Analysing the internal attacks on the military

Published: November 20, 2012

The writer is a defence analyst who retired as an air vice-marshal in the Pakistan Air Force

The Abbottabad raid of May 2, 2011, in which Osama Bin Laden was taken out by US Navy SEALs, unleashed two unmistakable influences in public opinion in Pakistan. Each came with its own ferocity. Those who felt Pakistan had been betrayed by an ostensible ally — the majority — had reason to further whip existing anti-American fervour. Then there were those who felt that the military (read the army) was complicit in sheltering Osama — a very small minority felt this way — and had been finally exposed in its duplicitous play. There was a third category, miniscule, that had other reasons, such as inadequacies of response and professional failure, which seethed for the shame and embarrassment that the episode brought to the armed forces.

Those who questioned the military’s double-play belonged to what in Pakistan is called the ‘liberalists club’. They found a veritable partner in the US in engineering a hype of mal-intent against Pakistan’s military establishment, which was painted as allegedly cavorting with the Taliban despite participating in the war on terror as America’s ally. There were, however, bigger objectives at play at the domestic plane. The return of a democratic government following General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s stint at the helm seemed tentative. Benazir Bhutto’s untimely demise had laid open the institution of a relatively green and weak coalition at the helm. The rise of Asif Ali Zardari, as president, with his shady past, meant that democracy may remain suspect under a strong military establishment and not sustain. It, therefore, needed to be supported from the outside.

Two parallel factors came into play: one, latent anti-army sentiment among the literati of a particular kind, non-vernacular, gradually began to play up an anti-military stance. The explosion of electronic media and a turnaround in the character of the print media enabled a platform to these individuals who slowly coalesced into a uniform voice bringing into question everything related to the military and its omissions and commissions. The aim was simply to subjugate the army, to break its will and cause it to second-guess itself on its role and alleged excesses whether those related to sponsoring terrorism as a policy, Balochistan, or something as remote in time as its role in the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The army’s past record of usurping the right to rule from the politicians was especially brought to the fore in a widespread discourse.

Sometimes this pressure was relentless when there were weak moments in the military’s conduct as in Abbottabad, and sometimes simply frustrating when the military stood confounded against a barrage coming from its own countrymen, its traditional bastion of support and moral succour especially when it was fully extended in its deployments in the ongoing war against terrorist groups. The military was being hit at its vitals, as strategists like to explain an offensive by an adversary. There were allegations of money being fed by external sources to some individuals, as well as some media houses, to keep the onslaught going, but these largely remained unsubstantiated. There certainly was an outside interest to see the Pakistani military belittled, but there existed within the liberalists as well an equal urge to see the military cut to size regardless of its occupation in fighting a threat that was labelled existential.

When a chink presented itself, there was help available to force the army to retreat from its traditional position of strength in the national, cultural, social or ideological arenas — all places where the military had retained a focal position through the decades. The US, in its effort to help civil primacy over the military, added two clauses to its planned bill of aid to Pakistan that practically seemed dictating obedience to the civilian government. Some claimed it was the handiwork of a useful Pakistan hand in Washington as he sought to malign the Pakistani army with restraining clauses through legal binds. The fact that such an attempt came through co-opting a foreign nation on behalf of the political set-up at home left its own debris in its aftermath.

By some counts, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s personal proclivity to see a democratic set-up sustain and succeed prompted an overdose of self-righteous moral high ground by those whose singular focus remained to malign the army into submission, disregarding any concerns for disabling an important institution of the state. Through all this, somehow, the military made through till its next challenge.

That came soon after. Just as the Supreme Court was struggling through its own tribulations of credibility at the highest level, it delivered a verdict on a 16-year-old case against a former army chief and a director general of the ISI. That opened the floodgates for another round of a renewed attempt to bring the army down, based on an indictment of two former generals by the highest court. Two other cases against six other generals by different agencies added further spite to the coterie of voices that found another opportunity to debilitate the military. The army chief had to give a statement to those indulging in rabid verbiage to separate the institution from the act of an individual. There was a derived sense in army chief’s statement asking all, including the Supreme Court and a supercharged media, to desist from damaging the institution by calling into question the fidelity of some of its ongoing operations.

There continue to be institutions in the country that nurture hate against the military. They remain as extreme in their manner of discourse as any extreme religious school of thinking. If, on one hand, slitting throats of those who disagree with their thought is kosher, on the other, we see a ferocity to rail against the military with abuse and innuendo. The majority that is centrist continues to be squeezed under the two extremes, both of which are hopelessly intolerant.

