A civil-military equation

Field Marshal Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan and General Zial-ul-Haq
Field Marshal Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan and General Zial-ul-Haq

Musharraf’s nine years of misrule have left Pakistan comparable to a ship which finds itself in stormy waters with its engines seized, the rudder broken and the compass out of order. The magnificent two-year-long relentless struggle by the lawyers and the civil society against a well entrenched dictator eventually, became the basis for Musharraf’s departure and the emergence of the present political dispensation which must now steer Pakistan out of the stormy waters.

Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Zia-ul-Haq and Gen Musharraf caused immense harm to the cause of democracy taking roots. But what has to be seen is how these military rulers sustained themselves in power. Yes, they did take power through the sheer military might of the Pakistan Army that they commanded but what was it that actually sustained them in power? The answer is unscrupulous politicians, a docile civil bureaucracy and an indifferent civil society. Each time, after the takeovers had been brought into effect, the Army withdrew to the barracks leaving their commander (COAS) in the company of turncoat politicians, senior civil bureaucrats, dirty rich businessmen and feudal lords to rule the roost. We saw all of this on display during the last nine years.

Pakistanis have to ascertain as to who is to be blamed for the woes that the nation today faces. As far as the Army is concerned it would be wrong to hold the Institution, as a whole, responsible for the ills of the military takeovers of the yesteryears. The Army’s weight was misused by the dictators to take power without the actual consent of the Army. The usurpers capitalised upon the instinct of the Army, which is to obey orders. After the initial seizing of political power vice chiefs of the Army Staffs have always commanded the Army in its day-to-day functions with only some key areas being kept directly under the COAS-cum-presidents who would there onwards rule in the name of the military but with the active support of unscrupulous politicians devoid of principles.

For a country like Pakistan which finds itself in an environment of extreme security hazards it is indeed a strong military and a strong intelligence-gathering potential that can guarantee its national security. This is something that cannot be disputed. It is, therefore, of paramount importance that the political and military hierarchy functions in a manner that is truly one of complete harmony and is complimentary to each other’s potency. While there is a distinctly visible close cooperation between the top civil and military leadership of the country there is also a need for the next tier of political leadership, both in power and those in opposition, not to make naive political statements that adversely target the Army as an Institution. The strength of the Army and its intelligence-gathering potential is of an overriding importance for the politicians to take the country out of the woods towards safety.

In today’s Pakistan it is a fallacy to think that it is the political structure that is keeping things together. Recently, when political leaders apprehended a bleak situation because the militants were just a hundred miles away from Islamabad they were not wrong. It is the Pakistan Army that stood between the militants and Islamabad. What followed is well known. The Army now stands by to ensure that the political consolidation takes place in all those areas where the state had lost its writ.

Let it be said in so many words that the entire credit for restoring the very adverse situation in the north to a great degree is exclusively that of the Pakistan Army. There is very little that the civil authorities in the NWFP, or the law enforcers of the federation, have done to warrant their stealing any limelight from the Pakistan Army.

This is probably one era when the Army leadership has lent unconditional subordination to the political authority and it is, therefore, absolutely essential that the political leadership capitalises upon the situation and moves forward in a manner so that this new phenomenon becomes a permanent feature of the Pakistani power structure. The one aspect that will guarantee this happening is the ensuring of good governance on the part of the politicians in all spheres of national life and if this does not happen the new found civil-military equation will succumb to the gradual escalation of tensions caused by the increasing ill-effects of faulty governance.

For Pakistan’s sake, and for the sake of the political dispensation taking strong roots, all concerned with the governance of present-day Pakistan must ensure that the present balance in the civil-military relations is not disturbed through rash actions and misguided political statements. The existent civil-military equation must be strengthened to give Pakistan immediate stability because anything to the contrary will quicken the slide towards a gigantic catastrophe which is something that may have the dynamics of disrupting everything. The Army has moved in the right direction. The politician must now grasp the opportunity to consolidate the existing civil-military equation.


