Political Absolutism

Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf

US Strategic mind is obsessed with dominance. A constant drift from a measured military response to countervailing strategic dominance is visible. At the heart of such thought is the containment and control of Eurasia in which Pakistan constitutes the formidable Southern Front.Past fifty years have witnessed the gradual rise of neo strategists who believe that use of covert violent activities can achieve political objectives both in tandem and whilst bypassing the defence establishment. They reflect aspirations of cartels, energy giants and economic czars riding the technological edge. This primacy of civilian leadership over military affairs ignited a new debate during the Korean and Cold War especially in formulation of evolving nuclear doctrines. The mathematicians and social scientists were the first generation of civilian nuclear strategists. At the extreme, Ken Booth had hypothetically assessed a development as scary as Nuclear Absolutism.

Though the world is still spared such a doomsday scenario, the tip of the iceberg is visible when civilian controlled intelligence and long arm establishments operating under directives of the highest echelons of US Policy resort to organised violence through covert means world over (see Seymour Hersh’s article on assassination of Hariri and Benazir Bhutto). Operating outside the Congress and Senate select committees, it erases and violates those transition points in the policy spectrum where a considered decision is made by statesmen to resort to limited violence in tandem with other means. Entire theses of Quincy Wright and Julian Lider (the two modern scholars on war) are thrown overboard when limited interventions become BURNOUT WARS for countries. In Iraq such interventions not factorised in the military plans, were lethal, and counter productive. The methods varied from precision munitions to drones and stage managed acts of violence. Placement of highly trained civilian disguised security companies in zones of interests served multiple objectives including rapid reaction, assassinations and toe hold operations.

Sometimes these instruments worked in tandem with CENTCOM. The danger in such a policy is the creation of schisms and strategic dysfunctionalism within the establishment. It also leads to complications in unity of command amongst interacting and inter-nation armed services. The latest example is the almost simultaneous release of Kerry Lugar Bill and McCrystal Report. The former safeguards Indian interests for long term political objectives while the latter sees Indian role an impediment to military operational progress. CENTCOM wants additional troops for a victory while the State Department wishes to hang around long enough to achieve other objectives. This is called shaping the environment. The craft began with the Berlin Airlift, manifested in revolutions and counter revolutions of South America and is now the war for Pakistan. Such interventions are well thought, complemented by deliberate and articulated leaks, narratives of threat perception, assessments by the media and research organisations, economic arm twisting and diplomacy. Fault lines and vulnerabilities of target nations are exploited and locals like Chalabis/Khalilzads rented.

The game played with remarkable alacrity continues; as does the attrition of Pakistan. It creates a ‘coercive strategy of compellence’ forcing Pakistan to cede its lesser interests in order to preserve a larger one. They bend minds; give leads for the future while the covert arms move around to prove just that. Then they say, “You see, we kept telling you.

Now do that in order to keep that. Seymour Hersh’s reporting is loose pot shot from the hip. Something in it appeals to every mind. The article is so heavily loaded that any event remotely connected to Pakistan can be linked and the worthy journalist vindicated. The article implies many disconnects. While Pentagon appears to be extremely close to GHQ, the State Department wishes to manipulate it to a point of total subordination albeit on behalf of the Pakistani political establishment. Hersh implies a deep Pentagon-GHQ link to create a distrust of the armed forces amongst the people (Pakistani audience). Sinisterly, he admits that this link though close is intriguingly deceptive (US Audience). He also opens a debate on an ethnically Punjabi dominated army. By implication it also means projecting Punjab as the villain for centrality in Pakistan’s fabric. Next, within this Punjabi Army, the religiously motivated elements appear to lie in wait to seize control of nuclear weapons and join hands with Al Qaeeda/ Hizb ut- Tahrir for a Nuclear Islamic Caliphate. This is a total falsification proved by the public and media ratings of military operations inside Pakistan and the high casualty rate of officers and men. Similarly, a bigger joke is the alleged involvement of one of the country’s insignificant and peaceful minorities in training to become a counter terrorist organisation. By default, credit is also due.

In his quest to stretch imagination, Hersh has laid bare the mistrust that Pakistani establishment and people have of US policies, a measure of which Hilary Clinton got in her confidence building and fact finding visit to Pakistan. It also reflects the patriotism of Pakistanis and how they covet their national aspirations. Washington Post takes a snipe at Pakistan-China Relations and nuclear proliferation to exert diplomatic pressure as counter weight to US cooperation with India. It also seeks to deflect Pakistani attention from the on going Indian preparations for a thermo nuclear test. It is an attempt to weaken Pakistan’s resolve of a matching response through diplomatic pressure and significant US presence n Pakistan. Greig Miller of Los Angeles Times, through deliberate scoops seeks to discredit both the Pakistan Army and ISI as cash hungry organisations willing to sell mothers for dollars.

