A slow-burning revolution in Pakistan

June 11, 2011

Rarely does the perennial struggle for power between civilian and military authority punch to the surface quite so openly in Pakistan, yet thanks to the increasing use of the internet, it is now being played out in public across websites, Twitter, blogs and online newspapers. It is a struggle that is every bit as important as those taking place in the Middle East,  and like those of the Arab spring, one that has the potential to tip the country into even greater instability or steer it onto firmer ground.

The renewed and very public debate started with the May 2 raid by U.S. forces which found and killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad. That unleashed an unprecedented wave of criticism against the military — both for failing to find the al Qaeda leader, and for apparently failing to detect and react to a U.S. raid in the heart of the country.  The anger rose after militants attacked a naval air base in Karachi, and swelled further when the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was accused of beating to death Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad – an allegation it denied.

With one of its own silenced – a man well-liked for his affability and courtesy – the media raised its voice.

Colunnist Ejaz Haider published an open letter to ISI head Lieutenant-General Shuja Pasha challenging the ISI to prove it was not involved with Shahzad’s death and insisting it respect the supremacy of civilian authority. Institutions of state, he wrote, ”are all accountable through two levels of agency. The first and primary level of agency is granted by the people through elections to their representatives; the second, a much more restrictive level of agency, is accorded by the peoples’ representatives to bureaucratic institutions, including the military and its intelligence agencies. You, sir, are therefore a servant twice over, as are all your officers and other personnel. You are answerable to our representatives and those representatives are answerable to us.”

Najam Sethi, a doyen of Pakistani journalism, wrote that  ”the indignant argument that any criticism of the military is ‘unpatriotic’ or serves the interests of the ‘ enemy’ doesn’t wash any more. Indeed, the term ‘establishment’, which was hitherto used in the media to refer obliquely to the military so as not to offend and incur its wrath, is rapidly going out of fashion, and the army and navy and air force are being referred to as army, navy and air force, which is, of course, exactly what they are and have always been.”

“The Pakistan military should see the writing on the wall. It must hunker down and become subservient to civilian rule and persuasion,” he said.

“What we saw and read in the media in May has never happened before,” wrote Cyril Almeida at Dawn newspaper. Using archive material on Dawn’s reports on the Pakistan Army’s defeat by India in the 1971 war, he compared the criticism levelled at the military now with the very muted coverage of its humiliating surrender in Dhaka on  December 16, 1971.

“The furious words in the media last month were not unprecedented since 1971. They were unprecedented. Period,” he wrote.

“The banner headline in this newspaper of record on Dec 17, 1971? ‘War till victory’. And below it, a small two-column headline, ‘Fighting ends in East Wing’. The accompanying story began: ‘Latest reports indicate that following an arrangement between the local commanders of India and Pakistan in the Eastern theatre, fighting has ceased in East Pakistan and Indian troops have entered Dacca.’

The army has replied with some very public words of its own. In an extraordinarily lengthy statement issued after army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met his Corps Commanders, it appealed to the nation to rally behind it and unite to fight terrorism. Kayani almost never speaks in public — when his views are reported in such detail and at such length, it suggests that something important has already changed in Pakistan.

The statement condemned those it said were deliberately trying to malign the armed forces. ”This is an effort to drive a wedge between the Army, different organs of the State and more seriously, the people of Pakistan whose support the Army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists,” it said.

“COAS (Chief of Army Staff General Kayani) noted that in order to confront the present challenges, it is critical to stand united as a nation. Any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the country is not in our national interest. The participants agreed that all of us should take cognizance of this unfortunate trend and put an end to it.”

The appeal for unity is important. Without national unity, the army says it cannot rally the public support needed to fight Islamist militants, including in military campaigns against its own people in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.  It also becomes more vulnerable to disquiet within the ranks about  Pakistan’s military strategy and its much-disliked and fragile alliance with the United States.

And to the army’s defenders, it is the only effective national institution, holding together the country while a weak civilian government struggles to master the basics of governance. According to this argument, a sapping of support for the army would also rob the country of its ultimate safety net, based on a long-held view that if the worst comes to the worst, the military can always step in to restore order. 

Yet to the army’s critics, it is the centralising and authoritarian tendencies of the military which have created many of Pakistan’s problems in the first place. Leave aside its past tendencies to use militant proxies (that’s a subject for a different post).  Without the softening grey areas of democracy and decentralisation which create the space to mediate differences between the diverse ethnic groups in Pakistan, many have turned to violence — from Baluch separatists to Pashtun tribesman.  Power has been centralised in Punjab, the traditional recruiting ground of the Pakistan Army and the country’s biggest province. And in the absence of a  politicial system which accommodates diversity, Pakistan has had to rely on Islam to hold the country together – a self-defeating excercise, argue some, given the diversity of faith in the country, both within different traditions of Islam and among its non-Muslims.

Before the bin Laden raid, some of that was starting to change, with efforts by the civilian government to devolve power to the provinces through an 18th Amendment to the constitution passed by parliament in April.  There was also talk of breaking up provinces into smaller units, including Punjab — a politically difficult move which might never see the light of day, but which nonetheless showed quite how far Pakistan had come in its thinking about how to transform the country from the centralised Punjab-dominated structure which characterised past military rule.

It was a slow-burning and – at the time - a rather quiet, revolution.  In more stable times, it might have had a chance of working.  It may yet work, barring any fresh crises in Pakistan triggered from without or within. Kayani has made clear that he has no interest in having Pakistan return to military rule, and the army statement reiterated its commitment to democracy.  But such a transformation would take time and patience – perhaps more than the United States in particular is willing to give to Pakistan.

“There were times one hoped to initiate a civil-military dialogue with the intention of building bridges,” Ayesha Siddiqa wrote in The Express Tribune. “What we need right now is greater sanity. But more than that we need the capacity to draw rules of engagement in which we can talk sensibly without people losing lives.”

Comments

yes theres a tussle between the civvies n army but army holds most cards especially as mindset changes in pakistan will take persistent efforts over a generation; does this mean we dont help the civvies? we do but dont get our hopes high and dont try to give too long a rope that it only gives the army/isi another get out of jail card

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

Myra

This blog is not only misguided, it also does injustice to the memory of the slain hero – Saleem Shahzad.

There is no fundamental revolution going on in Pakistan. The system is merely trying to adjust so it could continue doing what it has always done. People like saleem shahzad who get close to exposing the innards of the system are squashed.

Pakistani army has always allowed other kinds of freedom – including the freedom to ‘criticize’ itself.

