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.