So why and who in USA is doing what it does? The answer is Sothern Front. However, in entirety this policy is confronted (as long as India is co-opted) with challenges from Islam as the centre piece of Pakistan’s Ideology; the armed forces that will rise to the call of the last battle; and Pakistan’s nuclear capability. The three are conjoined by the people of Pakistan and will be a force multiplier when push comes to shove. If that happens, it will be the mother of all wars. The sentiments of hate rife amongst Pakistanis are not religiously motivated. They are a reaction to the hate strategy unleashed on the region after 9/11. Talibanization and Al Qaeeda are broad dumping grounds for all types of resistance and crime. A hail of cruise missiles, daisy cutters, bunker busters and air strikes were unleashed on the Pashtuns of Afghanistan. Pakistan through well timed mobilisation by India was prevented from sealing its borders with ethnic proximate Afghanistan. The entire backwash flowed into Pakistan.

Within a generation, the most valued ally was reduced to ‘where all roads cross’. USA feels that short of a general outpouring, at an opportune time they would have a Chalabi in Pakistan to facilitate their objectives. But USA elects to ignore that in long drawn wars of attrition, the Forgotten Social Dimension of Strategy calls the final shot. Now while Pentagon goes hunting good Taliban for reconstruction from the cinders of the pyre, it engages the very people it maimed with daisy cutters. Some even delink them from Al Qaeda; which has now moved to sanctuaries of Pakistani Militants (an aggregate of militants, local chieftains, war lords and sectarian militant outfits some led by western/Indian trained agents).

Through crafty constructs, USA disgraces Pakistan and its institutions that have served it best for many decades. The latest tirade against Pakistani institutions was beefed by a letter from Obama, to the President of Pakistan asking to raise the intensity of operations pending increase of force levels in Afghanistan, an assessment repeatedly pointed by me in my articles. So what do people and statesmen of Pakistan make of all this. I would say, “Seek Peace with Pride, but if ABSOLUTISM strikes, be prepared for the Last Battle”.

Courtesy :  Sharafs

37 Comments

Filed under Pakistan, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror

37 responses to “Political Absolutism

  1. Milind Kher

    Ever and anon one hears about militants trained by India. If these very militants had vowed to fight a jihad against India if India ever attacked Pakistan, I cannot understand why India would train these militants.

    These conspiracy theories only vitiate the atmosphere and help nobody

  2. Hayyer

    Are Brigadier Sharaf’s views typical in the Pakistan Army?
    India is responsible for the attack on its Parliament which led it to mobilize? And this was planned with the US to prevent Pakistan from sealing its western borders? Pakistan will sacrifice everything just so as to preserve its nuclear option? Isn’t this paranoid?
    “So why and who in USA is doing what it does? The answer is Sothern Front.”
    This meaning of this bit eluded me.
    “However, in entirety this policy is confronted (as long as India is co-opted) with challenges from Islam as the centre piece of Pakistan’s Ideology; the armed forces that will rise to the call of the last battle; and Pakistan’s nuclear capability.”
    Does Brigadier Sharaf mean that Pakistan expects the US and India to fight Pakistan together and that Pakistan will use its nuclear weapons in a kind of Armageddon? Does the scenario seem remotely likely as Obama and Pakistan’s best friend, China jointly plan South Asia’s future?

  3. Vajra

    @Hayyer

    Read his other articles. He’s a class act. He also reads all comments on his writings, and comes boiling out, swinging punches left and right, whenever he thinks he’s being derided: he’s always right, of course, but on the other hand, doesn’t always get it.

  4. AZW

    I read this write up by Brigadier Sharaf with heavy heart. It is not the most fluent of readings so I read it again to make sure that Mr. Sharaf is invoking the same shadows that others are so busy conjuring up in present day Pakistan.

    From the fertile minds of Pakistani conspiracy weavers, fanciful ideas originate. Yet the saddest aspect of this whole write up entitled Political Absolutism is that Mr. Sharaf probably wrote it more eloquently than Mustafa Shaban, except to regurgitate the same tired message that Shaban has been yelling at this forum for the past one year. To think that Mr. Sharaf has almost 40-50 years in age over Mustafa is the probably the saddest aspect of this whole comparison.

