strategic dynamics of Pakistan
19 January, 2012
Strategic Dynamics of Pakistan
Two views on Strategic Dynamics of Pakistan
The Idea of Pakistan-Myth and Reality
Agha H Amin
Pakistan today stands in the eye of the storm and every act of Islamic extremism can be traced to Pakistan or persons of Pakistani origin.Resultantly a battle of ideas has started in Pakistan about ascertaining the true role of Mr Jinnah and his political ideas.
The political use of religion was started after 1857 by Muslim aristocracy of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and Punjab once they saw that Muslims were under threat of being reduced to zero because of introduction of competitive examinations and European style political representation.Thus the origins of Muslim politics in India in the period 1858-1947 was safeguarding the class interests of Muslim aristocracy and middle class in Punjab and UP.
The All India Muslim League founded in 1906 was a Bengali Muslim heavy effort but immediately hijacked by UP Muslims and its headquarters shifted to UP.The All India Muslim League remained UP Muslim dominated to such an extent that in Lucknow Pact in absence of many Punjabis or Bengalis the All India Muslim League agreed to surrender Muslim majority in Punjab to partity and Muslim majority in Bengal to minority.A direct result of Lucknow Pact was the Unionist Party in Punjab ,formed because Muslims of Punjab needed to be in partnership with Hindus and Sikhs without which they could not form a government.Similarly the Bengali Muslims suffered all along till 1946 because of Lucknow Pact and were forced to be manipulated by Hindu blackmail in Bengal politics.Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman did call Lucknow Pact a faux pas.
Mr Jinnah the founder of Pakistan was not known to be a religious man till 1937 at least when his All India Muslim League was literally routed in Muslim majority provinces of India getting just (7,319,445) the League got only 321,772 Muslim votes out of a total Muslim votes of 7,319,445 a mere 4.4 percent. In Punjab the League won just 2 seats out of 84 , in Bengal 39 out of 117,in NWFP none .Even in Muslim minority provinces the Muslim League was not Muslims first choice except Bombay where it won 20 out of 29 seats.
The Second World War brought the Congress in conflict with British and the Congress resigned from its ministries.The Lahore Resolution of 1940 was a strategic response of Mr Jinnah to counter the congress.It dove tailed with British war effort which Mr Jinnah supported and it countered the Congress which again suited the British.
The higher class and the middle class Muslims in UP , Punjab , Bengal and Sindh saw it as an opportunity to eliminate the Hindus and Sikhs from political , economic and employment competition.It is well known that some 25 % of Hindu money lenders were in Punjab and the vast majority of Muslim landlords in Punjab and Sindh were in debt to these money lenders.This factor prompted many Punjabi Muslim members of the Unionist Party to change loyalties to the Muslim League in 1940-46.
The Muslim feudal and educated classes of Punjab and UP saw Pakistan as a place where they would dominate the politics ,the business, the jobs and thus be the successors of British,The Bengali and Sindhi position was very low in the Muslim League hierarchy dominated till 1936 by UP Muslims and by Punjabi Muslims in partnership with UP Muslims after 1938.
It is a well known fact that Islam was used as a central mobilizing slogan in the elections of 1946 in Punjab,Sindh and Bengal.Mr Jinnah may have been a totally secular man but the campaign of 1946 did create a religious picture of Pakistan.
And now the class aspect of Pakistan. Who voted in 1946 Elections for Muslim League or Congress. Most of the people, particularly, women and lower class people, had no voting rights. These elections were based on the extremely restricted franchise of the 1919 Act, and the total number of votes cast was only 586,647, representing almost exclusively the propertied classes.Stanley Wolpert notes that just 5 % of Indias population voted in 1946 Elections.
Those who could understand and feel were bitter about the Punjab massacres and Hafeez Jullundhuri thus expressed his disgust :--
Qaafloay lut gayay barbad ho gayay to kia hua
Mutmain hain Qaflas salaar apnay kam say
The aftermath of Pakistan and its chequered political history proves many contradictions .
The exercise by the West Pakistani feudal military and civil service dominated by Punjabis and some UPites to reduce the majority Bengalis to parity at gun point using threats of dissolution finally succeeded in 1956 constitution when Bengalis actually in majority were forced to agree to 50 % vote.
The creation of One Unit thus destroying the very idea of provincial autonomy and spearheaded by West Pakistani civil and military bureaucrats was imposed in 1954-55 and Balochistan,Sindh and NWFP reduced to political chattels.
The military actions in Balochistan in 1948,1958,1959-66,1973-76 is no feather in Pakistans cap.
