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.”

104 comments

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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

-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.-Umairpk

I’m sorry but in that case, neither you nor the PA understands how democracy works.

There can be no exceptions. Even if you think the President is a moron. You don’t think tons of American senior military officers thought Bush Jr. was thick? Yet, they obeyed his orders. And gave him all authorities due. And when they disagreed with him, they yielded to him. Consider for example Gen. Eric Shinseki who has said that more troops were needed for Iraq. The Bush administration disagreed. Shinseki left after his term as Army Chief of Staff ended. That’s how democracy works. No ifs, ands, or buts.

If you’re concerned about the President being a moron then you work that into your constitution and limit his/her powers.

-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. -Umairpk

Here’s the problem: how do you judge who’s a good leader and what’s acceptable performance?

There were tons of people in the USA that thought Bush was a moron. Only a handful more voted for him than against him. Would it have made sense for the US Army to then hang him when the economy tanked or the war in Iraq went bad?

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. -Umairpk

I will bet my paycheque that a truly democratic Pakistan (not one that has the Army in the closet) will truly be a progressive country that’s at peace with its neighbours, and not a refuge for terrorists.

What Bhutto did for strategic reasons shows that a civilian is capable of solid leadership. And it all shows that he did it with Pakistan’s best interests in mind, not out of some crazed obsession (like what the PA has over India). That’s the kind of leader you want.

Posted by kEiThZ | 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. – Rex Minor

Wrong. As a military officer, I can patently tell you that is definitely wrong.

Parliament gets to declare war. But it is the executive (Prime Ministers or the head of state) that retains strategic control of nuclear weapons. The military does not employ them without authorization from the Cabinet or without some kind of specific guidelines from the government (red lines, rules for escalation, etc.). Heck, even in China, the government, not the PLA has strategic control of the nukes.

Pakistan is the only country where the head of state and the head of government have no clue what their Army is up to and where their most valuable military assets are.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

Wrong. As a military officer, I can patently tell you that is definitely wrong.
Posted by kEiThZ
=

Trying to teach the basics of civilization to resident jihadi mullah?!

About democracy in Pakistan. In a hypothetical situation if miraculously Pakistan becomes democratic, we are fine with it. There has only been rumors about the existence of democracy in Pakistan. Its founders, ieologues never believed in democracy. They represented the feudal elite, and the founder felt it was absured to mingle with riff-raff poor people, the opposite of Gandhi and Nehru.
Its founder Jinnah was an autocrat in the brief period he ran the show.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

I believe ISI has done nothing wrong in arresting the CIA informants. BUT by letting the news out they have literally shot themselves in foot. Now the whole world is going to blame them for NOT supporting war on terror which obviously they do not but why make it public, why let your deception (whatever is left of it) be blown up. Or may be they wanted to become heroes in eyes of Pakistanis so as to offset recent criticism for murdering a journalist.

@Keithz
I believe that even the drone strikes by US have to be authorized by the US President, let alone nuke strikes. (correct me if i m wrong)

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@007XXX

Military operations not governed by an established rules of engagement have to be authorized by the Cabinet. This is not just an American thing. It applies to Canada, UK, Australia, Europe, etc.

And where targets are of a sensitive political nature, operations are high risk or there is a high risk of collateral damage or high risk of failure involving friendly casualties, the executive often has input into both the operational and tactical management of the mission.

For things like drone strikes, SOF raids, etc. not only do they have to authorize the target, they executive also authorizes things like levels of collateral damage (how many civilians can be injured or killed in the process of prosecuting the target). This is done with staff inside arguing for and against various aspects of the mission. For example, a human rights lawyer or a JAG officer might argue against too many civilians casualties. The Intelligence targetting team might argue that the target travels with a 10-man entourage, making his elimination impossible without allowing for some collateral damage. The Prime Minister or Defence Minister and/or other cabinet members then render a decision. Even on strategic matters, for example in the US, which war should be prioritized (Af-Pak or Iraq), it is the elected leadership that makes this decision. This is democracy.

It is utterly scary and ridiculous that the political leadership in Pakistan does not have this level of input into the strategic considerations and plans impacting Pakistanis. That the generals were able to launch Kargil without bringing Sharif fully into the know, and then unpack the nuclear missiles without his knowledge or authorization is too scary to even contemplate. And it truly shows why elected leadership should have control of these assets. No politician would take putting nuclear missile launchers to the field lightly. But clearly Pakistan Army officers think their toys that can be pulled out on a whim.

More broadly, as a military officer, I fully value the involvement of civilians on a command team. It provides a common sense check against group think that all institutions (including a military one) are prone too. Do I want a civvy flying a jet or at the helm of a sub or in a trench? NO. Do I want a civilian academics input into geo-strategic considerations? You bet.

If we had civilian leadership that had real authority in Pakistan, I am willing to bet pretty much all of Pakistan’s major issues with its neighbours would be solved pretty quickly. Politicians tend to be pragmatic and care about being able to deliver to voters by the end of their term. Nor would they sell out Pakistan, because the voters would surely turf them from office if they did (or worse). That’s exactly why democracy is a good check on power. The unelected clique of Rawalpindi on the other hand, is subject to group think and has no check on their authority, even when they come up with harebrained schemes like Kargil.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@007XXX

Saying the ISID has done nothing wrong in arresting the informant depends on whether you believe they were telling the truth or lying about their participation in the raid.

If they were co-operating, why would they arrest, what would amount to be their own sources? But if they weren’t (or worse were sheltering OBL), then arresting these informants makes perfect sense. In which case, we now know where Pakistan stands on AQ.

As for not telling the world, you don’t think the CIA would have to found out that their sources got arrested? Heck, they were all probably going to get green cards and new identities in the US.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

If a President has the knowledge of the weaponry, then he must accept to be court martialed as well in case the knowledge is divulged. The head of state is subject to impeachment and dismissal from the office only.
If there are people who are not able to follow the logic of reasons, then let us take the guide from Hegel’s logic of speculation and examine the relatively small military engagement of the USA in Abbotabad. For the operation the President and his cabinet were subjected to the oath of secrecy, not divulging the plan to their spouses. During the actual operation, the entire cabinet was kept under military guard. The life of military takes a priority over civilians.

The officer and some of his disciples have a lot to learn and should better not bring our hairy and fairy stories.

