Caveat emptor


Dr Munawar Hassan, Ameer Jamaat e Islami Pakistan, and his verbal acrobatics:



After listening to his sermon on the Constitution, lets move on to the military dictator the JI fully supported. For those who say politicians are more corrupt than military dictators, who do not consider the Constitution to be law (let alone the highest law), or even equally corrupt, here is a video clip of the man at the root of many of our problems today:


and the dichotomies continue, as does the JI’s support for dictators – the 17th Amendment we just saw Dr M Hassan apologising for. Here’s another example of ‘patriotism without a people’ and from yet another military dictator:



If another dictator were to repeat the con, many would buy it all over again.


– posted by BC


Filed under Democracy, Islamism, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

47 responses to “Caveat emptor

  1. wajid

    “If another dictator were to repeat the con, many would buy it all over again”

    I wish I could disagree with you, but I can’t. Nothing has changed over the past many years except faces.
    The institutions like army and organizations like JI, hand in hand, is the cause of Pakistan’s major problems. Things could move forward if this marriags is over.

  2. mohammad

    There may be a legacy of few army generals being JI idealogues, that does not imply that GHQ consults JI on decision making or on defence strategy. Right now army command is totally professional with no extra judicial ambitions. They are pacifing criminals and fanatics which NATO with all its advanced war paraphernalia seems impotent to handle on the other side of the border. To change things we need to modernise our education system more in line with the indians and iranians.

  3. wajid

    “we need to modernise our education system more in line with the indians and iranians.”

    and who is not letting that happen? Corrupt politicians? To educate people you have to shift money from defense budget to education and health right?
    The army has established itself as a collective landlord from the very begining.

  4. Bloody Civilian


    i might agree with the general assessment you have pronounced. except that as far as the prediction part of it is concerned, neither of us have a crystal ball.

    Right now army command is totally professional with no extra judicial ambitions

    were the corps commanders being totally professional and sticking to their job of following all legal orders from the constitutional govt when they took it upon themselves to comment on a bilteral treaty concluded by the constitutional, civilian govt? what law says that the govt must submit such a matter to the Parliament for deliberation, let alone decision? how is it any of the military’s legitimate business to interfere in govt decisions?

    the corps commanders said that they were not prepared to take orders from washington. but they have never had any problems doing that, at least since 1958. what was badaber all about? which Parliament was that particular decision put to? what the corps commanders were really saying was that they are in no mood to take orders from Islamabad.

  5. Junaid

    Is Hammam mein sab nange hain

  6. Milind Kher

    The JI, Zia ul Haq, Musharraf are all people who have, IMO, done their utmost to see that a democracy does not flourish in Pakistan.

    A “10%” kind of leader democratically elected is better than a fascist.

  7. wajid

    Agreed MK – but how could we make sure that the history of defeating your own country doesn’t repeat itself? Army’s flirtation with fundamentalism is obvious with it’s slogan “Jihad fe sabil Allah” – this got to stop, so that fanatic elements could not impose their ideas on the society.
    JI has this power to exploit people in the name of religion because they have never been shut down by the generals. Zia was ultra right wing but Musharraf was not, so how come the JI still managed to thrive. The State, it’s institutions should be seperated from the mosque. Until then “in girti hui dewaron ko ek dhakka aur do”!!

  8. Milind Kher


    Get a ruling from whatever the majority deems to be the highest religious authority that what is being carried out is not a jihad fi sabil Allah, but a fasad fi’l ardh.

    The only way to genuinely checkmate these terrorists is to have their proclamations declared null and void, and to transparently state that these have no religious sanction.

    Unless that can be achieved, nothing will move.

  9. wajid

    See here’s another problem- who could actually denounce this. Such people here have been executed, killed in some cases slaughtered by the fundamentalists.
    Anyone from Saudi Arabia, may or may not, but then it’s already ruled by wahabi orthodoxy. They were the ones who provided funds and man power. They could send OBL backed by CIA to organize and motivate “emaan waley” against infidels but I doubt a royal or religious figure would be willing to tap what has started.

  10. Ali Abbas


    The “10%” remains unproven even after nearly a decade in jail during which the judiciary and military dictatorship were hand in hand and couldn’t prove a thing. Now, its a different issue. Pakistan is on the verge of an “independant” judiciary taking down the PPP-lead govt. Ofcourse, the same judges will never entertain any such cases against the regent-in-waiting, Nawaz Sharif. He was their benefactor. Ofcourse, the same judiciary is also Pro-Taliban and the Jamaat Islami was at the forefront in that sham called the “lawyer’s movement” as were all those who sucked upto military dictators like Roedad Khan, Imran Khan and the ISI blue-eyed boy, Hamid Gul.

    You wrote: ” Army’s flirtation with fundamentalism is obvious with it’s slogan “Jihad fe sabil Allah” – this got to stop, so that fanatic elements could not impose their ideas on the society.”

