Pakistan Army: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

Published: September 6, 2012
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Kudos to the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who quite rightly refused to meddle in ‘civilian affairs’ and did not allow the military oversee the national elections in 2008. PHOTO: REUTERS

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus while compiling his literary work Chiliades Adagiorum (Thousands of Adages) never would have thought that one day his words ‘can’t live with them, can’t live without them’ would be used to describe the Pakistan Army as viewed by Pakistanis. 

The Pakistan Army is seen both as white knights and ravagers by the common man. Some consider the army as the author of every ill that afflicts the country while others view it as the sole reason of its sustenance. Commentary on the Pakistani military is aplenty on the internet and while the positive comments at times can be attributed to fan-boy patriotism, the beef certain latitudinarians have with the military is unjustified, in my opinion.

Thus, in light of Defence Day, this is what I will pick up today to serve as a neutral platform and an analysis of Roterodamus’ words ‘can’t live with them, can’t live without them’ pertaining to the Pakistan Army.

Brushing aside the Zionist conspiracy theories, the acrimony towards the military has often been blamed on the ‘God complexes’ of certain military men and their claims of ‘moral superiority’ over their civilian counterparts, but of late one finds that there is little to qualify for this nasty accusation.

It is for all to see that post-Musharraf the military has undergone drastic reforms in its outlook: there have been no more coups since Musharraf’s ouster. How many ultra vires (beyond the powers) occurrences can those so critical of the army quote? They can’t even regurgitate the rhetoric of Army influencing the elections. Kudos to the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who quite rightly refused to meddle in ‘civilian affairs’ and did not allow the military oversee the national elections in 2008. He even forbade his generals from maintaining contacts with politicians, withdrew his officers from civilian duties and most important of all let the government close the Political Wing of the ISI soon after he was sworn into office.

Interestingly, it was only under General Kayani that the same ‘unaccountable’ generals stood (answerable), first in front of the elected representatives of the Nation and then in front of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence.

The demand of a civilian to head the ISI is another issue. There is nothing wrong with the proposal, only that the argument of copy/pasting the tradition of other intelligence agencies being led by civilians, so must the ISI, is (technically) flawed. Nevertheless, we can surely afford a civilian to head the ISI, but then there are a few snags, most pertinent of these that I ask are:

  • Can we allow a supreme commander of the armed forces with the credibility like Zardari’s to appoint ISI’s civilian DG?
  • With ‘patriots’ of a similar credibility filling the cabinet and pawns of doubtful character leading our national ministries, can our national secrets remain safe as we move further towards allowing them access to ISI’s operational briefs?
  • Can we guarantee that the civilian DG would be free from internal and external influences? (Memogate episode – let’s be grateful to General Pasha or else with IB fully stacked with nincompoops and the ISI with a civilian boss, no one had any chance to contest the government’s ‘holier-than-thou’ onslaught).
  • Lastly, can a civilian DG hold his grounds and make the right decision during critical junctures when simultaneously confronted from all the four sides – military, ruling parties, opposition and outsiders?

Non-military projects of the armed forces 

Business ventures of the Pakistani military are also a perpetual source of cribbing.

However please make note:

  • These welfare projects were established under the Charitable Endowment Act 1890 or the Societies Registration Act 1860 and are duly approved by the government of Pakistan.
  • These organisations are the highest tax payers in Pakistan.
  • They contribute tremendously to the national economy and provide employment opportunities to a large number of civilians.
  • No serving personnel are employed in any of the projects (except a few serving officers who are employed in the administration of DHA).
  • Involvement of the military in commercial and business activity is not unique to Pakistan.
  • (Information brief by ISPR) 

The AQ Khan episode

Another time-worn but sensitive reason cited to slander the military is the demonisation of AQ Khan by a ‘dictator’. However, considering the magnitude of the problem caused by the AQ Khan network and the fact that the three intended recipient (countries) of nuclear transfers were the ones the US was most anxious to keep WMDs away from, AQ Khan’s forced retirement which in turn demonised  his stature as a national hero, was nothing in comparison to what actually lay in store for him.

Moreover, it is also because of Musharraf (read the army) that the investigators have yet not been allowed to interview Dr Khan or his senior aides directly, unless of course, according to WikiLeaks, Zardari would have handed over AQ Khan to IAEA.

Sorry guys, but with this ‘Leak’ we are back to square one – can this country really subsist with or without the army and its ‘foul’ activities, thereof?

I suggest that the military should continue to stay away from politics and enervate itself even further, but perhaps with our government’s ever persisting errata sheet there seems a fortiori requirement for a constant check over our rulers, though not necessarily by the military.

In developed countries, this task would have be executed by the state institutions. So it is clear that while we can’t allow the military to transgress, we too can’t allow our politicians (including the civilian bureaucracy) to run amok. The Supreme Court can serve as a soft alternative, but (ideally) it is ‘We the People’ who have to ensure the accountability and scrutinise those who are paid to rule us before we can live without ‘them’.

This blog originally appeared here.

