciliatory remark to woo the outraged shariffs this coming week. I have an instinct that Zardari wants to use this accidental presidency of his own to engage in a conduct in the hopes of ensuring his sons ascendency as leader in future.

 

Mauryan

—will you commies hang people who resemble Karat? as the chinese do with people resembling mao(sic)

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan will in time self destruct due to internal pressures it faces. We all know that its dominated by a single community – the Punjabi. They dominate the Army and the civil services. This imbalance will lead to more counter balancing acts like sectarian strife which will lead to more demand to autonomy.

A guess which is more like give it 5 years time and they will achieve what the west and India has been trying so hard all along. Our problem is we decelerate the inevitable by trying to accelerate the course of the future by intervening.

America worries too much about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons – things like it falling into the wrong hands are realistic but they being exploded in the US is way too exaggerated. I guess what worst could happen is it being exploded in the near vicinity. This is where India needs to caution itself. We need to stand up and put together a policy team which will define the actions that needs to be taken in such an eventuality. We definitely need to ensure this does not happen inside our borders. Nothing stops the renegades from exploding it near the border.

India definitely needs to continue down the growth path which will bring in prosperity within its borders. Our need will be to ensure inter-state and intra-state commerce is smoothed and wasteful governmental expenditure is controlled.

If the US does not provide unwanted assistance to the Pakistanis, it will be more helpful to all. Stop listening to lame excuses like the US created the Taliban for its own value. Its the past and try to move on. Pakistan created the Taliban and the Pakistani Army is its biggest supporter – no matter how you look at it. Let them solve the problems that they created.

Posted by Jacob | Report as abusive
 

Global Watcher,
I agree with you on the cohesiveness of India’s religions and one field it is strongest is the armed forces:

Lieutenant General A. A. K. Niazi, Commander of Pakistani forces in Bangladesh surrendered to:

Lieutenant-General Jacob F.R. Jacob (Jewish)
Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Arora (Sikh)

General (later Field Marshal) Sam Manekshaw (Parsi or Zoroastrian) was not there, but he was incharge overall.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan Military is not interested in getting rid of terrorism or training camps. It is interested in protecting its business model.

My personal prediction is that Pakistan’s Army stick is still pointed at India. The Pakistani Gov’t and Army just surrendered to the Taliban, an unsophisticated army. I think the Pak Army wants to re-resume its old rivalry with India, since it is familiar and easy to get average Pakistani’s and Jihadi’s alike repolarized in one direction again.

Pakistan is not willing to shut down terrorist camps, which are visible in Google Earth, by the way.

If America gives one more dime and those dollars are used against India, shame on the U.S.

If this is true and Pakistan is trying to create another Mumbai or worse, there will be terrible and horrible consequences for Pakistan this time around.

My predication is that Pakistan is in the process of creating another confrontation with India to take pressure off the so-called war on terror, terror, created by Pakistan itself.

The next time around, India should and has moral ground to decapitate the Pakistani military beyond recovery. Flatten the Pak military so badly that they cannot even mount an operation within their own city block. Should Pakistan threaten to use nXkes, India should reciprocate.

If Pakistan army instigates another land grab like Kargil, or Mumbai, the world has a moral duty to call for the removal of Pakistani Statehood.

This time Pakistan, we will not let you go, if you try anything underhanded and cheatful.

Let India, Russia and the U.S. clean up the Taliban and find Bin Laden once the Pak Army is defeated in that scenario.

If the Pakistani army uses the stick, reciprocate upon the Pak Military a sledgehammer.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

One more thing,

It is time for the U.S. and India and Russia to put difference aside and join more strongly and cohesively on the war on terror.

Especially the U.S. and India need to form a military alliance. Russia and India should both join NATO as full members. India can contribute huge troops to cleanup Afghanistan and Pakistan, if and when it collapses.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Zardari is a real stooge, there was no need to dislodge the Shahbaz Shareef led Punjab government. Politics of confrontation at a time when Pakistan is facing extreme external challenges, this will be nightmare.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher: You reflect my feelings perfectly. You are absolutely right about the intentions of the Pak military. They are working on the next covert operations inside India. Even the Bangladesh mutiny might have their hand in it. They are up to something. They know well that if they can keep their domestic front quiet, then they can buy time to stage another operation inside India, drawing it into a massive conflict. Somehow they have this contempt towards India and have not learnt from their lessons. Having the Nukes has given them some kind of over confidence. The Mumbai attack was a dry run to feel India’s strength from all angles. I think they succeeded in getting what they wanted. So India should keep itself on alert and not wait for the Pakistani system to make the next move. They have to sound a red alert and keep themselves on guard with increased intensity for a long time. It is only a matter of time.