Posted by Angulimaal | Report as abusive
 

“Pakistan has had to rely on Islam to hold the country together”

I don’t think so. Islam could not hold East and West Pakistan together. You have completely ignored the real glue that holds Pakistan together – the name “India”. When India is mentioned, Pakistanis undergo a complete transformation like iron filings under a magnet. It is the India centric phobia or complex that the military has cleverly used to deflect all public attention on itself and has used it to manipulate the population. Islam is a weapon that has been added to increase the frenzy. Islam cannot be protected by a military and nukes. When Pakistanis realize that India is not the enemy and that they have been repeatedly fooled by their military, that is the time the military will salute the civilian establishment. Otherwise it has become a nation within a nation. It is the Americans who have forced the Pakistani military to drop its hat. With economic strings attached, the military is now facing the moment of truth. It is this military that has been fueling the various militant groups and not allowing the place to settle down, including Pakistan itself. It is time the Pakistani public cut this military to size and take over the reign.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Such open criticism in the media is itself an indicator of how the pendulum has swung the other way. All to the good.

I disagree, to some extent, with KP when he says “India’ is the glue that binds Pakistan together. It is the glue that holds the PA and the fundamentalists and Islamists together – not the average man in the street. I feel that ordinary citizens have started responding to the otherwise lonely voices of sanity that spoke and wrote of welfare, education and health for its people rather than militancy being at the very heart of Pakistani ethos. To my mind this is all to the good.

As I also mentioned earlier, the robotic rhetoric of some Pakistani commentators here is in no way representative of the voice of the average Pakistani.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Myra,

what a balanced and good write, I almost that you were on vacation. The situation as one can observe with a bird’s eye view is more serious than you have described. The south asian continent is now destabilised, thanks to the alien invaders from the North America. They are on the run, and are likely to make use of their nuclear armed airbourne division sitting in Afghanistan to start theirwithdrawl, certainly not with choppers that were used in vietnam?

Pakistan problems are the manifest of the chronic disease which is now spreading like a metastasis in all avenues of the society. The independent journalists, the intellectuals and the elites of the army and civil leadership.
To call any ountry a democracy if it uses its army to suppress its citizens is a farce, not a democracy!No one can forbid thesecountries, not even the UNO, to boast of their democracies. Pakistan does no have peoles army or a national army, following the text books which the Brits left for them. Was it not the journalists and the civilian Gogt as well as non Pashtoon citizens who encouraged and praised Pakistan army intrusion into the tribal territory with long range artillery, and was it not on this blog that a retired army officer from Pakistan claimed that Waziris would be crushed within five days operation. In fact after five days, he left the blog and disappeared.

What sort of an army Pakistan now has after the debacle in Abboabad, and where the senior officers and Generals dare not show themselves wearing uniforms in public. And what happened to the fifth columnists who were encouraging Pakistan army intrusion in Swat, nor realizing that Pakistan army has never won a war and in fact order the surrender of its troops.

National armies are schooled and trained not to obey illegal orders. Was it not the same army whose leader ordered an assault on the so called Red Mosque, and was it not their Generals who practiced public lashing of civilians for petty crimes, telling the poor sods that this was Islamic. The communication among the different section of the people has ben damaged. Discrimination against the minorities have occurred under the civilian Govt. which was installed by the Americns, equaly Gen. Kyani the old loyalist to Bhutto family and supported by his mentor Musharaf was given the chair of chief of staff. Shame on him and his senior Generals and the current civilian Govt. leaders and the journalist who still support Drone attacks and suppression of the citizens by the army personalits.

Is it difficult for any one to buy the old history books and try and learn aout the 40 to 50 million Pashtoons who have never been defeated on the battle ground. The son of a kenyan President of the USA dismissed one of the finest and intelligent of the USA, General Macchrystal, whose staff rightly mentioned clintonian advisers of the administration as clowns!

They all want to change the course of history but very succed, other desabilise the country. Today’s Pakistan army is no longer able to withstand the pressur from the Pashtoons and one by one I estimate that starting from GHQ in Rawalpindi, other army instituatons wold come under attack. The soner the current culprits in the Army resign, retire or commit suicide(like Samurai) the better it would be for peace to take its place in the country. Stop blaming religion, radicals etc and stop the use of religion for unity, Islam does not allow the death sentence nor any discrimination against the minorities. People of Pakstan should stop indulging in larifari about the religion and undergo a chemo therapy for their disease.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Daraindia,

You are completely wrong in your assessment of the average man on the street.

Islam is the glue that binds every muslim country. Thats why you will see practically all of these countries have similar values.

No freedom of religion for non muslims.
Prepetual jihad on non muslim countries
no right to equality for women.
Jiziya a tax applicable on non muslims
How many men on the street have gathered to denounce
terrorist activities carried out by Muslims all over the world. Anywhere where is a muslim majority the minorities are crushed with ruthless force.

And all the above has been authorised by the Quaran and Hadiths

This has been the way for centuries and will continue till as long as one continues to take guidance form the Quaran.

Posted by rrdas | Report as abusive
 

Daraindia,

You are completely wrong in your assessment of the average man on the street.

Islam is the glue that binds every muslim country. Thats why you will see practically all of these countries have similar values.

No freedom of religion for non muslims.
Prepetual jihad on non muslim countries
no right to equality for women.
Jiziya a tax applicable on non muslims
How many men on the street have gathered to denounce
terrorist activities carried out by Muslims all over the world. Anywhere where is a muslim majority the minorities are crushed with ruthless force.

And all the above has been authorised by the Quaran and Hadiths

This has been the way for centuries and will continue till as long as one continues to take guidance form the Quaran.

Posted by rrdas | Report as abusive
 

Dara,

Right on. I also agree that some of the commentators on here aren’t representative of the view of the average man on the street. Indeed, the average man on the street is unlikely to speak English, have persistent internet access and time to waste on Reuters blogs!

Myra has characterized it as ‘a slow burning’. I would call it ‘a slow awakening’. This is Pakistani citizens clueing in to the fact that their loyalty to their defenders has been terribly abused. Let us hope for their sake and ours (the rest of the world), that this is the start of real change in Pakistan.

And remember, in the Arab world, it all started with the death of a fruit vendor. So there’s no telling how events can turn.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan Army, without an iota of doubt is THE single most important institution of Pakistan which is very sensitive to public opinion. Be it patriotism, nation building, source of stability and long proud tradition to defend the nation. The Army’s strength is the support of people, its professionalism and its firm support to democratic system in Pakistan.

Men at their best, Pakistan Army!

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk: “Men at their best, Pakistan Army!”

True. They are the best in giving justice to the people:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun  /11/pakistan-sarfaraz-shah-shooting

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun  /11/pakistan-sarfaraz-shah-shooting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0uQh7T9Y cs&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KewibBfw1 n0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KewibBfw1 n0&feature=related

And American Navy seals flew into Abbotabad, killed OBL and took his body away while the brave Pakistani army was snoring loud. The snore was so loud that the helicopter noise could not be heard!