The military recruitment policy eliminating Sindh,Balochistan and East Bengal from the eligible material was again ethnically biased.Mr Jinnah did pioneer Bengali recruitment but his ideas were garbaged by Ayub Khan and Ghulam Mohammad.
Military strategies like Defence of Pakistan lies in defence of West Pakistan also were ethno centred and this chauvisnism was proved in 1965 when just one division was assigned for defence of majority of Pakistan and the remaining 90 % assigned for defence of Punjab.
While Mr Jinnah was secular man , the use of religion in Muslim Leagues 1946 Election campaign , the communal massacres of 1946 , the Objectives Resolution of 1950 , the Anti Ahmaddi riots of 1953 strengthened the proponents of the idea that Pakistan was an ideological state.However US aid from 1954 to 1965 made Pakistans higher classes forget Islam till 1965 .
After 1969 the Pakistani Military supported the rightist parties and the most secular Mr Z.A Bhutto piloted a law that declared Ahmadis non Muslim.This was an act of educated and so called secular Muslims ! This proves that Pakistans politicians in 1973 saw Islam as a useful political weapon just like they saw it in 1946 Elections.The foundation of militarization of Pakistan are the Ahmadi laws of 1973-74 further blackened in 1984 by an ugly military dictator !
Use of Islam as a political weapon was perfected by Pakistans military and political classes friom 1977.The first was the anti Bhutto agitation launched in 1977 spearheaded by Punjabi urban classes from Lahore and UPites from Karachi also known as Nizam I Mustafa.The Pakistani military junta picked Islam and Jihad as a means of getting economic and military aid from USA and Saudi Arabia from 1978 and this policy was continued by all Pakistani governments civilian and military till 9/11.
From 9/11 the Pakistani military out of fear of US retaliation as well as greed for dollars abandoned its Jihadist policy and Islam was no longer fashionable.
It is stated that covertly the Pakistani military did continue support to Taliban in Afghanistan.
The conclusion is that Jinnah was not a religious man but he used religion as a political weapon in 1946 Elections which transformed him from a rich but unknown politician in 1936 to a great and well known politician in 1946.
The Punjab killings of 1946-47 reinforced religious hatred.
The Pashtuns particularly tribals were used when it suited the Pakistani state in Kashmir in 1947-48 , then dumped , re-discovered when Pakistani military needed dollars in 1978-2001 and branded again as agents of RAW in 2003-todate wheh Islam became less fashionable.Again there is a favourite Islam called good Taliban and an incorrect Islam called bad Taliban.
Before 1971 Pakistans Punjab centred political elite wanted division of funds not on basis of population because Punjabis were in minority and after 1971 on basis of population because Punjabis were in majority ! Where is Islam here ?
The 1973-74 Ahmadi laws were a milestone in destroying Pakistans secularism and all done by Pakistans so called elite and educated classes.A confirmation that Pakistans very educated elite sees Islam as a servile political tool which as Colonel Qayyum states it sees as a pan or a chewing gum.
The strategy of using Jihadists as military proxies openly from 1978 till 2001 and covertly since then has again transformed Pakistans image.
While the majority in Pakistan is still peaceful and rational , a sizeable minority , a minority which can terrorise the majority with guns and violence sees Pakistan as an Islamic state which needs Islam badly in all walks of life.
Pakistans foreign policy is run by its military as far as India and Afghanistan are concerned and Jihad still remains its central idea.
Such was the extent of misuse of religion that South Punjabis were also recruited to die in Kashmir and Afghanistan and today Pakistans political elite wants an operation in South Punjab ?
Note that at political level it is the Punjabi elite alone who has gained and the Punjabi common man as big a loser as any Pakistani,
The Pakistani political classes all along used Islam as a political tool to suit short term agendas and the result today is that Pakistan is a political contradiction and faces hostile external enemies and a dangerous internal conflict.
We need a re-definition of our ideals or the very idea and existence of Pakistan is under threat !
7 July, 2010
Pakistan-The State with Dual Controls
Understanding Pakistan's Strategic Chaos
UNDERSTANDING WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AFTER 5TH JULY 1977
AGHA H AMIN
5TH JULY 2010
This article written with great conviction was sent to all major Pakistani newspapers ! But afraid of the army no one published it ! Even the so called liberal Salman Taseer who also played a policy of playing safe ! Yet this could not save that clever man from being gunned down !
There is no doubt that Pakistan will be destroyed ! It only a question of how many more years !
Also below this article is a strategic analysis carried out later but now its part two.