If it seems like an obituary to a system or an ode to what could have been, that is precisely how close we stand today in our national make-up to undoing what has been so painstakingly achieved through an especially cohesive effort. The choice to progress or regress from where we are is entirely ours. Flagging red to a bull has never paid dividends; it could, however, make for a grand spectacle

Correction: The word ‘analysing’ was misspelt in the headline. the error is regretted. 

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2012.

Reader Comments (67)

  • BlackJack
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:24PM

    …..Those who felt Pakistan had been betrayed by an ostensible ally — the majority — had reason to further whip existing anti-American fervour. Then there were those who felt that the military (read the army) was complicit in sheltering Osama — a very small minority felt this way — and had been finally exposed in its duplicitous play. There was a third category, miniscule, that had other reasons, such as inadequacies of response and professional failure, which seethed for the shame and embarrassment that the episode brought to the armed forces.
    You forgot the (other) huge majority who believe that Osama wasn’t there at all!

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  • Nadir
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:27PM

    This is just another desperate attempt to paint anyone who dares to question military excesses as somehow unpatriotic or treasonous.

    No one is bringing the “Army down”. You and your ilk are the ones who are doing just that for you refuse to separate the constitution breaking, corrupt generals from the institution itself. You think bringing generals before the courts will break the “Army down”. I dont know why senior officers think that our troops are so fragile and sensitive? Or more likely, the officers at the top have nothing better than to use the good reputation of the institution, to defend their own individual actions.

    If someone questions the military role in developing housing schemes and being in cahoots with Malik Riaz, that is not the same thing as “defaming the Army”.

    The fact that you keep on insisting to conflate all these issues, Abbottabad, General Baig, 6 other generals all into one, and then claim the liberal class is out to bring the Army down, just goes to show how shallow and weak your argument is.

    You sir should stop defaming the Army by associating individuals who have broken the constitution with the military. You should be ashamed of using the sacrifices of jawans to justify everyone else shutting up and towing the high commands line!

    No one is in “cahoots with the US”, the true liberal progressive class is staunchly against the US, back when you and your colleagues were smiling receiving F-16s!

    I would go on and on, but your desperate attempt to defend the Army establishment is rather pathetic. Article after article go’s on and on, about this General or that Brigadier doing this and that, accuse critics of being in the hands of the US, subtle hint of treason. Hope you sleep well at night thinking that you have accomplished something.

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  • RS
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:30PM

    I see you are saying something, but what all I hear is…

    blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah

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  • faraz
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:37PM

    Actually with advent of private media, the myths got busted and lies were exposed. Do you really expect people to celebrate defense day for lost war, or refuse to accept that throat slitting militants are our strategic assets? We have never won a war in our history; such obvious facts can’t be concealed forever

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  • faraz
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Actually with advent of private media, the myths got busted and lies were exposed. Do you really expect people to celebrate defense day for lost war, or refuse to accept that throat slitting militants are our strategic assets? We have never won a war in our history; such obvious facts can’t be concealed foreverRecommend

  • kanwal
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:40PM

    @author
    “weak moment for army”?
    “Flagging red to a bull”?
    Blimme, is there an end to the arrogance of of our military elite? A handful of miles from your capitL, your army fails to identify Bin Laden and then fIl again to rezpond to the operation that took place there. Not a single.bullet fired, not a singlefighter jet brought in air. And you have the balls to call it weak moments?
    I completely distrust the civilian rulers of this country,both current and past. But iam always amazed at how much arrogance our military top brass hVe, even when they get retired. Living your lVish lives on our money, fighting wars that are never wonand made more complicated everyday, and more than 35k dead civilians later, the military top brass have still got the guts right to be called “bull”?
    Rats have the rights to fantasy world too it seems,especially when you have enough in your stomach. I totally adore the common soldiers of pak army. The rest of you are d……t.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 20, 2012 - 11:41PM

    The writer said “excesses whether those related to sponsoring terrorism as a policy, Baluchistan, or something as remote in time as its role in the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The army’s past record of usurping the right to rule from the politicians”
    The army did not usurp the power from the politicians it stole it from the masses and voters. There were multiple acts of high treason, losing half of the country by a drunken womanizer general and his martial law cabinet, throwing high judiciary in jail, hanging the first elected PM, being in bed with OBL, failing to act for two hours in both Abbottabad and Salala, Mehran Base and establishing safe havens in the country. The US aid was plundered and abused and the donor wanted the oversight and the military hates any and all oversights including the SC and the people who have hired them. This Op Ed is full of arrogance and threats to the public who pay their DHA and perks. What have been the army’s achievements if at all after usurping most resources? The writer has to wake up and smell the coffee.