    I don’t claim to be wiser than thou, yet I have heard the same arguments since 1996 (yes you read it right) where the imaginary enemy (take your pick, India, Israel, US, in some cases UK) were out to weaken Pakistan, afraid of the Islamic identity of the country, looking to dominate the world, only to find the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as the biggest road block in their nefarious designs. The sad aspect of this whole repetitive behaviour is that it is repeated not just by the right wing nut jobs, as well as so called moderates who like to call themselves the so called center of the road analysts and pundits.

    For some reason, Pakistanis seem to regard the United States and India as monolithic entities; where Seymour Hershes and LA Times correspondents are the representative of the whole American mindset. Where simple rules of logic like Occam’s Razor absolutely do not hold any sway. I do not believe in self immolation, but this behaviour of weaving our enemies out to get us is just crazy. It results in “not our war” behaviour, that changes to “why fight against our brothers in religion” to “if it was not for US we would not have been bombed” to “they (India/US) are the ones helping our enemy (Taliban)” to God knows what.

    As much as I like to think of myself as glass half full person, after reading masterpieces like these, there just doesn’t seem any light at the end of this damn tunnel.

  5. Hossp

    Hayyer
    November 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm
    “So why and who in USA is doing what it does? The answer is Sothern Front.”
    This meaning of this bit eluded me.”

    The southern front refers to the Russian front during the second WW. Metaphorically, it just means a decisive battle.

    I will write on the article a little bit later.

  6. Milind Kher

    The biggest danger is that today the conspiracy theories do not belong exclusively in the domain of the right wing nut jobs.

    It seems that a lot of moderates are also buying into this.

    All such people do not realize that they could well be faced tomorrow with a Pakistan that has no movies, no music, no girls’ schools and every female in a burqa.

  7. Hossp

    The first para is really too bombastic and that makes people lose sight of what you are trying to say. There is no doubt that the US has both economic and strategic interests. By that token, every country does, but the scope for the US is just way larger than any other country.

    There is no denying that CIA was involved in attempting to kill the leaders of other countries. This is well documented and congress wrote laws to prevent that from happening again. Seymour Hersh is pointing out that those programs are back but the only difference is that this time around they are under the Pentagon and not the CIA. He fails to mention Blackwater or Xe which appears to be a CIA managed program operated by independent contractors as they are known in the US.

    “The latest example is the almost simultaneous release of Kerry Lugar Bill and McCrystal Report.”

    What you wrote just before that made sense but here I think you are stretching it a little. The K-L bill has no connection with the McChyrstal report. The K-L bill was all about the state dept. and Zardari-Haqqani idea of how to deal with the army domestically. But you know the reality. The Pakistan army never cares about the State dept. They deal with the Pentagon as you too mentioned elsewhere in the article.

    McChyrstal report is all about the internal turf battle between the White House and the Pentagon as to who should control the afghan war. The State dept and the CIA are with the White House but as we see Obama is ready to concede the Afghan war control to the Pentagon. That will change the situation. The Pentagon never wanted a civilian government in Pakistan and they like to deal directly with the Pak army.

    The rest of your article is interesting but I think Major Amin has a definite influence on your thought process. There are so many loose ends in the article that readers start to think that it is just a conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo.

    Lastly, I don’t agree with your conclusion that the Pak army would fight, if the US attacks Pakistan. The army would fight India but not the US. Which means if push comes to shove people of Pakistan would have to fight like the Iraqis did. But I think US attacking Pakistan at this time is really too far fetched to even think about it. There are so many contradictions and internal battles going on in the US that it will never have time to fight any other war. American establishment has to sort out its own demons first.

  8. Milind Kher

    @Hossp,

    This is with reference to your last para. Considering that Pakistan is doing its utmost in Waziristan, the US would not really have a reason to attack Pakistan. Not unless the Taliban won and took over the country. I do not believe, though, that the Taliban could defeat the Pak army.

    As far as India is concerned, a cost benefit analysis would reveal that it would not be logical to attack Pakistan.

    Therefore, I would still say that the focus of Pakistan would need to be on tackling the Taliban.

    I nevertheless do submit that there is a lot to be learned from reading your posts.

  9. Samson Simon Sharaf

    HP,
    Kerry Lugar and Mcyrstal are two paradoxes. I mentioned it the way you interpreted it subsequently.