    Interesting. Thanks for pointing this out. Is this official? The same problem is being faced in North America and Europe. After every case of extremist activity, Islamist advocacy groups backed and financed by Saudi Arabia parrot the same line “Islam means/is a religion of peace” and attack their critics with the Islamophobic tag. Barring a few muslim individuals and groups, nobody wants to take on the Wahabi controlled mosques that are preaching armed, militant violence against all those deemed non-muslim as an article of faith. It is this warped brainwashing that is misleading more and more muslims to commit indiscriminate violence everywhere.

    You also wrote:
    “The State, it’s institutions should be seperated from the mosque.”

    In complete agreement.

  11. Milind Kher

    @ Ali Abbas,

    If the 10% cannot be proved, then it makes that person even more worthy as a leader.

    However, it is for sure that vested interests will act very strongly against him.

    As far as the sect you mentioned is concerned, Lawrence of Arabia used them to destroy the Ottoman Empire, and today those same people are desperately programming the Ummah for destruction.

    Secular forces need to unite as never before.

  12. mohammad

    Here I stress, that I failed to see so called secular forces in pakistan. I know like every body else here about JI vote bank, this pseudo religious and political party can not get a single NA seat on its own, we understand their frustrations. We have to accept that a considerable western styled educated class leans towards wahabism, which gives huge power base for fundamentalists likes of JI. On judiciary lets hope the old cliché is true, ‘if you were not being naughty you do not have to worry much’. Just wondering why our ruling party feels victimised before any hearing leave aside a verdict by judiciary.

  13. Milind Kher

    If the western style educated people as you describe them are leaning towards Wahabism, then it will be very difficult to arouse public opinion against the Taliban, since they too are of the same sect.

    The problem is definitely a complex one..

  14. vajra

    @Milind Kher

    This is not the first time that you have confused the facts regarding Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab Rebellion, and not the first time I have pointed this out, and I wish you would get it straight once and for all. The Arab Rebellion had nothing to do with Saud and the Wahhabis.

    Please read this:
    During World War I the British government attempted to cultivate favor with Ibn Sa’ūd, but generally favored his rival Sherif Hussein ibn Ali , leader of Hejaz , whom the Sa’ūds were almost constantly at war with. Despite this, the British entered into a treaty in December 1915 which made the lands of the House of Sa’ūd a British protectorate. In exchange, Ibn Sa’ūd pledged to again make war against Ibn Rashid, who was an ally of the Ottomans.

    Ibn Sa’ūd did not, however, immediately make war against Ibn Rashid, despite a steady supply of weapons and cash (£5,000 Sterling per month) from the British. He argued with the British that the payment he received was insufficient to adequately wage war against an enemy as powerful as Ibn Rashid. In 1920 , however, the House of Sa’ūd finally marched again against the Rashidi, extinguishing their dominion in 1922 . The defeat of the Rashidis doubled the territory of the House of Sa’ūd, and British subsidies continued until 1924 .

    In 1925 the Sa’ūds captured the holy city of Mecca from Sherif Hussein ibn Ali ending 700 years of Hashemite tutelage of the Islamic holy places. On 10 January 1926 Ibn Saud was proclaimed King of the Hejaz in the Great Mosque at Mecca. In 1927 , following the defeat of Husayn, the British government recognized the power of the Saud family, led by Ibn Saud, over much of what is today Saudi Arabia. The Treaty of Jedda was signed on May 20 . At this point he changed his title from Sultan of Nejd to King of Nejd.

    Now will you cease and desist from spreading inaccurate information in future?

  15. Milind Kher


    I do not know when you referred to this earlier. BTW, just follow the link below, and you will understand

  16. Milind Kher


    Pl read the paper below by the South Asia Analysis Group. This would explain to you the basis on which I have made my statement.

    Paper no. 903
    26. 01. 2004

    End Muslim Terrorism by Ending Wahabism Influence in Saudi Arabia

    Guest Column- by Hari Sud

    A. Introduction

    Osama bin Laden, Talibaan Chief Mullah Mohammed Omar, Chief Suspect in Daniel Pearls murder, Omar Saeed are all followers of Mohammed Abdul Al Wahab, the eighteenth century fundamentalist Mullah (cleric) in present day Saudi Arabia. His view was, that since the time of Prophet Mohammed the followers of the faith have strayed away from his teachings, hence they have to be refocused back to what Prophet Mohammed said in Qoran. Influence of Wahabs word, spread in Saudi Arabia during his lifetime. But the Ottomans, rulers of Arabia at that time, who originally are Central Asian Turks and Sunnis, did not encourage this firebrand Mullah. They set out to completely smash his small band of followers, locally called Wahabis. Ottomans did not succeed very well; hence Wahabis influence remained strong with Mullahs who control the Muslim holy sites and Mosques in and around Arabia. Wahabis have spent last 300 years waiting for an opportune time to gain political influence.

