While browsing through some old material, found an old piece written in 2003 when General Pervez Mussharraf had just completed the political engineering project. It is lengthy and indulges in some theories but gives some context to what is happening now. While pondering over it, I found words of Amjad Islam Amjad as best description;
dairoon mein chalte hein
dairoon mein chalnen se
daire to barhtey hein
fasley nahin ghatey
aarzoen chalti hein
jis taraf ko jate hein
manzilein tammana ki
saath saath chalti hein
gard urhti rehti hey
dard barhta rehta hey
rastey nahin ghatey
subhe dam sitaroon ki
tez jhilmilahat ko
roshni ki amad ka
pesh baab kehtey hein
ik kiran jo milti hey
aftab kehte hein
daira badalne ko
inqilab kehtey hein
Enjoy if you have some extra time on hand.
Forbidden Fruit – Military & Politics
Politics and profession of soldiering has nothing in common. They are totally different but essential elements of any society. Politicians and soldiers have an interesting relationship in all societies. In societies where civilians are in control, military officers act in accepted boundaries though ready to defend their turf against civilian encroachment. In societies where political institutions are weak and there is lack of consensus on legitimate course of succession, soldiers gradually expand their area of influence. They gradually restrict the role of civilians in various areas and sometimes directly take over the state replacing the civilians. This generally accepted model does not mean that military as an institution has no relevance to the important policy decisions. Even in countries where the tradition of civilian supremacy is well established, military has a political role relating to national security, albeit a different one. One commentator has correctly pointed that “the military’s political role is a question not of whether but of how much and what kind”. 
This article will evaluate soldier’s attitude towards political activity and how it develops. This will be followed by the details of Pakistani experience of politicization of officer’s corps and how repeated and prolonged military rules have militarized the politics. In the end, the complex relationship between soldiers and politicians will be summarized. Continue reading “Forbidden Fruit: Military and Politics in Pakistan (and beyond)”
Following piece about recent clouds on Pakistan’s scene was mainly for non-Pakistani audience as many questions/confusions came my way.
This is an attempt to understand the view from barracks although I strongly oppose such moves from military. This is first of two part. Second part will deal with modus operandi.
Political Engineering – View from the Barracks
In July 2017, disqualification of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif by Supreme Court again opened the debate about the role of country’s powerful army. This was one of the most politicized decision of country’s Supreme Court. In April 2017, Supreme Court not only ordered formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) but went ahead and nominated its members. It included a serving Brigadier Kamran Khurshid of Military Intelligence (MI) and a retired Brigadier Nauman Saeed of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Supreme Court disqualified Sharif based on JIT investigation. In the aftermath of Sharif disqualification, many political changes including change of provincial government in Baluchistan achieved by defection of several members, defeat of government’s nominee for Senate chairman position and defection of many politicians from ruling political party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) to rival Pakistan Terek-e-Insaaf (PTI) were alleged to be orchestrated by the army brass.
A piece from military historian Dr Hamid Hussain. It includes some details (including the role played by Governor George Cunningham, a Scotsman and an “old frontier hand”) about the mobilization of Pakhtun tribesmen to attack Kashmir in 1947, an invasion covered in greater detail in a recent detailed Brownpundits article about the Kashmir war.
Following piece is outcome of several related questions about frontier policy at the time of independence in 1947, order of battle, question of British officers staying in Pakistan etc. It was linked with Kashmir incursion; a fact not noticed by most historians.
Frontier in 1947
In August 1947, British departed from India after partitioning the country into two independent states. Two pillars of stability; Indian Civil Service (ICS) and Indian army were divided between two countries. Pakistan inherited the north-western frontier of India and its associated tribal question.
A tribal territory under British protection separated Indian administrative border from Afghanistan that in turn served as a buffer state between British India and Tsarist Russia; later Communist Soviet Union. East India Company encountered these tribes after the demise of Sikh Durbar in 1849 when Punjab was annexed. In the next four decades, this relationship evolved over various stages. By 1890s, Afghanistan’s borders were stabilized with demarcation of boundaries with Persia, Russia and British India.