There is absolutely no match. Absolutely.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

And the Pak air force is not far behind:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/86 17843.stm

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

KeithZ: “This is Pakistani citizens clueing in to the fact that their loyalty to their defenders has been terribly abused. Let us hope for their sake and ours (the rest of the world), that this is the start of real change in Pakistan.”

There is no monolithic entity called Pakistanis. They have big ethnic groups that would love each others’ throats if they could. The only thing that unites them is a common enemy that keeps changing according to times. In the Arab nations, this much of strong ethnic diversity is absent, especially within each country. So if these ethnic groups stage a rebellion, it would most probably be to fight the dominance of another group or try to dominate the others. We saw this in East Pakistan. We are going to see it soon in the remaining portion of Pakistan. You take one look at their cricket team and y will get a pretty good idea. They brim with talent and lose by dragging each others’ feet. Once in a while they will find unity (like a game against India) and no one can stop them at those times. But most of the time they are at logger heads at each other. That is Pakistan.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Countries that remain united by the concept of a common enemy do not last long. They need that enemy and psyche themselves about that enemy at all times. Pakistan does not need an enemy now. It needs an enema.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

DaraIndia:”I disagree, to some extent, with KP when he says “India’ is the glue that binds Pakistan together. It is the glue that holds the PA and the fundamentalists and Islamists together – not the average man in the street. I feel that ordinary citizens have started responding to the otherwise lonely voices of sanity that spoke and wrote of welfare, education and health for its people rather than militancy being at the very heart of Pakistani ethos”

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1683/pakista n-opinion-less-concern-extremists-americ a-image-poor-india-threat-support-harsh- laws

There is a paragraph in the above survey that says:

While Pakistanis express serious concerns about the U.S., they also have deep worries about their neighbor and longtime rival India. Indeed, they are more worried about the external threat from India than extremist groups within Pakistan. When asked which is the greatest threat to their country — India, the Taliban or al Qaeda — slightly more than half of Pakistanis (53%) choose India, compared with 23% for the Taliban and just 3% for al Qaeda.”

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Former chief of Army staff Gen. Jehangir Karamt wrote an excellent piece,

The corps commanders 139th conference on 9 June in Rawalpindi was significant and years of support to civilian government and democratic system led to the statement where Pakistan Army has spelt out its support in written form.

Below is the link, for starters Gen. Jehangir Karamat was one of the most brilliant Army Chiefs:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDet ail.aspx?ID=6665&Cat=13&dt=6/13/2011

The Army has accepted civilian supremacy

And this is not something happened overnight, be it Military operations of 2009 or floods of 2010, the Army was steadily increasing the capacity of civilian government to deal with such national matters. After May 2 raid, the parliament was briefed for first time by Army chief and ISI DG. Former CJSC had supported President Zardari in office, the results are apparent and for the first time in Pakistan’s history a democratically elected government has a chance to complete full 5 year term and carry out peaceful transition of power. Critics will always criticize no matter what the circumstances are, what matters most is that the most important institution in Pakistan is mindful of the realities and taking corrective actions. I would not mind if Army chief is subservient to the Prime Minister, but watch out guys, before next elections when Gillani addresses his constituency in Multan, PAF F-16s might well be on their way to shoot down some drones, and this time there woult be no turn around. Because if you talk about common man, street anger etc, facts are facts. Lot of things that are being done will not be done in future. For example tacit approval of drone strikes will be withdrawn under public pressure. In a democracy the will of people prevails.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
“In a democracy the will of people prevails.”

Thats not always the case. Will of people can be maligned by false propaganda and education full of lies. High education standards are needed to offset false propaganda. In case of Pakistan problem is aggreviated because of education system itself becoming a tool to spread propaganda. While in India education is not composed of lies but false propaganda prevails at large. How much does an average Pakistani know about changes in India since 1972 till today. But on the opposite how much does an Indian know about changes in Pakistan since 1972 till now. Both of us know the answer. We have all witnessed the freedom of press in Pakistan in recent days. You need to open your eyes and see and evaluate that is India really the enemy?? There is an old saying, “United we stand and divided we fall”. And according to laws of physics and theory of relativity, “HISTORY CANNOT BE CHANGED BUT FUTURE CAN BE SHAPED”. So either you and your mentors can keep bickering about past enimosities OR can choose to look forward to a brighter future. In any case, Islam is not enough…not anymore.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

@Myra,

A much better title to this article could be:

“Islam Is Not Enough”

(Got this while writing my post above)

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s social media revolution

http://tribune.com.pk/story/186962/pakis tans-social-media-revolution/

“Pakistan has one of the fastest-growing Facebook and Twitter-using populations in the world, with over four million Facebook users. Remarkably, the per capita internet access in Pakistan is between 10-15 per cent of the total population — more than double that of neighbouring India. Using even the most conservative estimates, 20 million Pakistanis are regularly online, or the equivalent of the population of four Singapores.”

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

007:
“We have all witnessed the freedom of press in Pakistan in recent days. You need to open your eyes and see and evaluate that is India really the enemy?? There is an old saying, “United we stand and divided we fall”. And according to laws of physics and theory of relativity, “HISTORY CANNOT BE CHANGED BUT FUTURE CAN BE SHAPED”. So either you and your mentors can keep bickering about past enimosities OR can choose to look forward to a brighter future.”

-The developments in Pakistan are positive,m i point out this article by Mehreen Zahra:

General Confusion

Will the security establishment please see the forest for the trees?

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik

http://www.newsweekpakistan.com/componen t/content/article/37-the-take/337-genera l-confusion-by-mehreen-zahra-malik

So it means the liberal elite, media, diplomats/civil servants, military are uniting to take Pakistan forward. I take it as a positive step, nothing wrong in criticism of Army, this is the I.T and information age where news travels fast. Now the big question is, is India willing to come to the party, can we resolve the differences because sone Indians think that why should India negitiate from the position of strength when it even did not negotiate from the position of weakness?

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

rrdas,

Of course you are right when you say Islam is the glue that binds Muslim countries. .However, that is not my point. Also, I wonder how many Muslim countries still levy a tax on non- muslims as I am not really aware of the truth.

Anyway I do not go along with the theory that all Muslims are terrorists or militants, which is what you seem to be implying. Islam binds all Muslims, in India too where they are not predominantly militants, so does Judaism bind all Jews, Hinduism and Sikhism and every other religion bonds its followers – there is nothing wrong in that. It is the violence that is abhorrent and the fact that there are religious leaders who propagate a negative view of their religion to ferment violence which is even more despicable.