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  • abcde
    Nov 21, 2012 - 12:08AM

    I guess all those liberals just imagined 4 martial laws, Zia ul Haq one among them, countless fixed elections, the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Syed Saleem Shahzad, Hayatullah Khan (do you even know who that is?), the militancy which seems destined to outlive us, all those blown up schools by the military’s strategic assets, all those people hung in public by the Taliban in Swat and the agencies, Mumbai 2008, Indian Parliament attack of 2001, drone attacks, Stock Market Crash of 2005, PNS Mehran, GHQ attack, OBL, the Royal Palm case, Bangladesh, Kargil, the death of BB, all those wars with India which we started, the highest allocation of the budget save for debt repayment, the list goes on.
    What fantastically creative mind all those liberals have. And your ending paragraph is basically towing the military line. Shut up or you might end up “undoing what has been so painstakingly achieved through an especially cohesive effort.”

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  • sabi
    Nov 21, 2012 - 12:22AM

    The author is suggesting that citizens of this country should obey that golden phrase used in army ‘you are not to say why but to do and die’:Otherwise bull will react the way it react to red flag.No sir,we don’t have red flag we are trying to catch the bull by the horn.We need that bull to plough in our fields and not play in sport arena we can’t afford that luxary.

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  • Jat
    Nov 21, 2012 - 12:24AM

    @Mirza:
    @kanwal:
    @faraz:
    @RS:
    @Nadir:

    +1 to all you guys. The military front-man is back with the same old blah, blah, blah…

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  • gp65
    Nov 21, 2012 - 12:33AM

    “The US, in its effort to help civil primacy over the military, added two clauses to its planned bill of aid to Pakistan that practically seemed dictating obedience to the civilian government.”
    Your last OpEd implied that you were superior to Obama by making outright condescending comments with strong racial overtones. In this one you are justifying army’s superiority to civilians.
    But let me ask you this:
    Isn’t it sad that US has to actually nudge the Pakistan military towards this? In most democratic countries (US and India included) this is how things are. Army does accept dictation from civilian executive. Do check out what happened to Gen Allen recently and Gen mcChrystal earlier? Another 4 star general was demoted to 3 star due to corruption in US. In India, the previous COAS wanted an extension which he was denied – despite going to the court for it. More recently he had to go to sessions court in Delhi to get anticipatory bail. Also when he asked to see the PM directly, the PM clearly told the then serving COAS to route his concerns through defense minister to whom he reports.

    In Pakistan despite anything that may have been put in Kerry Lugar, an ISI chief was sent to spy on the government he serves – approved by COAS and then the whole memogate issue was raised on the basis of the unsubstantiated word of a man who is not even a Pakistani citizen and openly writes against Pakistan.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 21, 2012 - 12:46AM

    ” Flagging red to a bull has never paid dividends; it could, however, make for a grand spectacle.”
    The bull must always die in the end when the coup de grace is administered with much aplomb! The spectacle itself is the dividend. So, flagging red to the bull has always paid dividends! All, because for all its ferocity the bull is a dumb animal!

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  • Jim
    Nov 21, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Well said @nadir and @mirza. The Air Vice is one of several shills for the military parlaying this disingenuous argument that questioning the brass somehow amounts to treason. We wait for the day the brass will appear before courts with heads bowed and submit to the will of the parliament, and therefore the people (as they do in U.S., U.K., India and any decent democracy). Even ordinary soldiers will applaud this. As for the bull and the red rag, Air Vice, everyone knows that happens to the bull in the end. Beware of the power of the mob; it is greater than all the guns and tanks you can muster. One doesn’t like the idea of your kinds hanging on the lamppost, but you never know what happens when you push people too far.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 21, 2012 - 1:44AM

    You write “Pakistan had been betrayed by an ostensible ally”
    If the US has any pride or fairness they should not allow any visa to the arrogant who are still accusing the US instead of showing remorse about having OBL in an army base. Basically what these guys are insinuating is that the US president was lying when he disclosed the killing of OBL. In every country the top generals are confirmed or rejected by the elected parliament after open hearings while in Pakistan they give themselves all the medals, stars and promotions. We have had self promoted Field Marshall without winning any war! Democracy is coming of age with the independent judiciary and this has shaken the foundation of deep state.

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  • Cautious
    Nov 21, 2012 - 1:55AM

    There was a third category, miniscule,
    that had other reasons, such as
    inadequacies of response and
    professional failure, which seethed
    for the shame and embarrassment that
    the episode brought to the armed
    forces.

    How about a 4th category which was “all of the above”. No doubt there were plenty of Pakistani’s who hated America because they exposed the military as both weak and duplicitous. My guess is that the 4th category combined with those who think OBL was never in Pakistan account for most of Pakistani’s.