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Asad K

Asad K

A federal government employee who blogs at xerics.blogspot.com/ and is part of the think-tank force at defence.pk

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Faaltu mein khwam kha

    under the garb of neutrality,you seem to be churning out the ,then same lies and excuses which ISPR has been putting up.If the competence and bravery of this Army is symbolized by the beheading of its combatants then my dear friend i have to differ.you referred to a few soft points ,gave a few vague and irrational justification and largely obfuscated bigger issues like the numerous attacks on its installations including OBL issue,Kerry lugar bill issue,Saleem Sehzad killing,increasing religious fundamentalism in defence forces.you say that there has been no coup after Musharraf.very nice you expect coups to take place every next day.How many COAS has Pakisan seen after the dismissal of Commando,answer a grand total of one, ie Kayani,and wait he is yet to complete his tenure.Pakistani Army would have been more assertive had some unexpected incidents like OBL killing not taken out the winds out of their sails.
    slightly better than a fan-boy post….Recommend

  • faraz

    We are the only country in the world which celebrate defence day for a war that we actually lost!Recommend

  • http://comments. Sultan Ahmed.

    @faraz:
    No, no, your comments need some correction.
    in fact, we won the war but lost its fruit due to conflict on the agreed point.Recommend

  • http://comments. Sultan Ahmed.

    We won in the war field and lost on the table decorated in Russia.
    by a planned conspiracy.Recommend

  • malik

    @author:
    I thought your article will discuss about the role army dispassionately but it ended up as a pro-army press release.

    Let me give a few points of what you left unsaid:

    —Pakistan’s military has business interests worth about $20 billion ranging from running bakeries, sugar factories, power plants, airlines, banks, the communications industry and transport networks.

    — Army’s welfare foundations, or ‘pensions funds’ for retired personnel, invest in over $10bn in commercial ventures including oil and gas exploration, sugar mills, security and employment services. Last year, the commercial operations of the Fauji (Soldier) Foundation accrued at least $500 million.

    —The Army, with 12 per cent of the 93.67 million acres of state land, is the largest landowner in the country. Of this land, 59 percent is in the rural areas.
    Recommend

  • Vikram

    Pakistani army is very moral and powerful entity. They were able to kill 3 million people in East Pakistan. They are doing a good job in Baluchistan also. Pakistani Air force dropped over 12000 in FATA and no one knows how many died including kids and women.

    Best thing Pakistan did to Afghanistan was create talibans. Afghanistan will never be same again at least for another 50 years. No army can compete with Pakistan army in creating non-State actors. Pakistani army policies have resulted in non-State actors 1000s of jobs to suicide bombers and 100000s Mujhahideens

    Talk to some one, a mother, a sister, a wife who has lost a loved one in illegal Pakistani wars in the name of Islam.Recommend

  • G.A.

    Need to restore our values…..so that we would only like to live together.Recommend

  • Crook

    Whoever this guy is need to immediately visit a Psychologist! Hello dear..A man of credibility of Zardari appoints Chief of Army Staff! Recommend

  • faraz

    @Sultan Ahmed.

    We started the war by launching Operation Gibraltar in July 1965 and Operation Grandslam on 1st September 1965. Grandslam involved conventional operations by 12th infantry division, 2 artillery brigades, and 2 armored regiments led by General Akhtar Malik. India expanded the theatre of war by attacking Lahore and Sialkot on 6th. The war ended in an operational stalemate. But we started the war, failed to achieve its objective, thus we lost the war. Recommend

  • youth

    Pakistan Zindabad .Recommend

  • Vikram

    @malik: —Pakistan’s military has business interests worth about $20 billion ranging from running bakeries, sugar factories, power plants, airlines, banks, the communications industry and transport networks.

    To rule and stay in power, Pakistan army has to have brainwash Pakistanis into believing that INDIA is ready to destroy Pakistan and Islam is in danger. Pakistan army now can use talibans to scare Pakistanis more and made them believe only army can save Pakistan. Army can use non-State actors to keep exploding bombs to hold a tight grip on PakistanRecommend

  • http://Brisbane,Australia Raza Khan

    Present problems were basically created by PK Army!Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Glad to note the neutral tone that the writer uses throughout his blog as well as the extensive use of Latin which makes everything so much clearer – and of course, the Pak army is obviously the only actor in this grand theatre with the rectitude to be running the show. I especially liked the fact that everything is so personality dependent (Kayani is a good man, so army falls in line; Zardari is a bad man, so ISI need not report to him etc) that we can completely drop worrying about structure and system; whew! that must be a load off everyone’s backs. In fact, I think you should make the ISI chief the President, and then keep him reporting to the army chief – multiple-layer moral reinforcement.Recommend

  • abdulrauf akhtar

    Her every body is opening his mouth against the army .If civilian leadership has not done any thing for them ,so you people whant they shouldn’t do any thing for the uplift of their retired people !Recommend

  • Great Thinker

    Which wars has the Pakistan army won?. Zilch. Pakistan Army has been successful in invading its own country and playing havoc with its citizens. Pakistan Army cannot protect its own assets, how can it protect its citizens.
    Its just a glorified mafia in uniform. Recommend

  • Usman

    We did not loose that War. Correct [email protected]: Recommend

  • Gullible Nomore

    I was taking the article seriously until I got to the point where the author referred AQ Khan as a national hero. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Have we realy ever been allowed to live without them ??Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Malik I think you were sleeping while reading the article. Please stay away awake atleast when you are going to study something, especially if you are to comment on it. So, what all you have said about the military running business is absolutely true! And guess what, that’s exactly what the author has also mentioned in detail. I think you missed the link provided by the author where all the (official) details regarding MilBus is are given in detail. Here, please visit it again: http://www.scribd.com/doc/103850618/Information-Brief-by-Inter-Services-Public-Relations-ISPR . The military itself has given ALL the details of its business venture and has also clarified all the misconceptions which people like you have developed over time. The Information Brief by ISPR in the link provided by the author (and the article itself) clarifies doubts like, ‘there is no serving officer in these business ventures’, ‘yes there are military bakeries but then the sole benefactor of them are you civilians’, these entities are the HIGHEST TAX PAYERS in Pakistan’, ‘these entities are FULLY sanctioned by the GoP’.