    Southern Front is the Containment South of Brzezinski’s theory on Eurasia.

    I agree that the lose ends could be explained in a longer paper. The news paper just wants 1000-1300 words.

    Amin can have no effect on me.

    As for attack on the Indian Parliament, yes it was a trigger that led to mobilization and deployment of major part of Pakistan army on the Indian front. That is when the entire blow back came to Pakistan. This is a pure Cause and Effect with nothing to do with who attacked the Parliament. The inquiry in India is still not conclusive, rather has reached nowhere. But there is historical precedence regarding GANGA.

    Call it moderates, patriotism, bigotry or whatever,
    readers are at liberty to disagree specially when they just like me take a shot from biased patriotism.

    Vajra,
    “Read his other articles. He’s a class act. He also reads all comments on his writings, and comes boiling out, swinging punches left and right, whenever he thinks he’s being derided: he’s always right, of course, but on the other hand, doesn’t always get it.”

    Prove it.

  10. Hayyer

    Brigadier Samson:
    Your implied remark on Ganga is also an establishment theory, invented post hoc to shift blame for the ban on overflights. How do we know that the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in 1971 was not, like the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar three decades later not the work of the same agency, with only this difference that it worked the second time around.

  11. Hayyer

    Brigadier Samson:
    What you imply with your remark on Ganga is also an establishment theory, invented post hoc to shift blame for the ban on overflights. How do we know that the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in 1971 , like the hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar three decades later was not the work of the same agency, different only in that it worked the second time around.

  12. Hayyer

    Sorry for the repetition

  13. Samson Simon Sharaf

    Please read all articles of Dr. Kapila and SAAG and you will find many implied links. It is up to you to interpret.

  14. hossp

    Since part of this post refers to this article I am posting it here too.

    I am posting this on Brig. Sharaf’s thread too.

    The US certainly has concerns about the nukes in Pakistan. The US has similar concerns about the nukes in India. Dealing with India is a whole lot easier than dealing with Pakistan. The US was able to sign an agreement with India that practically meant India signing NPT. Yes, India has taken some plants out of the agreement but in reality the Indian ability to further its nuclear arsenal has been effectively curbed or is under control. India-US deal is a result of the mutual trust between the two countries and a belief that India would adhere to the spirit of the agreement. Looking at the Indian record, I agree with the US negotiators that India would hold the Indian end of the deal steadfastly.

    The few plants that are placed out of the agreement are because of the uncertain situation in Pakistan. If the uncertainty in Pakistan is resolved, I believe India would place its rest of the plants under international supervision.

    Most of the commentators from Pakistan and Prof Ishtiaq here are beating around the bush. The US concerns are not about the Taliban or some rogue army officers taking over the Pakistani nukes. A few attacks in close proximity of the presumed nuke facilities are just plain jokes. They were mostly for PR purposes by the militants. The militant’s game is to discredit the Pakistan establishment and place it on a path where the US forces land in Pakistan. That is the rightwing game in Pakistan and some commentators and planners in Pakistan fall in this trap easily.

    The US administration has a very sane approach to deal with the nuke safety in Pakistan. Unfortunately no one in Pakistan is willing to understand this because of the continuous undermining by the right wing media machine in Pakistan. The problem is compounded by the fact that most of the Army officers in Pakistan also espouse right wing tendencies. So the army plays in to the right wing hands when it accepts that the US plan to takeover the Nukes in Pakistan. Brig Sharaf’s article down thread is a good example of what army’s fears are about the nukes and the US policy. The Pak army cooperates with the US on terrorism issues but takes a hostile approach when the Nuke safety issue comes up for discussion.

    Let me put this bluntly: It is not some Army officers or the Taliban or some militant outfit, the whole Pak army is the rogue element the US fears. Now how are you going to deal with the whole army? There is another contradiction which again is showcased in Brig Sharaf’s article and I have been writing about for the longest time.

    The contradiction is about the Pak army and the Pentagon relationship. The Pentagon assigns a major strategic value to its own relationship with the Pakistan army and that places hurdles for the White House in dealing with the Pak army and its unholy control of the nukes.

    The White House and the Congress want a reasonable, responsible, and accountable civilian government in Pakistan but the Pentagon shenanigans prevent that from happening and Pakistan ends up with a civilian government that is inept, scared of media, cannot rise above corruption, and cannot develop a responsible political discourse in Pakistan.

    Nukes will remain a problem for Pakistan because the Pakistan army has time and again shown that it is irresponsible and cannot be trusted by anyone.