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  • gp65
    Nov 21, 2012 - 2:07AM

    @faraz: “Do you really expect people to celebrate defense day for lost war”
    Not just a lost war Faraz but a war which was started BY Pakistan. Pakistan was the attacker not the defender in 1965.

    Author: “If it seems like an obituary to a system or an ode to what could have been, that is precisely how close we stand today in our national make-up to undoing what has been so painstakingly achieved through an especially cohesive effort. “

    And exactly WHAT has been with painstaking effort? An army that cannot protect internal or external borders but whose leaders travel in BMW Series 7.

    IT is not just civilians that the army leaders fail to protect and honour. They also don’t protect their own soldiers. Why did the jets not fly on Nov 26 when soldiers were being pounded at Salala for 2 hours? You cannot claim communication breakdown at the same time that you complain that we notified NATO/ISAF and they still did not stop. If you had the information to notify NATO why did you not use that same information to defend your soldiers? Why did the army refused to accept the dead bodies of its soldiers in Kargill and pretend instead that those were mujahideen?

    Oh and by the way was it not the army that got Pakistan involved in Afghan war in 1979 and in the WoT in 2001?

    “The US, in its effort to help civil primacy over the military, added two clauses to its planned bill of aid to Pakistan that practically seemed dictating obedience to the civilian government.”

    Well civilians do dictate to army in democracies. Isn’t it a pity that this is something that US had to try to influence when that is how it should have been to begin with? Or are you proud of the army’s record of removing elected governments and taking charge?

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Nov 21, 2012 - 2:10AM

    The explosion of electronic media and a turnaround in the character of the print media enabled a platform to these individuals who slowly coalesced into a uniform voice bringing into question everything related to the military and its omissions and commissions.
    So anti army sentiment is the fault of journalist. Is that is the reason for Journalist Saleem Shehzad, bureau chief of Asia Times Online and others like him in Baluchistan have to die to silence this uprising. Army should also realize that Arab spring equivalent against army can happen in Pakistan too. May be you tube and cell phone ban are part of controlling social media.

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  • Tharki Bacha
    Nov 21, 2012 - 2:21AM

    No sir. You are wrong.

    The Generals will not be allowed to hide behind the sacrifices of the soldiers, when they are being made accountable to the public, through the constitution.

    Enough of this “weakening of institutions” drama. A weak parliament, that your peers have crafted, is more lethal for any democracy as compared to a weaker army.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Nov 21, 2012 - 2:33AM

    Global community participates in electronic media. This community does not owe any loyalty to Pak Army and is willing to call a spade a spade. This community has up rooted established regimes for e.g. in Arab spring. Once the Middle East is transformed Pakistan and Iran are in line for digital revolution. Pak Army does not know how to contain this opposition. Its about time Pak Army should recognize the power of social media and change its way of thinking get in line with pro people policy. Look at Saddam Husain, Col Gaddafi and his sons, Mubarak they could not find refuge in any country.

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  • Jat
    Nov 21, 2012 - 2:39AM

    Author: “If it seems like an obituary to a system or an ode to what could have been, that is precisely how close we stand today in our national make-up to undoing what has been so painstakingly achieved through an especially cohesive effort.”

    What exactly have you achieved ? Most of your “achievements” have been talked about in the excellent comments above. First your Army Chief publicly threatens the Chief Justice and now you are threatening the media and all Pakistani civilians. In a parliamentary democracy, who gave Gen Kayani the right to lay down “dos and donts” to the various institutions of the state ?

    Some nerve !!

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  • gp65
    Nov 21, 2012 - 2:57AM

    @Nadir, @Faraz, @RS, @kanwal, @Mirza, @abcde, @BlackJack

    Your comments are far more thoughtful that the OpEd itself.

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  • OS
    Nov 21, 2012 - 3:25AM

    Just like everybody else, the military should be subject to the rule of law. This is all what has been argued about. It should not be above criticism, especially when the facts are in favor of the critics. You should see how armies in other countries (India, Turkey) are scrutinised. Our military has had a good run in being above all criticism. Times have changed and the sooner it accepts the new dynamics of power, the better.

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  • Karachiwala
    Nov 21, 2012 - 3:33AM

    May I suggest the author (AVM Retd) to please go and read Hamood ur Rehman Commission report widely available on net. Shame on you guys, you are the reason of our present mess we are in

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  • Wake Up
    Nov 21, 2012 - 4:56AM

    I doubt most people criticizing the senior brass of the armed forces are unpatriotic or are pro-america or as you have mentioned in the past are paid agents. Most just want people to be held accountable. Soldiers need to be honored but the top ranking officials are doing a job like anybody else. If you are bad at your job you get laid off. If you break the law you face punishment. Why should it be any different for high ranking army officers. They have to be held accountable for their actions.