    So I wonder, why would you still state the obvious? For (cheap) point scoring perhaps?Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Crook I would like to advise you to re-read the piece as you clearly has not understood it. What the writer said was that “WHAT IF” (in case the ISI was to be headed by a civilian) will happen if the military is kept out and people with the (poor) credibility like Zardari (or the PM) WOULD appoint the DG ISI?! As you must know that because of safarishi system our other National institutes have been ruined. IB has become just another WAPDA (the agency LEAKED the names of its Undercover Agents to the Court just because some Officials considered that they were bypassed during promotions – which intelligence agency has such incompetent officer?) So if you people want that the ISI should also become another IB, be my guest and let the ISI be in total command of our ‘zabardast’ politicians.Recommend

  • Masscot

    @faraz:
    Mr.Faraz infact we are celebrating this day to appreciate those Men who gave their lives for people like you.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    The author has choosen a very sensitive subject and filled it up with bts and pieces from the news reports. No sir, this is not enough, such a subject can only be addressed by investigating journalist. let me put in some thoughts.

    .Pakistan military brass has always followed the doctrine that if a civilian elected leaders cannot run a Govt without the assistance of the military, then the military leadership should head the Govt. when marshall law is rquired. This doctrine was set aside by Musharaf for his personal conflicts with the civilian leadership, and even challenged the independence of the judiciary for the first time in Pakistan history. He needs to be brought back to the country to answer charges.

    . Zardari is not the supreme commander, the author is confusing him with the American Sherifs who reckon that americans elect their President as a military chief, Your President has no constitutional power, since Pakistan has a parliamentry system. The President of the land must not belong to a political estblishment.

    . Pakistan military is not a National army but a carry over of the colonial structured army. This must be revised if the Republic wants to remain democratic. Pakistan needs o introduce conscription in the land, in order to support the participation of its citizens in the defence of the country.

    No sir. military do not receive training for running civilian administrations nor can they protect the independence of the land if they use military might against its own citizens. Democracy is a painful and a long process and was created to stop the heriditary transfer of power which is unislamic and must cease in Pakistan as it is with pain and suffering being eliminated in several muslim countries, a process which the Europeans have lived in their past.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • An Indian

    @Sultan Ahmed.: read the correct history of Pakistan by K.K. Aziz or Ayesha Jalal to know what has happened. You guys are taught false history about 1965.

    It was Pakistan who attacked India to grab Kashmir because we were weakened by war with China. They sent their army into akhnoor area to cut Indian army passage into Kashmir region. But you guys never expected that India will cross the International border and attack Islamabad. Hear the correct history from your noted journalist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykz5qb7U3hs .. You can also read the history books written by KK Aziz and Ayesha Jalal (the two most prominent historians of Pakistan).Recommend

  • Masscot

    @malik:
    A good piece indeed, first I have seen the military’s side of the story. There is no need to cry foul when the military itself has given away the figure of its business ventures, the point to be noted is that are these business beneficial for Pakistan or otherwise – I think it is the former beyond any doubts. Pak Fauj Zindabad And I know mongers will continue to monger as always.Recommend

  • Masscot

    A good piece indeed, first I have seen the military’s side of the story. There is no need to cry foul when the military itself has given away the figure of its business ventures, the point to be noted is that are these business beneficial for Pakistan or otherwise – I think it is the former beyond any doubts. Pak Fauj Zindabad And I know mongers will continue to monger as always.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Hideously one-sided. Reaching verdicts becomes pretty easy when all of history is filtered to one side’s express advantage.

    I’m sure Nixon was a terrific leader, with good environmental policies, and a decent stance on the education system and…oh, there was that tiny little debacle with Vietnam and the infamous Watergate scandal, but don’t let that affect the way we go genuflexing at his altar!

    In all of civilized world, it is not the army that keeps the politician from running amok. That is a job for the people, hence the term “democracy”. If the military is allowed to assume the role of the referee in the political arena, who is there to hold the military accountable for its own mess-ups? What gives the military the right to pass judgement on politicians who have been anointed by the people themselves?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Its actually true for Indians too with regard to the Pakistani Army.

    We want Pakistan Army to get weaker, but not so weak that it can’t control Pakistan, which is nearing to the brink everyday.

    We depend on the Army to stop the Taliban takeover of Pakistan, to make sure its nukes do not fall into Taliban hands.

    What an irony. The institution that is hell bent on protecting Pakistan, is responsible for its downfall and it being stuck in a morass. Also, the very institution which wants to tear India to pieces is responsible to make sure that Pakistan doesn’t fall to the marauding Taliban and is keeping India safe!