It was 4th July 1977, Lieutenant General Iqbal Khan told his headquarters staff that at last Mr Z.A. Bhutto and the opposition alliance PNA had reached an amicable peace settlement. My father, a newly promoted brigadier, was one of his staff.
On 5th July 1977 General Zia, the army chief, handpicked by PM Z.A. Bhutto (against the very advice of the Military Secretary's Branch) delivered the fatal blow; not only to democracy but to Pakistan's future. Martial Law was imposed on 5th July 1977.
While Ayub Khan, although a usurper, had separated the military from politics, Zia's system of things imposed the military over politics. That system unfortunately carries on until today.
Zia's worst action was turning Pakistan into a US-Saudi military base against the USSR.
This he did not because the USSR was a threat to Pakistan but because Zia's military dictatorship was under threat from Pakistan's masses and political forces.
The use of non state actors as state proxies was firmly adopted by Zia as a cheap tool of foreign policy and this policy was reversed by no one, including the so-called very secular Benazir or the not so liberal Nawaz Sharif.
Foreign policy - at least the India and Afghanistan policy - became an exclusive affair of Pakistan's military establishment. No civilian has reversed this policy to date.
The political fabric of the country was deeply and fatally infiltrated, and all politicians became tools of blackmail by the state security apparatus.
Benazir Bhutto, although a popular leader, was compromised in such a way that when she came into power in 1988 and 1993 she dared not interfere with the military establishment regarding Pakistan's India or Afghanistan policies.
A military relationship with the USA and Saudi Arabia was established which bypassed Pakistan's political organs as well as the US Congress or Senate and the Department of Defense. CIA and State Department bureaucrats established a direct hotline with Pakistan's military establishment. This relationship survived despite Clinton and remains to this day.
Sectarian and ethnic divisions were encouraged, thus the creation of Sipah I Sahaba, MQM, the baradari culture in Punjab thanks to the 1985 non party elections etc.
The judiciary was successfully coerced into submission and dissenting judges removed by blackmail and persecution. This has remained a fact despite the Iftikhar Chaudhry phenomena - which was a case of a clash of egos rather than a clash of principles - as the valiant judge took a stand when pushed against the wall over a matter of personal survival, having earlier supported the same dictator in distorting Pakistan's constitution.
Religious intolerance was fine tuned and Ahmadis and Shias targeted. A strict bar on promotion of Ahmadi officers beyond colonel level was imposed in the military which continued from 1977 to 1992.
Hadood laws were introduced and done in words of a direct participant IG Ch Sardar Ali so that Saudis could be pleased and milked into giving Pakistan financial aid.
The sad part is that most of Zia's actions were not reversed.
Benazir came into power in 1988 and 1993 under a secret agreement and abdicated control over a major part of Pakistan's foreign and security policy to the Pakistani military establishment. In 2008 also the PPP was allowed into power by NRO under a shady secret deal and, to date, the PPP has no control over Pakistan's foreign or security policy despite being the de jure ruling party of Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif came near ZAB in being a strong political leader when he sacked a naval and a military chief, but was chastised with years in exile and a compromised return to Pakistan under a secret protocol. The new Nawaz Sharif is a weaker Nawaz Sharif represented by a more pragmatic Shahbaz Sharif in power, whose first rule of business is to ask the military before doing anything.
Thus while Zia's mortal remains were burnt over the Hindu Shamshan Ghat over Basti Lal Kamal on that historic 17th August 1988, his system remains in force with a Pakistan ruled by politicians in name and a foreign and security policy firmly in the hands of Pakistan's military establishment. This ideally suits the USA, the Saudis and Pakistan's military establishment.
The gist of the problem is that Pakistan's civilian political leadership has no clue or control over what Pakistan is doing in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Baluchistan, or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). This explains why the USA has secret agreements with Pakistan's military establishment. It's safe, it's practical and it's a one window operation!
The weak link in this whole chain is the misuse of Islam by Pakistan's civil and military elite since 1947. The bluff was called in 2001 and Pakistan is now in the grip of a civil war (since 2003) with no end in sight. A war which has the potential of destroying Pakistan unless good captains can deal successfully with the immensely adverse wind and waves.
The fatal question is can such an anachronistic arrangement last despite being supported by so called demi-gods like the USA and Saudi Arabia? The answer is no, as proven by Pakistan's ongoing civil war in the killing fields of Afghanistan, FATA,the GHQ attack etc !
Pakistans generals and their apologists can give a million excuses but the hard fact is that Pakistan Army is a master in destroying Pakistan as they brilliantly did under Ayub in East Pakistan and under Musharraf in Balochistan !
5 July 2010
Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death." --
Albert Einstein !!!