    Its a joke if you think army officials should be above the law (you often imply this when you write). The army should be renowned for its integrity and if there are any doubts, the army itself should make sure that it goes to all extremes to find out the truth. There have been security lapses on multiple occasions, there have been multiple coups, wars started by generals, the security establishment has been involved in people (pakistanis) disappearing and you still think the role of the senior members of the armed forces should not be questioned. Dissent is the only way. No one is saying people should be hung but if they did something wrong they should face the repurcussions.

    Musharaf started Kargil supposedly (truth could be different) without Nawaz Sharifs knowledge. If this were the case in any other country he would have been put in jail. In Pakistan he later took over the country and is often revered by many Pakistanis. OBL was found to be living in a military town for a couple of years. Shouldnt some one have been held accountable for not being aware of this apart from the debacle during the mission to kill OBL by the US Seal team. These are things to think about. The most patriotic Pakistani will support the army at all times but that also gives that person the right to question members of the armed forces when mistakes are made. At the end of the day the army is serving the parliament who are mandated by the people. Thats how a democracy works. If you believe otherwise then I would tell you to stop pretending like Pakistan is a democracy.

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  • Shock Horror
    Nov 21, 2012 - 5:28AM

    The Air Vice-Marshal proves, yet again, the old saying, “A leopard never changes its spots”!

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  • Feroz
    Nov 21, 2012 - 5:49AM

    The Military is not an Political party that should be bothered about public popularity. Its job is to follow orders of the Democratically elected Government without fear or favour..It cannot decide what the policies of the Government should be, neither should it make politically loaded statements.

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  • vasan
    Nov 21, 2012 - 7:54AM

    I am yet to read a comment supporting the author’s view point on the army rather army bashing. That says it all as to what the public opinion is.

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  • Taimoor
    Nov 21, 2012 - 8:33AM

    Please don’t defame liberals by calling yourself liberals. You people have no idea what a liberal is.

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  • mahmood
    Nov 21, 2012 - 9:22AM

    What is wrong with the following?

    Questiong the economic empire of the Army (name another army that runs businesses)
    Expecting that the rule of law will apply to individuals serving in the armed forces
    Questioning the service perks of generals when the country is in an economic rat hole
    Demanding that a percentage of the huge military budget should be diverted to education
    Expecting that the army should be subservient/obedient to the civilian representatives

    The above questions, demands and expectations were never articulated before in Paksitan’s history. Now they are, that’s the only difference

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  • Arsalan Mujahid
    Nov 21, 2012 - 9:54AM

    I am amazed to see huge presence of Indian and their like minded people here.

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  • wonderer
    Nov 21, 2012 - 10:07AM

    If the Pakistani army feels the need to repair its damaged reputation and probity, it is not going to succeed either by articles such as this one or the audacious lecture given by the CAOS with veiled threats to the Judiciary and the Media.

    There is no organization anywhere in the world which can command respect. Respect has to be earned. Whatever position the army finds itself in has been earned by them. The most effective and soldierly way is to own up to its past high handedness. The Generals indicted by the SC should hand themselves over to police for action like true soldiers. The army should not insist on trying even retired officers by court-martial. These are the only ways for it to earn respect.

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  • Ben
    Nov 21, 2012 - 10:29AM

    A good analysis Air Marshall but sorry, you can’t fight the trolls.

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  • Nov 21, 2012 - 10:56AM

    @vasan: It shows how many Indians prefer to read Pakistani newspapers rather than their own. Just look up the editorial on Bal Thackery on E.T. and see how much love these trolls have for his extremist views.
    .
    .

    Rest assured, these online activists have no bearing on the Army or its future.

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 21, 2012 - 11:58AM

    Armed Forces of Pakistan should not take it any more from any one. They have reached this pass because of the unnecessary compliance.

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  • HA
    Nov 21, 2012 - 12:23PM

    There is nothing wrong with expecting the armed forces to perform their role according to the constitution under the civilian leadership.

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  • Toba Alu
    Nov 21, 2012 - 1:51PM

    Your message may become clear if you first limit your sentences two maximum two printed lines and secondly think twice (in your case maybe three times) before you add another meaning to the same sentence. Keep trying, in the long run this may have an impact.

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  • AHK
    Nov 21, 2012 - 1:52PM

    So according to the author there is no difference between slitting your opponents throat & verbally abusing him.

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  • Concerned
    Nov 21, 2012 - 3:29PM

    Can someone kindly correct the title of the Op-Ed from ‘Analsying’ to ‘Analysing’, please? Recommend

  • Shahzad
    Nov 21, 2012 - 4:14PM

    Agreed with all those who have commented that the armed force as an institution must not stifle other institutions. But my question of those who eulogise the USA army and its generals. Can you please tell me after world war 2 has USA ever won a war.