    The opportunity came during WW I, when Britain looking for local support within Arabia, Transjordan and Iraq for war against Ottomans found two competing princes for power in Arabia. They had to choose one for their backing. Prince Ibn Rashid lorded over one era of the Arabia (close to present day Iraq) and Prince/Emir Faisal maintained influence in Western end of the desert. They spent their life as Bedouin nomads; hence Ottoman had difficulty catching them. Briton dispatched Gertrude Bell (later called Desert Queen) to prince Rashids camp. She was the first ever lady intelligence officer, Briton had sent on an overseas mission, partly because she had lived in Middle East and partly she was daring in the mold of the proverbial Indiana Jones. She undertook a four-week journey to reach Prince Rashids camp through an uncharted desert with a group of Bedouin guards. There she found Rashids camp divided and decimated by family feuds over women and spoils of raids. She reported her findings back to her British masters. Dissatisfied with Rashid, British sent a second mission lead by T.E. Lawrence (popularly called Lawrence of Arabia) to feel Prince Faisal. Lawrence found Prince Faisal a valuable ally, worthy of British military and technical aid. This alliance resulted in a series of victories for Lawrence & Faisal and a complete rout of Ottoman in Middle East. Thereafter states of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia were born (after a long difficult Paris conference in 1919).

    Prince Faisal, to broaden his support, aligned himself with the Wahabi Mullahs of Arabia peninsula. With this alliance, Wahabis gained influence within the ruling circles of Prince later King Faisal and became the interpreter of the Islamic ideology in Arabia. King Faisals successors not only maintained this alliance but also with the arrival of Petro-dollars, enhanced it by giving them monies to build, maintain Muslim holy sites. This increased Mullahs influence ten fold. Extra Petro-dollars at Mullahs disposal gave them ideas of exerting influence outside Arabia in same manner as Pope exerts influence over the Roman Catholics world over from Rome.

    B. Wahabis in Arabia and their Influence with the Ruling Princes

    All Saudi princes including the king Fahad are Wahabis. They grew up in schools and education system run by Wahabis. Western education to some of them has not changed their outlook. Saudi King(s) have created a special government department which looks after all the religious affairs including Hajj pilgrimage, the up keep of Grand Mosques in Mecca and Madina, free printing and distribution of Qoran in native languages, distribution of cash within Arabia and outside Arabia. The latter is key to galvanizing Muslims in their home countries. With cash at their disposal the local Mullahs are free to open Madarssa (religious school), repair Mosque, build new Mosque and help terrorists find shelter, food money and training. Madarssa curriculum is based on Wahabi teachings.

    From 1973 2001, the price of oil scaled new height; hence more money became available to be distributed through out the Muslim world. All teachers of the Madarassas, Mullahs of the Mosques under pretext of Hajj pilgrimage underwent Wahabi training in religious schools in Saudi Arabia. Care was taken not to indulge in political propaganda to alarm the home country government. The latter was left for the mullahs and teacher to undertake after their return.

    With the soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Saudis involved themselves in a, first war of the twentieth century against the infidel. To this, they were encouraged by the USA. Open call was given to Muslim all over the world to come to Afghans rescue. They did come and came in large numbers. The military hardware was paid for by USA, it was facilitated thru Pakistan by the Pakistani Government. Saudis paid for their religious indoctrination and recruitment thru the Mosques and Madarssas built by them all over the world.

  17. Vajra

    @Milind Kher

    Dear boy, dear little scholar, do you want me to die of an apoplexy?

    1. The Prince Faisal referred to in your blasted little piece of toilet paper masquerading as an academic document was the son of the Sharif of Mecca, not a Saud, certainly not Faisal ibn Saud; that is completely anachronistic nonsense.
    2. The Prince Faisal of the House of Saud was Faisal ibn Abdul-Aziz al Saud, the third King of the Third Saudi Kingdom. He succeeded his elder brother, Saud, who had succeeded their father, Abdul-Aziz.
    3. At the time of the Arab Rebellion, Faisal was between 10 and 14 years old.

    0. Hari Sud from Canada? Be careful; be very, very careful. I can’t say any more in a public forum without inviting legal action.

    Having said that, he has not said in his account that Faisal was a Saudi prince. I think that is your misinterpretation.

    Now go clean your brain with yellow soap and get back to reading. Try Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, or his abridgement, Revolt in the Desert. There are little ’embellishments’ in the first, but none that need bother any but a critical scholar on a critical academic task.

    And please don’t do this to me again.

  18. mohammad

    Though going to university can enhance someones monetary prospects and influence in theory, given they are wahabis like minded social circle is a bonus,do we have to frett on such a scenario? Of course not. Firstly most pakistanis are tolerant and usually side with winning party,as self proclaimed defenders and implementers of a particular school of thoughts islamic jurisprudence are decapitating and blowing up innocent and in the process losing public sympathy and will soon be obsolete for our collective memory have any chances of impressing masses? I will doubt that. Now we are just clearing the shite left behind by amiral darkness sweet zia al haq.