Pakistans Strategic Mess is USAs Strategic Mess too
1978 Revolution ,Pakistan and Strategic Anarchy--Pakistans uncertain future
Agha H Amin
The April 1978 Saur Revolution was a historic event in modern history.
While the revolution merits a whole book or many volumes , we will just very briefly discuss its salient parts.
Afghanistan status as a buffer state was irrevocably transformed into a state where super powers fought proxy wars.Thus some 98 years of Afghan history of being a buffer state was changed.
Power shifted in Afghanistan from a Durrani-Persianised feudal elite into a more broad based multi ethnic state.The new leftist regime had Tajiks ,Hazaras and Uzbeks previously regarded as second and third rate citizens !
Although the coups major leaders were Pashtuns from Paktia and Khost like the indomitable Aslam Watanjar the PDPA was essentially a mix of Persian speaking urbanised intellectuals organised as Parchamis and a more radiacal Pashtun section from Paghman Khost and Paktia known as Parchamis.The Khalqis were rash , bold , impetuous and radiacal , while the Parchamis were more moderate.
The Saur revolution proved a gold mine for Pakistans illegitimate military junta of Zia which till April 1978 was politically an illegitimate bastard child regime.This regime used the Afghan revolution as a pretext to get dollars from USA and Saudi Arabia.Power shifted in Pakistan from a more progressive PPP regime to a more Punjabised regime dominated by refugees from Jullundhur and Batala etc .
Since this new clique was fatherless and illegitimate it used religion as well as caste as a political tool.Thus it outlawed political parties and Pakistani politics became more ethnic andsub ethnic with Punjab divided into castes as political forces and Sindh divided into urban and rural ! The division of Sindh into urban and rural was a planned reaction by the Pakistani illegal military regime as a counter to the MRD Movement of 1983 which had its roots in rural Sindh !
Pashtuns were used as cannon fodder by the military junta as proxies in Afghan war and thus the seeds of religious extremism were planted in Pakistan.
Foreign policy and all security and defence matters in Pakistan became the preserve of Pakistani military which continues till to date !
All civilian governments which came into power after 1988 elections inPakistan were remote controlled by the Pakistani military and when Nawaz Sharif tried to assert civilian control in 1997-99 he was removed by a military coup.
It would not be wrong to call Pakistan an army with a country and not a country with an army since 5th July 1977, with a short stint of full civilian control by the second PML N Government from February 1997 to October 1999 !
There is no doubt that Pakistan is a state with dual controls since 5th July 1977 with a civilian co pilot who in reality is a flight steward and a hidden real piolt who controls major financial and security issues !
The imbalance in this situation are three new factors i.e (1) religious extremism which is now on a reverse boomerang course against the Pakistani elite (2) regional centrifugal forces in Balochistan (3) an increased foreign interest in Pakistan where foreign powers led by USA see Pakistan as an anachroninistic and adventurist state .
Five cardinal fact stand out in this scenario , (1) The USA severely lacks long term strategic insight and US policy is run on short term objectives which is well proven from how it behaved after USSR withdrew from Afghanistan and till 9/11 (2) Pakistan alone will not be able to restore strategic stability in Afghanistan or even Pakistan itself .Its military which controls major part of Pakistans financial and security policy is not intellectually capable of understanding the immense complexity of strategy andgeopolitics (3) The Pakistani state will not be able to control Islamic extremism (4) The multiplicity of state and non state actors can lead to severe strategic stability culminating in an India Pakistan nuclear stand off.
The Islamists are far more powerful than they seem ! The Pakistani military is not as clever as it thinks it is ! The Americans are strategically pathetic ! Thus the issue will be decided by random and unforeseeable forces !
Certainly what mean mortals who are in charge of affairs in this whole complex drama want may not happen ! Thus the relative less visible forces will take over !
The scene is thus set for strategic anarchy ! The real danger is that Pakistancannot afford it but it is heading straight into a diasaster course because it has no able navigator at the highest level !
Can the Pakistani State be Trusted
Pakistans Political Future cannot be improved by Imran Khan--Can India and Pakistan make Peace
Agha.H.Amin , Major (Retired)
Utopians in India are jubilant that Pakistan has made peace with India.
Nothing in reality can be farther from the truth.
The recent sudden angelic desire on part of the Pakistani establishment to make peace with India has nothing to do with any major shift in Pakistans foreign policy written in the Pakistani military headquarters popularly known as the GHQ.
The Pakistani apparent shift is merely a tactical response to extreme confrontation with the US over perceived US view that Pakistan is playing a double game in Afghanistan.