  15. yasserlatifhamdani

    I think everyone is over-reacting here. Brigadier Simon Samson Sharaf is a remarkable man, a fine soldier and a patriot through and through. When he speaks, I suggest we listen.

    I don’t agree with some of the conclusions drawn by Brigadier sb… but here is why I wouldn’t put it under conspiracy theory category… I do not view India and the US as monoliths… and therefore, I am willing to accept that there are military minds sitting in both these countries who view Pakistan and Afghanistan as if these were terrains in Command And Conquer or Red Alert. Similarly there are those counterparts in our establishment as well. My only contention is that just like there is an internal power struggle in Pakistan, there are similar struggles in the US and India as well.

    Pakistan’s future lies only with democracy… and democratic minded patriots of each country should work together to ensure that we shelve grand strategic thinking for a while.

  16. Samson Simon Sharaf

    HP,
    We agree-disagree on many points which we did, even when you did not know that I am a soldier and lectured me on how the Army operates.
    1. US concerns on Indian and Pakistani Nukes are different. While India is seen as a growing power center not likely to disturb the international equilibrium, Pakistan through precedence of history just does the opposite sometimes in US and sometimes its own interests. Unlike a singular power centre flowing from the Indian Parliament, Pakistan all along has remained an unstable state. with different power centers in which army has been a constant. The US agreement with India is much beyond your simplification and you can read my views on it from my blog and and lecture to South Asia Strategic Stability Institute.

    2. I disagree that the whole army is a rightist. If that had been the case then why such a military operation. The army is fighting diverse militants with heavy losses one at a time. It cannot open all fronts at one time and run out of stamina. Though I know that there are many including you who want the army to do just that. Now that the US also wishes to engage the Afghan Taliban, it is but opportune to keep the North Waziristan front quiet and sort out the guys in the south. This also provides negotiating space to the US diplomacy, the reason why Afghan Taliban are mysteriously quiet in Afghanistan.

    The indicators on the Indian front are not very positive and the talk of a Limited War by the Indian Military Chief complicates all this.

    3. The contradiction in Pakarmy-Pentagon relationship is a reflection of schisms within the US establishment. This is for US to sort out.

    4. I clearly see your Anti Military bias all along and see you one of those who wish it to run out of stamina.
    .
    5. The nukes are not in control of Pakarmy. During the last regime, the were moved to the command of Joint Headquarters operating directly under the Prime Minister and President.

  17. Milind Kher

    Any talks of “limited war” are to my mind more a matter of posturing rather than that of any genuine intent.

    However, these too, are a reaction to the attitude displayed by the Pakistani establishment in not being firm enough with LeT, and responding to the 26/11 situation in a manner not fast enough or adequate either.

  18. Samson Simon Sharaf

    Milind
    Thats not true. Just yesterday, some people have been arraigned by the court. Just try to realize that events many times more gory have taken place in Pakistan. India just needs to be patient and cooperative. How do u Expect the army to fight militancy, if you force it to deploy once again on the Eastern border.

  19. Milind Kher

    Brigadier Sharaf,

    A couple of questions come to mind:

    1 > Why has the Pak government been soft on Hafiz Saeed?

    2 > Why was Lashkare Tayyiba allowed to rechristen itseld as Jamiat Ud Dawa and continue at the point of time that this did happen?

    There is a sensitivity attached to this. That being said, there is no doubt that Pakistan has a very difficult situation today.

    Operate on a platform of trust and send them into Waziristan rather than deploying them on your eastern border.

  20. Samson Simon Sharaf

    @Milind,
    I can only give my view.

    1 Why has the Pak government been soft on Hafiz Saeed? It is not the Govt but the Courts that have given him bail. Seven people are already under arrest and lets see it from there.

    2 Why was Lashkare Tayyiba allowed to rechristen itseld as Jamiat Ud Dawa and continue at the point of time that this did happen? I did lots of work during the earthquake and was one of the first to respond for relief. Dawa was already there. Lets not repeat the blunder when USSR left Afghanistan. Revolutionaries need to be utilized or else they will go back to old ways. They were allowed to rehabilitate which I feel was a good policy. If they are abandoned totally, they will also become anti Pakistani and fall into the Al Qaeda lap. Would you want that?

    Operate on a platform of trust and send them into Waziristan rather than deploying them on your eastern border. Who is doing that?

  21. Milind Kher

    @Brigadier Sharaf,

    If they have had a genuine change of heart, I appreciate what you are saying.