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  • Hunter punter
    Nov 21, 2012 - 4:50PM

    The AVM is right. Pakistan should have more respect for its Armed Forces, and never forget that it is mandated to protect Pakistans ideology. Indeed, if countrys have armies, and pakistani army has a country, so be it!. Pakistan at its present juncture cannot pull itself out of the hole it is in, without the able support of its Amred Forces. The Nation should be warned that it has to allow the Armed Forces, its special space. That is the history and will be the future of the country.

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  • Nadir
    Nov 21, 2012 - 4:56PM

    @Shahzad: Who eulogize’s the US Army? How is that relevant??

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  • Jat
    Nov 21, 2012 - 5:09PM

    @Concerned: “Can someone kindly correct the title of the Op-Ed from ‘Analsying’ to ‘Analysing’, please?”

    For almost 12 hours, the editorial team of ET let the marshal know what they thought of his Op-Ed. :)

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  • TraxRider
    Nov 21, 2012 - 6:24PM

    The top brass of Pak Military is resisting being analysed itself. They have always thought that they are the good and the great of the country and that it does not come any better than that. Unfortunately they are wrong. In their big-headedness, not only they have been left far behind by their adversaries but by their own countrymen who have more modest opinions about themselves and are willing to introspect and improve. PAF, to which the author belongs, has been worst in this regard with a strong culture of aparthied existing within itself. No wonder why he reacts the way he does and the kind of prejudices he openly exhibits through this writings on this forum.

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  • observer
    Nov 21, 2012 - 6:43PM

    @Shahzad Chaudhry

    Let us deconstruct the AVM’s analysis to get at the truth behind this analysis.

    A.The Abbottabad raid of May 2, 2011, in which Osama Bin Laden was taken out by US Navy SEALs, unleashed two unmistakable influences in public opinion in Pakistan.

    Somehow the AVM believes that in the ‘preOBL’ days Pakistan had only one or at least less than two influences in public opinion. Had that been so Gen Musharaff would have been ruling the roost when OBL happened.

    B.a very small minority felt this way

    So, where is the problem? Are these guys more dangerous than those who carried out GHQ/Kamra/Mehran attacks?

    C.media enabled a platform to these individuals who slowly coalesced into a uniform voice bringing into question everything related to the military and its omissions and commissions.

    Is questioning ‘omissions and commissions’ such a sin?

    D.The US, in its effort to help civil primacy over the military, added two clauses to its planned bill of aid to Pakistan that practically seemed dictating obedience to the civilian government.

    Now, this is expectation of ‘obedience’ is the mother of all sins. But then it happened ‘preOBL’, so how does this support the ‘postOBL’ two distinct influence theory?

    E.There continue to be institutions in the country that nurture hate against the military.

    After 65 years of weeding out some are still left? That is a shame indeed.

    F.Flagging red to a bull has never paid dividends; it could, however, make for a grand spectacle

    The world is not going to stop using red anytime soon, so the Bull can either turn colour blind or start using dark glasses.

    I hope AVM likes my analysis.

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  • Jat
    Nov 21, 2012 - 6:54PM

    @Arsalan Mujahid: “I am amazed to see huge presence of Indian and their like minded people here.”

    You are not amazed; you are dazed and stupefied !

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  • ssz
    Nov 21, 2012 - 6:56PM

    In fact the general and the avms like the author of this article are trying to wash the dirty lenin of the GHQ in open. So, let it be the way it is. The arab spring is very much in pakistan and social media its torchbearer. We need answers for questions placed in various comments about the role of the army in 65 yrs. people are weak because generals and brigadiers are powerful and wealthy. its time to strike a balance and army put under the discipline of civilian rule so that there can no 65 war, 71 shame, Afghan war in 79, afghan war in 2001. abbottabad, PNS Mehran, ajmal kasab, hafiz saeed, lakhvis, mahsoods.

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  • wonderer
    Nov 21, 2012 - 7:20PM

    @Hunter punter:

    What is the danger to “Pakistans ideology” and from where?

    “…..Pakistan at its present juncture cannot pull itself out of the hole it is in……”

    Who put us in that “hole” and why?

    Your answers are eagerly awaited. Please do not disappoint.

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  • gp65
    Nov 21, 2012 - 7:22PM

    @Shahzad: “Agreed with all those who have commented that the armed force as an institution must not stifle other institutions. But my question of those who eulogise the USA army and its generals. Can you please tell me after world war 2 has USA ever won a wa”

    They won the Gulf war in 1991. They are winning the war on terror (Osama is dead, AlQaeda isignificantly weakened and their country has not been attacked even once).