I still maintain that the average Pakistani is willing and wants to move ahead not suffer because the ‘establishment’ wants to further its anti India program. Of course one does not get that idea here but this blog is more an exception than the rule. have read enough Pakistani writers and media to see enough people protesting the present situation and the trouble their country is going through. India is not a hate word for them.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

KP,

Thanks for bringing this PEW report to mind again. I do not disagree at all with the fact that Pakistanis see India as the bigger threat. Don’t Indians also see Pakistan as a threat? That is besides the point. The same report, which says that 53% see India as threat also carries this paragraph on India:

“However, despite the deep-seated tensions between these two countries, most Pakistanis want better relations with India. Roughly seven-in-ten (72%) say it is important for relations with India to improve and about three-quarters support increased trade with India and further talks between the two rivals.”

I think that is what I agree with. That in spite of seeing a threat, 72% still want to improve relations, which is exactly the point I am trying to make. That they want to get out of this anti India hysteria that the establishment tries to maintain and get on with a better life for themselves.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

You keep harping on India about coming to the table. Can you please tell me who initiated the recent round of talks and who initiated the ones before that? Can you please give me one instance in the recent past when Pakistan has taken the initiative to start talks?

You are stuck in a negative mind set about India and a time warp going back to 1971 and you are not willing to look beyond that.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

as usual what pakistan really wants is not the unsc kashmir resolutions frustrated by pakistan and long superceded by events (and used by pakistan and its foreign supporters only to pressure india) but for india to come to the table to discuss modalities for handing over kashmir to pakistan and validate pak armys /isi’s obsession with india and encourage pakistanis to continue the hate india policies. yes, umair, this isn’t going to happen;
india will talk peace to pakistan and if its satisfied that pakistan (the army/isi especially if they remain even close to present influence) truly desire peace and are reconciled to it (for instance if as per pak narratives pak nukes and strategic depth demands are india centric and kashmir resolution alone is key to peace with india -and water problem also eased if kashmir valley joins pakistan- then presumably pakistan no longer needs isi,irregulars, strategic depth, nukes, or high defence spending or alliance with china or hate india policies; of course, if pak narratives are false and there are other agendas for which military brinkmanship,dictatorship, intolerance, jihad and nukes are necessary, why not finally come clean on them to your people and the rest of the world?).
when an established democratic pakistan demonstrates it is at peace with itself and truly seeks peace with its neighbours (india, afghan, iran) and seeks prosperity and stability it will find india responsive, generous, accomodating and supportive (and if india receives suitable incentives and demonstrable security assistance from the international community), and if this means that the various peoples in each of the distinct regions of the former princely state of j&k at that point continue to feel a need for testing their respective desires to join india or pakistan i personally doubt if india will stand in the way.
but this is not something that could ever happen except at the end of a peace process that saw pakistan truly demonstate its commitment to democracy, tolerance, peace, stability and prosperity.
till then india is ready to talk and to move on a number of issues and CBMs but yes expect no movement on getting kashmir (though autonomy, de militarisation of pok and the valley, normal people to people contacts in kashmir, etc can certainly happen all of which would reduce tensions and make lives of kashmiris measurably better).
having said that its also well worth recalling that ‘jaw-jaw’ is in itself better than ‘war-war’ even in the absence of the respective results desired by the concerned parties.

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

@Umairpk
In as much as I disagree with the Indian lynching mob on this blog and sincerely wish that your assessment proves to be more real, I am afraid Pakistan Army has now reached the red line in the country where it was raised, fed and honoured. What I have witnessed on a video when one of the karachi ranger shot down a civilian youth, probably involved in some sort of crime, in a broad day light, in front of other rangers, an execution on camera, without the arrest or a trial, I suddenly realised what the army of Musharaf and Kyani and co has brought a culture of violence to the supposedly law and order employees is unforgivable. I also heard the comments of the Current Interior minister who said to the Press that the case will be investigated but not to forget that the dead person was a criminal.
Do you realy believe that Pakistan army which is directing American drones, afraid to be seen in military uniforms are going to protect the integrity of the army any longer? Mr Kyani should for the sake of the country offer his resignation and take his remaining fellow travellers with him, the head of Pakistan Navy or the Air Force should take over the command of the forces, force the resignation of Zardari and Gillani as well as their thugs( former prison inmates of Zardari), call general election within three months and then hand over the responsibility to the democratically elected set up who have declared their assets and sworn allegance to Pakistan. The USA is on the run, but the great American Petros has deonstrated in Iraq and now in Afghan and Pakistan that he is a bloody failure as a field commander but a very good in covert actions. More should be expected by Pakistan as soon as he takes over the CIA. The greatest danger to Pakistan’s existance is not from its citizens but from its Generals who have a very big mouth. It would appear that Mr Musharaf was not the only con man but some of his buddies are still in Pakistan army.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Phew! my post got lost. Ok so here I m typing again but in short of course.

@Umair
Negotiate is NOT the right word here. You guys want “cooperation” and “partnership” with India then we are talking but if you want to “negotiate” (of course to falsely show off that India was made to bend knees in front of PA) then better not talk at all. No government in India can survive even 1 hour in office for just even thinking of negotiations with Pakistan and rightly so. Ball is in Pakistan’s court…cooperation OR negotiation….bright future OR further decent into chaos.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive
 

is India willing to come to the party
Posted by Umairpk

You are funny…I mean your delusions are funny.

India/Indians are the least of your problems.

There is another well known PA propagandist besides you who has posted here. Your credibility is not low, just non-existent.

You talk about information age! Pak press is full of articles hostile to PA/ISI. Not sure who you are trying to fool here with humbug like “people are behind PA”.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive
 

DaraIndia: “That in spite of seeing a threat, 72% still want to improve relations, which is exactly the point I am trying to make.”

I agree. At the people’s level, there is always a desire to live in peace. Unfortunately people can be manipulated and controlled. Public reaction during critical events will show the real sentiments. When Mumbai attacks happened, Pakistani public in general sided with their military controlled media based denial. Many did not show any sympathy for the victims and when they faced terrorism up front, they sought the same sympathy that they did not share with Indians. Many of us reached out and offered our compassion with Pakistanis not only in this forum, but elsewhere when they were hurt by terrorism or natural calamities. I saw none reciprocated or not even acknowledged. I watch body language more than symbolic words. Body language clearly says what is deep inside.

When the US made the quick operation to kill Osama, I watched the public reaction again in Pakistan. Most of it was focused on sovereignty rather than the removal of a dangerous criminal.

There is always the desire to improve matters. But desire is not adequate. Initiative is the key. I see none in Pakistani public. They want India to make the move and align themselves with their military dictated pre-conditions as soon as initiatives are taken – settle Kashmir first, stop helping insurgency in Balochistan, be fair regarding water sharing etc.