Pakistan military is a highly professional oufit and knows the military rules and have full control of their strategic weaponry some of which is constantly on wheels. American nukes have been found abondoned at the airport, not those of other Nations.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

rex: “Also in my research I did not find Pakistan army in any way having any any complex, I found it very strange”.
I find it very strange that you have not come across this, The Army which is the main arbiter of power is the reason and an organised resistance force (with full blessing of its feudal establishment) which stopped the pakistan in moving into its natural discourse. I believe you are way off the course here. The fact that nuclear weaopons are in the hands of army says it all. And you cannot find apologies or excuses trying to defend such political alignment where nuclear button rests with Army.

“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”.

The fact that he chose to listen to politicians and dropped the uniform for political power says he is a politician.
He should rather have asked his brother to take up the causes of masses. But then we can agree to disagree on this.

“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”.

Yes the Arab revolution will take a long way to complete its course. But I believe the evolution in pakistan is not the first, only it had false starts. Yes I agree with you that this time the beginning which was made seems to be unstoppable. The Army is in backfoot (regarding any political entaglement), thorough critism on the policies by public (self introspection, which of course should keep happening in a functional democratic setup).

“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.”
No disagreements here either. But its never too late to come back on the tracks. The false starts that I said in my previous para, means that the ruling establishment (feudal classes and Army) have tried to stop the natural democratic evolutionary process. In fact, If the Establishment were not to put spoke in it, Pakistan had been the first islamic country who could have knitted moderate Islam with democracy right back in 1947 and not turkey or indonesia.

“Pakistan has failed as an Islamic state, not as a functional state per say”
Why should we not reverse this statement and it will still be the same, Pakistan could not become fully functional state because it tried to concoct a Islamic state. If it just attempted to continue creating structures for moderate muslim nation of what it really was, It would not have become dysfunctional. So, no problem in agreeing with you here.

“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”.
The fact that Pakistani’s (or their supporters) take recourse in the Armed forces means it still suffers with some kind of complex, and powerful in what sense, is it the ability to trouble neighbours or trouble with the thoughts that its implosion will create even more conflict in the region. Economically declining pakistan is no threat economically to its neighnours but its failure is what threatens the neighbours. Some people in pakistan seems to believe that pakistan can nuke anybody without realizing that, the world powers have enough weaponry to grind pakistan to dust, but they seem to behave sensibly owing to the fact that any conflict will hurt them even if its little, and they dont want to display this one-upmanship.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

States perennially suffering from insecurity will keep harping about the ultimate weapons of doom. A confident and progessive country will not resort to such brinkmapship and will take recourse to its economic stability and strength, which it plays to effect to discourage others in meddling in the state.

If India were to interfere in baluchistan and stoke fires in the movement and when pakistan protests India’s policies and warns India of consequences, India resorts to nuclear brinkmanship claiming to blow pak cities. dont you think in this case, Pakistan would be a little annoyed. Well, we were annoyed with you regarding your interference in our insurgencies.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Keith:
“The unelected clique of Rawalpindi on the other hand, is subject to group think and has no check on their authority”

-In recent time, both DG ISI and CoAS faced the elected parliamentarians, the ISPR statement took into account public sensitivities and it is a clear sign that Pakistan Army considers itself accountable to Pakistani people.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

On India, unless Pakistan defines its relationship with India, before 1947 Pakistan was India. In other words, after 1947 a part of India was transformed into Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan must come to terms with the reality and move forward. Unfortunately, that does not seem to happen for decades to come, but it is reality. Until then, India and Pakistan will remain obsessed with each other in ways that are different.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Keithz
“Saying the ISID has done nothing wrong in arresting the informant depends on …… new identities in the US.”

Ohh man that was just a satire towards Pakis. Only serious thing in that post was question for you; to which u gave a good answer. We in India often say it in satirical manner that killing so called infidels and kaafirs is perfectly LEGAL as per Pak laws and so killing Indians, Israelis and Americans is LEGAL as per Pak Law.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@Mr Patriot

I shall try again to go along with your thinking, if I can guess correctly not knowing fully Indian Govt. policy or thinking.
Gen Ayub did try to learn politics. He was not on talking terms with his brother. Mr Bhutto was the classical Nicolo de Bernardo dei from the Indian sub continent. A true copy of machiavelli, and this angle of politics was not known to the military Generals. A cunning and deceitful politician not seen in the entire sub-continent before. He forgot that politicians should not play a game of deceit with military men and eventualy he lost his life.

What has happened in the past has occured and can therefore not be reversed. If anyone wants to research in the past to learn some lessons, there s
I guess I said earlier that weaponry is alwasy under the control of the military. Pakistan in my view is not an exception. Indian military has also full control of its weapons as well, and so is in other nuclear armed countries.
I fully agree with you that states suffering perennialy (not perinialy) from insecurity always harp about their weapons of mass destruction. The USA is the only onw whose leaders state all options are on the table! I am no aware of any announcements from India and Pakistan, with the exception that Pakistan appers to be regularly announcing their shot range missiles being tested. I have not got got the clue what a short range of missile in Pakistan entails.
In my view. people of good will from Pakistan and India need to start a process of reconciliation, similar to that what Germany did with soviet Union and recently with Poland and this has come a long way towards bringing the communities of different countries closer to each others concerns. It has certainly not been possible on several blogs that I have visited.

Have a nice day.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

New developments in Pakistan. Kayani’s floor is shaking:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/world/ asia/16pakistan.html?_r=1&hp

Hope some other lunatic does not replace him. The last thing the world wants to see is another wily Musharraf.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

kpsingh01,
A timely and relevant piece, and great for the bloggers to have a sense of understanding about the pakistani army.It seems kayani is repenting his decision on his extension. ;-)
My understanding on the evolving scenario will likely play out this way.

1.It is now completely clear that Kayani has lot moral integrity even before he could possibly lay a coup.

2.It is unlikely that he lays a coup lest the people come into the streets protesting against this adventure.

3.The Pakistan-American relations will remain as a low key affair in the short to medium term. Pakistan establishment clearly knows that America is not only the largest Aid giver but also has enough leverage with financial institutions (IMF,World Bank) to influence their behaviour on pakistan, and pakistan cannot go against America in order to avoid bankruptsy.