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 21, 2012 - 7:26PM

    In our country, budget deficit and public debt pose more serious threat than American drones and the Indian army.

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  • kanwal
    Nov 21, 2012 - 7:34PM

    @hunter punter
    Your tone reminds me of Keifer Sutherland’s character in A Few Good Men. Lol

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 21, 2012 - 8:26PM

    @gp65:
    In the gulf war did they win , they created a monster called Sadam who fought a ten year war with Iran . They won against the soviet satellite in the first Afghan war which may have led to their Cold War enemy’s collapse but then they compromised at the symmetry talks and left their friends and walked away. If that is winning then my friend tell me what is loosing. I tend to agree with Ghandi and Mandela rather then the military solution.
    This is the biggest propaganda victory of the extreme radical obscurantists read Syed Shahzad Saleem’s book” inside alqaeda and the Taliban” . Remember war’s are won by arguments and thoughts before the fighting starts. India in 1971 won before the fighting started even the Beatles had a concert in favour of Bangladesh. I am afraid the Taliban have an argument and a thought which has to be defeated intellectually before the fighting starts my question is are we winning here. I think not, read the Urdu press , I feel in Malala ‘s case they lost heavily but they are now making a come back through social media this is where the fight is taking place. The propaganda is insidious and effective here is an attempt to counter it , called debunking Malala conspiracy see link
    http://blog.ale.com.pk/?p=1979

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 21, 2012 - 9:00PM

    Regarding the AVM , let me say he has learned from our colonial rulers pre partition he is dividing and playing the so called liberal fascist , against the religious people in society , there is a great difference between a a fundamentalist Muslim and an obscurantist. Let me assure him with a free press he will not succeed. The challenge is how to deal with the atrocities in Kashmir and in Gaza, this is where the obscurantist are scoring points .

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  • Raza Khan
    Nov 21, 2012 - 9:09PM

    Why we cannot criticize army, air force & navy? Our hard earned tax payer money is used to fund their activities. Unfortunately except conquering Pakistan they have lost all the wars & you still suggest that we should not criticize them!

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  • gp65
    Nov 21, 2012 - 9:24PM

    @Shahzad: “In the gulf war did they win , they created a monster called Sadam who fought a ten year war with Iran . They won against the soviet satellite in the first Afghan war which may have led to their Cold War enemy’s collapse”.
    First of all whether US won or not was not relevant, the issue relates to whether they hold their leadership accountable and the answer is they do. So if Pakistan army wants to compare itself to US military it must also hold its leaders responsibkle. I just responded to your original email since it contained the factually inaccurate information that US has won no war after World War II. You now admit they won the Cold War too. Good. You are incorrect however in stating that winning the first Gulf war created the moster of Saddam. If you check facts you will find that Saddam is the one who started the war by atacking Kuwait and US is the won that finished the war. Even prior to that war, Saddam had atacked Iran and there had been a 8 years war. SO no one can assign Saddam’s rise to Iraq’s defeat in the first world war.
    “I tend to agree with Ghandi and Mandela rather then the military solution”.

    It would be nice if you spelt Gandhi correctly.

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 22, 2012 - 7:39AM

    @gp65:
    The Cold War was won without any USA boots on the ground and by relying on the ground knowledge of their then friends. Now finally you have arrived to the point I am trying to make. Iraq was a failure, I am afraid and it played straight into the hands of Alqaeda, regarding Afghanistan ask the state department and or the pentagon if they are winning. They all say something other then a military solution is required. Remember wars are won on the bases of arguments I gave you East Pakistan’s example. Please read my comment again. the point I am making seemed to have escaped you. And I am sorry for spelling Gandhi incorrectly. There are many typing mistakes in your post to, but that is not relevant here. The point is wars are won through winning arguments and not through holding territory .

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  • Shahzad
    Nov 22, 2012 - 7:48AM

    @gp65:
    Perhaps this article from ET will explain USA did not win in Afghanistan because their follow up reduced a victory into a defeat and they had to come back.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/468806/lessons-from-the-first-afghan-war/

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  • Mustafa Moiz
    Nov 22, 2012 - 9:22PM

    Wow, great analysis. And its a testimony to the strength of the Armed Forces that they have come through it all, and are doing their best for Pakistan. Lets pray that Pakistan, the Armed Forces and the ISI are kept safe from malicious conspiracies, wherever they originate.

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  • Enlightened
    Nov 22, 2012 - 11:21PM

    A shoddy attempt made by the author to defend the indefensible. I fully agree with Mirza’s comments.