  19. Hayyer

    As you would have realized by now the Saud Abdul Aziz defeated Sharif Hussein in 1924. Hence Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud claims its strength from its position as Keeper of the Holy Places, from which position it ousted the Hashemite house of Sharif Hussein. The British in compensation gave two kingdoms for Sheikh Hussein’s two sons Faisal and Abdullah, Iraq and Jordan. Iraq was lost to the Hashim dynasty in the coup by General (or was it Colonel) Kassem in 1958. Jordan is the last surviving Hashemite kindgdom.
    If you have seen Lawrence of Arabia you would have noticed Alec Guinness hamming away as Faisal.

  20. Milind Kher


    In case you missed what I wrote in my original post, it was simply this

    “As far as the sect you mentioned is concerned, Lawrence of Arabia used them to destroy the Ottoman Empire, and today those same people are desperately programming the Ummah for destruction.”

    There is no “interpretation” given to the supporting document as which Faisal it was. It is quoted verbatim.

    As far as the supporting document is concerned, you are free to pick holes in it, but the concern here is not with genealogy, synchronicity or the identification of the “right” Faisal.

    The essence is – the Saudis colluded with Lawrence to fight the Turks.

    There is enough and more material available on the subject to corroborate what I am saying.

    However, if you don’t like what I post, you are not compelled to read it. Thank you

  21. Milind Kher


    Saudi Arabia was earlier known as Hijaz. It became Saudi Arabia on account of Ibn Saud.

    I know that, but thanks for the information and the information on origins of the royal families of Iraq and Jordan, as also the dignified manner in which you have placed the facts before the group.

  22. Vajra

    @Milind Kher

    Please, please, please read up before you disgorge a wealth of misinformation on everybody else. Once again, on checking your sources, and not one suspect document written by a notorious Islamophobe and phony defence expert, you will find that the Saudis had nothing to do with Col. Lawrence and the Arab Rebellion. The Saudis did not collude with Col. Lawrence, there was no connection between them at any time.

    There is absolutely no material to this effect. Cannot be. Once again, read the originals. Read Lawrence himself; if you cannot stand the weight of the tome, read the abbreviation.

    And don’t pout and sulk and mutter about facts being presented in a particular manner. When you are wrong, just stand up and admit it. As I mentioned before, this is not the first time you have quoted this totally wrong fact. Try to avoid spreading misinformation.

  23. Milind Kher


    Do you disagree that Lawrence led a rebellion of the Arabs against the Turks, and that ultimately after a few years the British installed the family of Ibn Saud at the helm of affairs in Arabia?

    The bottom line is – the British supported the Arabs against the Turks and thus set off one group of Muslims against the other.

    The British were tacitly supporting the house of Ibn Saud right from WW1 and not just from 1924.
    Also, the house of Wahab gained from this as the house of Saud and the house of Wahab were aligned with each other.

  24. Ali Abbas

    Milind, trying to talk about the takeover of Hijaz by Wahabi bandits and collaberators will always evoke a strong response from some quarters. However, I would stress Stephen Schwartz “House of Saud” for a better understanding. Furthermore, an increasingly smaller number of muslims are talking about how the Hijaz was conquered by the Wahabis and renamed after a family!

    Or how the Janaat ul Baqi cemetary that houses the graves of the Prophet’s daughter, his descendants from that daughter and his other companions was destroyed by the Wahabis and the only grave monuments left standing were that of the Prophet and the first 2 caliphs. Very few will talk about the earlier attempts by the Wahabis in 1802 and 1804 to exert their influence and how they committed murder, loot and plunder in Karbala. Petro dollars go a long way and from funding Islamist advocacy groups in North America (CAIR and ISNA), to funding thousands of mosques all over the world. Today “mainstream” Islam is no longer one with soft Sufi undertones and a tolerance of other sects and religions; it is increasingly the facist face of Wahabism/Salafism.

    However, for an increasing number of muslims, it is more convinient to bury their heads in the sand than make an honest critique about the deleterous effects of this poisonous ideology that is being peddled as “reform” by its mendacious spokespeople.

  25. Milind Kher

    @Ali Abbas,

    You are absolutely right. Saudi Arabia was even willing to allow its air bases to be used by Israel to carry out strikes against Iran.

    Iran’s growing appeal across sections of the Ummah is proving to be a source of discomfort and vested interests are using their petrodollars to act against it and are arming terrorists to kill Shias whether in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq. And it is these people and NOT the Sunnis who are against the Shias. The desecration of the tombs of the Ahlul Bayt is another repugnant act that these marauders have carried out.