3.Pakistan’s friends who are interested in only selling weapons or receiving contracts (china) or putting pakistan as laboratory for their theological experiments (saudi arabia) are of little help and pakistan knows it.In such nut cracker situation,

a) It has to continue to accept American drone attacks as fait accompli rather than inviting american wrath.
The result is, country becomes more radicalized and people lose faith in the only institutions they always trusted, the Army. The state becomes even more dysfunctional and moves ever more closer to a failed state as large swathes of its geography are out of its control and only cities remain under consitutional authority.

b)The increasing public pressure on the Army pushes it to take the hard decision of abandoning the America (rather pakistan behaves in such a way that American abandons pakistan). The result is reducedi nfluence in afghanistan and even greater blow to the economy which is already weakened by current security situation.
The result is either the political government takes the baton of country’s discourse henceforth and calls off unnecessary adventures be it conflict with India or ending the support of terrorists by bringing ISI under its home department and wrapping “S” wing, which will put the country on course to progess,development and peace.
or It may also result in some Islamo-fascist controlling pakistan’s establishment at its neck. But as I explained in my previous posts, its incomprehensible that a multi cultural and diverse pakistan (the diversity is social,class based and theological) can create a single fascist out of the current social cauldron in pakistan.

c)Army perpetrates more Mumbai like attacks on India to divert the attention of the people and resultant backlash from India would suffice to unite people of pakistan on a patriotic platform and sliding the issue under the carpet.
Result of this scenario will entail serious reprisals from India by lightning strikes on terror camps (a rhetorical action by India for domestic fodder) but will have desired effect on pakistan’s psyche that Pak Army actually wants, to potray India as enemy and uniting people on the perceived threat from India.The drones continue to hit Af-Pak borders but reported as a lesser priority in the media. This is a status-quoist scenario where the country neither slides nor rebounds but drifts aimlessly into the future until demographic contraints catch up with even more decisive do-or-die action needed from contitutinal authorities from pakistan.

I somehow believe case b) is the more likeliest scenario of them as I am optimist and the change in attitudes among common pakistanis seems real this time.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Rex,
You are right, there is no point in discussing past especially when its not worth remembering.
Even I believe US is the most insecure nation on earth but with recent economic difficulties, it is coming out of the delusions that it is invincible and reordering its priorities. We should all do the same. While India is focussing very hard on ecnonomic growth, I am yet to see pakistan moving that way.

Rex:”I have not got got the clue what a short range of missile in Pakistan entails”.
I have explained in my previous post how the cold start strategy is playing out on the minds of Pakistani generals and how Indians are slowly binding Pakistan into an Arms race. The next counter initiate to overcome short range nuke missiles (which will be targeted on Indian military at border to stop invading Indians) will be by developing unmanned machines with the intention of pulling Pak furthur into an Arms race.
Had it not for the cold start strategy pak wont be spending so much of defence and will still have some firewood to stir up jihadi machine on India.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

sensiblepatriot,

There is another tested and tried way to come out of this – a conflict with India. When cornered, many dictators and generals have resorted to wars to deflect public attention on themselves. Saddam Hussein launched his ten year war with Iran and burnt his coffers out. He then wanted Kuwait to waive all the loans and was declined. This forced him to invade Kuwait.

Kayani cannot stage a coup without the help of his corps commanders. If they are disappointed with him, he will have to resign and let someone else take charge. The only way he can rally his corps commanders is offer them something that salivates their mouths – conflict with India. Of course going head on with India will be foolish. So conditions will have to be created where India will be forced to attack Pakistan. Over the past six decades Pakistan has never placed India in an aggressor’s position. So there are ways out of a situation. The high command can give its nod to stage a massive Summer Revolution in Kashmir first, followed by a couple of Mumbai style attacks in the hinterlands using LeT’s sleeper cells made up of Indian Muslims. Probably they will hit Bangalore and Ahmedabad. The ruling Congress party will have no choice but to mobilize the military and launch quick offensives inside Pakistan (cold doctrine?). And now all of Pakistan, military, militants, radicals and the people will align behind Kayani.

Once the war with India starts, Pakistan can evict all Americans and close down all co-operation in the Afghan war/settlement because their national integrity is under threat.

The reason why I read and watch events inside Pakistan is because their moves are always based on survival, which includes options to draw India into a conflict and prolong their survival.

This time it will be an ugly nuclear Armageddon. This will be like a suicide mission for Pakistan. They probably have nothing left to lose.

2012 is nearing. May be the Mayans were right :-)

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

For the operation the President and his cabinet were subjected to the oath of secrecy, not divulging the plan to their spouses. During the actual operation, the entire cabinet was kept under military guard. – Rex Minor

Wrong. They were not under “military guard”. They were sitting in a war room watching the operation unfold. That does not equal being under “military guard”. It is the US Secret Service that is responsible for the security of the US President, not the US military. In fact, the US military is expressly forbidden from conducting operations at home under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 except where expressly authorized by the US Congress. As such, the, being able to detain any civilian, least of all the Cabinet, is very unlikely.

The life of military takes a priority over civilians. – Rex Minor

No it doesn’t.

The officer and some of his disciples have a lot to learn and should better not bring our hairy and fairy stories. – Rex Minor.

You have no clue what you’re talking about. Reading a book and having free time to comment does not make you an expert on how military operations are legally conducted under auspices of a democratic framework.

Pakistan military is a highly professional oufit and knows the military rules and have full control of their strategic weaponry some of which is constantly on wheels. American nukes have been found abondoned at the airport, not those of other Nations. – Rex Minor

And the interesting thing about that incident is that it was self-publicized by the USAF and reported up the chain of command to the US President. The incident resulted in the prosecution and dismissal of several high ranking officers. If such an incident happened in Pakistan, nobody would ever hear about it and it would be swept under the rug. This is value of democracy and civilian oversight of the armed forces. When military leaders fail they should be disciplined just like any other bureaucrat who falls short.

And let’s just say there’s plenty of info that shows Pakistan’s nuclear facilities are no where as secure as they claim them to be. Read wikileaks. And I know a lot more than what Julian Assange has in his pile.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

I have explained in my previous post how the cold start strategy is playing out on the minds of Pakistani generals and how Indians are slowly binding Pakistan into an Arms race. The next counter initiate to overcome short range nuke missiles (which will be targeted on Indian military at border to stop invading Indians) will be by developing unmanned machines with the intention of pulling Pak furthur into an Arms race.
Had it not for the cold start strategy pak wont be spending so much of defence and will still have some firewood to stir up jihadi machine on India. – sensiblepatriot

The problem with all this is the brinkmanship involved. From an outside perspective, Cold Start makes a lot of sense. Contrary to how Pakistanis and some hawkish Indians view it, it’s not an invasion plan, but simply a plan to mobilize more quickly. Given the size of India’s Army and the fact that most of it is hundreds of kms from the border, this meant that where Pakistan could mobilize in days, it took India weeks. During which time, India would inevitably succumb to diplomatic pressure from abroad.

Cold Start split up large Army groups into smaller formations that could be based closer to the border and more easily transported from the rear. This basically allows the Indian Army to catch up to Pakistan.