    We Indians have to thank Pakistani Army. Without them, a) Pakistan would fail and it would get real messy for India. b) Without the Pakistani Army we wouldn’t have won so many wars and halved Pakistan! Recommend

  • Anwar Rohila

    @Vikram: Express tribune is one of the several Pakistani newspapers,where Indians are always welcome to vent their anti-Pak venom,unedited and unmoderated.In comparison not a single Pakistani comment gets any space on any Indian online newspaper sites.So much for their “free press”.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Crook:
    What the writer said was that “WHAT IF” (in case the ISI was to be headed by a civilian) will happen if the military is kept out and people with the (poor) credibility like Zardari (or the PM) WOULD appoint the DG ISI?! As you must know that because of safarishi system our other National institutes have been ruined. IB has become just another WAPDA (the agency LEAKED the names of its Undercover Agents to the Court just because some Officials considered that they were bypassed during promotions) which intelligence agency has such incompetent officer?) So if you people want that the ISI should also become another IB, be my guest and let the ISI be under the total command of our ‘zabardast’ politicians. Recommend

  • Dogar

    @malik:
    I think you missed to provide the following details also:

    During FY 2005-06 Fauji Foundation (FF) has contributed almost Rs 33 billion to the national exchequer in the form of duties, taxes & levies
    Shaheen Foundation (SF) has paid Rs 302 million in the form of taxes from year 1991-2005, moreover during last two years it has paid Rs 43 million in taxes
    -Army Welfare Trust (AWT) contributes over Rs 3 – 4 Billion in the form of income tax and duties annually.
    National Logistics Cell (NLC) pays Rs. 125 Million in taxes annually
    DHA is one of the biggest tax payers in the country/respective provinces remitting over Rs 6.5 billion in taxes to government annually.
    FF employs 13,000 individuals which in turn serves a beneficiary population representing approximately 7% of Pakistan’s population.
    Behria Foundation employs 3222 civilians in addition to 76 retired Naval Officers and 231 retired personnel of the Navy.
    SF employs 1486 PAF retired personnel and 2434 civilians.
    AWT employs 11,000 individuals.
    Over 5000 personnel from civil sector are employed in DHAs.

    So tell me, are these institutions beneficial to the National exchequer or detrimental to the Pakistani people? Especially when these are “indirectly” being run by the military without any direct involvement of serving officers?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Anwar Rohila:
    On the contrary my friend, apart from quality content and format, we are all here mainly because of ET reasonable (although sometimes arbitrary) filteration policy. Visit ToI/ HT and see the kind of nonsense that get’s through (not just the articles themselves) – it becomes pointless for most of us to try making a serious comment. Be thankful for one of the few good things that Pakistan has.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Rex Minor:
    In a country where politicians are always ready with their bags packed, Swiss accounts and foreign residential properties to flee in case something happens, the author’s view are well maintained and justified. Had it not been to the military, these thugs would already have sold Pakistan to the highest bidder. The writer is correct in saying that though the Supreme Court and the People must be the ones to keep an eye on their leaders, but if we are not going to do it either, the military might have to step in, though that would/should not be the case ever again. Because if the military ever wanted to take over again, it would have done it during the so many chances/reasons given to them by PPP’s govt. And there’s no need to go over a tangent here.

    And Rex FYKI The President of Pakistan is the civilian supreme commander of the Pakistan Armed Forces by statute, while the Prime Minister of Pakistan serves as the Chief Executive of Pakistan Armed Forces, both people-elected civilians, Prime Minister and President, maintains the civilian control of the military, please check your knowledge before you comment! Here, this might help:
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201276\story6-7-2012pg3_3

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_ArmyRecommend

  • Dogar

    @Loneliberal PK:
    You are correct to an extent, but why is it when an anti-military/ISI article pops up (at the rate of 1/month) over the internet it is termed as the most accurate and unbiased piece, and why is it when someone writes in the favor of the military (once in lifetime) you guys start labeling it ‘one-sided’. I will call this attitude hypocritical.

    As for your point that it is the job of People to check the govt, well I think totally missed the author’s suggestions where he has out-rightly announced that “Ideally” it is the job of the Supreme Court, the civilian society and the People to watch over the politicians NOT that of the military, but then he do give a examples where military did played its role and barred the politicians from going overboard. Seriously, if the Pakistani People are going to sleep over their poor state and not raise any voice, someone has to take charge, though this is never recommended and that’s what the entire article is all about.Recommend

  • http://India vasan

    Vikram : The most immoral thing done by Pak army was its refusal to take its dead jawans back from Kargil. I wonder how the army jawans viewed that decision.Recommend

  • jahangir khan

    Army should concentrate on her assigned duty as our army is one of the most disciplined army of the world. activities behind the curtin should also be avoided.Recommend

  • just saying

    @jahangir khan: “Army should concentrate on her assigned duty as our army is one of the most disciplined army of the world”

    Some facts about your army:
    1, It started 3 wars, lost all 3.
    2, Killed a million civilians and lost half the country,
    3, Hanged a duly elected PRime minister
    4, Even while people protest drones, the fact is far more people die in army bombing which are indiscriminate as compared to drones which are targeted,
    5, Surrendered its sovereignty to Americans repeatedly – first with SEATO and CENTO pact under Ayub then under Zia for Afghan war and finally under Mush for war on terror..

    But it is the most professional and courageous army in the world.

    As Mark Antony said “For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men”Recommend

  • ashok sai

    @ Author,

    Your missing picture tells it all, RIP Saleem Shazad.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @just saying:
    Wrong!
    – Pakistan Army fought three wars with India, an adversary thrice its size and gave a bloody nose to it every time.
    – Pakistan Army achieved in Swat and adjacent areas what the NATO/ISAF forces together couldn’t achieve in Afghanistan in over a decade.
    – Pakistan Army has caused a wannabe regional power (India) to poise 25 Infantry Divisions out of a total of 33 Infantry Divisions against Pakistan, 3 out of its 3 Armored Divisions against Pakistan, 3 out of its 3 Mechanized Division all against Pakistan.
    – The farfetched Indian dream of Akhand Bharat which was convinced well before partition still lay held in abeyance,despite its numerical superiority.