  26. wajid

    AA: Unfortunately, yes. This was injected right when Zia introduced 6-time-prayers (this includes tahajud), long beard etc. into the military cadre.
    This simplified the objective to train the militants, and kept the opposite views at arms length. Thus the army of Pakistan turned into army of Islam, which suited the West and the Saudi Arabia.

    “Islam is a peaceful religion”, its a delusion and nothing else, just so that masses could blame others for what we have done. And since then, this impression has been created that individual officers might be corrupt, the institution itself is clean.

    I think that the answer rests within. The army has to stop rebranding Jihad and stop defending the imported version of Islam.

  27. wajid

    Historically, the wahabi infiltration goes way back to 1740. Hence my point, if ameer of Uyayna could take counter action – so can’t we. The 5,000 years of Indus Valley wisdom and tolerance must be somewhere in us!

  28. DCMediagirl


    “And since then, this impression has been created that individual officers might be corrupt, the institution itself is clean.”

    You just made a lightbulb go off over my head. I never thought of it this way — and you’re absolutely right. The way the Pak Army is portrayed in the West is that a “professional” fighting force run by civilized generals largely educated in the West (hey, some even drink Johnny Walker!) isn’t the problem – it’s just the few bad apples who spoil the barrel.

    Thanks for the excellent food for thought!

  29. Vajra

    @Milind Kher

    I disagree explicitly with the silly and inaccurate statement that you made quoted below:

    “As far as the sect you mentioned is concerned, Lawrence of Arabia used them to destroy the Ottoman Empire, and today those same people are desperately programming the Ummah for destruction.”

    and not with your subsequent afterthoughts to save face and make it seem that you meant one thing when you said another.

    Give it a break. You are on record.

  30. Bloody Civilian


    this impression has been created that individual officers might be corrupt, the institution itself is clean

    what do you mean by that? that corruption is insititutionalised? mush admitted as much some years ago, when he said “we’re all from the same stock” (in his typical derogatory style). cowasjee has often quoted this statement. yes, people ignore humayun akhtar and ejazulhaq and zero in on civilian politicians. the media knows where it can and cannot go. yet, that cannot be used as an excuse by the current democratic leaders to evade accountability. or facing the criticism square on.

    how ever great our sense of hurt and anger at military dictatorships, the fact remains that there are soldiers dying as i write this so that you and i may live. their kids being orphaned so that our kids can live. what message do you want to send those fighting for your safety and mine – our war – at the war front.

    we’re at war. no nation can win a war if it remains divided. yet, paradoxically, war is a great opportunity to unite. we can only win this war if we stand together. shoulder to shoulder. civilian or military. the military has no hope of winning without our support. we cannot fight a war, let alone win it, without the military fighting for us and our soldiers making the ultimate sacrifice for our safety.

    how many soldiers do we have? 600k? that’s also 600k citizens. and 600k voters. no reasonable person can condemn and abandon 600k people. fellow compatriots. those who are fighting and dying so that we don’t have to.

    how can politicians abandon 600k voters? how dare they abandon them! has either zardari, gillani or sharifs attended a single funeral of a fallen soldier (of whatever rank or without any)? or even of a policeman, for that matter! so these policeman dying doing their duty and beyond are not to be honoured because they are corrupt? who does that dishonour? them or us? why hasn’t one of them visited the troops on the frontline? if brown and obama can visit a’stan and iraq, why can’t zardari go to Swat and FATA?

    you either want to save the country or just want to criticise and generalise. either you want us to get through this most painful and dangerous time, with minimum losses, or you just want to spit out venomous bitterness about the past without a care what effect tht has on the war effort. each one of us, either we’re helping win this war or we’re helping lose it. each one of us is her own judge – first and foremost.

    now that i’ve said all that, you can ignore most of it. and forgive the accusatory tone, if and where it occurs. my intention was just to point out that it is not necessarily an easy situation. the last thing i would wish is for you to give up your vigilence, independence of choice and definition of your way of contributing to the country, and your freedom to think and say what you like. unlike our military dictators, this is most emphatically not about claiming any kind of monopoly over either the definition and certification of patriotism nor over defining (the oft-abused term) ‘national interest’. the former is a) assumed, and b) neither a requirement for citizenship nor anybody else’s business in any case. the latter is only legitimately ‘defined’ by democratic consensus.

    the fact remains that 99.9% of the army is not involved in military rule. if the military as an instituion enoys the ‘perks of power’.. you can hardly blame the rank and file for that. and if the officer class does not think right about the institution’s constitutional role and the vital importance of democracy, they are part of the symptom, not the disease. it’s always important to make the distinction between attacking the disease and attacking merely the symptoms. at a time of war, this distinction has become even more important.

    can you in earnest, for a moment, if you don’t mind, imagine a teenage orphan of an officer who has been martyred in Waziristan reading this page. who sees the right-wing politicians saying what they say about this war. and democrats like you and me say what we do about the army. at his father’s funeral, there were no high ranking civilians present. the biggest official honour his father’s sacrifice was deemed worthy of, as far as the funeral was concerned, was a wreath from the COAS. other than 30 seconds on PTV, hardly any channel or newspaper bothered to report it. what can you or i tell the kid

    1. his father’s sacrifice, and

    2. about the kind of pakistan he would grow up in

    3. and what would our contribution be towards that pakistan by way of repaying the debt to the man who died for us

    also, how do we explain to him why the all for this war, our war, president, pm or none of the ministers could attend his funeral.. even though it was in islamabad.. and he was an officer?

    actually, you can ignore the all of the above, if you feel it amounts to nothing more than so much sentimentality.