The problem with Cold Start, however, is that the Pakistanis will now want to use nuclear weapons and possibly pre-emtpively, or at least threaten as much to keep India at bay. Pakistan knows it can’t win a conventional war. I’d be surprised if they lasted a week. It would be an utter miracle if they lasted a month. Not enough spares. Not enough oil. And a technologically and numerically inferior force. They maybe well trained, but you can’t overcome odds like that. So with that in mind, their game plan now is to nuke assembly areas along the Indian border (they tend to forget that radiation can blow their way too).

Whether they are bluffing (and not banking on Indian retaliation) nobody knows. But presumably, it gives them a terrific diplomatic edge. They can claim to feel threatened and whip out the nukes, and the rest of the world (and maybe even the Indian public) will panic and pressure India to back down.

Does that mean Cold Start was wrong? Of course not. The Indian Army’s response times were utterly pathetic (though not entirely the Army’s fault…Indian infrastructure is not conducive to moving armoured divisions around). So they owe the government and the public an improved response time. And they had to have known that Pakistan would pursue options to somewhat blunt the improved response.

All that said, all this talk of drones and what not is off-base. The easiest way to draw the Pakistanis into an arms race is to buy expensive stuff and lots of it. Just look at the Pakistani response to the MMRCA contest. Worried about the Indians fielding 100+ modern combat aircraft, they’ve hastily signed a deal to pay full price (though they call it “co-development” for a Chinese bird that’s barely better than the F-16s they have right now)…actually it’s not better than the F-16s they have now (though you’ll hear lots of bravado from them trying to convince themselves otherwise). So there’s no need to engage in a tit-for-tat systems race. All India would have to do, would be to increase defence spending slightly. For every 1% of GDP that India spends on defence, Pakistan would have to spend 3% of GDP to keep up. And that ratio gets worse as the economic gap between the countries grow. If India keeps up it’s economic growth rate and Pakistan stays in the doldrums, it could get to the point in 10-20 years where Pakistan would have to spend like the North Koreans do (by some estimates as high as 25%), to keep up with India. It’s starting to look like the USA-USSR race of the 80s.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@kpsingh

Interesting article. I have said it before and I am unapologetic about it. Even though Indians may not see it that way, I do believe that Kayani is a fairly decently military leader and maybe one of the best that Pakistan has ever had. He does have Pakistan’s best interests at heart. And he understands the futility of harbouring terrorists and what it could do to Pakistan in the long run.

However, as the saying goes, “You can’t fight city hall.”. The man is facing an establishment that has worked hard for two generations to indoctrinate the Pakistani fighting man that India is evil and that Islam is good and that they are protectors of Islam. Now when the young soldiers go home and see mullahs preaching Jihad they have a crisis of conscience. If they see themselves as protectors of Islam, how can they fight jihadists fighting for Islam. There’s only one solution: a secular armed forces. It’s what has made the Indian Army (despite India’s diversity) so successful. And a good Muslim model would be Turkey (where the Army is fiercely secular) while most of its personnel are quite religious.

Now it’s a question of whether Kayani (or whoever comes after him) can change the Pakistan Army or whether they will reject such leaders and continue (along with the country) their descent into the abyss.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

@sensible Patriot
I agree. I am a strong believer in peoples power, very keen on history to understand the time curve when changes occur and cannot be rolled back. I can forecast that since Indian people place a great emphasis on economic growth, they are going to meet their objectives during the time of their choice. If they were also not to ignore the security of its citizns and work for peace in the region, a power based on hard work and morals could emerge in the region for futuregenerations. I am sure that people of Pakistan and India are going to have peace if and when they desire.
Most problems facing individual countries are caused by their own leaders incompetence or lack of will, and not on account of the outside world.

Is India or China with a very large population going to follow the path of the American Imperium, or those of the European colonialists or even the Romans? Then they should also be able to know the downfall of their projects in a similar way as of their predecessors.
Pakistan in my opinion is currently at a cross road, not interested in economics or self reliance. Umair could tell us how the civilian Govt is likely to become a funtional one and a transparent one? The military by definition is unlikely to bcome transparent with the people.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

KeithZ: “Now it’s a question of whether Kayani (or whoever comes after him) can change the Pakistan Army or whether they will reject such leaders and continue (along with the country) their descent into the abyss.”

Pakistani army is at the cross roads. What they decide now will decide the future of their country. And what they decide will need to be something that will last long term. It took two and a half decades for the decisions taken by the Zia’s regime to bear fruit today. It will take even longer to detox the system. Can they do it? That is a big question. Their initial change will be violent where they have to cleanse the monsters that have already grown up and have wings to fly. They cannot be put back into the cage. If they are bold and courageous, they will have to fight their own products head on and destroy them. Only then they will be able to build a new outlook that is secular, moderate and is obedient to the civilian government. It will take a decade or two to become normal again. I hope they make the right decision.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

We tend to forget Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, together with Gen. Ashfaq Kayani the two are very capable officers heading a professional military. And guess what, no one is more equipped in dealing with steep challenges than a professional highly motivated and trained military. Had it not been upto the unity of command of Pakistan Armed Forces, Pakistan would have cranked under pressure. One thing is evident, the yanks will have their screws tightened really hard this time. That is about it, no surprises,no sensationalism, no one is going anywhere.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

CoAS interacts with Army/ Formation subedar majors

http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o= t-press_release&id=1768#pr_link1768

once again great leadership, taking his men onboard.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

There is no cold war as Keithz seems to suggest. There is nothing unusual or extraordinary about Indian military modernization. GDP percentage wise, for the size and economy of the country India is not doing anything unusual. The length of its coastline, economic interests in Indian ocean demand boosting the Navy.

About Indian armoured divisions facing Pakistan, should they be facing or surrounding Nepal and Bangladesh?

India cannot be responsible for pak megalomaniacal delusions and wanting to punch above its size. In an imaginary ( delusional) cold war, if paks spend and go down India cannot be responsible.

Pakistani jihadi terror inside India does not have diplomatic cover from the west. Internally, economically weaker Pakistan is more of a problem to the west ( as a global jihadi terror HQ) than to India.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

There is no cold war as Keithz seems to suggest. There is nothing unusual or extraordinary about Indian military modernization. GDP percentage wise, for the size and economy of the country India is not doing anything unusual. The length of its coastline, economic interests in Indian ocean demand boosting the Navy.

About Indian armoured divisions facing Pakistan, should they be facing or surrounding Nepal and Bangladesh?