    – Now some facts about the Indian Army:

    The Indian army’s tanks have run out of ammunition, the air defence is as good as obsolete and the infantry is short of critical weapons, General VK Singh wrote to the prime minister: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_dna-exclusive-gen-vk-singh-tells-pm-some-hard-truths_1668283

    – India is not ready for war: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KB11Df01.html

    – Indian Army is “Night Blind”: http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories480.htm

    – Indian Army is involved in massive human rights violations in Kashmir: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/INDIA935.PDF

    – Indian Army is such an army whose Officers were denied visa to Canada for Human Rights Violations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNrVtXEJjJs

    As they say; “Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse; whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt. A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you”

    Way to go you hater mongers!Recommend

  • Dr Hamdani

    well thought out article.
    have validated his thoughts with references. However, corruption remains the highlighted menace of the nation. truthfulness should remain the course of Lovers of Pakistan. somehow, negation within Us of own GOOD PATCHES cursed us for long years. Pakistan Army is on Hot Seat for ALL good and bad reason. and the sad part is that Bad Part has always been placed MAIN FRAME.Recommend

  • observer

    @Usman:

    We did not loose that War.

    Great!

    Congratulations. You are cured of believing that you ‘WON’ that war.

    Gradually you will be able to get closer to reality.Recommend

  • Great Thinker

    @Dogar
    “Pakistan Army fought three wars with India, an adversary thrice its size and gave a bloody nose to it every time.”

    Dude: I seriously think, you should change the madarassah which is feeding you this information. 1965: India came upto Lahore, when it crossed the International Border. India had no intention of occupying and staying as an occupation army.
    1971: Pakistan lost half of it territory, 1999: Pakistan had to beg USA to give a safe way out. During these intervening years, Pakistan has steadily gone in a downward spiral towards being a failed state.
    Where is the bloody nose.
    “The Indian army’s tanks have run out of ammunition”
    “India is not ready for war”
    “Indian Army is “Night Blind”
    Indian Army is involved in massive human rights violations in Kashmir: ”
    ” Indian Army is such an army whose Officers were denied visa to Canada for Human Rights Violations: “

    What is the difference between the situation then and now. Yes, Indian army was and is underequipped, but it could and can still defeat the Pakistan army. As far as visa is concerned, surely nobody is touching Pakistani’s with a barge pole nowadays. On HR violations, Pakistan can provide the way, what with its great record on minorities, Balochis etc.

    On some of you being very proud of the Pak Army Inc and the taxes they pay, they can very well stop guarding the country and start their own business and pay taxes. Army is expected to defend the borders, not start business.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Great Thinker
    Looks like as if I struck a raw nerve there.

    Speaking frankly, we might have seen reversals in the battles but it is you who had lost the war as since partition you guys have failed misreably to re-unit ‘bharat ma’.

    The fact of the matter is if we can still manage to keep your evil desgins and blostered hegeamony at bay despite our military’s non-military venture, I think there must be either something extremly professional with the Pakistani military or conversaly something drastically wrong woth the indian armed forces.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Dogar,

    The info provided in the wikepedia is incorrect and misleading.. The President is an institution which, like the Queen of England has Nil power! The Prime Minister of the republic derives his authority over war and peace from the parliament, which represents the people of the land. A decision for declaration of war must emanate from the parliament, otherwise the Prime Minister has no say. This system is still not fully workable nor by the way in India as well, and we have witnessed the American intrusions in Pakistan territory with impunity several times, since all the actors including those that you mentioned were paralised, not knowing who is to issue the orders and what is the chain of command. Neither the President nor the Prime Minister have the authority to issue orders without the approval of the parliament. The American Sherif President, however by precedence has taken the initiative and involved the Nation in the war without first obtaining the approval of the congress. Sorry sir I am only an outside observer and state the facts on ground analyse them and by the use of speculative logic come to my conclusions. In theory though the info available could be different.. And the facts are that when the Pakistan military comes under fire from the enemy their military commander need no authority from the President and shall retaliate. Similarly Pakistan loly pops shall automaticaly go into action as soon as Pakistan territory is violated. It did not in the case of Abbotabad affair since the American stealth helicopters were seen by the naked eye and clearance was given to the yanks who reportedly did not provide the details.

    I personaly shall believe in what the army says and not the political leaders who use the art of spinning. Examine the story of the seal who participated in Abbtabad action and compare it what the President of the American republic narrated to the people who elected him.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Anwar Rohila

    @faraz: Stop using a Pakistani name.Recommend

  • Great Thinker

    @Dogar: “Speaking frankly, we might have seen reversals in the battles”
    So, you do agree that Pakistan has lost all the battles.

    but it is you who had lost the war as since partition you guys have failed misreably to re-unit ‘bharat ma’.”
    Now, India never fought any wars with the intention of uniting Bharat, if you are referring to the “Akhand Bharat” concept. Note that, it was Pakistan which started all the wars.
    If the ultimate objective was to unite what was India (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sikkim, Nepal, Burma), then India’s gameplan would be different. Anyways, India does not have the intention, nor the resources, nor the wherewithal to implement this gameplan and sustain it. Again the idea that India wanting to harm Pakistan because India does not accept the idea of Pakistan and that it is going after the “Akhand Bharat” concept is a figment of Pakistan’s imagination. Your army needed something to hold on, to justify its excess spending. Pakistani’s fell for it hook, line and sinker. You guys still do not realize the harm that the Army has done to Pakistan. If there ever was an institution that has worked against th interest of Pakistan, it is your army.
    The fact of the matter is if we can still manage to keep your evil desgins and blostered hegeamony at bay despite our military’s non-military venture, I think there must be either something extremly professional with the Pakistani military or conversaly something drastically wrong woth the indian armed forces”