  31. wajid

    BC: The irony is that these soldiers would not be dying, had it not been for the army’s zeal in creating these monsters. Now the soldiers are tasked with having to stuff the gennie back in the bottle.

    I hear you when you speak about those kids but my heart also goes out to those who were kidnapped, never to be seen again, during Musharraf’s military rule. To those family members whose head was asked to strip in front of his daughters.
    It goes out to those who were flogged in public and tortured to death in private cells, during Zia’s regime.
    It also goes out to those who get killed by the atrocities of the menace produced by our army.

    And here is the difference my friend – at the end of the day, by defending the borders (in this case the authority of the State) they are doing their job. They signed up for this.

    Just questioning the corruption of the institution doesn’t mean its an attack on soldiers. Its jingoism to suggest that criticizing the institution is wrong and unpatriotic because the nation is at war. This type of uber-patriotism doesnt do anyone any good. This is a lesson the West is learning the hard way.

    So, my point is to discuss the acts of this sacred cow of ours. Are they loyal to the State when they don’t respect the constitution and just obey their officer – who ordered them to take over their own country?

  32. Milind Kher


    It really doesn’t matter. I don’t have to sweat the small stuff 🙂

  33. Vajra

    @Milind Kher

    Much to my own astonishment, your cheeky, insouciant answer made me laugh out loud.

    Fair enough, don’t sweat the small stuff.

    Nothing personal, but I don’t handle historical inaccuracy very well. Need to work on it.

    Incidentally, what you said at the end is something you might have usefully said at the beginning: that Muslim was set against Muslim. What you found exceptional in this is beyond me; it is not that on their own, Muslim has not slaughtered Muslim. But it is reasonable to recount the narrative as one of the British having backed the Hashemites until discovering, too late, that it was the wrong family, and then adroitly shifting over to the other. By the time of WWII, of course, as my father reminded me, the Saud family were the touchstones of imperialist power: the King went to see President Roosevelt, he was invited on equal terms by Prime Minister Churchill, and the Viceroy (or was it the Viceroy-designate) Wavell sought an audience.

    About Wahhabi influence, you are aware that it was official policy in British India to put them down with a strong hand. Historical evidence is available in plenty, unlike your hapless reference to other Middle Eastern matters.

  34. Ali Abbas


    I think we can all agree that

    a) The Wahabis represent a regressive, bigotted, misogynist cult that seeks to oppress muslims by infusing them with a supremacist and sectarianally-intolerant message.

    b) They took over the Hijaz by being British collaboraters.

    c) They spread their facist cult in thousands of mosques with the billions of petro-dollars that they have looted.

    d) If the British kept their influence out of colonial India, it was not as if their influence did not exist at all. From the polemical screeds of Shah Waliullah/Shah Abdul Aziz to the hundreds of thousands who went for hajj, the indoctrination was creeping into an otherwise pluralistic South Asia. It was only after Zia provided the support and the blessings of the State that the Wahabis became a big force in Pakistan via their Deobandi ideological cousins.

    @Bloody Civilian,

    You are clearly confusing Wajid’s critique of the army establishment with the ordinary Pak army Jawan. The latter has been used as cannon fodder since the last few years simply because many at the officer cadre are committed to the Jihadist foreign policy of the security establishment or even more troubling, are themselves infused with the Islamist zeal that provides fuel to this Jihadi violence. I suppose if you are relying on the Pakistani “media” to inform/educate you, then you are probably unaware of how entire garrisons of the army/paramilitary/rangers were allowed to fall to these vicious murderers in Northern Pakistan by the previous Govt. and how captured Pak army Jawans were seperated based on sect. The Sunnis were given Rs. 500 and set free (after some indoctrination as per some reports) while the Shias, easily distinguished by their names and flagellate scars on their backs, were gruesomely beheaded! If you were aware of this I stand corrected. Otherwise, it is a matter of deep shame as to how we Pakistanis have so easily capitulated to the mass disinformation campaign of our media; I suppose it stems from the same anomoly that allowed us to commit cultural genocide on our own rich and shared South Asian culture!