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6 Replies to “A civil-military equation”

  1. Is there anyone exist who can liberate us from the recent power crises as well as inflation because we didnt see the govt. writ on any of these sectors and dont know what is going on and what are they doing i.e. the so called PPPP Govt. Everyone is looting the people and is doing whatever they want to do to earn money from these poor and needy people. I have some questions from you Sir,
    1. What the responsible departments are doing regarding above?
    2. What are the concerned Ministries and the Ministers are doing who are using protocols and big offices to run these departments?
    3. Is it not a sign of a bloody revolution in our Country. Because every political party is tested by the people many times in this country but everyone everytime has deceived the people and dissappointed them?

  2. Dear Mr.Khattak,
    I read your well thought out article and you may be right that the institution should not be blamed for all the ill these past dictators have inflected upon Pakistan. Sure, corrupt politicians has exasperated the situation even further,but we can’t ignore the fact that why this Army institution keep on producing these Generals who dreamed to be a President and interfere in civilian spheres.Moreover the Corps commanders abetted the Usurpers,and in the process all became multi-millionaires.I live nearby Fort Riley and I see Generals and other officers coming in to town like any other person and nobody is bothered about them.I am sure you have seen Generals how they travel and expect special treatments from any and everybody.Beside most of the officer core acts and think they are above the law,i.e. this major in Mardan refugee camp thrashed a civilian officer who was doing his job which did not come to par with this major’s agenda.Lets be
    frank,Pakistan Army Institution is corrupt to the core, if not, why are they involved in businesses all over Pakistan.I never saw American military services engage in any business for the last 45years of my living here.I have seen Army outfit selling Roti in Mardan.To be fair to the Army,I must say that up to the rank of colonel, they are as good as any army officer in the world and most dedicated for the well being of their motherland.
    As far as the PPP goes,it is also thoroughly corrupt and I wonder some time if they are not Security Risk to the integrity of Pakistan.PPP has played a very cruel joke on the nation by bringing in the forefront Mr.Zardari.I have seen their shenanigans before and after BB became Prime Minister.I was President PPP at the US level and lobbied the congress against General Zia on behest of BB and PPP.I attended several meeting with BB and her cohorts,I saw and heard things in the meetings with American senators and congressman which brings me to the conclusion that PPP could be Security Threat to Pakistan’s existence.The same group is there now around Zardari and Jalani and I pray to God that these people do not succeed in their shenanigans and selling out the country to Americans and Brits for their financial gains.In Kansas they say a Thug and Thief will always be a Thug and a Thief and I see several of them in PPP government and I am sure you
    know them too.
    I do read your articles whenever they appear in The News, and thankful to you for your service to the nation for writing your mind.Take Care.
    Naeem Khan

  3. Time to pay back

    I want to share some words about the prevailing law and order situation, suicide attacks and terrorism in the county. and your article “Civil-Military Equation”

    Pakistan is undergoing a series of terrorism since 1979. General Zia ul Haq and his Army fought American war in Afghanistan and earned dollars. He and his accomplices did not even hesitate to kill their own countrymen to hide the embezzlements in American supplied arms and ammunition by blowing Ojri Camp up in Rawalpindi causing hundreds of causalities and properties lost.

    During their waged war hundreds and thousands of people died in bomb blasts throughout Pakistan. The dependents of those deceased people are still suffering the hardship of their lives. On the other hand Allah Almighty did His justice to the mercenaries and busted some of them in an air crash and some of them are “prisoners of their conscience”; but their dependents like Ejaz ul Haq and Humayun Akhter Abdur Rehman etc are enjoying the luxuries of the life.

    The claim that USSR was trying to capture the hot sea/ocean in the gulf was ridiculous as the thus Afghan Government being pro USSR invited the USSR to help in settling their internal affairs but American took the advantage of the situation to have vengeance of their cold war with USSR.

    Pakistan being pro American for nothing rang a false alarm of “holding of hot sea by USSR” through Pakistan. Pakistani Army not only exploited the ancient history of Afghans but Islam and Jehad to provoke the sentiments in Afghanistan, Pakistan and around the Islamic world for funding, recruitments and tickets to Heaven/Eden against USSR and set this region on fire. When Abdul Ghafar Khan protested on the issue; he was put into jail and named as traitor.