This is similar to Musharrafs flirtation with India from 2000 to 2007 which in reality was a gambit to prevent a two front war with Afghanistan occupied by the USA and a hostile India in the east.
The real picture of true intentions of the Pakistani military will emerge when the US withdraws from Afghanistan.
This will be the time when the Russians ,Iranians and Indians will have no choice but to support the Northern Alliance against Pakistan sponsored Taliban who regard all Shias, Ismailis,Non Pashtuns,moderate Pashtuns as infidels who deserve to be massacred.
The Pakistani politicians are a compromised manipulated lot who are under firm control of the Pakistani military thanks to the politicians own massive financial corruption.They will do what the Pakistani generals tell them whether it is the PPP, PML or any new party like Imran Khans Tehrik i Insaaf.
Pakistan will remain the same state run by an army rather than a state with an army.The Pakistani generals will control Pakistans politics and foreign policy and Pakistan India relations will remain a mix of an uneasy and an unpredictable peace.
Pakistan will remain embroiled in an ever continuous civil unrest.Baloch will be gunned down by the Pakistani military while Pakistans politicians will remain the puppets of the military that they have been since 1977.
Terrorism will remain a tool of foreign policy while the Pakistani military runs the Pakistani state under a facade of PPP or PML or Tehrik i Insaaf.
By that time Pakistani military will be hoping to achieve all its objectives--
- An extremist dominated Afghanistan.
- A Balochistan fully fragmented and crushed.
- A Pakistani political party leading Pakistan fully subservient to the Pakistani military.
- A renewed infiltration in Kashmir.
- A brinkmans nuclear policy with India .
- A greater Chinese vassal with far greater Chinese interests in Pakistan.
There is no doubt that Pakistan will be a semi autonomous Chinese province by 2030 or so.Its relations with India will be run on two basis , Pakistani military retaining its nuisance value based on the much trumped and misused Indian threat and secondly Pakistan as a Chinese pawn acting as Chinas western bastion in West Asia.Pakistani Balochistan by 2030 would be a completely Chinese run show while Pakistans military and corrupt politicians will control Pakistans corrupt par excellence economy.
Fools like Man Mohan Singh will remain dupes that they always were.The region will remain unstable because instability is custom made to suit the Pakistani elite both military and civilian.
Indias budding middle class wants to make peace with the Pakistani establishment because they want to have a good time.
Manmohan Singh is a cheap social climber with no strategic vision.This means that the common man in both India and Pakistan will both come to grief.
Pashtuns and Baloch will remain pawns of Pakistani establishment with Baloch regarded as Red Indians and Pashtuns regarded as good cannon fodder to be launched like fools in the name of Islam.Pakistans economy will remain centred to serve the good of Pakistan elite and prosperity will remain confined to the triangle Pindi Multan Lahore and Karachi-Hyderabad.
The Pakistani supreme court will remain an arm of the Pakistani elite who turns a blind eye when any one challenges Pakistani military in the courts.
Pakistan shall remain a mirage which serves a 5 % elite and the region will remain unstable and a hostage to nuclear brinkmanship.
Pakistans pensioners will die like stray dogs ! Pakistans youth will be gunned down by the corrupt Pakistani police for money ! Pakistani intelligence will continue the kill and dump policy all over Pakistan and specially in Balochistan !
This is not about Islam ! This is not about Pakistan ! This is all about a 5 or 10 % establishment that has controlled Pakistan since 1948.
All that this elite wants is to preserve their unfair advantage ! These are the new Banias,the new Muslim Banias of Pakistan !
In 1947 Muslims of Pakistan got rid of Hindu Banias but the idea of the Muslim elite was that the Muslim masses need to be buggered not by the Hindu Banias but by Muslim Banias from Gujerat,Chiniot,Khotian (later Saigal Abad) and the elite feudals who had joined the Muslim League by the 1946 elections.
Third rate Pakistani lower middle class young men will continue to pass the CSS exam and join Police,FBR and DMG ,practice extreme official corruption , to become billionaires with houses in posh DHA Karachi or Lahore within ten years of passing the CSS exam !
Pakistan does not have hawks with aristocratic backgrounds like ZA Bhutto nor visionary generals ! It is run by carpetbaggers,robber industrial barons,arch intriguer feudals and generals who are NCOs sons and are just simply ambitious !
This means that Pakistans political economy of exporting terrorism as a foreign policy tool,massive corruption at home and the resultant ever growing reservoir of economically deprived youngsters who will fill ranks of extremists and suicide bombers will continue.
We salute the age of West Asian strategic anarchy !
Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death." --
Albert Einstein !!!