  35. Vajra

    @ Ali Abbas

    a. I don’t want to take sides in a Muslim sectarian matter, but that is the general impression I get.
    b. Yes, but in the 20s, not during the Arab Rebellion; the only point that I want to correct. And nothing to do with T. E. Lawrence. The British involvement was minimal. They wrung their hands while the Hashemites were being sliced up, but didn’t intervene against the Saudis. That is not being British collaborators, exactly.
    c. Perhaps. That is what is reported.
    d. Again that is what is being reported. I shall take it all on good faith.

    (a), (c) and (d) are outside my direct area of historical competence.

  36. Milind Kher

    @Ali Abbas,

    These people have huge funds and and heavy armament. Through a heady mix of money and pseudo religion, they are able to recruit on a large scale. They cannot be wished away.

    Crushing them is not a problem for the US which is technologically and militarily much stronger. However, the insurgency they are creating in Muslim countries will hurt those countries very badly.

  37. Bloody Civilian

    @Ali Abbas + Wajid

    Ali, if you google “Bloody Civilian”, you’ll find your answer in my comments, mostly here on PTH, but also on other sites, over the last many months and more. my sources are as various, i guess, as yours. btw, those who know me on this forum, here will tell you that you will not find a greater critic than me of the military.. if the pseudonym i use was not enough of a clue.

    there were at least two points in my post in which i admitted that it was about looking at one single aspect only, without asking for the whole picture to be ignored or abandoned. the fact remains that for a teenage just orphaned, it is very hard to understand all this. it’s a cruelly tough job to ask her to do it at the same time as having just lost her father.

    she is not alone. there are many orphans like her. and there will be many more. and bereaved families. it’s not just jawans but officers too. no one is questioning the fact that they and the insitution has been let down, first, foremost and almost exclusively, by its own leadership that decided to bring it into politics instead of saving it from politics (which is the real job of a COAS).

    the question is: the young girl’s president or prime minister attending her father’s funeral, or even a single fallen soldier’s, would have made a world of a difference to her. or should we tell her that her father was doing no more than what he was being paid for!!?? by that petty definition, there has never ever been and never can be a military hero unless conscripted against his will.

    kindly, read my post again. it is asking for the picture to be completed, not that any part of it should be covered up. these soldiers are fighting to stop the terrorists from killing us in our cities. the least we can do in return for them is to give them our support and honour their sacrifice. that is what an honourable people do – honour their dead. the civilian leadership telling us that this is our war. yet it cannot be bothered to honour the dead. i want the symbolism of president/PM being there to honour the soldiers to act as a galvanising force.

    there is a difference between criticism – harsh, uncomprimising criticism – and sheer cynicism. you tell the truth because you wish and hope for change. and you try and tell the whole truth. or you just let out your frustrations and anger and leave it at that, and don’t bother or care about anything else.

  38. Bloody Civilian

    ….. and wajid, you mention all the atrocities committed by military regimes. and the bloody toll of all that they have brought upon us. you missed the line the fact remains that 99.9% of the army is not involved in military rule. that does not mean that they are not affected. but like i said, they’re the symptom, not the disease. not acknowledging them, to me, is to not speak the whole truth.

    and once again, if you think signing up to be a soldier means that you have no right to expect anything more than your salary and pension/widow’s pension in case you are injured or die… then you need to think again.

    as for uber-patriotism etc. again you obviously did not read the part of my post where i talked of patriotism. kindly, re-read it. patriotism is best kpet just under the surface, never overt. nobody is asking anyone for the army or anyone else to be treated as the holy cow. the west learnt that as you tell me. but does that mean that the west has laso learnt not to honour the dead? to support those fighting and putting their lives in danger on our behalf? if obama and brown can go thousands of miles to boost the morale of their troops, why can’t our present legtimate, democratic leaders do the same? as well as bringing past dictators and their supporters to book? the latter of course should ideally be preceded by much strengthening of the civilian set up first. none of us democrats wish to see the issue being used as just another excuse for party politics. but the war is here and now. the gesture i’m asking for is urgently needed. now. the rest of our struggle for strengthening democracy can carry on alongside.

  39. Milind Kher

    Uber patriotism is not always what it seems to be on the surface. People are always pushing a personal agenda under the garb of doing it “for the nation”

    Most dictators, people like Zia and Musharraf and others of their ilk have used patriotism as a shield to perpetuate their own power.

  40. wajid

    You know the facts, and you know them well, so i will not go around stressing on the points we have discussed already. AA has said it in clear words too, its the military establishment and the rest of the country.
    As far as politicians are concerned, allow me to say, that they have been barred to go into the war zone, and this is totally normal. But if for some reason its not normal for you, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Obama, Bush, brown, Cheney, none of them went to Iraq or Afghanistan until after a “green signal” from the army.
    Bush went to Iraq after the “Operation Enduring Freedom” was officially over, not before that. To US officials Iraq is no more a war zone, but Afghanistan is, hence the new President has not set foot in Kabul.