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  • Akhter
    Nov 22, 2012 - 11:26PM

    @Jat:
    I am not at all Amazed or Dazed or Stupified! I am just saddened by the lack of respect and negativity i read from almost every comment made by my neighbor’s,
    To all Indian origin writers it is your right to state your opinion but to phrase derogatory comments in the guise of articulate interjection is a bit below the belt. There are many issues i see in India but i feel that it is not my place to criticize or make personal attacks, Rather i respect your right to govern yourselves as you see fit.

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  • Jat
    Nov 23, 2012 - 12:51AM

    @Akhter: Sir, will attempt to answer some of the points raised by you:

    Rather i respect your right to govern yourselves as you see fit. We respect you for having this view. We also respect your right to govern yourself provided that does not harm our country.
    There are many issues i see in India but i feel that it is not my place to criticize. As this is a Pakistani newspaper, and the topic too relates to Pakistan, so it is only to be expected, that Pakistan will be discussed. You can most certainly visit the websites of Indian newspapers to discuss or criticize India.
    I am just saddened by the lack of respect and negativity. I am sure you are aware Pakistan is at the receiving end of “lack of respect and negativity” not only from India, but from almost the whole world. You know the reasons, time to put your house in order.
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  • Akhter
    Nov 23, 2012 - 2:58PM

    @Jat: I am sure you are aware Pakistan is at the receiving end of “lack of respect and negativity” not only from India, but from almost the whole world
    Thank you for your response, however let me make a very simplistic analogy, If we are neighbors/brothers with shared religions/cultures/heritage then it can be very disconcerting when your own brother joins with others at every opportunity to belittle or humiliate you.
    Governments are involved in Power politics not the common man, he/she is the same and has the same feelings both in India and Pakistan, just as i cannot change overnight the negative image Pakistan has developed over the years, You cannot change overnight the situation in Kashmir/Bengal/Bodo tribes/Gujarat etc . What we can as individuals do is refrain from denigrating each other and participate in sharing our common values and heritage.

    We also respect your right to govern yourself provided that does not harm our country.At what point do we lose the right to govern ourselves? and at what point are we harming India? *
    This i feel is a policy issue which if you are referring to Pakistan’s alleged involvement in Kashmir or India’s alleged involvement in Balouchistan are challenges we as neighbors need to resolve peacefully and through positive dialogue.**

    You can most certainly visit the websites of Indian newspapers to discuss or criticize India. Thank you for this however i feel i am not in a position to criticize a whole(Great) nation based on the writings of a single writer if i am not fully aware of the situation/environment how can i criticize?. Comment/discuss maybe but definitely not critcize

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  • Jat
    Nov 23, 2012 - 5:14PM

    @Akhter: “…situation in Kashmir/Bengal/Bodo tribes/Gujarat etc…”

    You have a long distance to go to be worthy of our respect. Back to school.

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  • Jat
    Nov 23, 2012 - 5:20PM

    To all Pakistanis: Our ability to act as “elder brother/good neighbor” ends where Pakistan’s policy of sending “terrorists and counterfeit currency” into India begins.

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  • Zaheer
    Nov 24, 2012 - 4:16AM

    This article is a sad reminder of those who shamelessly wrote lyrics glorifying Yahya Khan while his selected solidiers, aided and abetted by JI’s Al-Shams hoodlums were brutalising the Bengalis. Give it up Shahzad; the more spin you try to put on events, the more anger you invite. This is 2012, not 1971.Recommend

  • Akhter
    Nov 24, 2012 - 11:53AM

    @Jat:
    I had entered this discussion hoping that i would engage with a human being who had been taught about compassion/understanding/Humility and above all Respect for another human being however i am sorry that i have failed in my mission. It seems that your primeval instincts to ignore and attack what the other human being is saying is more dominant. Hence i end this discussion in the hope that our other brethren will be more open minded and follow the teachings of the Great Mahatma Gandhi a man of considerable intellect and Humility.

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  • Jat
    Nov 24, 2012 - 10:57PM

    @Akhter: “…compassion/understanding/Humility…”

    I encourage you to read and digest the transcript between Mumbai terrorists and their Pakistani handlers. You Pakistanis should first imbibe the above three qualities before wanting to discuss them with us Indians. If it is very important for you to do so you can discuss them with your Saudi/Chinese/North Korean friends. These people are overflowing with compassion.

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  • Jat
    Nov 29, 2012 - 7:40PM

    @Akhter: Tum aise nahi manoge

    Jat
    Nov 23, 2012 – 5:20PM
    Reply
    To all Pakistanis: Our ability to act as “elder brother/good neighbor” ends where Pakistan’s policy of sending “terrorists and counterfeit currency” into India begins.

    Pakistan sending in ‘high-quality’ fake currency, claims Indian government
    By Web Desk Published: November 29, 2012

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