Most Indians are sincere in seeking peace. But we have lost trust towards Pakistan. Every attempt towards peace has been thwarted by “non state actors” and the Pakistani public has taken a stand sympathizing with them. Being a land full of conspiracy theories and rumors, its people have become less reliant on facts. In this condition their minds can be swept away very easily by emotions. And whoever is controlling Pakistan have learned to manipulate those emotions well. They may be looking in the direction of peace with India because they are fatigued by incessant home grown terrorist assaults and constant pressure from the US. I am looking in the long run to see if they will go back to the old ways if things settle down for them.

Nothing has been done in Pakistan to undo the psychological damage initiated by the Zia regime that has crept in and entrenched itself over three decades. Unless changes happen at the fundamental level, I would only look at things from a standpoint of doubt. It is like dealing with a person just released from a mental asylum. There is always a doubt if that person can go back to the old condition unpredictably.

I would very much like India to set up trade and industrial relations with Pakistan. Inter-dependency will prevent governments from making drastic decisions and take damaging actions. But Pakistan has to detox completely first. One more Mumbai style attack anywhere inside India will completely destroy any understanding between the people. We have to be cautious of that at all times. Their military and ISI are still the same. So long as they control the masses, the masses will be like ducks walked along the river bank.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Here is a piece on Pakistani perspective of Indo-US relations:

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/art icle2099122.ece?homepage=true

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

umairpk:”Remarkably, the per capita internet access in Pakistan is between 10-15 per cent of the total population — more than double that of neighbouring India”.

I hope you dont jump the gun too much, its because pakistan’s urbanization is higher which is 40% to India’s 29% . If Internet Users is an indication of improvement then, Pakistan with largest number of out of school children but more internet users relative to India also mean it is heavily feudalistic class based society.
Moreover, it also means when people have fewer rights and even lesser liberties to excercise them, its hard to come and protest on the streets (Incidentally what you see in India right now)and they stick to other forms of Information gathering and protesting.

RexMinors post was a complete turnaround from previous posts where I read his praises on the Army but now his insults. I had to read twice before to confirm whether he is the same guy. Is this a change, don’t know but I hope it wont be short lived.
I agree with Rex that Army should not use voilence unhindered against people, because counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism warfare needs much more patience,planning and strategy. But by bombing entire villages they are only breeding future terrorists.

The question is Since Rex has come this far and starting believing in the fallibility of the army, would he still go further and accept the bitter truth that Army is the cause of the problems in pakistan and not a source of solution, and it should have been in civilian control all along.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

Mr Patriot

Rex Minor is not a Pakistani and does not represent nor speak for Pakistan. If indian bloggers could unload their negative image of Pakistani people or Pakistan sympathisers, atleast temporarily on this blog, and then comment on the article, the discussion could become more productive. I realize that it is not easy, but at least one can try it.

Pakistan army as well as the Indian army, structured on British model and rained with English text books are one of the most professional and competent armies of the world. Both countries also claim to have democracies, and this contridicts with the roles both armies have been given or taken, of suppressing its own citizens. Have I stated so far which one can agree with, if not please do not read further.
In my opinion, Pakistan army and not its Navy or air force have in recent past appear to have senior Generals, I would call them Musharaf men, here I am applying Hegel’s logic of speculation, who got their blinkers off and this has taken them on a course which is certainly the most destructive one for the country they claim to serve and has rought them in conflict with the Americans they claim to be allied with.

Let us also keep in mind that not a single country in the entire world other than of course Israel trust the current administartion of the USA. For Pakistan civilian Govt and the military brass to trust and regard USA as its ally in iselve explains the calibre of leadership both civilian and military Pakistan now has? I leave it to the speculation of the individual, wheather the war of terror which the USA started against the muslim Nations namely from Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond was worh the effort and the money. Religion of Islam, radicalism and terrorism were blamed for the violence which people witness and live with throughout the world.
Even Houdini could not have been able to convert a group of people who resisted occupation from Mujahidin to Islamists to taliban to terrorist and then partners to negotiate peace. What a farce the world had to put up with and those played along all the time. The result is what we see in the Arab world and in Pakistan. Destabilisation, people of Pakistan are facing violence from the army long range guns, terror from the militias and the rangers against unarmed civilian citizens and the counter attacks from the Pashtoons who have defeated Russia and now the USA, downgrading both Nations from the superpower status to world powers.
The situation in Pakistan can be easily resolved, by simply removing the current civilian and military leaders and adopting the austerity measures similar to those now being implemented throughout Europe.

What a farce for the country leaders to bring out a deficit Budget in the parliament which promises no additional taxes and raises pensions? Pakistan parliament and the mlitary for the first time in its history are in a flux and have not yet decided as to who is going to rule the country.

Have I said enough which expresses my point of view about Pakistan army brass, not the soldiers!whatever it is worth, not much I guess, it is the people of Pakistan who have to decide their future not rex minor nor indian bloggers. India is not at all involved. The smoke screen put out by Pakistan army and the USA was mostly on account of Indian aggressions and foreign policies against Pakisan. Indian and Pakistani people, in my view are mere spectators with synthetic grievences against each other.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Umair,

If, as you say, the Army has accepted the supremacy of democracy and a civilian government, why aren’t they willing to put their full budget (and an account of all off-balance sheet businesses) to Parliament? Would they allow the President, as head of State and Commander-in-Chief to have strategic control of nuclear weapons, as is done in other democracies? Would they allow Parliament to cut defence spending or re-align defence priorities as Parliament sees fit? Would they allow Parliament to simply pass and ratify agreements with India, even if they didn’t like it? Would they allow Parliament to dictate the joint command structure (ie. a Navy admiral to lead the armed forces) and pick the next Chiefs of each service? This is the way real democracies work.

Service chiefs in the West, do not criticize elected governments publicly, ever. And the consequences for doing so are immediate. Think of McChrystal. It’s quite easy to make statements about the Army accepting the supremacy of civilian leadership. The reality, most certainly, does not reflect that. A few speeches by the CoAS and DG ISID does not make the Pakistani armed force any more transparent or under civilian control.

And even the threats of democracy actually playing out don’t bother us. So what if elected legislators wanted drone strikes halted? They can be negotiated with, just like the Army. But at least they will be the ones speaking for Pakistan. Not a bunch of unelected yahoos, who have their own private agendas, often, not in any way aligned with the interests of the state.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

@sensiblepatriot,

I understand your point about internet access and urbanization and the truth in statistics….but I would suggest that we should applaud Umair here. For once, he is actually attempting to compete on a measure that matters.

