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.”


-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.

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


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


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

“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

“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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

The most hilarious article from Rupee News is this one.

“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


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

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

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.

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