    But Pakistani fools forgot that Afghan history which they referred to could also play the same role with Pakistan as compelled by plundering nature Afghan had been invading India many times. If in those days Afghans were equipped with swords, arrows, spares and horses; now they are equipped with missiles, guns etc that is they gradually progressed too despite their meager situation. If situation arises they even can have modern hardwares as there would be well-wishers as well.

    Concluding this brief account I strongly believe that the “sole intelligentsia” of Pakistan i.e. Pakistani Army is responsible for these acts of terrorism and suicidal blasts not only in Pakistan but in this region. They paved the way in collaboration with America.

    Therefore why they ask the People of Pakistan now to support them against terrorism whereas People of Pakistan had paid the cost to no gain without their willingness.

    Now this is time for People of Pakistan to keep them apart form these operations against terrorism or suicidal attacks because they are not responsible as Afghan “Jehad”, making of Taliban or War on Terrorism were not launched by the consent of the People of Pakistan. Why should they come into play? To safe Pakistan Army and correct the wrong doings committed by the Army for the last 61 years so that after some years the Army could again enjoy the authority over people of Pakistan as self proclaimed supreme, to undermine or destroy the civil institutions and the infrastructures of the country?

    It is the time for Pakistan Army after enjoying the loin’s shares in financial budgets of the poor people for the last 61 years, exploitations, dollars earned by slaughtering own countrymen, selling of men and women of this country, labeling the citizens terrorists, maligning Pakistan around the world, making housing societies, DHAs, embezzling taxes, subsidies in the name of welfare of their own militants (army men), crushing the people of Pakistan; violating, suspending and disgracing the constitution to clean the dung/litter they spread in this region and Pakistan.

    Let the Army (jack of all trades and master of none) face it alone as this is the time to pay back.