    As, I mentioned above, India does not have any evil designs on any country. All the wars, that India has fought and is still fighting have been imposed by Pakistan (except 1962, ofcourse, that was imposed by China). It is Pakistan that has evil designs, not India.So there is no question of your army being professional. I suggest that Pakistani’s should seriously question the role and acheivements of your army so far in the 65 years of existence. Recommend

  • Anwar Rohila

    @vasan:
    And what about Indian army awarding Ashok chakar to a Kargil jawan who was actually alive somewhere.
    Hundreds of kargil widows are now fighting legal cases against the army not giving them pensions even after their husbands got killed in Kargil.Recommend

  • wajih

    Dear Asad K you have written about God complex of Pakistan Army. After reading the article it seems that you are among greatest proponent of the same. The arguments you have given are the same the supporters of military dictatorships present.
    If I agree with you then everybody in this country except those wearing uniform of Pakistan Army are traitors to this land of their forefathers. Nobody has scruples and will sell the country at first opportunity. From this it would seem that those manning Pakistan Army are from some other planet because if I [mean a civilian] am inherently a traitor and unscrupulous person then how come my brother, who has joined the army is different. We are from same stock and naturally would behave in the same manner.
    Dear K none of us neither me nor my brother in the uniform is a traitor or unscrupulous person. Both of us love our country.
    That point been settled the only question to be settled is who will govern the country; the people through their elected representatives or unelected salaried persons. You either in God Complex [if you are from army] or inferiority complex [if you are not] believe that it should be salaried persons. The overwhelming majority, proven through hatred with which they remember Ayub, Yayha, Zia and Musharraf, wont otherwise to be masters of their own destiny. They want the army, like other salaried persons to be subordinate to their chosen leadership.
    Dear K. sky will not fall if the ISI is headed by a civilian. Mind you Pakistan lost East Pakistan, Siachen and what not while under Military rule and only piece of land it gained after 1947 was Gawadar which was gained during civilian rule. Recommend

  • Anwar Rohila

    Those reading tbe comments here would find several comments posted against the army and the state of Pakistan.These are actually Indians disguising behind seemingly common Pakistani names.Recommend

  • vickram

    @Dogar:
    What you mean is, “we may have lost the war but we are still able to keep you super power on tenterhooks.”

    It is hundred per cent true that Pak Army is able to keep the entire India on edge, wondering who will strike when and where. The guys whom sent in a small boat a few years back held the entire country to ransom for a few days. Only divine intervention prevented them from taking high profile hostages.

    You are keeping not only India on perpetual dread, but you are also keeping countries like US, UK and France on permanent state of alarm.No mean feat this !!Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    @Dogar: ;

    The whole thing is that is commercial ventures is the job of Army? Why can’s you confine to your duties only.
    of course the army can do welfare activities for their personnel but not at the mass level in so many sectors including the Baking. To generate the fund a corpus of sizable amount can be created and the money invested in gilt edged securities to generate additional revenue for the use of welfare for the army personnel7 if felt for the society also. But surely commercial activities are not their domain. Once investment of the sizeof 20 billion rupees it requires monitoring and definitely consumes important time of the army officials even if they may bi\ot be directly serving in these ventures.

    ‘”A decision for declaration of war must emanate from the parliament, otherwise the Prime Minister has no say”
    Parvez Musharraf started Kargill war without the advance knowledge( forget the approval) of the then PM Mr Nawaj ShariffRecommend

  • Dogar

    @Rex Minor
    You know what, there’s a difference bewteen what one would like to believe and what actually exists in reality. Livivng in cacoon and creating arguments out of the thin air won’t do any good to you. I know where you are coming from and thus the reason you are unable to diffrentiate between a Constitutional Monarchy (UK) and a Federal Republic (Pakistan).In our case the President indeed is the Supreme Commander of Pakistan Armed Forces and certain powers do rest with him. Here, may if you dont believe in The Dail Times and Wikipedia, may be you will believe in your beloved Express Tribune:

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/168901/supreme-commander-petition-seeks-to-empower-army-chief/Recommend

  • Zakuta

    East & West – Pakistan Army is the best
    Jalne walay ka moo kala :PRecommend

  • Zakuta

    Dabbay mai Dabba, Dabbay mai Cake – Pakistan Army Lakhon mai EikRecommend

  • Zakuta

    Kahin se Jalne ki boo arhi hai.
    PakFauj Zindabad – Pakistan PaindabadRecommend

  • RK Singh

    Pakistani army- or kaun banega crorepati.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Great Thinker:
    So, you do agree that Pakistan has lost all the battles.

    There is a huge difference between between a Battle, War and a Campaign, which is usually known to great readers and thinkers, obviously you are none of the both.

    So first educate yourself on the subject and then may be we can discuss this point further.Recommend

  • http://India vasan

    Dogar : Any madarasa which comes to your mind for “educating” oneself ?Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Great Thinker:
    Note that, it was Pakistan which started all the wars.

    If you actually had been a great thinker you must have known that in military terms in general and in the Indo-Pak scenario in particular, ‘Riposte’ and’Counter-Offensive’ and most important of ALL ‘Preemption’ is a DEFENSIVE action, NOT an Offensive one.