 

@Mauryan

I advocate peace with Pak if it is possible, this is always best.

I believe while Pakistan is busy playing footsie with the Americans, while deceiving them, they are re-focusing their terrorist training camps for an intended future use, probably against India. That is why they are hesitant to dismantle them. The Americans are being lied to and played over and over again. India has been telling the stupid Americans of that for years, but they will not listen.

But if Pak starts something serious again with India and Pak is the aggressor, this time around show no restraint, show no mercy, flatten every inch of Pak, decisively, conclusively and beyond recovery. An overwhelmingly dis-proportionate response is India’s full right. India reserves the right to make a style statement the next time it is provoked into a conflict.

The next time, all NON-State actors, as well as State actors should be dealt with permanently.

The World is sick, sick, sick and angry with Terrorism and those who harbour, train and morally support them. Next time there will be no differentiation between non-state actors and the state from which they originated. India will be respected this time and will not be perceived as weak. No restraint will be shown.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@Umair,

Umair, where have you been??!?! Have not heard of you for so long, I thought maybe a drone got you, or you got trampled in the Nawaz E. Sharif instigated riots in Karachi, thank goodness you are ok.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

I don’t think we’re heading towards repetition of history in Pakistan. I say this because for the first time all external patrons of Pakistan – the US, EU, Saudi Arabia & China – want ‘any’ system that resembles a democracy in that country; even if that means supporting a sham democracy. Never before in history, had interests of all external patrons forced them to oppose military from officially gaining power in Pakistan. The internal politics of Pakistan may not have changed but the heavily bruised civilian leadership will continue to walk with foreign crutches.

The military in Pakistan certainly will not let their hands off the levers of power easily. In coming weeks or months, we may hear some dissenters in Pakistan getting either arrested or mysteriously disappear.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive
 

Global watcher: “I advocate peace with Pak if it is possible, this is always best”

Ideally speaking making peace is the best solution to all issues. But all peace efforts in the past have been spoiled by Pakistan.

The Simla accord has been forgotten.

Cricket diplomacy did not work.

Lahore peace declaration was trampled by Kargill.

The recent peace efforts were derailed by Mumbai attacks.

Repeated back stabbing by the Pakistani system has diminished our trust in them.

They do not want peace with India. Because it is antithesis to their existence. They have survived all these years because of their passionate enmity with India.

India has to be practical at the same time. We cannot do what Israel is boldly doing with the Hamas or Hezbollah. If the Arabs had nuclear weapons, Israel would hesitate to do what it does. Nuclear weapons are dangerous and have long lasting effects, whether they are possessed by a huge country or a tiny country. Pakistan badly wants India to attack its territory. They have been provoking India time and again and are getting frustrated at not seeing the response they seek. Everyone in the game, including the US knows this. If India attacks, it has to do so with nuclear bombs right away and completely annihilate Pakistan. Otherwise retaliation will cause an equal damage inside India. Dropping one bomb as a warning will be a foolish move. Conventional warfare is useless. Pakistan will try to gain advantage by pulling the trigger off its nuclear weapons as soon as they see India starting a war. India unites Pakistan. They must be thankful for this. Without India, they begin to fall apart. India has become like a steroid dose that energizes them. And they are getting addicted to it. If the dose is reduced by means of peace efforts, they tend to get cold turkey. India is a secular and democratic nation. We are not them and no one would want to decimate and entire country with nukes. India will be ostracized by the rest of the world if it wiped out Pakistan. If Pakistan used the nukes against India, the world my sympathize. Pakistan will splinter up either by itself or be forced to do so after that. But the damage will be done and everyone will simply say that such acts are expected of rogue nations and nothing else much. The consequences have to be thought out clearly.

 

@Mauryan,

The next best thing is to allow its implosion upon itself. India should have no trade, no cricket, nothing to do with Pakistan, no diplomatic ties whatsoever. Let it fester in its own jihadi hate filled madrassa culture.

Every opportunity, where found to be true, should be used to publically shame and deface Pakistani image in front of the world. The UN member countries should pass a UN resolution declaring Pakistan as a Terrorist State and a failed State. No body will want to touch Pakistan for any reason what so ever. Their stock market will collapse completely. Financially bankrupt they will become as the IMF recalls its loans.

The world should begin behind the scenes, with IMF and UN and US to help broker an embargo on Pakistan, like the kind the Americans did on Iraq in the 90′s.

No country should supply Pakistan anymore with any kinds of supplies, airplane parts, no military supplies whatso ever.

India should shut off all the water going into Pak.

China is complicit and indirectly fomenting and fueling terrorism. China should be made to sign a declaration promising not to assist Pakistan.

Short of an all out war, every possible thing should be done to choke Pakistan into disintegration.

