Category Archives: Pakistan Army

ISI the number one spy agency in the world!

Not admitting mistakes and putting the blame on others is the routine practice of our leaders and our military. Our military intelligence ISI that is in the line of fire these days, following their involvement in missing persons cases, has lived up to the reputation once again. They recently defended themselves in the Supreme Court by making a revelation that Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing(RAW) and Israel Mossad are the ones culpable for kidnapping people from Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhua.
Ok this might be true, however if it is then why didn’t ISI took any action against those two agencies, knowing that they were carrying out such heinous activities in our land? ISI surprisingly, was recently ranked as the number one intelligence in the world, but the so labeled top agency seems to be no way near the top spot. They could not even detect that the most wanted man in the world was residing in Pakistan and now instead of accepting their crime in the missing people case, they are making pathetic excuses.

What about Taliban?

On 26th of November 2011, NATO forces attacked Pakistani check posts at Salala and 24 Pakistani soldiers in the onslaught and on January 05, 2012 Taliban slaughtered 15 personnel belonging to Frontier Constabulary, who were being held captive. While we have clearly redefined our relationship with NATO and especially the U.S., taking a stand on the unprovoked attack, there seems to be no reaction from any circle over the latter incident. None of the Taliban apologists, who claim to be the saviors of Pakistan, have taken to the streets and protested over this horrific act. These were also sons of our soil, their only fault being that they were serving Pakistan. If this is the kind of peace Taliban are promising to implement, in the ongoing negotiations, then we do not want it.

The sketchy origins of a video

Recently a video has made waves which show some men in uniform killing a bunch of alleged terrorists by opening up uncontrolled fire on them. Some websites claim that the video has been shot in Swat while some claim it has been shot in Orakzai Agency.
Such attempts have been made in past also. Pak army has initiated internal investigation of the issue. Here, we must not forget that Pak army has carried out a splendid operation in Swat and is gearing up to repeat the same success in North Waziristan. This and many other such claims is a tool which is being used by the terrorists to demoralize the armed forces and the nation.
We must not forget that “United we stand, divided we fall”. The armed forces can clear the area once but to retain it is the responsibility of the citizens. It is ideological fronts that would prove to be the deciding factors in this war.

Fragility of the security!

After a period of temporary peace, Peshawar was again jolted by three blasts today. This unfortunate incident has broken the already fragile sense of security which the residents were starting to develop. This was a cowardly act of the frenzied militants on innocent citizens who were just trying to spend a usual day in their lives. Many precious lives have been lost and several injured. One of the primary targets was the US consulate.
It is highly condemnable to attack the natives of any forging country to create pressure on your own government. The nationals of a foreign country are there to serve the locals who want to travel to their country plus they are involved in many noble charitable works.
The terrorists after the successful operation by Pakistan army have fled to cities and are targeting innocent civilians to make their presence felt. They must know one thing that our faith in our armed forces and ourselves is as shaken as it was. We will not bow down to any form of aggression and oppression. Come what may!

Swat

Looking at our blog stats and the key questions that people google to find us , we are amazed. For instance, just in the last three days there have been over five thousand people googling ,“ What is REALLY happening in Swat? ” and “ Causes of Swat militancy
Do we really need to google to know what are the causes of the Swat situation? What part of military adventurism- disguised as strategic depth and chicken coming home to roost do we not get that we need to google it ? What part of the military STILL being involved and not serious about bringing peace to the area do we not get that we need to google it ? What part of the question that how many men does it take to dismantle an illegal radio station do these five thousand people not get ? What part of empty bravado like Zardari’s “militants should get out ” and “writ of the government ” should be established do we not get ? How come on Feb 18 elections were peacefully held but then immediately afterwards the blood started flowing through Swat ? If peace can be enforced on one day then how come not on other days?

Seriously.. there has to be a limit of denial .

Project:fighting terrorism

When the National Reconstruction Bureau was formed in 1999, a friend remarked that now the Government of Pakistan also has an NGO funded by international donors. However ,it seems now the biggest project that the GOP is running is Project : fighting terrorism for which it spends money and gets reimbursed by the Government of America.
In NGO jargon, we can say that the Pakistan Army is the Executing Agency while the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) has been signed between Government of Pakistan and America. A bill of $ 156 billion was sent but it was found that $55million were not spend according to the project guidelines so that amount was not reimbursed.
Thus the GOP and the Pakistan Army is now experiencing the same disappointment that NGOs experience when their bills are not “cleared” by the “donor.”