India cannot be responsible for pak megalomaniacal delusions and wanting to punch above its size. In an imaginary ( delusional) cold war, if paks spend and go down India cannot be responsible.

Pakistani jihadi terror inside India does not have diplomatic cover from the west. Internally, economically weaker Pakistan is more of a problem to the west ( as a global jihadi terror HQ) than to India.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

netizen,

I didn’t suggest there was some Cold War going on. It’s quite clear to me (and most other analysts) that Indian military modernization and expenditures are largely aimed at addressing concerns about China, while fielding sufficient forces to keep a watch on the Western border.

What I am suggesting is that it will be very hard for Pakistan to keep up in a situation of diverging economic growth. And if they attempt to maintain parity without keeping up with India’s economic growth, they could end up like North Korea or the USSR.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

What I do not understand is why Pakistan is desperately trying to keep parity with India? They know the differences and there is absolutely no comparison between the two countries in terms of size, capacity and capabilities. This is a clear sign of immaturity and superiority complex. They have focused entirely on military might to keep up this stupid parity and have lost all their clothes in the bargain. Nukes will not solve any problem. If India sends in a surge of small divisions into Pakistan, they cannot send in a small nuke at them because their own citizens will be at peril. Going to direct wars with countries of this kind is a big strategic mistake. Proxy wars are the only means to contain them. And proxy wars cost a lot of money too. But India can create and sustain proxy wars until Pakistan loses all its grip. India has given up staging such wars in the 1990s when India’s PM Inder Kumar Gujral closed down such activities inside Pakistan out of goodwill. But if India is forced into a situation of having to deal with a belligerent Pak military, then the old chapter can be opened again.

In fact this war against Al Qaeda could have been run by remote control right from the start. All the US had to do was not to put a soldier on the ground. They could have bombed the daylights out of the Taliban, driven them out and given the helm to the Northern Alliance. Those guys are born and brought up in this environment. They are as war hardened as the Taliban. They could have been used as proxies to take on the Taliban. Money and weaponry could have been given to them to strengthen their side. And Pakistan could have been used, as now, to launch drone strikes periodically to weaken the Taliban and other such tribes. At some point these guys would have caved in and waved the white flag. And no one would be accusing Americans of invading Afghanistan and placed them at the mercy of Pakistan. The only way to keep these guys from harming others is to turn them focused on each other and they would reach an equilibrium of mutual dead lock. What unites them is a common enemy. The strategy should be not be that common enemy. By now most of those militants would have slaughtered each other and Pak military would have been eaten alive from all sides. And that would left the rest of the world in peace.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan is a melting pot now and will be so for the foreseeable future. ISI would have considerable influence over shape and direction of the country’s future military strategy. The civilian administration including the president would be reduced to “puppets on the chain”. In fact “terrorists” or “militants” be they Taliban or Al Qaeda would call the shots and ISI is their mouthpiece.

Pakistan government would only be a spineless onlooker when the whole system unravels. Already it’s in full progress. With civil society crumbling down the meltdown would be complete. Almost 2 out of 3 Pakistanis have lost faith in the government and an increasing number of youth are disaffected. So is the judiciary which is a patch-work affair to fear and favor.

The American largesse is coming to an end. Except for the few F15 fighters and some other military equipment nothing of American largesse would be left behind. Pakistan has been dependent on American generosity to finance its war not only against terror. There is another logical posture assumed by Pakistani generals. There is no grantee that these weapons would not be used against its adversaries like India.

However, the Americans as of late have realized how futile the relationship has been. Billions that could have been used to finance jobs back at home have been dumped. The outcome is nothing but a loss of face and money. Instead of concentrating on economic development Pakistan has been worried about India’s rise as regional power. India is not Pakistan. The former is a democracy while the latter is a military dictatorship in civilian garb.

Those few nuclear warheads might as well fall into the wrong hands one day. Taliban and Al Qaeda are more likely to pump prime Pakistani generals to provide them with an effective weapon against Americans. Expect the worse to come.

Posted by colporteur777 | Report as abusive

why seek parity with india? this is to go back to partition and earlier. olaf caroes ‘springs of power’ thesis postulating the need for creating a pro west satellite/client from nw of british india (1 of reasons why bangladesh 71 was in the end allowed as it was never strategically part of olaf caroes thesis)bought by jinnah with muslim league and 2 nation theory the tool; once suckered and found out as partition took place the ml leadership in different ways came up with pakistan idealogy with pak army as its guardians and pak army finally made isi its guardians;
basically, if india, pak coexist in peace n friendship and both develop n become prosperous, then not only is 2 nation theory negated but pakistan is a loser from partition as india develops gradually into a world eco/pol power;
but guardians of pak idealogy are well aware that going back to india (re-union) isnt an option- though they hae created existentialist threat in order to support high def spend and role of army/isi; india wasnt in faour of partition and isnt ever accepting 2 nation theory but nonetheless accepts the reality of pakistan n doesnt want it (or other saarc neighbours) united with india as this will actually be the worst thing that they can do (if ever seek reunion) for india even worse than a terrible (and to be avoided) nuclear conflict;
india is not a revolving door nation;for this reason india doesnt coet its neighbours territory and seeks regional peace and prosperity through a strengthened (if and when pak comes on board to truly seek peace- at such point who has kashmir valley wont be relevant either way , if its not with india it wouldnt be the end of the world if pakistan had discarded all the elements of its pakistan idealogy n truly sought peace with india)
so to avoid losing pak wants parity- in cold war when india wasnt imp for west thru downsizing india to pak status, now by upgrading pak to indias status;
then kash n afghan as end of beginning; next stage conquest of part of india and its disintegration and achieving acceptance of hegemonic role in central, sout, sw asia; then using indian resources to build original ml vision of islamic caliphate centred and led by pakistan; to use first the west vs india then in years ahead china vs west n india n then finally turn against china;
in this way they believe they emerge as winners from partition and pay back the west for having suckered them into partition when the goal was only caroe’s client/satellite state in geostrategically pivotal nw of old brit india (present pak)
of course its not convenient for anyone to agree with this as no1 wants to believe it- but this is the true pakistan idealogy that drives pa and isi. thats why they seek parity, depth, n proliferate nukes fast (they had sufficient in 1990 to successfully deter india) it doesnt drive the pak people yet but they arent the decision makers, and thats where the madrassas, mullahs, jihad become useful tools to embed variants of the this idealogy in the wider public; and thats why tolerance/cooperation for al qaeda et al;

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive

“One thing is evident, the yanks will have their screws tightened really hard this time.” Posted by Umairpk

You can tighten the screws as hard as you want but ultimately, it will be Pakistan, who’s wheels will be coming off.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

keithz:”All that said, all this talk of drones and what not is off-base. The easiest way to draw the Pakistanis into an arms race is to buy expensive stuff and lots of it. Just look at the Pakistani response to the MMRCA contest”.