    As far as deployment of your troops on your eastern border is concerned, I am drawing from your own query,

    “How do u Expect the army to fight militancy, if you force it to deploy once again on the Eastern border”

    I genuinely believe that India will not attack Pakistan. India’s issue is with the non state actors, and if GOP is tackling them, good!

  22. Hossp

    Sharaf,
    I may not get time to respond in detail so here is my short answer. But let’s keep the debate going and I will post as soon as I get to my destination on Thursday.

    “I am a soldier and lectured me on how the Army operates.”

    Despite your being a soldier, my assessment of the army is always, almost 99% on target.

    Obviously, there may be a small number in the army that is not completely over the top, but the majority is right wing. Not in the religious sense entirely but they have a concept of nationalism that is more based on religion than on the modern concept of nationalism.

    The US concern has to be different in terms of how its sees the nuke problem in both countries. For India, US believes it is easy to manage but it is troublesome when it comes to Pakistan. Situation in India is different and instability in Pakistan can only be attributed to the army’s behavior since 1951 and especially after signing the first defense pact with the US in 1953.

    You simply cannot pass it off to the Politician. Since 1954 there has never been a day when Pakistan was not under army’s direct or indirect rule. ZAB was killed just because the army could not stomach his rising ambition.

    “4. I clearly see your Anti Military bias all along”

    I don’t have a bias. I still believe that Pakistan needs an army and there should be some space for it in the political discourse in Pakistan. But the army will not be satisfied with that. They want power to themselves and that is why on many occasions I have told you that the army considers its institutional interest ahead of the national interest and that needs to be curbed, if Pakistan has to survive.

    Army’s interest and Pakistan interest at this point in history are not the same. Army fails to understand that. In army’s mind both interest are synonymous. That is causing problems.

    “5. The nukes are not in control of Pakarmy. During the last regime, the were moved to the command of Joint Headquarters operating directly under the Prime Minister and President.”

    Both Zardari or Gilani will not be allowed to visit the command center. I’ll bet a thousand bucks on that.

    “The indicators on the Indian front are not very positive and the talk of a Limited War by the Indian Military Chief complicates all this.”

    There is always going be pressure and counter pressure. Indian establishment is no saint. They like to take potshots when they see an opening. At this time it appears that the Indian army and the political leadership are not in sync. I think in the next few months we may hear more about that too.

    Finally, I think the Pak army is doing a better job in Fata, a job they should have started in 2004. No matter what happens in Afghanistan, Pakistan cannot allow these criminals to take control of FATA, an important strategic area for Pakistan. So the army will have to finish the job there.

    More later….

  23. Samson Simon Sharaf

    HP,
    “Both Zardari or Gilani will not be allowed to visit the command center. I’ll bet a thousand bucks on that”.

    This is a very loaded and wrong statement. Try meeting Pakistan’s ambassodor to UK, Mr. Wajid Shams ul Hassan, BB’s nuclear points-man. Whatever he tells you, I will confirm with a definitive yes. That is why I always told you that BB IS A LADY WITH BALLS OF TUNGSTEN CARBIDE. Others lack Balls.

    PPP between Bhutto and BB have done more than anyone else for Pakistan, something I wrote in my article, ‘A Dream Turned Nightmare’. And a big part of armed forces love them, like I did and do.

    I wish YLH posts it here too.

  24. Vajra

    @Samson Simon Sharaf

    Isn’t your mail to Milind Kher special pleading? How much of the evidence given to the Government of Pakistan been reflected in its charges against the accused? If all the relevant evidence is suppressed, and the prosecutor approaches the court with an apparently nonsensical case, is any outcome likely other than a contemptuous acquittal by a court that knows it is being played with?

    Regarding the rehabilitation of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, surely you can see for yourself, as a senior ex-military officer with presumably lasting connections within the establishment, and informal access to military intelligence, what they are doing with their ‘amnesty’ and rehabilitation? Their camps continue in full swing, their fund-gathering continues in full swing, and we are supposed to believe that they spend their time in good works. Why are we kidding each other?

    I read a long time ago the following: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. It appears that you disagree and prefer to depend on faith and hope instead.

  25. Samson Simon Sharaf

    Delusion is all I can say, especially if it serves to beef up arguments.

  26. Milind Kher

    @Brigadier Sharaf,

    I am impressed that despite your army background, you concede that ZAB and BB have done more for Pakistan than any other leader, considering that many of them have been army men.