    The war in Swat is not over either. I don’t recall the ‘military establishment’ or the ‘senior officers’ attending any funerals of their fallen men.

    Moving on – AA raised a point. If the military is divided on the ethnic lines, there is something wrong. Let me add, if a soldier refuses to come down from Kargil hills and accuses his seniors of “betraying the cause”, there is something SERIOUSLY wrong. Its scary, my friend.
    And i believe this ‘scary’ part was the topic of the discussion.

  41. Bloody Civilian

    I don’t recall the ‘military establishment’ or the ’senior officers’ attending any funerals of their fallen men

    they’re poor politicians. must the politicians follow suit? isn’t doing the opposite a great way of forcing the rank and file to think a bit harder? in any case, how is it any excuse to not do the decent, honourable and urgently necessary thing?

    shall i give them the ‘benefit of the doubt’ that the generals have barred them from attending funerals too? those occupying the highest political offices were not forced into occupation. they volunteered. they’d be doing democracy a far greater service if they resigned than to accept such huge curtailment of their freedom to act. not to do so would be to become accomplices to the establishment. to prove that they’re in it only for the perks, not the power… not in claiming power for the people, anyway. to resign, under protest, would be the honest thing to do and the electorate would recognise that.

    why are politicians afraid of doing actual political work? if hillary clinton can come and talk directly to the youth and people of pakistan… and be amongst the people for 3 days, why can’t our politicians? why couldn’t zardari go to the int’l islamic university and ask them why they think their fellow students were killed by america? the way clinton went to GCU in lahore. isn’t that what a politcian is supposed to do? and it would nicely bypass the partisan media, ie take the intiative away from them, and the power to moderate access to the people (it’s the abc of being a competent politician). the symbolic and political power of attending military funerals is even greater.

    as for the ‘scary’ part.. what do you think a COAS going beyond his normal term in office, having absolute power over the whole country, and surrounding himself with sycophants within the institution that is the ultimate, if not solitary, source of his power does to the instituion itelf? like i keep saying, these are the symptoms, scary as they may be, not the disease.

    ok, you’ve pointed out the disease and several symptoms. what about the cure? condemn 600,000 pakistanis as evil and beyond redemption? or try and salvage the situation instead of giving up? ultimately, only politicians can bring a nation together. no one else. a democrat must be able to rise above anger and revenge. rise above despair, even. no other part of society can do that. nor is it anybody’s else’s role. the wounding came from the butt of the general’s gun. the healing has to and can only come from the politicians. big ask it may be, but then why volunteer to serve the people.. if you can’t.

    i believe politicians have suffered enough at the hands of the military and must be given a lot of margin – ‘benfit of the doubt’ if you wish to call it that. but it cannot amount to carte blanche. whether the oppositionis playing politics, or the judiciary is biased, neither can be allowed to take away the people’s authority to demand and have accountability. it is the pols job to make the military accountable too. but until they’re able or strong enough to do that, they cannot use it as an excuse to put themselves beyond accountability as well. that would amount to complicity, again.

  42. wajid

    We all know that the political institution is weak and its very reason too. I know what you are saying but we have to give them time to mature.

    As for the cure – i think people know that Taliban are the real threat. The thing is, that the army needs to understand this too. (I have been saying this for a long time now. Its not masses who think that Taliban are not dangerous its the military establishment. The army influence the masses/media in every way and we just witness that during KL bill drama.)

    The military has to come out of the influence of religious fanatics, and understand its job better – not to accuse the political leadership and respect the constitution.

    At the end, my dear friend, we are on the same page, discussing almost the same thing. But the people we are talking about don’t give a damn about you, me or our discussion, they will do what they have been doing for years. And thats the whole truth.

  43. Bloody Civilian

    Its not masses who think that Taliban are not dangerous its the military establishment

    nobody has told this to the soldiers fighting the taliban and dying. nor have their their loved ones been given any sign.

    the military establishment will not tell them it. the masses cannot*. only the politicians can. the opposition chooses to play politics. what is the govt’s excuse?

    * except the ones the soldiers come into contact with in Swat and FATA and who have doubts in their mind neither about the identity nor the bloody nature of the enemy. but these too are let down by the govt which fails to take the political initiative at least some distance away from both the so-called stablishment and the media. all they have to do is a)go directly to the people and b)recognise the symbolism i have been going on about.

    (i’ve taken enough of your time, wajid. so i’ll make this my last.


  44. YLH

    Brilliant this exposes the Jamaat-e-Islami.

  45. YLH

    It is disgusting to note that of these three Munawar Hassan is the only one who come across as honest…

    May we never endure another military government every again.

  46. Milind Kher


    Already, there are people giving credit to Gen Kayani, without giving it to Zardari.

    Zardari is already being pressurized to step down. So, it COULD be that if the Pak Army succeeds, you could see Gen Kayani at the helm of Pakistan after all.