If they continue to support terrorism or support it by not smashing the terrorist network and training camps and handing over the criminals to India.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Stupid Obama Administration is going to triple non-military aid to Pak to the tune of 5 billion U.S. What a waste of money, it will just go into the Army’s and Zardari’s pockets.

Have the U.S. not learned anything? They would have been better spending $500,000,000 USD and bribe the Pakistani nuclear command and Military Elites for the Pak NXkes. That would have been way cheaper.

Once the nzkes are removed, who cares what happens there?

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

@The UN member countries should pass a UN resolution declaring Pakistan as a Terrorist State and a failed State. No body will want to touch Pakistan for any reason what so ever.
- Posted by Global Watcher

-Global Watcher: China will veto.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

The US and major Western powers imposed economic sanctions on South Africa for Apartheid. Within a few years Apartheid was lifted and they denuclearized.

The same thing they did with Iraq for many years. There was an oil embargo and food for oil program in effect.

The only way to bring around Pakistan is to force it to sumbit – Impose economic sanctions until they dismantle their terror infrastructure and denuclearize. Giving them aid will not work. They must have been punished for selling nuclear technology to rogue states. Whether AQ Khan acted individually or under the blessings of his government, the rule must be the same. Sponsoring terrorism, nuclear proliferation etc should be punished immediately with trade embargo and sanctions.

 

I came across this article in Pak Tribune.

http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.sht ml?211888

I wrote to this guy and got reply as nasty as that from Indians on this forum.

Anyway, with attitude and belief shown by people like the author of this article mentioned in the link, one can never expect things to change for the better. It is time for stern action from countries concerned.

 

Global Watcher et al.,

US/UK know more than we know about the realities on the ground but are still helping Pakistan. There must be a raeson. There are 2 types of arguments–one for media/TV where military analysts talk all the theories and propose the course of action. But this is based upon the assumption that US/NATO etc. are sincere in solving the problems. In reality it can be argued they are not and that should be taken into any discussion which is the 2nd type and real discussion. History tells us and most will agree that US/UK at al., do not want problem to be solved beyond a degree and that solution defines their success but is not in our interest or the region. Recurrence of problem and superpowers returning or staying forever happens. US/UK will keep on pumping the money and they know very well that terrorists are getting their paycheck from the packet. Their most genuine interests lie in the NUKES getting into some where where they should not be.

Akso, suggested NUKE war seems harmless but we all know what it is. Even Pakistan knows for all its statements.

Denuclearization is not easy. Are superpwers really working towards it? If you ask Umair, he will tell you that 2000 or so Pakistan marines are ready (in Afghansitan) to fight against any such operation by anyone. And I will not disagree a lot since each country has some plan.

Suggestions of India getting into this picninc–the war on terror-is not sane according to me. Are we forgeting that India-Pak reltions, Pak-terrorists deals, a sincere Indian invlovement means attacks on Indian troops by terrorists-inspired by Pakistan etc.. We will make more enemies than solve the problem. These wars are not fought to be won and Indian lives do not come that cheap especially knowing the involvement will be counterproductive. I have seen suggestion as crazy as someone allowing US to set their basis in Kashmir–to help them since they are helpless. I can think of all the negatives with this move. Moral support is the best course since Indian lives are not cheap-we should focus at rebuilding in Afghansitan and launch operations only if there are any real chances of success to India.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan Army is one of the best Armies in World.. and per india, Pakistan is a small country.. 8 times smaller than india but india knows, Pakistan can do any and all harms to india.. and Pakistan is the only hurdle, only and only hurdle in india’s way to become a regional power.. Pakistan is created by God.. and will conquer once again india, as you guyz know, india is 1000 yrs ruled by the people from areas now called pakistan.. so in next 15 to 25 years delhi will be mine.. Paksitan Army is the Army of God..

Posted by Nadeem | Report as abusive
 

Nadeem,

If you wish to contribute to this blog at least make it tangible. What you have typed is nothing but hot air and and lies. It is full of desperations at the highest level and sounds like Comical Ali that Iraqi soldier stating that the American have been driven away and a retreating when US tanks were rolling into Baghdad directly behind him for all the world to see.

Pakistan Army is Army of God; that is blasphemy and an utter lie.

Your Army surrendered to the Taliban recently. Taliban are sitting pretty in Swat with their Sharia laws while you got protests in Punjab.

Do you remember what happened in 1971 in East Pakistan? Millions of your own citizens murdered by your own glorious military. I have seen a beautiful photo of a Pakistani Lieutenant General A A K Niazi signing a ‘surrender’ in Dhaka (not a strategic cease fire). He then had to be protected by the Indian soldiers from the new Bangladeshis. He did cry. Over 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war which was the largest surrender of forces since World War II.

(the information in the above paragraph is irrefutable).