Instead of chest-thumping about how many nukes and how many F-16s, he is here loudly proclaiming that a larger portion of his country is internet savvy. This is real progress.

Would that every fight between Indians and Pakistanis, was about who treated their citizens better and provided more!

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Islamo-supremacy dominates Pakistan’s psyche. It is the glue that has been used to hold Pakistan and its military together. Much like Afrikaners getting a whites only nation and running their country using the existential threat claim from the surrounding black majority, Pakistan has been formed based on a religious supremacy/ discrimination ideology. In order to keep everyone aligned, they have to keep preaching to their succeeding generations distorted vision of the world and lies dressed up as historic facts. You take away that supremacist idea, Pakistan will have self doubt and the purpose of its existence. The only revolution I see coming is the realization that the whole thing has been a farce – forming a nation exclusively for Muslims of the sub-continent and protecting it from the evil non-Muslims. It is this realization that the country’s rulers (the military) is really afraid of. If it comes, then the only system worrying about existential threat is the military.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Another salute to Pakistan Army

Pakistan Army rehabilitates Taliban

http://www.reuters.com/video/2011/06/14/ pakistan-army-rehabilitates-taliban?vide oId=215919592

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Keith:
“Would they allow the President, as head of State and Commander-in-Chief to have strategic control of nuclear weapons, as is done in other democracies?”

-Ofcourse if the President is not a clown and is patriotic, he can share the nuclear secrets. Otherwise the nukes will be kept under lock and securely guarded, don’t even think a raid can snatch the nukes or a President will be bribed or coerced into divulging information which is highly classified.

What may work for other democracies may work for Pakistan’s democratic system, or may NOT, it depends.

The civilians in Pakistan need to show vital traits of patriotism, nation building, national unity, a will to sacrifice life for the country, only then the Armed forces will submit to the civilians. Because Pakistan’s are a nationalistic Armed Forces.

“So what if elected legislators wanted drone strikes halted? They can be negotiated with, just like the Army.”

-Are you sure, do you know Pakistan’s history. If another Zulfiqar Bhutto rises from the masses believe me Pakistan will become a real challenge with the full potential of its people unleashed, no one will stop the will of people and common man will be empowered. History shows Zulfiqar Bhutto an intelligent and courageous politicians, if we have more like him, I should say the Army should go on picnic and park all their tanks on Karachi beach.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Just to add, during Daud Khan’s rule in Afghanistan, it was Zulfiqar Bhutto who started the Afghan resistance against communists years before CIA op cyclone started. Also, it was Zulfiqar Bhutto who brought back A.Q Khan from europe and tasked him to make atomic bomb for Pakistan. A Military man has a set mindset, a civilian genius can mastermind. All Pakistan need is sincere leadership and everything should be fine. Also, our eastern neighbours can do a favor by stop demonizing Pakistan too. So I guess Keith, you must be cautious while demanding civilian supermacy over military in Pakistan. In my opinion as democracy become strong in Pakistan, more leverage will be lost by outsiders as people are empowered.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

Umairpk: “it was Zulfiqar Bhutto who started the Afghan resistance against communists years before CIA op cyclone started.”

ZA Bhutto is the equivalent of Indira Gandhi in India. Both took their respective countries towards the path of self destruction. IG is somewhat better between the two. Both were egomaniacs. Bhutto was behind Operation Gibraltor. He was also behind the campaign against Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and denying him the legal ascendancy to power based on democratic principles.

“Also, it was Zulfiqar Bhutto who brought back A.Q Khan from europe and tasked him to make atomic bomb for Pakistan.”

This was the first step towards becoming a criminal state. I am surprised AQ Khan does not have any arrest warrants for him for stealing state secrets and nuclear proliferation and illegal trade of nuclear material and secrets against international law. Only Pakistan can celebrate criminals of this kind. Dawood Ibrahim is a state guest and Bin Laden was living in comfort until the Americans sniffed him out.

“A Military man has a set mindset, a civilian genius can mastermind.”

Depending upon what he masterminds. If he is scheming constantly to set fire to others, he will mastermind self destruction. Bhutto did this for Pakistan.

“All Pakistan need is sincere leadership and everything should be fine.”

You have none right now. There is no Lee Kuan Yew that can unite all of Pakistan and motivate the public into building a nation. Countries in this region generates Maos, Mullah Omars and crazy generals. Good luck finding a mastermind.

“Also, our eastern neighbours can do a favor by stop demonizing Pakistan too.”

We don’t have to demonize your nation. It already has earned that international reputation. No one trusts Pakistan today. Our only issue is that we are sitting right next to your country. Your country has become famous for the wrong things.

“So I guess Keith, you must be cautious while demanding civilian supermacy over military in Pakistan. In my opinion as democracy become strong in Pakistan, more leverage will be lost by outsiders as people are empowered.”

Ok. I will support democracy, however feeble it might be. I don’t want to discourage you. Good luck. Hopefully Gilani will complete a full term. That is the first time a party will complete a full term in many years. Be thankful to the Americans for putting your army in bind and helping the democratic government to survive. It will be hard to diffuse all the venom against India. But keep with democracy and the poison will subside.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Looks like Pakistani army is very angry. They have arrested five who aided the CIA in leading to Bin Laden.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43404265/ns/ the_new_york_times/

Shouldn’t they be honored and celebrated for helping find the master criminal, if they really are fighting Al Qaeda? This arrest confirms the fact that ISI and the army were housing the criminal like they have done in the case of Dawood Ibrahim. And they want to punish those who helped expose their duplicity.

There is a book titled, “The most dangerous place” by one Imtiaz Gul. Let me quote a paragraph from his book here:

“The September 1999 analysis by the Defense Intelligence Agency contains quite a damning account of Pakistan’s role as the real host of Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan. It says Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network was able to expand under the safe sanctuary extended by the Taliban following Pakistan directives. If there is any doubt on that issue, consider the location of Bin Laden’s camp Zahawa targeted by the US cruise missiles in August 1998. Positioned on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan (in Paktia province of Afghanistan) it was built by Pakistani contractors, funded by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, and protected under the personage of a local and influential tribal leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani”

Pakistan can earn any trust from the rest of the world only when they send some of their current and ex-military / intelligent officials to prison or gallows.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

“History shows Zulfiqar Bhutto an intelligent and courageous politicians, if we have more like him, I should say the Army should go on picnic and park all their tanks on Karachi beach.” Umair

That is why they hung him by the neck.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

i.among the civvies imran khan appears to have put in his lot with the army, nawaz sharif against the army, n the ppp appear to be divided between the army and opposing the army but the ppp apears to be leaning towards the army in order to complete its term n personal/family survial
ii. pakistan army appears to be signalling the usa that they are seriously disinterested in cooperation with the us unless the us capitulates to their terms. they are probably encouraged in this by the appeasement policy adopted by uk (due to fear of the pakistani diaspora in the uk. but whatre the other cards they think they hold apart from nato’s desire to flee afghanistan asap? if its only this they can certainly seek better terms but are dangerously overplaying their hand?
iii. china appears to be upping the ante in the south china seas to indicate it will either support pak or in order to back off on pakistan, for now, it would want the us to effectively surrender the south china seas to it
iv. and where do the russians stand on this? some curious and contradictory recent signals.