    Do you also believe that a democratic setup with Zardari running the show is preferable to Gen Kayani doing it? If so, this further validates the theory that Gen Kayani should not have overstepped his domain in making the comments that he did.

  27. Samson Simon Sharaf

    Milind,
    This is just propaganda. See how many Ex Servicemen joined PPP.

    As regards Military Dictators, please read this.
    https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/musharraf-the-reformer-that-never-was-a-soldier-remembers/

    [Do you also believe that a democratic setup with Zardari running the show is preferable to Gen Kayani doing it? ]

    Ef course. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari is the President of Pakistan. Kayani is just doing his job. He visited the Police Officers and Men who have taken the brunt of extremist reaction, met and talked to them. The operations in FATA are being conducted under control of the political government and appreciation of Police by the Army was very opportune and morale boosting.
    Lets not mix things up.

    Send me an email please.

  28. Samson Simon Sharaf

    @Varja,
    [I read a long time ago the following: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. It appears that you disagree and prefer to depend on faith and hope instead.]

    This is the correct one.
    “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. ”
    1 Corinthians, Chapter XII, verse 13
    http://biblescripture.net/1Corinthians.html

    They are not nomads like Al Qaeda, abandoned by USA and Saudi Arabia. They are Pakistanis and need to be rehabilitated.

  29. yasserlatifhamdani

    In my view… there is no such thing as a leftist army even in the leftist or communist states. An army by definition has to be right wing… even the most secular army is right wing in any country. Turkish Army would be considered a Centre Right force in any analysis. This is the nature of the job… the military is always part of the establishment and therefore right-wing nationalist….

    A distinction was drawn between modern conception of nationalism and some form based on religion … to my mind this distinction does not exist in reality… all nationalisms are group identities based on some underlying cultural idea … predominantly rooted in common religious traditions or linguistic traditions. Nationalism itself is the ideology of other … and should contrasted with the idea of citizenship which also is loosely referred to as nationality … citizenship is a modern concept where by a person has rights and obligations under a legal framework and the citizen and state are bound by a grand social contract/compact…. nationalism is however an imagined identity… Sindhi may claim Sindhi nationalism, a Lahori may claim Lahori Nationalism… some may claim all Muslims of the world to be one nation… some may claim all South Asians to be one nation… but the reality is that we are citizens of the states we reside in or have the right to vote in or have made a contract with… that is the only fundamental reality that can be ascertained fully …

    Jawaharlal Nehru stood up to speak in the Indian Lok Sabha in September 1960… he said and I quote:

    “Each person’s idea of nationalism is his own brand. When two brands of nationalism come into conflict there is trouble… we live in a closed society… not one closed society but numerous closed societies .. the Bengali closed society … the Marathi closed society… When we bring in democracy and open the door of opportunity of everyone it brings in this narrow outlook and there is trouble….what is communalism itself? You might have described Hindu communalism as Hindu Nationalism and Muslim communalism as Muslim nationalism and you would have been correct”

    Wolpert goes on to say… “More than a decade in power had taught him the accuracy of many of Jinnah’s arguments”.

    Page 477 NEHRU : A Tryst With Destiny. OUP…

  30. Hossp

    “PPP between Bhutto and BB have done more than anyone else for Pakistan, ”

    Sharaf,
    They were patriots so whatever they did was part of what they believed in. But what happened to them? Both we murdered under the army watch.

    Army may take pride in the command and control structure but since the army is the problem, no one would believe in the command and control. India has a rudimentary command and control structure but it is trusted because the integrity of the Indian admin is not questionable. Can we say that for the Pak army?

    Yassar, we all know that the armies are inherently conservative. I don’t know why this word escaped me when I used right wing for the army.

  31. Milind Kher

    @Brigadier Sharaf,

    I followed the link you sent me on a previous article you wrote on Gen Musharraf. I appreciate your feelings for him, but would yet pose a question or two.

    Why did he take so much time to hand over power? When he was so popular and capable, why did he not take to democratic politics? Pakistan may have benefited.

  32. Samson Simon Sharaf

    @HP

    [They were patriots so whatever they did was part of what they believed in. But what happened to them? Both we murdered under the army watch.]