Apologies for shooting my mouth off :-). when I said unmanned drones, it is probably the use of small special forces with high tech weaponry (not heavy weaponry) that are tools of force in the future.
Comparing with 6 strike divisions India has and with light and low tech weaponry in their hands and heavy armoured vehicles. India cannot win a decisive war on pakistan before International pressure becomes too much to handle.
1.Cold start strategy was brought as part of the failure of operation parakram in 2002 when Indian forces took weeks for deployement and Pak forces being closer to the border were able to deploy quickly.So the surprise was lost.
2.Cold start strategy needs very high co-ordination between civil and military personnel to conduct it in a effective manner.
3.The idea of cold start depends both on playing pak’s psyche of drawing itself into arms race with India and this is the most important part of cold start. To somehow push pakistan into numbers game in high technology weapons.
4.Since cold start asks for a precise way of conducting a war, it needs precision instruments of war like precision munitions and laser guided bombs and would have to conduct this operation under nuclear hangover and complete it with limited objectives in a limited frame of time.
5.Since the perceived aggressor (India) uses high technology to quickly gain some territory even before Pakistan has time to react and has even little reason to display nuclear brinkmanship, they need to counter only through similiar aquisition of weapons. Which, while US wont provide cheap weaponry and where china wont provide required quiality.
6.Despite what bravado pak’s military shows, deployment of short range nuclear missiles is a difficult part, owing to the fact that the weapon warhead and missile components are seperated and will require time to deploy.
7.If they keep them in ready to deploy mode, Pak Army knows the danger of sabotage of the nuclear facilities by terrorists. If they could overrun mehran airbase with ease, Couldn’t they hit few trucks deployed with nuclear launchers.
8.The air defence component of Pakistan has always been its Achilles heel and Indians pretty well know that. In any conflict, India will deliver its super sonic missiles into the armoured divisions and destroying significant military assets without even invading pakistan. The borders are so close that it makes no sense to physically invade it. Pakistan had to deal with high numbers of air defence assets on India side(AMD weapons courtesy United states and Israel) in order to retaliate effectively and with precision.
9.If the Indian Army doesn’t even Invade pak, how can pak threaten India with nukes!! In order to retaliate effectively from the India’s air defences, Pakistan needs to crowd out atleast few missiles (at a factor of say 6 ) to hit a tactical locations (Armed divisions) of India.
10.This is what India hopes to play with pakistan. The idea of cold start is more to do with raw nerves and wily attitude than with real war. 90% of the war will be played out on the minds forcing pakistan to arm and rearm until pak realizes it as a futile excercise and only 10% for real contingency planning of war without major retaliation from pakistan army.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

buntyj: “olaf caroes ‘springs of power’ thesis postulating the need for creating a pro west satellite/client from nw of british india ”

I agree with this thesis. I have found other authors talking about the same thing. Pakistan is a product of the Great game between imperial powers of the past. Pakistan owes is existence to Winston Churchill. This guy passionately hated Gandhi and his Congress party. His side kicks made sure that Pakistan would become a reality. Churchill had spent time in the NWFP region as a reporter. And he understood the need for a staging ground for British imperial military to take on the expanding Russians. Though the British empire disappeared at the birth of Pakistan, the purpose stayed on with cold war taking the place of the old Great Game. So Pakistan found its usefulness as a Western garrison against the Soviets who replaced the Russian empire. The game remained the same while the players changed. Now the game is over. Pakistan has lost the original purpose for which it was carved out of the sub-continent. Time to redraw the borders for the future.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

kpsingh01: “All the US had to do was not to put a soldier on the ground. They could have bombed the daylights out of the Taliban, driven them out and given the helm to the Northern Alliance”.

Probably winning war against terrorists was only part of their plan, Perhaps they were also thinking of squatting themselves in Afghanistan for long as its prized strategic post overseing India,China and Russia.

Statecraft doesn’t have any moral inclinations, if US sees fit it can meddle in Indian affairs using Kashmir insurgency , uighur insurgency in china and chechen insurgency in Russia (of course Pakistan will have no qualms about stoking the fires, if they are paid handsomely, assuming pakistan is not going to change its attitude).It will have enough space for manovour. The fear that any of these nations will challenge it in future is perhaps bigger reason for having army boots inside Afghanistan. They will probably have small force even after the drawdown.
The US is adept at creating diversionary hot spots for countries that challenge it and what good a place than afghanistan.
In fact, this is the reason US is very secretly in talks with Afghanistan (all groups in afghanista without being apologetic at all).

“According to the Guardian, representatives of the Haqqani network visited Kabul “very recently.” Simultaneously, the U.S. is spearheading a move in New York for the removal of the Taliban from the United Nations’ list of terrorists so that they can travel and openly take part in talks. The idea has been floated that the Taliban be permitted to open “representative office” in a third country.”
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/art icle2107404.ece?homepage=true

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

@SPatriot
Please do not forget that logic total expressed in your latest post is not equivalent to truth. How many times you reckon the Pashtoons or so called talibans must prove that they are invincible. Soviet Union was knocked out of the map, though it had some renegade communist Pashtoons were with them, and now the US might, no longer a super power of the world? Mind you, in the case of USA very limited Pashtoon commandos have so far been active, and I can assure you that the one thing Pashtoons are armed with is the KK and a plenty of fresh air!

Northern Alliance hero was sent to a very long rest and many others never left the valleys which always welcome foreigners in their midst. Winston churchil was the unique individual to escape on foot and during night.

Would you seriously recommend to your Govt. to stay on the wrong side of Taliban forces?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Oh please Rex, Will you stop this cribbing about invincibility of pushtoons..blah..blah… we have heard it from you from a long time.
It is the way of fighting in your favoured territory, the low intensity warfare, that is a challenge for outside forces. If winning is ultimate thing, can’t Empires just nuke the whole place (at one time, Russia was infact planning to deliver some sub kiloton bombs due to their frustration).
Could your invincible taliban force take on Vietnamese kong in vietnam forests.
The idea of winning for Americans is making sure they they “win” while the idea of winning for taliban is ensuring that they dont “lose”. So I hope you analyze the issue rationally, and no race is perennially invincible nor it is forever in slavery.
They are no savages and no pushtoon baby is born with AK-47 assault rifle as you seem to point out. Please read history it was Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan called frontier Gandhi during Indian independence movement who fought british shoulder to shoulder with Indians peacefully and a great democratic leader in the region until his death and pakistan’s tranformation of old cultural region into vortex of terrorism.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

buntyj and sensiblepatriot and rex minor.