  4. ” Success of Jinnah and Zia in Pakistan and Failure of Others.”
    In view of present scenario, when Pakistan is suffering from violent conflict between Pakistan army and Islamic Fighters and both are cutting throats of each other and killing each other mercilessly, and no one is there to stop them from this bloody madeness,infact some ethnocentric parties and India are enjoying this bloody film continuously, and are trying to pour more fuel on this fire. In such condition it is the responsibility of Intellectuals of Pakistan to try to stop this blood shed and to analyze the past history of Pakistan and find out that why Pakistan was stable in the era of Quaid-e-Azam and General Zia, and was a most stable and strong country of the region in spite of all adversaries and enemity of British Empire, India and Soviet Union and why it has become so much unstable in the era of General Musharaf and Mr.Zardari in spite of support of World Super power USA,NATO and other nations..
    Pakistan Needs Leader Like Quaid-e-Azam.
    Quaid-e-Azam was a leader who united whole the populations of Muslims of subcontinent on one platform in spite of all their weaknesses due to illiteracy, ethnocentrism, regionalism, provincialism and conspiracies of Indian National Congress and British rulers, From each sentence of his speeches it is evident that he was the most caring and sincere leader for Muslims and for their interests. His speeches are full of words like Muslims, Musalamans and Islam, He very strongly proved that he is a well wisher of Muslims and will never compromise against the best interests of Muslims.
    This was the reason that Muslims of subcontinent have thrown all their differences and were united under his leader ship without any reservation. For the cause of Muslims his family life was destroyed, his sister never married, her daughter was separated from him, For the cause of Muslims he lost his personnel home in Bombay, India, For the cause of Muslims he refused to accept the Premier ship of India and due to his hard work for the Muslims his health was destroyed but till his death he continued to work for welfare of his peoples. These were the characteristics of Quaid-e-Azam due to which even his enemies like him and have praise for him.
    Pakistan Needs Leader Like General Zia-ul-Haq.
    After separation of East Pakistan in 1971 a critical change occurred in the demography of Pakistan and ratio of Muslims Population increased from 85% to 98%.General Zia was the first leader who comprehended this change and used this phenomena for the strength and stability of Pakistan. Due to his apparent commitment with Islam and Muslims, he was able to rule the country like an Iron Man till his death. During his era Pakistan was the Island of piece in whole region, his devotion for Islam and Pakistan made him the most successful ruler of Pakistan, Although he was a military dictator he was having a very effective influence both socially and religiously on people of Pakistan, and people were having trust on him, due to his policies there was no anti state or separation activities except that of Al-Zulfiqar by brother of Mrs. Benazir Bhutto.
    Afghan Jihad: Although General Zia was supporting Afghan Jihad against Soviet Union his relations with Soviet Union were surprisingly good, and Pakistan Steel Mill in Karachi was completed with the help of Soviet Union.
    Collapse of Super Power Soviet Union:
    Due to General Zia support for Afghan Jihad Soviet Union was broken into pieces of more than dozen countries and Pakistan was able to take the revenge of separation of East Pakistan from Soviet Union in which Soviet Union was nakedly involved .
    Due to General Zia policies so many countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia were liberated from the claws of Soviet Union and both East and West Germany were reunited.
    He refused to accept any pressure with reference to Nuclear Program from USA.
    In the era of General Zia ,India was highly frightened from stability and progress of Pakistan and lost all its credibility and diplomatic respect due to support for Soviet Union for invasion in Afghanistan and Indira Gandhi a foolish leader of India who was involved in aggression and terrorism for taking the advantage of foolish acts of General Yahya Khan in 1971 in East Pakistan , was totally failed in controlling the affairs of East Punjab due to her foolish policies and in fact lost her life in that crisis.
    Care of Minorities:
    In the era of General Zia, There was no problem of extremism and terrorism, he was real well wisher of minorities, Three million Afghan refugees were provided shelter in Pakistan, Refugees of Bahai minority of Iran were provided shelter in Pakistan, Great facilities were provided to Sikh Pilgrims for performing their religious rituals in Pakistan. Ethnic and religious Refugees from Burma were provided shelter in Pakistan. First time Pop visited Pakistan and great welcome was given to him by General Zia
    General Zia always preached for harmony and unity in different sects and worked for use of religion for peace and development.
    Blunders of Non-Religious Leader Pervez Musharaf.
    Chronic Failure of Pervez Musharaf.
    Even before becoming the dictator, just for lust of his personnel fame, he was responsible for the adventure of Kargil war, which was having following draw backs.
    • As both India and Pakistan were nuclear armed at the time of Kargil war, it was simply foolish idea for staging such an adventure.
    • In case of extension of Kargil war, even the survival of both India and Pakistan were at stake, because in nuclear war no one will be victorious.
    • Kargil war has given the message to world as Pakistan was interested in the land of Kargil and not in the liberation of Kashmiri peoples.
    • It was told to the world as Mujahideen are acting in Kargil while infact they were the personnel of Pakistan army, and in fact it was great betrayal with those soldiers who were officially sent by their Generals in Kargil.