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

PLAYING WITH FIRE IN PAKISTAN (NY TIMES)

Almost no one wants to say it out loud. But between the threats from extremists, an unraveling economy, battling civilian leaders and tensions with its nuclear rival India, Pakistan is edging ever closer to the abyss.

When Mr. Zardari became president, he pledged to unite the country. He has not. Like Mr. Zardari, Mr. Sharif is a flawed leader and no doubt is manipulating the combustible court ruling for personal political gain.

Unfortunately, the powerful chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, still seems far more focused on the potential threat of India than the clear and present danger of the extremists. He is said to have supported the recent deal in which the government effectively ceded the Swat Valley — in the border region but just 100 miles from Islamabad — to militants in a misguided bid for a false peace.

Pakistanis need to understand that this is their fight, not just America’s. We hope top American officials delivered that message loudly and clearly when General Kayani visited Washington this week.

There was a time when Messrs. Zardari and Sharif pledged to work together for the good of Pakistan. Their country is in mortal danger. And they need to find a way to work together to save it.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

I do get the feeling that the Pakistani military establishment are allowing these Taliban/terrorists/militants to fester in their camps because they will cause a threat to India. When they do, India will retaliate, that is when General Kayani will come out and state that he was right that India is a larger threat. The irony will be that he provoked us.

There will come a point when the USA will become extremely tired of holding off India (diplomatically or otherwise) from defending itself against Pakistan’s provocation.

One good example: US authorities had tangible proof (not mere information) that Pakistan’s ISI were involved in bombing the Indian Embassy in Kabul. However, Pakistan used this to its advantage to get more aid from the USA. It would capture more Taliban if the Americans file the proof under garbage.

With the brazen attack on Mumbai by the 10 gunmen. The way they staged the attack, NONE were supposed to survive. This way Pakistan could deny it its heart’s content. Then they have the nerve to deny again and again then admit only if India is dragged by the USA to the Kashmir table. This did not happen.

Pakistan seems to not accept responsbility for its own actions unless it gains something extremely favourible in return.

Do something wrong > Deny when proof is presented > Admit when the dust is settled > Expect aid in return for admittance.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

mauryan mao

“I am wondering why the US and its allies are so polite with Pakistan, whereas they walked right into Iraq against every one’s request.”

—-AAHHHH ! you do use that stuff in your head on rare occasions – so what if it has no sol. atleast there’s hope that it can function -

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

For all those who’r regarding Pakistan as a nation ov mindless people, let me tell them the real situation. The army of Pakistan will never support the taliban. Nor r the people here r willing to. But they r starting to get support coz of the murder of judiciary committed by Pervez Musharraf for his own benifits.

Say for urself, who will u support?? One who gives u justice and treats u as equal or the one who wants absolute power and no audit of himself?

Posted by Muhammad Rizwan Malik | Report as abusive
 

Muhammad Rizwan Malik,
If the Pak Army will not support the Taliban than why did they surrender? If swift justice is what Pakistanis want then will those Taliban who committed the atrocities in order to gain a stranglehold of Swat be held accountable? Will they face trial under Sharia law for killing Pakistani civil servants, singers, dancers and barbers in Swat? For beheading people on the basis of their profession. Why not add desecration of graves on to the list.

If the Sharia courts sentence a man to be executed only to later discover that he was innocent because evidence was not presented. Then whose head goes under the axe for this blunder?

If this is justice then you can keep it. We in India do not want this across the border.

For an Islamic State that had a woman Prime Minister, I find is disheartening to read that girls will be allowed to attend school, but only until the age of 8. This is not development. Certainly not the sort Pakistan is asking China’s help for only to have its engineers held to ransom and then released for Zardari’s goodwill visits to Hu Jintao.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Nadeem said:

“Pakistan is created by God.. and will conquer once again india, as you guyz know, india is 1000 yrs ruled by the people from areas now called pakistan.. so in next 15 to 25 years delhi will be mine.. Paksitan Army is the Army of God..”

First of all Nadeem, your beggar, terrorist, two-faced country is created from land given by the British, who took it from Arab rule and Arabs stole it from India. It is not formed by any sort of God.

And no, Pakistan will not re-affirm itself over India, never ever again. Hindus are too proud to let that ever happen again. By God, India will flatten Pakistan, if Pakistan tries to bother us again.

Pakistan army is an incompetant, lying, two-faced beggar bowl of an Army, which was defeated three times by Indian forces and in 1971 we captured 90,000 soldiers as POW’s after you guys surrendered.

Nadeem, your army and country are both Godless, from a historical point of view, but things maybe much more different in your delusional head…..Pakistan is paradise, as it crumbles around you with riots and terrorist suicide bxxbings everywhere.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

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