    Memories fade away and history remains permanent. You are well aware behind the motives of assassinating both Bhuttos and we discussed it in lengthy threads. Even YLH is aware of this and seen incriminating evidence. Who stops PPP from bringing this evidence into public domain and creating pressure. But the present hierarchy will not do it because of reasons you know better. I am reminded of Zaidi who said,

    “Mein Kis ke Hath par apna lahoo talaasg karuN
    Timamam Sher ne pehnay rakhaiN hain dastaney

    So please do not shift the blame of BB on the Army. As for ZA Bhutto, all I can say is that there were Officers and Men who did not eat for days. It was Zia’s doing and you know whose support he had. Its the same link you keep alluding to. I hope you read my article in Nation on ‘A Dream turned Nightmare’ that elucidates on governance from a very new, sinister and actual perspective. I suggest eat some Badams and drink some SARDAI instead of hard liquor. lol

    [Army may take pride in the command and control structure but since the army is the problem, no one would believe in the command and control. India has a rudimentary command and control structure but it is trusted because the integrity of the Indian admin is not questionable. Can we say that for the Pak army?]

    You are castigating the army just because ur suits your explanation. Please tell me who initiated the recent debate of a ‘Limited War Under a Nuclear Shadow’ when Manmohan Singh was talking of peace and development. There are reports that Pakistan Army is already on some alert. Now compare it with Kayani, who gave a statement of Ideology of Pakistan in NWFP to woo Pashtuns who could be swayed by religious fanaticism of militants. Wait for my article in Nation next Wednesday.

    Kayani goes everywhere to the extent of marshaling areas and per force has to talk to Sardars and Jirgas. Politicians of PPP living in bunkers just do not dare. So who creates the gap and who fills it.

    [Yassar, we all know that the armies are inherently conservative. I don’t know why this word escaped me when I used right wing for the army.]

    All armies are rigid and resistant to change. They are not conservative. This is because of the exclusivity and corporatism, essential to maintain a disciplined, organized and efficient fighting force. In actual fact, it is the drills and training instilled that lead men to battle. Some may not like it bit religion has very little to do with it. It is Nationalism. In Pakistan Army, some of the best decorated commanders have been Christians like Cecil Ch, William Harny. Middlecoat, Julian Peter, Nazir Latif, Deryk and very recently Sermecis.

  33. lalded

    whenever the army ,air chiefs etc are on the verge of retirement in India,they tend to talk through their hats and blow hot wind.These off the cuff remarks do not mean much and most of the time these better be ignored as we all do

  34. Vajra

    @Samson Simon Sharaf

    I was amused to read your ‘correction’. It is not clear which Bible you are quoting; apparently it is from the net that you have taken your ‘authentic’ citation. I have my beloved, much-thumbed King James version next to me, and it is open on page 161, I Corinthians 13:13, exactly the wording that I had quoted. The Internet is a wonderful thing; not much of a substitute for the Bible, frankly, though again, you and I seem to have different opinions.

    While on the subject of appropriate quotations, an appropriate one from The Merchant of Venice, Act iii, Sc 2, came to mind. I did not use it so as not to tarnish this sacred day of remembrance for martyrs.

    I note with approval from your mail that In Pakistan Army, some of the best decorated commanders have been Christians like Cecil Ch, William Harny. Middlecoat, Julian Peter, Nazir Latif, Deryk and very recently Sermecis. Most commendable. Would that others would emulate these worthy men. I must write to bring this to the attention of S. F. Rodriguez (currently Governor of the Punjab), and as a matter of collateral interest, to R. L. Pereira and O. S. Dawson; P. C. Lal, my former chief in a civilian avatar, is unfortunately dead. These are only heads of their service; I doubt that the administrators of PTH would permit me space to list the decorated for bravery or distinguished services.

  35. Vajra

    Please may I correct my earlier mail to read:

    These were only heads of their service….

    and not as earlier written.

  36. Vajra

    Please may I correct my earlier mail to read:

    These were only heads of their service….

    and not as earlier written. Evidently the tense is getting to me.

  37. Samson Simon Sharaf

    @varja,
    My point was in relation to the inclusive character of Pakarmy, but not to score a brownie against India.

    Now coming to the Epistle of Corinthians according to St. Paul: You are right. The King James Version calls it Charity

    But I consulted the Catholic Bible on Line that says:

    [Though I command languages both human and angelic — if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.
    2 And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains — if I am without love, I am nothing.
    3 Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned — if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
    4 Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,
    5 it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.
    6 Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.
    7 It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.
    8 Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.
    9 For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly;
    10 but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with.
    11 When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways.
    12 Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.
    13 As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love]
    http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=53
    The copy I have is printed in India.
    Lets agree not to discuss this.