No offence guys but the last few posts have been utterly painful to read. Please use some grammar at least. Makes it easier on the rest of us.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

“One thing is evident, the yanks will have their screws tightened really hard this time.” Posted by Umairpk

There won’t be screws to tighten once NATO is out of Afghanistan. So enjoy it while it lasts.

After that, the carrots (aid) will be few and far in-between and there will a lot more sticks (like votes at the UN and the IMF) whenever Pakistan misbehaves.

It’s not widely understood what it means to be a superpower. The term is all encompassing. It involves diplomatic, economic and cultural power. Not just military might. And to defeat a superpower you have to defeat them on every one of those plains. That’s not going to happen.

Kayani understands this and he’s trying to prepare the Army and the country for the future. That’s what he meant, when he asked, “How can we fight America?” You can’t. And trying to do so will simply bankrupt and destroy Pakistan in the process.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

You are a good man and think very straight in one direction, idea ‘Fixe’. Perhaps you should address your proposal to the commander of the nuclear airbourne division of the USA, who is sitting with his outfit in Afghanistan, not far away from your country? Those who underestimate them and are declared their enemy eventualy are the loosers in history. The list is getting longer all the time; blah blah, if you please. What I have said is the reality on ground today. Your country is spending a large sums to win talibans on its side and are in direct competition with the Americans and Pakistanis.

Rex Minor

PS Sorry I had not intention to upset your illusion based on logic. What the Russions did or did not do got their permanent pay back in Chechyan! I am sure the Americans do not want a Chechyan in their country as well. Besides, there are too many Americans now of Pashtoon origin sitting as advisers to the congress and the USA administration and the USA understands what a Pashtoon means. You obviously do not. George W also knew and had regular visitors of talibans in Texas, but late he got nasty and wanted to demonstrate that he is more powerful than the Pashtoos, a very legitimate claim. However,he failed to prove it and then left for Iraq, but did not tell his would be President, who had his try. The result today is that the USA are never going to attack any country in the future with regular forces. Special operations like the one in abbotabad, drones and t missiles, no longer relying on the marines who have become flat footed in Afghanistan under General Petros. General Macchrystal was competent just like King Richard who accepted the defeat and left Jerusalem! General Macchrystal got the sack and King Richard became a prisoner in Austria, both for wrong reasons! Khan Ghafar was a good Pashtoon leader and a very loyal member of the congress party asking for independence. The communities of the NWFP, muslims as well as non muslims were very much integrated culturaly. Indian Muslim league had different plans and despite opposition from the Khan Bros. the muslim majority opted for Pakistan. Most Pashtoons are friendly and non violent by tradition and culture, but are allergic to foreigners considering that the Brits were sitting around for acentury in the cantonmets doing everything possible to intrude into the Pashtoon territory. They have a very tight security system for every tribe who do not allow people of other tribes a free passage. This is the secret. Achild at the age of five learns to shoot, and at the age of sixteen to manufacture the copy of a gun. Read the history of these people.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

KeithZ,

You probably understand how people in the Af-Pak region distort history. Everything is declared as victory for them. Even shameful defeats are rewritten as victories. They have psyched themselves into believing that they are always victors whether they lose or not. You probably are seeing this reflected in the views of a religious fanatic sitting in Germany, and signing off as one of the countries in the region. Soviets were defeated by the US using American technology, training and warfare. The locals ran the proxy mission for them. But these guys have taken it as their own victory. And now they have started declaring defeat to the American led coalition. There is little realization that their rear ends have been burnt beyond recognition. The so called valiant Pashtoons have been defeated and conquered by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, many Persians, Arabs who converted them, Russians and now the Americans. If the Russians did not defeat them, they would not have set up camp inside Pakistan. Imagine this. There are millions of them out there, having similar beliefs. They think they are invincible. I think for once these guys must be shown what real defeat is like.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

It is very important to read partition history, original paki ideology to understand the unquenchable anti-India hostility, demands for “parity” etc.

This was the original plan:

http://rupeenews.com/wp-content/uploads/ 2008/05/continent-of-dinia-and-dependenc ies.jpg

Andaman islands were shown green!

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Netizen,
The most hilarious article from Rupee News is this one.
http://rupeenews.com/?p=37202

“For 5000 years Kashmir has been part of Pakistan”.
Can’t stop laughing after reading it.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

interesting article by harold gould

Posted by buntyj | Report as abusive

On the wings of hope

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/18/on-the-wi ngs-of-hope.html

“One must be grateful for Bashir and for Pervez Masih and for Maham Ali — they allow us to argue all is not lost, that we aren`t a failed state.”

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

““That makes a lot of sense to me. They’ve got some questions. I know General Kayani well enough to know (that) what he cares about the most is not himself: What he cares about the most is his institution.”
Adm. Mike Mullen

Kayani cares more about forces: Mullen
http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newsp aper-daily-english-online/Politics/18-Ju n-2011/Kayani-cares-more-about-forces-Mu llen
———————————————————

LA TIMES EDITORIAL

Tone down Pakistan rhetoric

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opin ionla/la-ed-0618-pakistan-20110618,0,269 8442.story

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Pakistan is not a failed state. Pakistan is at present a non functional state! A young man alleged to be a petty thief is shot down in broad daylight in karachi, extra judicial killings by the police force and military operating against its own citizens in the territory which Dawn columnist calls it a war Zone.
Mike Mullen gives a good performance report to Kyani! The solution is very straightforward; break down Punjab in three, Baluchistan, Sindh and Pashtoon territories each of them in two parts. Foreign and Defence to stay with the central Govt., all other functions must be performed by localy elected Mayors with complete control over the police.
Army reforms should be carried out retiring all current senior officers above the rank of the battalion commander should be sent home! National service should be introduced for all above 18 years age, for a period of atleast six months. All current office holders in the central Govt. including Zardari and Gillani must step down to allow new elections under International supervision.
The alternative ofcourse remains that army unrest is likely to spread and things are likely to get worst, while Dawn newspaper can continue to draw the attention of the liberals towards dangers from the radicals.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