    So when any country launches a preemptive strike, it is NOT termed as an act of AGGRESSION under the International Law of War.

    Invariably the country which causes the other country to execute a Preemptive maneuver is to be blamed. Google it if your brain fails to comprehend these hard core military phrases.

    To keep things in perspective;

    As Russia is ready for a preemptive strike on European missile defense systems if the US refuses dialogue on legally binding guarantees on ABM.

    As Israeli army launches preemptive strikes on Palestinians when they are found planting bombs.

    As the US retains the right of a preemtive strike against anybody in the garb of 9/11 : http://www.globalissues.org/article/450/the-bush-doctrine-of-pre-emptive-strikes-a-global-pax-americana

    And there are hundreds of such examples, if only you had been an actual ‘Great Thinker’

    So when you say it was Pakistan which ‘started all the wars’, it only shows how shallow knowledge about military strategy you Indians have here.

    Now quit this lame propaganda which usually you Indians and a few of those media anchors adopt for cheap point scoring.

    I can further explain how your ‘Pakistan initiated all the wars’ and ours ‘right of self defence through preemption’ were justified as per the International Law duly mandated by the UN, but then I would be taking this too far as that’s not the topic at hand.

    Only if you guys would stop ready your Kautilyaian text books, may be you could see the reality beyond the BS that is fed to you!Recommend

  • Dogar

    @p r sharma:
    Which part of the article where it says that all these business venture are not run by the military itself you did not understand?Recommend

  • Dogar

    @vickram:
    You need a serious education on who created Talibans and how terrorism in its modern form was perfected.

    FYKI, the group that attacked India on 26/7 was probably motivated by the art of suicidal tactics which did a debut in ancient India:

    Group of suicide squads were used by the Indian Chera rulers to resist Chola invasions to their state from 11th century. These warriors were known as the “chavers”

    Also, the rulers of the state of Valluvanad deployed a number of suicide squads against the ruler of Calicut: http://books.google.com.pk/books?id=RE5rewAACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&redir_esc=y

    But guess what, it was the Tamil Tigers who perfected the tactic and inspired its use elsewhere. Their Black Tiger unit have committed approximately 168 suicide bombings since 1987, using more than 240 attackers. Their victims included former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (assassinated by Thenmuli Rajaratnam).

    But I hope you know that these LTTE terrorists where trained by no other than the Indian Army and RAW itself–>Indian Army & RAW Trained Tamil Tiger [LTTE] Terrorists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMdU4Hm7tkU

    So congrats sir, you just made history! No mean feat, indeed.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @vasan:

    I think madarassas like Maharashtra Military Foundation would be good place to start.

    Moreover, the Indian schools from where the gems like Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit and Lt Gen P N Hoon (who gave the idea of having Hindu suicide bombers of their own) had their basic studies would also do.

    “Shiv Sena backs formation of suicide squads”, “Lt Gen P N Hoon lauded the spirit of the youth who had volunteered to become suicide commandos on occasion of addressing the first batch of commandos (Indian suicide bombers) at Maharashtra Military Foundation”: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2002-11-15/chandigarh/273055911suicide-squads-shiv-sena-formation-of-such-squadsRecommend

  • Rex Minor

    Dogar,

    This is not my belief but my judjement. You can rely on Wikepedia, which can be corrected, but need the source. Even NY Times and washington Times do not and will not reveal the source of info. The fact that Bhuttos were the mentor of the current military chief has assured an extended time for Zardari and co to put the house in order. Have a nce day-subject closed.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Great Thinker

    @Dogar: If this is the line of thinking that Pakistan follows, then no wonder why Pakistan is a failed state, or is being a failed state also part of the pre-emptive strategy of Pakistan. :-)
    Your logic is awesome. I was actually laughing out loud after reading your post.

    I guess, the objective of a pre-emptive strike should be to cripple the enemy so much, that it should not launch another attack. WIth every war (pre-emptive strike as per you), that your army has waged against India, it has lost and horribly at that. Was allowing the Indian Boots to march upto Lahore, part of your strategy, was losing half the country part of your strategy, was the surrender of 90,000 of your soldiers part of your pre-emptive strategy, was disowning the soldiers who had founght in Kargil, part of your pre-emptive strategy.

    I am still saying that it is because of the anti-India mentality of your army that Pakistan is a failed state. It has hogged up all the resources and has actually been the main enemy of Pakistan. Recommend

  • http://India vasan

    Dogar The link you referred to is only a reactionary or copy cat technology outfits. I thought you will refer me to the original terror mongering madarasahs in pakistan which has more than 50 years of experience. I am not surprised that you dont want to reveal state secrets.Recommend

  • curious

    @Dogar:

    Invariably the country which causes the other country to execute a Preemptive maneuver is to be blamed. Google it if your brain fails to comprehend these hard core military phrases.

    OK. So Pakistan successfully caused India to execute a Preemptive maneuver and then repeated it with aplomb in 1971. Congratulations.

    Now, did Iraq and Afghanistan also succeed in the same ‘preemptive maneuver’?

    Just wondering. Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Great Thinker:
    You may go on whatever tangent you like, but the matter of the fact is that whatever actions that we have taken we have successfully broken the myth of Akhund Bharat, as rightly admitted by yourself in a previous post of yours. Your Chankian dream of nibbling your neighbors has been shaken, no doubt you guys ‘proudly’ announce these days how India never follows that line these days.

    That’s our real victory.