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive
 

“Ofcourse if the President is not a clown and is patriotic, he can share the nuclear secrets.” Posted by Umairpk

It should not matter, whether the President is a clown or whatever. What matters is that he’s elected by the people & in a real democracy (which Pakistan clearly is not), nobody should be able to override his powers. Also, most Pakistani intellectuals would blame the “patriotic” men in uniform like Yahya, Zia & Musharraf for most of Pakistan’s current problems but of course, that can’t be expected of you.

“History shows Zulfiqar Bhutto an intelligent and courageous politicians”

Weren’t you the one who was blaming him for the 1971 debacle, not too long ago?

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan’s arresting of CIA informants linked to the Bin Laden raid, clearly shows which side they are on. Anyone still living in the delusion that Pakistan is an ally of the US & not a hostile rogue state, needs to see a neurologist.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive
 

In a democracy the head of state does not, repeat does not have strategic control of nuclear weapons. Parliaments are authorised to declare wars, not the Presidents, the military decides what sort of weapon is required to complete the mission. USA is the anamoly to take military action without prior authorisation of the congress, simply in view of possible attack from the former Soviet Union and China. Even in such a situation the so called commander in chief must have the support of the military chief! Could any one in their right mind allow civilians to control the weaponry of the military?

The world is watching with interest the spring revolution in arab countries, which is going to get nastier, since several dictators are resisting the change and the ex colomists as well as the Imperialist power of the west to influence the would be Govt. leaders. This revolution has now reached the shores of Karachi in Pakistan, a country which is experiencing for the first time a country wide resistance against the army which they hold responsible for the violence against civilians as well as responsibe for the debacle in Abbottabad and continued drone missions causing civilian casualties. Also, according to opposition parties the central Govt. is unable to address and solve peoples concerns about increase in cost of living, lack of household energy supplies and control of army and militias.
Are we gong to witness the self desolution of the parliament and resignation of General Kyani and the Rangers chief in coming days? Or are we going to see once again a major army and civilian Govt. campaign, riding the sick horse of religion and foreign enemies?

I pray that they spare Islam this time, since in my view the religion of Islam does not recognise any of the features now prevailing in the country including cold blooded murder of unarmed petty thief by the rangers ot long range artillery use against the tribal people or any type of dicriminatio against non muslims or minorities!!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

rex:”This revolution has now reached the shores of Karachi in Pakistan, a country which is experiencing for the first time a country wide resistance against the army which they hold responsible for the violence against civilians as well as responsibe for the debacle in Abbottabad and continued drone missions causing civilian casualties”.

If one can appreciate the arab phenomenon, its very good to pass through these times. But its not too good a reason for the revolutionary thinking that has now begun in pakistan, not nearly good enough.

Pakistan had been described as a semi-functional or dysfunctional democracy or soft authoritarian state but never a state which looked anything like a religious fascist state from the start (Saudi Arabia) nor a harsh military state (Burma). Military leaders had to bow to civilian demands time and again, and had to resign or be dethroned (Ayub,Yahya,musharraf).So the revolution is in no way a first in its history.

Due to the extreme diversity of south Asian cultures, even Islam has been tranformed, Created (if I may use lke sufi strains) and restructure to the political realities and so a monolithic cultural strain cannot be imposed on the state. It was tried, but resulted in more confusion and conflict. Since luckily, pakistan’s people have many definitions of what an Ideal pakistani should look like (and often contradictory!) it did not go into the single religious fascist morass. It had become a dysfuncitional state but not a state resembling Hitler’s germany. Thats why people feared its implosion not explosion.

The protests against military on the loss of 1971 war was not new. The military cleverly played it up, saying the failure of its friends to come to its rescue or blaming traitors like mujib, and the fear of non-punjabi domination helped divert the attention from failure of the Army.

While secessionist tendencies have been put out with force, even the civilian protests in Sindh against the army were potrayed as malicious designs by Sindh politicians (read PPP) have been played cleverly to restrict the dissent from spreading wide into the large swathes of punjab provinces.

Pakistani state has its own dynamics of change, (only partially related to the world ) the changes did not evolve due to evolution in world phenomenon. In fact, most of it was designed to be counter revolutionary or reactionary in nature. (Like the religius policy hurriedly created in the wake of Socialist revolution in Afghanistan).

I think, we can appreciate the fact that pakistan has certainly some features of democracy (like Media,Judiciary and a small civil society) which no Arab state has (barring some honourable ones) and it is Pakistan’s own evolution that will bring about the change.

Pakistan’s trouble started with the main arbiter of the nation – the Army’s rent seeking behaviour born out of its insecurity and inferiority complex vis-a-vis its larger neighbour. The ayub khan was seen more of a politician for most of his reign, a benevolent dictator until for unknown reasons or for his penchant for staying in power, decided to invade India.

This was also the time, when bengalis were extremely hurt and were looking for ways to get apart from them as most of the development was in the west.

Finally, In my opinion, Pakistan Army is extremely brutal with the population at times but it is not a monolith headed by single brutal dictator but a combination of various power centres coming to one place (deep state,establishment,feudalistic classes whatever u call it) and if people revolt, the state throws the nominal dictator out and then continue to bleed the hapless state.
The real change this time though is because, rather than targeting a single Individual (Ayub,Yahya,Zia or musharraf), people are targeting the Army (or the establishment to be more specific) to be more transperant in their behaviour and that calls for optimism.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

Just like small middle class population that existed in India in 1970′s who believed India does not deserve democracy and needs military ruling (not surprisingly some hailed Indira Gandhi’s emergency), some upwardly middle classes believe that either a puritanical version of Islam imposed on the nation or ruling the country by a benevolent dictators will solve the problem. But the solution is no way related to current problems.

It is only through democracy, practised in south Asia can resolve its problems (although it will take time). And neither Islamic fabian or “good dictators”(as they aren’t any).

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive
 

Mr Patriot

For some minor refinements I would go along with your analogy. Can Pakistan learn from the history? Too late, but history says that Ayub Khan was not a politician, his brother was! Ayub khan had Mr Bhutto as his adviser, politician and the foreign minister. Gen. Ayub got involved involuntarily since his Generals refused to suppress the citizens to support the civilan head of state.Also in my research I did not find Pakistan army in any way having any any complex, I found it very strange. They got involved with India from the start since Indian congress party leaders were not happy with the partition of the country and therefore no cooperation in implementing the agreement in letter or spirit.