    • As a General Pervez Musharaf failed to take the help of Air force, which also indicates that how much capable General was he.
    • In Kargil Pakistan army personnel who were denied even by their Generals as their soldiers, were fighting against two forces of India i.e. Indian army and Indian Air force, it was a simple analysis that it will be impossible for one force to win a war against two forces. Which clearly indicates, that General Musharaf was not well aware of the basics of warfare?
    • Pervez Musharaf was solely responsible for the deaths and injuries to soldiers in this conflict and damage and malignment of the nation due to his foolish adventure just for his personnel fame.
    Musharaf Dictatorship.
    After Kargil expecting that he could be court martialled for his misdeed, Therefore by violating the best interest of the nation when enemies of Pakistan were waiting for opportunities to overthrow Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and to annihilate Kashmir libration movement and to surgically remove nuclear arms of Pakistan, by having no care of the above mentioned interests of the nation ,this dictator staged the coup against a Prime Minister who was having two third majority in the parliament, at that time only a civilian government was in best position to solve all above challenges but foolish dictators were having no care of interests of the nation.
    Due to Dictator Ship in Pakistan, liberation movement in Kashmir was seriously damaged; more dust was poured on that weakening movement by foolish suggestions of this dictator. This is the reason that even after giving so much sacrifices, still Kashmiries are waiting for freedom.
    Damage to Integrity of Pakistan:
    As the survival of any nation depends on the basic ideology of that nation, as Pakistan was created on the name of Islam and for the welfare of Muslim populations of Different areas, but this dictator was having no respect for the traditional, religious. Democratic
    and justice values of society, he was not in line with the mentality and thinking of the nation, nation was thinking in one direction and he was having mind of opposite direction, which caused serious damage to unity and integrity of Pakistani nation.
    War against Afghanistan:
    After 9/11 When he was waiting for help of USA for strengthening his dictatorship, he helped those enemies of Pakistan who were having desire to overthrow Islamic Government of Afghanistan, while in fact that was a golden opportunity for convincing to USA and world that solution to the problem of extremism in Afghanistan should be left to both governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and at other hand it was a convenient opportunity for creating a union between Pakistan and Afghanistan for countering terrorism for the purpose of avoiding the war in the region. but due to his dictatorship these goals were not possible, specially when India the main enemy of Muslim unity in South Asia pressurized Pakistan, by giving unnatural offer of Air bases in India to USA for aggression against Afghanistan while in fact by this offer it was not possible for USA to attack Afghanistan, by this offer, India just aim was to force Pakistan to become an ally of USA against Afghanistan, so that a hatred may be created between Pakistan and Afghanistan, This foolish General was unable to comprehend this policy of India, due to which so much civilian atrocities are going on in this region even today and this region has become the most destabilized region of the world.
    War against Afghanistan was opposed by civilian, military intellectuals, Corps Commanders and people of Pakistan, but dictator was having no care about that. and was interested in his personnel interest
    War against Afghanistan has caused a huge destruction in Afghanistan and large number of Pakistani civilians and military personnel’s have been killed.
    Destruction of Pakistan.
    War against a neighbor Muslim country, has seriously damaged Pakistan Islamic Ideology, and it is simple that without adherence to ideology, no country in the world can survive, this is the reason that now Pakistan is facing serious problem in each and every sphere of life, Institutions of Government and Military, Parliament and Judiciary are now facing serious problems as all these pillars of state have been seriously damaged by dictatorial policies.
    Damage to Army:
    Due to operations against its own population, Pakistan Army has lost all support of people, this is the reason that due to policies of this dictator, daily so many soldiers and Police personnel’s are loosing their lives, Instead of protecting and helping to each other, Army and people of Pakistan are cutting throats of each other, Due to operation in FATA, Balouchistan, and operation of Lal Mosque, serious damage to image of army has occurred. This dictator did not know that only relation and link between different areas and sections of people of Pakistan is that of Islam, All energy and motivation of Pakistani nation comes from Islam, without that even survival of Pakistan is simply impossible, but this dictator was having no care of that, This is the reason that army and security forces have lost all motivation, and anti social elements are committing freely their crimes.
    Damage to Judicial system:
    This under graduate General has caused serious damage to Judicial system of Pakistan, He was not knowing that in history when a dictator throw away any judge on street due to fair practices of justice then that Judge becomes the greatest judge of history, In Karachi on 12-05-2007,so many civilians were killed just to damage and abuse the
    Judicial system of Pakistan.
    Damage to Parliament:
    This dictator for the lust of power in 1999 removed a prime minister who was having Two Third majority in Parliament and a fake referendum was held to validate his dictatorship in which he showed that he was having support of 98 % of people, while in fact in history even in a single constituency of Pakistan it is simply not possible for any candidate to win so much support. He re-elected himself as a president for next five years, being a government employee wearing Military Uniform, while as per Pakistan constitution it is not allowed to compete elections being in job of Government, moreover from a parliament which already has elected him president once, and was going to complete its life just in next few months.
    Violent Poilicies of Non-Religious Leader Mr. Zardari..
    Policies of Mr. Zardari are just concentrated on the central Idea of taking the revenge of her wife from the people of FATA and NWFP, Mr.Zardari is an incompetent person for the post of president, he has become president of Pakistan, just due to greed and selfishness of the members of Parliament, as his own party was not having even simple majority in the Parliament and Mr. Zardari is taking the revenge of her deceased wife from people of FATA, and his policy is just killing and more killing of religious people of FATA and NWFP, Thousands of civilian peoples and army soldiers have been killed but there is no tears in his eyes he wants more deaths more attacks and more violence, therefore instead of making any effort for peace he is just saying that he wants victory he want to kill extremist Taliban, he say there is no option except war, he is desiring War in his own country with his fellow country men. , on one side he is using Pakistani security forces for killing tribal’s area people and on other hand helping and persuading USA to kill these tribal’s people, so that tribal’s people in reaction will do violent protest and attacks on USA and Pakistan Security forces in reaction and then Mr.Zardari will be able to claim that these are terrorist. By this vindictive policy Mr.Zardari Just want to satisfy his sense of revenge of the death of her wife, it is true that her wife was killed by some extremist due to her irresponsible statement that she would allow USA troops in FATA for operation against Talibans but now it is not correct to kill all religious people of FATA and NWFP in reaction to death of Benazir Bhutto, it will be justified to judicially penalize to those who have killed Benazir Bhutto.
    Reasons for Success of Religious Leaders and Failure of others:
    All success of Quaid-e-Azam and General Zia-ul-Haq were due to trust of Pakistani Nation on them due to their commitment with Islam, Muslims and Pakistan, in proving that commitment both were very proactive while present rulers are devoid of such characteristics, due to which today tribal people who have helped Pakistan in liberating 1/3 of Kashmir, and Mujahideen who helped Pakistan in Afghan Jihad are now attacking Pakistan security forces and national assets.
    Due to Quaid-e-Azam commitment and support for Islam and Muslims,he was able to compete both British Empire a World Super of that time and India second largest country of the world. In the same manner General Zia was able to give the defeat to Soviet Union a world super power,just by sensing the psychology and religious culture of people of Pakistan.
    While recent non-religious and ethnocentric rulers such as Musharaf and Zardari nor have any Ideology and neither have any courage to go in masses and are even unable to control the affairs of the Capital of Pakistan,Islamabad and the city of Rawalpindi where the General Head Quarter of Pakistan Army is located, because these rulers have chronically failed in proving their sincerity with Islam, Muslims and the people of Pakistan ,Which was proved on the day of Death of Benazir Bhutto,when workers and supporters of these non-religious leaders committed each and every crime against the innocent and peaceful citizens of Pakistan, both Musharaf who was in power at that time and Zardari who was the successor of Benazir chronically failed in protecting the assets and citizens from their violent supporters, therefore now how people of Pakistan can support and trust such selfish and deceptive leaders.
    It is the responsibility of world leaders specially western nations to analyze the situation scientifically, because even for Western Nations Jinnah and Zia , were more beneficial while it is quite obvious that Musharaf and Zardari who are just using guns to gain their objective will just fail, and Musharaf already had failed and the situation is highly volatile at present, therefore it is the need of time to encourage those people to come forward who can solve the crisis of Afghanistan and Pakistan peacefully with Ideological Warfare and not with deceptive politics and Guns.
    Written By: Muhammad Akram Khan Niazi.

  5. What was interesting is theres a belief that the sub-prime mortgages caused a world-wide market crash. This program clearly demonstrates that was one small pillar in a whole house of cards. That and the almost unfathomable U.S. debt-load are the main reasons for watching this show. You couldnt give me the job of U.S. President!

  6. Mr Khattak,
    Good read,but looks like we are all trying to beat about the bush…Army, right from the inception of Pakistan,has been enticed into Power.many examples,pointless to repeat them.
    My concern ,being a patriotic pakistani,at this point is our Generals in their greed for supremacy and power abused all the norms of decency and their creed as a soldier by not only weakening democratic structure but also depriving our generations of their right to be respected in the amity of the nations.
    We had created top notch Scientists,physicists,sportsmen,Economists but lost the Pride of being treated as a Civilised Nation.Our Generals plundered the national wealth without remorse and left the country bleeding with wounds that our future generations will scarcely be able to count.
    With lot of respect and honour to you Sir…..

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