    Our victory is in the fact that a country which wanted to have Tea at Lahore Gymkhana and reunite a broken piece of their, now mongers about the ‘threat’ our missiles pose them when she herself has always worked to destabilize Pakistan.

    Our victory was in the fact that despite of your Nehruian concept that Pakistan will come running back to Bharat Ma just a few months after independence and will ultimately merge with India has become a dream so farfetched that you guys have started to negate the teachings of your own forefathers. Now isnt that something to be really proud of for you guys?Recommend

  • Vigilant

    As Pakistanis we can never hate our army as members of Armed forces are part of our society. Army did made mistakes but these mistakes collectively cannot nullify the presence of certain institution. If civilian politicians can control & run their day-to-day affairs then their will be no excuse for some unadventurous general to rule nation again like it happened in Turkey.

    Defense day is not just about war winning or losing, it’s about remembering those people who scarified their lives for our better future and tomorrow

    @Dogar
    Great Answers to hate mongers……Recommend

  • Dogar

    @curious:
    Now see, as I have already mentioned that your tiny brains have difficulty in comprehending minute details and you guys have an attention span that of a toad, please re-read my comment and understand that I was not talking about “Pakistan successfully causing India to execute a Preemptive maneuver” rather the other way round!

    Tsk…tsk….Recommend

  • curious

    @Dogar:

    rather the other way round!

    OK, so India got Pakistan to make a preemptive strike in 1971 and in the process Pakistan broke into two?

    Man that is toadiness of the highest order, indeed.I am sure Indians won’t mind repeating the exercise. Go Pak army, go for another one.Recommend

  • Secular Extremist

    http://dawn.com/2012/09/08/beyond-the-law/

    An example of our armed forces ‘reformed’ outlook.Recommend

  • Mariah

    And even on Defense Day not a single word of praise for our martyrs from this newsppaer. Dear ET cant u just spend just one day without portraying a bleak picture of the country and making controversial. Seriously ET, u always prove from where u get ur funding by these acts of ursRecommend

  • Mogambo

    Mogambo khush hua.
    Pakistan Army ZindabadRecommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Anwar Rohila:
    “@Vikram: Express tribune is one of the several Pakistani newspapers,where Indians are always welcome to vent their anti-Pak venom,unedited and unmoderated.In comparison not a single Pakistani comment gets any space on any Indian online newspaper sites.So much for their “free press””
    What’s the point of complaing to Vikram. I am sure he cannot help you there.Recommend

  • Gandhi

    Whatever atleast Pakistan Army is better than these so-called democratic morons.Recommend

  • Maula Jutt

    ISI is more than enough for you Indians!
    …so we do not need to worrying about guys.Recommend

  • preach-less

    @Dogar
    Our victory is in the fact that a country which wanted to have Tea at Lahore Gymkhana and reunite a broken piece of their, now mongers about the ‘threat’ our missiles pose them when she herself has always worked to destabilize Pakistan.

    In military terms its called deception,what we intended was a dinner at Dhaka,which we actually had,and Pakistanis were worried about a tea at Lahore Gymkhana.never mind ,tea is due for next time.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @preach-less:
    Ok, so now you are going to intermingle 1965 war with 1971 war. Great!

    No wonder your knowledge of history is so pathetic.Recommend

  • Abreez

    To understand people of some country one has to understand the psychology of that country. If Indian government think that her efforts are weaken Pakistan let me tell you something quite opposite. Actually Indian government’s efforts are paving the way for a bloody revolution in Pakistan. If someone told you that Pakistani people hate their army generals, it’s true, but it’s not because they love India or they love their politicians, it’s because people of Pakistan think that their army generals are from middle class and when they came into power they promise root out evil (Pakistani elite) but every time they let Pakistani people down. Pakistani elite is the dirtiest elite class that any country has, if this time a situation of government change will arise and someone will come who hanged majority of elite class as well as politician what will Pakistani people do, they worship that man nearly for one thousand years. But do you think that government will ask for Kashmir, no she will ask for whole Northern India. Why Chinese love Pakistan, it’s not because we are giving them a route to Arabian Sea, it’s not because we hate India so much, it’s because we have a claim on whole of Sub-Continent. If Bangladesh government asks for J-20 Chinese government refuse but if Pakistan government ask for J-20, Chinese government give that plane free of cost.
    There are some lies that both India and Pakistan speak frequently, for example people of both countries hate each other. Pakistani people hate government of India and people of India hate government of Pakistan, it’s a universal truth. Both governments have claims on each other land and if one of them succeed to throw the other government into the sea, world would happily accept the reality and will move on. Sooner or later we have to fight but there is another truth, both governments want each other land as well as people, poor people who has nothing to do with politics. If some government someday will succeed getting what she wants what she will do then, make new plan for the welfare of people of Sub-Continent and then she will have new friends and new foes.Recommend

  • Dogar

    @Secular Extremist:
    That’s exactly the reformed outlook the author is talking about. For the first time in the history of Pakistan 3 x Generals of its Army being held accountable and being tried as per the dictates of the law:
    http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=2145#pr_link2145

    I wonder, why would anyone still have a problem with this?Recommend

  • Tehniat Ahsan

    Just wondering why are Indians so much obsessed with Pakistan!!!

    Tsk tsk tsk!!!

    India, I feel for you. Only if your citizens were working hard for your betterment instead of posting biased and baseless comments on this forum, India would have been a better plac1eRecommend

  • Abdulrauf akhtar

    What for indians are making noise ?Recommend