I interpret Democracy with freedom, which all humans have the right to have, the form of the Govts. have varied over centuries. Also Islam has not been transformed over time, this is the fallicy of non muslims to think in this vein.
Islam is way of life which muslims undertake to follow. The ten commandments of God along with others are imbedded in the tenets of Islam. Sufis were able to achieve a higher level of enlightenment than the talibans, whereas others are supposed to be just fellow travellers not in a position to tear themselves away from the gold calf. What we have witnessed in Pakistan is not related to Islam and a set back from the level they had before the partition, yet the civilian as well as the army and intellectual liberals Pakistanis find religions and clergy as the scapegoats for their ills, negligence and incompetence. The country could have the beacon of Islam for others; today Turkey is in the lead if they continue on the path and do not get involved with suppression of people etc. and one day despite opposition from Messrs Zarkosi and Merkle are going to be the full member of the European Union.

The Arab revolution, which is now in process is likely to take a very brutal form and is going to stay with us for a long duration and what has started in Pakistan is just the beginning. Pakistan was created to be an Islamic state, a modern and liberal state enriched on account of its history in the subcontinent, far superior to what was going on in the Arab world, in the backyard of Europe who were the colonial powers. Pakistan has failed as an Islamic state, not as a functional state per say. Let no one misconceive its lethal power. Today it is more powerful than it was during Ayub and co. period, it has the weaponry to retaliate against the most powerful countries of the world.

My personal view is that Pakistan as well as India are the countries of future, we in the western world are slowly but gradualy fading away into history as the powers of the past. I hope that the bench mark of the European civilisation would be surpassed in the future and not going to see a setback. The dignity of the individual is not violqble, article one of the German constitutionyour countriesI person

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Mr Patriot

For some minor refinements I would go along with your analogy. Can Pakistan learn from the history? Too late, but history says that Ayub Khan was not a politician, his brother was! Ayub khan had Mr Bhutto as his adviser, politician and the foreign minister. Gen. Ayub got involved involuntarily since his Generals refused to suppress the citizens to support the civilan head of state.Also in my research I did not find Pakistan army in any way having any any complex, I found it very strange. They got involved with India from the start since Indian congress party leaders were not happy with the partition of the country and therefore no cooperation in implementing the agreement in letter or spirit.

I interpret Democracy with freedom, which all humans have the right to have, the form of the Govts. have varied over centuries. Also Islam has not been transformed over time, this is the fallicy of non muslims to think in this vein.
Islam is way of life which muslims undertake to follow. The ten commandments of God along with others are imbedded in the tenets of Islam. Sufis were able to achieve a higher level of enlightenment than the talibans, whereas others are supposed to be just fellow travellers not in a position to tear themselves away from the gold calf. What we have witnessed in Pakistan is not related to Islam and a set back from the level they had before the partition, yet the civilian as well as the army and intellectual liberals Pakistanis find religions and clergy as the scapegoats for their ills, negligence and incompetence. The country could have the beacon of Islam for others; today Turkey is in the lead if they continue on the path and do not get involved with suppression of people etc. and one day despite opposition from Messrs Zarkosi and Merkle are going to be the full member of the European Union.

The Arab revolution, which is now in process is likely to take a very brutal form and is going to stay with us for a long duration and what has started in Pakistan is just the beginning. Pakistan was created to be an Islamic state, a modern and liberal state enriched on account of its history in the subcontinent, far superior to what was going on in the Arab world, in the backyard of Europe who were the colonial powers. Pakistan has failed as an Islamic state, not as a functional state per say. Let no one misconceive its lethal power. Today it is more powerful than it was during Ayub and co. period, it has the weaponry to retaliate against the most powerful countries of the world.

My personal view is that Pakistan as well as India are the countries of future, we in the western world are slowly but gradualy fading away into history as the powers of the past. I hope that the bench mark of the European civilisation would be surpassed in the future and not going to see a setback. The dignity of the individual is not violqble, article one of the German constitutionyour countriesI person

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

Mr Patriot

For some minor refinements I would go along with your analogy. Can Pakistan learn from the history? Too late, but history says that Ayub Khan was not a politician, his brother was! Ayub khan had Mr Bhutto as his adviser, politician and the foreign minister. Gen. Ayub got involved involuntarily since his Generals refused to suppress the citizens to support the civilan head of state.Also in my research I did not find Pakistan army in any way having any any complex, I found it very strange. They got involved with India from the start since Indian congress party leaders were not happy with the partition of the country and therefore no cooperation in implementing the agreement in letter or spirit.

I interpret Democracy with freedom, which all humans have the right to have, the form of the Govts. have varied over centuries. Also Islam has not been transformed over time, this is the fallicy of non muslims to think in this vein.
Islam is way of life which muslims undertake to follow. The ten commandments of God along with others are imbedded in the tenets of Islam. Sufis were able to achieve a higher level of enlightenment than the talibans, whereas others are supposed to be just fellow travellers not in a position to tear themselves away from the gold calf. What we have witnessed in Pakistan is not related to Islam and a set back from the level they had before the partition, yet the civilian as well as the army and intellectual liberals Pakistanis find religions and clergy as the scapegoats for their ills, negligence and incompetence. The country could have the beacon of Islam for others; today Turkey is in the lead if they continue on the path and do not get involved with suppression of people etc. and one day despite opposition from Messrs Zarkosi and Merkle are going to be the full member of the European Union.

The Arab revolution, which is now in process is likely to take a very brutal form and is going to stay with us for a long duration and what has started in Pakistan is just the beginning. Pakistan was created to be an Islamic state, a modern and liberal state enriched on account of its history in the subcontinent, far superior to what was going on in the Arab world, in the backyard of Europe who were the colonial powers. Pakistan has failed as an Islamic state, not as a functional state per say. Let no one misconceive its lethal power. Today it is more powerful than it was during Ayub and co. period, it has the weaponry to retaliate against the most powerful countries of the world.

My personal view is that Pakistan as well as India are the countries of future, we in the western world are slowly but gradualy fading away into history as the powers of the past. I hope that the bench mark of the European civilisation would be surpassed in the future and not going to see a setback. The dignity of the individual is not violqble, article one of the German constitutionyour countriesI person

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

PS sorry for the garbled words at the end. My lap top was impatient and volntarily acted to post.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

The arrests of the informants should put to bed all claims that the ISID were co-operating and helping the CIA find Bin Laden. If they were helping, why would they arrest their own informants?

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

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