Exploding mangoes

Just finished reading Mohammad Hanif’s book A Case of Exploding Mangoes. After Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke ( didn’t enjoy the Reluctant Fundamentalism as much) this is one book that we thoroughly enjoyed as like Moth Smoke Exploding Mangoes flows. The narration is engrossing and the way Hanif has succeeded in weaving the story line is great. Particularly love the passage:

As they approach the red carpet that leads to the Pak One staircase, you can immediately tell that I am the only one in the frame smiling but when I salute and start walking towards the aero plane, my smile vanishes .I know I am saluting a bunch of dead men. But if you are in uniform, you salute. That’s all there is to it. “This para captures the military’s mindset to the T. Standard SOPs need to be followed even if one is conspiring murder. “That’s all there is to it”

The book also mentions the sly Ray Ban wearing General Beg (of the Midnight Jackal operation and MehranBank scandal but who now champions democracy still wearing his Ray Bans though! ) General Akhtar ( father of former federal Minister Humayun Akhtar who was bought shares in Pepsi Pakistan in cash in the 80s ) Brig TM ( who all of us grew up watching on Pakistan Day) and of course the regressive and oppressive General Zia. The book ridicules all these characters and the reader enjoys it. At least we did. Perhaps because as a friend said ,“ All of us hate them and the beauty of the book is that for our generation, it is the equivalent of creating voodoo dolls of all these characters. ”

All in all a must read . Also leaves one to ask : mangoes anyone?

Lessons from Swat “success.”

According to reports coming out of the area, the military operation in Swat has been “successful” . While it is good that militants have been flushed out of the areas which they had taken over, the question still remains as to whether the military operation was an end in itself or a means to an end? Now that the military operation has been “successful” how do we know that the militants would not regroup and strike again because of the poor intelligence of state troops? Having said , let us also not forget the fundamental question of who are these “militants” and how did they become that influential?

Lal Masjid , the Swat operation and even the operation in the FATA area has time and time again emphasized one thing which is : piece meal military operations just do not work.

What is needed, in our opinion, is a fundamental reorientation of thinking of state, society and religion’s relationship in Pakistan and the first step to do that is not through a gun but through dialogue.

Troops in Swat

What we had feared and constantly warning against has happened. Troops have been deployed in Swat. The government claims that Maulana Fazlullah has set up a `parallel government” , has a 4500 strong private army named the Shaheen Force and is also protecting foreign militants. Maulana Fazlullah interestingly still has his illegal FM station through which he continues his morning broadcasts . In his most recent one he has declared that the government is planning this operation to “ kill innocents”

In this fluid situation , we can only reiterate what we have been saying all along : who is to blame? Just as we asked at the time of the Lal Masjid operation, where were the intelligence agencies , government etc when allegedly Maulana Fazalullah was organizing his 4500 strong Shaheen Force? Why was Maulana Falullah allowed to operate an illegal FM station when every other day the government curbs the freedom of the registered FM stations when they try to broadcast current affairs programs? Where was the government when an individual was setting up “ parallel governments” in allegedly fifty nine villages of Swat ?

True, it is a failure of the writ of the government, as the government spokesperson said. But the writ of the government is not established through force. It is established by good and active governance .

No one , at this stage, knows how many will loose their lives in this operation. Perhaps no one cares.

Ayesha Siddiqa responds to Mushraff

We were aproached by Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa to set the record straight after General Mushraff’s remarks on the book Military Inc:Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy. We are reproducing her statement here :

In an interview on Business Plus General Parvez Musharraf stated that:

 He perceives my book, “Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy” as a mala fide assault on the forces and Pakistan not based on facts.

 He also stated that he has never met me and the book is sponsored by India and was written during my brief stay in India.

 The General also speculates that the book is a reaction to a supposed harsh treatment meted out to me when I was a public servant.

Such comments made by the president make it necessary that I bring my perspective on record. I personally take a sympathetic view of the way the General feels about my book. I fully appreciate the fact that at the position that the General is occupying, he would not have had the time to go through my book and is therefore relying on the briefing given to him by some of his advisors who have not read the book.

 I would like to put the record straight by reminding the General that I have actually met him when he was Director General Military Operations, as a part of my academic research and have interviewed him for my first book on military decision-making.

 I would also like to assert that I had nothing but the interest of the Armed Forces of Pakistan at heart while writing the book. I have presented objective facts and figures to conclude that the involvement of military in private business is actually undermining the capacity, efficiency, professionalism and image of this prestigious institution.

 I would also like to emphasize that my book is based on facts and figures of the government, military, the foundations and the higher courts so if there is any error it is not mine.

 I would like to categorically state that the Indian or any other government has nothing to do with the research or publication of my book. The research was funded by the Fellowship Fund for Pakistan using resources of the country’s corporate sector.

 I would also like to clarify that my research interests are rooted in academic rigour and not in any perceived maltreatment on the part of any government department where I have served in the past.

 I vigorously disagree with any person who would like to impose his or her own definition of patriotism or “supreme national interest” upon the people of Pakistan and assert my right to define the interest of the prestigious armed forces of Pakistan in my capacity as a widely published academic on the topic.

 I also challenge the President on questioning my loyalty towards my country and its institutions.

 I firmly believe that Pakistan needs to protect the organizational integrity of its armed forces which can only be ensured through confining it strictly to the role assigned in the constitution.