The US is holding talks with the Taliban as per Karzai. So things can settle down soon. The only thing Pakistan’s military should strive hard for is not to go back to the old ways of 1989. There should be no attempts to control Afghanistan by setting up proxy armies. Afghanistan must be treated like a friendly neighbor, with its own priorities, policies and freedom. Pakistan should not try to arm twist Afghanistan into taking sides against India. If they did that, they will realize that everything perceived has been due to self created paranoia. People are sick and tired of wars, suicide bombs, radical Islam, and Mullahs. It is time to build and co-exist as responsible neighbors. A lot is on Pakistan’s hands. If they make a poor choice like they did in 1989, they will cease to exist on their own accord. Hope a lesson has been learned. Terrorism as a weapon can be dangerous. India learned this from its Sri Lanka experience. And Pakistan has to understand that terrorists constantly seek enemies. They have no room for peace and settlement. Hope Pakistan realizes the futility of encouraging terrorism. It has not worked. It is time to go about building the nation. Compared to Pakistanis, Afghans seem to be more level headed and less fanatical. If they are left to themselves, they will sort their issues out.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@SP
The following is the story of Creation:

God said
On Day 1 let there be a Universe
On Day 2 let there be Earth
On Day 3 let there be Pakistan Army
On Day 4 let there be Pakistan with Kashmir of course
On Day 5 let there be light
On day 6 let there be Gen Kayani

Things got interesting on Day 7 :-)
On Day 7 Umairpk said Kayani is the most beautiful man

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

netizen: “On Day 7 Umairpk said Kayani is the most beautiful man”

If Umair said that then it makes him a Tajik. Tajik men have passion for Pashtun and Punjabi men :-)

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@KPSingh,
LOL!
I am surprised my netizen screen name is still surviving, i may have come back as zennet, seekerofwisdom or something.

Reuter’s moderators have become less stringent lately…I think…probably they have realized what “pakistan ideology” really is.

Posted by netizen | Report as abusive

Rex Minor,
I agree with you on your last post. Except for this.
“All current office holders in the central Govt. including Zardari and Gillani must step down to allow new elections under International supervision”.

No sovereign country with self respect allows elections under International supervision. when they do, it also would mean the lack of confidence on the part of pakistani state structure. Believe me, you don’t want it. Once you allow it, the foreign powers in the garb of international community will perpetrate their own agendas, based on their self interests for that day.

The fact that the religious parties got very nimble percentage of vote says that election commission is a competent institution in conducting electins and we need to place some confidence and authority in it. The idea is to create such autonomous institutions (incidentally that is what we are trying to do in India right now, albeit with limited success) and strengthen democratic rule of law for a viable and sustainable transition to civil order.

You can allow international observers though and let them speak openly about political processes and transperancy. And rather than asking for Zardari and Gilani to step down, why don’t you call for voting them out in the next elections which is only about 2 years away. That way we can, for the first time in the history of pakistan, ensure a governement completes its full term and be seen throwing out by the enlightened electorate. It will probably then create a recurring,sustainable and rational display of political dissent and attitudes which will bring about orderly change in political structure of pakistan.

I believe one should come out of their own socio-political-cultural and class bias to understand the overarchiving factors that define the priorities of majority voters. The upward mobile middle classes who seldom vote are happy to see an ordered society even when it is forcibly enforced. I have to say that,they have not got best interests of all the pakistanis-atleast regarding the priorities. This had been displayed historically by the calls from this group to the Army, to wrest control from the civilian governments the moment the civilian governments have taken populist decisions in the largest interests of the people.

I entirely agree with Intelletuals like Irfan Husain who in dawn asks the liberal pakistanis to be clear about what they want from pakistani state and establishment. My thoughts are in concurrence with the Author. I wonder why some educated pakistanis fail to read this aspect.
Please go through the below article to be more clear on this.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/18/what-ll-i t-be.html

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Netizen:”On Day 7 Umairpk said Kayani is the most beautiful man”.

Netizen,
I wonder that sometimes people like umair mix things up out of either ignorance or misunderstanding or because of their own lack of understanding of issues that matter.

Umair,
If you are reading this, no one denies the professional acumen of kayani in conducting his job. It is perhaps one of the toughest jobs a military general could possibily have, in ensuring to keep American support for pakistan while at the same time keeping them at bay regarding their core interests and battling a big adversary to its east,while containing the fallout of terrorism in their own country.

The issue is, since Pakistani Army has also got enough political power to direct the pakistani discourse, isn’t it high time for kayani, as the head of Army, to nudge the pakistani state into more peaceful discourse. Kayani must know better, the intensity of the blowback that pakistan is experience from teroirism and isn’t it the right time to take decisive resolution to root out extremism rather than being taken by Americans, while his army is brought kicking and dragging its feet to operate on militant hideouts.
I don’t know what Umair is reading from kayani in calling his extremely professional abilities as Army General but his less than impressive performance regarding counter insurgency and counter terrorrism operations say something else. If Kayani is to be seen as competent general, he should take on every paksitani’s security nightmare seriously and plan in creating a competent counter isurgency and anti-terrorist forces to take on pakistan’s immediate and infact the most lethal enemies.

Posted by sensiblepatriot | Report as abusive

Mr Patriot
Let me state again that I am not a Pakistani. In my earlier post I meant international observers with consent from Pakistan leaders and without violating Pakistan sovereignty.

Your comments to UmairPK on Army task to curb extremism and to take decisive resolution to root out extremism rather than being taken Americans, reminds of a passage of history, while in the background the TV is announcing thedeath of a German lad, a sad news for us and particularly the soldier family.

An AngloIndian force of 16000 fighting men with 38000 camp followers set out to support the British Raj strategy of DIVIDE AND RULE, claiming the possible inrusion of russians take over of Afghanistan.

After few skirmishes enroute they entered Kabul and managed to install a pupet. A garrison had to be left behind and in 1841 a calamity set in with the winter. Some thought that the Pashtoons are very agreeable in conversations, patriotic but treacherous. Their resentments were misjudged by the Brits. Afghanista rose against the Brits and th Kabul garrison attempted to make the withdrawl on the frozoe passage to India. They were very good fighters and organised but no match to the Afghan snipers. Only one soldier managed to return and reported the story. During the coming days the soldier at watch in India waited in vain for any other survivals but in vain.

Mr Patriot, and you are telling us that either the Americans or the Pakistan army would get away from the crimes they have committed aganst the Pashtoons? You are a very optistic individual and have not learned any lesson from your ancestors? Or perhaps your ancestors were not soldiers in the Indian army?Gen. Kyani is no match in that part of the world. He could be more effective on the Indian border, here every now and then a shoot out match take place?

Have a good day!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

[...] A slow-burning revolution in Pakistan | Pakistan: Now or Never?. [...]

Rex Minor,

Get a life.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive