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Pak Tea House » Entries tagged with "Military"

The Structure of Power in Pakistan

M Asadi A class/power structure analysis of the country reveals that it has changed dramatically since the military backed by the Americans incorporated itself in the power equation formally in 1958, in what was hitherto a feudal dominated, agrarian state, cultivated by the British during their colonization of India. The next big change in the power equation was the military dictator Ayub Khan promoting the underdeveloped local bourgeoisie as a bulwark against the feudal elite whose power he was attempting to usurp, (we cannot talk about a “developed” business class at this time when the country’s production and trade is dominated by primary products and most of the population is rural) leading to SOME industrialization, massive inequality and also land reforms for that very end- i.e. to weaken the feudal elite and … Read entire article »

Filed under: History, Politics

Hate Destroys

By Saad Hafiz The sectarian schism, which leads to unending violence, is probably the most deadly of Pakistan’s list of self-inflicted problems. The historic manipulation of religion by the state for political purposes has sowed the seeds of hateful intra-religious sectarian division. Sectarian violence is not only pervasive, it also accentuates divisions within Pakistan and underlines the ineptness of the government and security services in stemming this phenomenon. During the last 35 years, thousands of people, mostly from minority sects, have been killed and thousands more maimed in attacks by zealots from rival sects in Pakistan. For hardline Sunni sectarian groups, Ahmedis, Shias and even fellow Sunnis are fair game. Their lethal attacks on Shia ulema (clerics) and professionals have generated a violent Shia backlash. The French political philosopher, Montesquieu said, … Read entire article »

Filed under: violence

Countering Cold Start with AZM-e-NAU

By Ahmad Khan COAS Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, while speaking at the concluding ceremony of Pakistan’s biggest military exercises in its history—AZM-e-NAU—praised the participants and stated: “Pakistan Army resolves to meet all future challenges squarely.” He went on to say that “the Army in coordination with the Navy and PAF is fully configured and prepared to thwart any military aggression against the country.”  First, let us briefly analyze his statement concerning external military aggression. Pakistan is facing multifaceted threats to its national security from within the country as well as from outside its borders. General Kiani, while speaking at the concluding ceremony, said the army was ready to counter any foreign military intervention in any form, whether it is in the form of a preemptive strike or a limited counter strike or … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Pakistan-India Peace Process, strategy

The Drone Signature

By Saad Hafiz Drones have been a popular topic of late, mostly in discussions about whether the US government should be authorized to track down and kill suspected terrorists anywhere around the globe using the pilot-less predators. Amidst the passionate debate, the much vilified drones have become the signature weapon in the post-9/11 anti-terrorist warfare, particularly in the al-Qaeda and Taliban safe havens straddling the Afghan-Pakistan border. US drones have proven to be quite effective and a much-needed instrument of attack in the war against the terrorists. Drone strikes have taken out key leaders, disrupted meetings and curtailed movement, often forcing terrorists to scurry for cover. Drone enthusiasm is driven by the minimization of the risk to ground forces and non-combatants. Opponents counter that drones are an ignoble and cowardly form … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Nuclear Prestige

By Saad Hafiz Pakistan, the world’s only Muslim nuclear power, celebrated Youm-e-Takbir (Day of God’s Greatness) this year with the usual fervor and chest- thumping bravado. The day marks the country’s nuclear tests in 1998, which were a tit-for-tat response to earlier Indian tests. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program is set-up as a military deterrent against India. It is also regarded as the ultimate guarantor of the country’s survival. The nuclear program has come to play an important role in sustaining purported national self-esteem. “Nuclear nationalism”, or so to say, and anti-Americanism can easily excite Pakistanis, as may well be imagined, and which tends to deflect attention from the ruling elite who have historically done little to solve pressing national problems. It also helps to paper over internal dissension in an increasingly fractious … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army

Pakistan’s Nuclear Program and Environmental Safety

Pakistan’s Nuclear Program and Environmental Safety

By Behzad Taimur   There is no other way to begin an article on Pakistan’s nuclear program and environmental safety than to begin directly, with no tamheed, as it is called in Urdu: whereas public discourse about Pakistan’s nuclear program has focused on its growing capabilities and the possibility of some of its elements falling into terrorists’ hands, discourse on the nuclear program and its possible negative impact on Pakistan’s environment has remained largely absent from public … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Environment, Regulatory Affairs

Tale of Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

Tale of Musharraf’s Coup in 1999

Parvez Musharraf, ex-Dictator, landed in Karachi today, amid much fanfare(and while wearing a suicide jacket). He was ousted democratically on 18th August, 2008 and left the country. Pakistan has successfully completed transition from an elected government to a caretaker setup without direct intervention of the Military for the first time in its history. This does not mean we forget the history of military interventions and the disastrous consequences. To commemorate the arrival of Musharraf, we … Read entire article »

Filed under: Anniversery, Army, Civil Service, Constitution, Democracy, drama, History, ISI, Islamabad, Pakistan, Politics, Society, state, Uncategorized

PAKISTAN EIK NAZUK MORH PAR KARHA HAY………

by Dr Tariq Khan: Sounds familiar? To me, very much so. I have heard nothing else but, as I grew up from a beardless boy in the 50’s and 60’s, to the present. This is what each set of corrupt and incompetent  “rulers” , whether Military or Civilian, have been telling us by way of a soother, while they picked our pockets with increasing brazenness. And not too much finesse. We seem to have got stuck on this Nazuk Morh, while others have surged on. Our arch enemy India is now way up there rubbing shoulders with the elite nations of this planet. But even Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh et al have all long overtaken us, while we are languishing on the Nazuk Morh with our 1950’s mindset and narrow Military … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Nuclear Arsenal, Military and the Bruised Pakistani Identity

Raza Habib Raja. A few days ago, Pakistan ( or at least some Pakistanis) “celebrated” 14th anniversary of Nuclear blasts. Although over the years, I have become used to weird things being hailed and celebrated ( after all it is Pakistan) but this one has always baffled me and continues to baffle me. One of the biggest ironies of the nuclear arsenal is that I keep on hearing that it is protecting Pakistan from a US or … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Zardari: Made of tougher mettle

By Saria Benazir The rumors of an impending coup further perforate into the already adverse political situation in the country, following the memo gate issue. This is another incredible issue, much like the incredible memo-an unsigned paper seemingly no importance to the White House has subjugated the whole country to a farce played out by our very laudable Supreme Court and the establishment. And now this new addition furthers the attack on Pakistani democracy. The likelihood of President Asif Ali Zardari’s resignation, as stated by the American Foreign Policy blog has created a hullabaloo throughout the country, and people seem to have unquestioningly placed their convictions in that blog. The army and ISI already own Pakistan, what about the Head of State? Does the US decide the resignations of Pakistani officials as … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Media, Pakistan, Politics

PTH Exclusive: Statement on Saleem Shahzad by Human Rights Watch

An PTH contributor has managed to obtain a copy of the statement given by Human Rights Watch (HRW) statement submitted at the Syed Saleem Shahzad Commission set up by the Government of Pakistan. This statement was made by Ali Dayan, Director Human Rights Watch. We are posting it without prejudice. Pakistan’s journalists and writers need protection and PTH fully supports all efforts to this effect. It should be noted that this statement is one of the many submissions and the final verdict is yet to come. Full statement as a pdf document is here: Ali Dayan Hasan HRW statement to SSS Commission An excerpt from the full statement below: Syed Saleem Shahzad was a reporter for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online and for Adnkronos International, the Italian news agency. My dealings with Shahzad were entirely … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, journalism, Pakistan

Pakistan and principle of Hegelian ‘contradiction’

Feroz Khan’s exclusive and provocative post for PTH which argues that “a country that was created in conflict, bred on the idea of conflict and sustained on the logic of conflict, it has to exist in a state of conflict”- comments and feedback vital I had meant to write an article for Pakistan Tea House in response to a request by Raza Rumi, but there seemed to be nothing left to write. There are fragments of other articles, few scattered paragraphs here and there, but there was simply no commitment on my part to see them to a finish. Friends kept asking me to write and offered ideas, but the first blush of an effort always seemed to fade with a glass of wine and some old blues guitar … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

2010: A roller coaster year

Raza Rumi Nearly three years after the restoration of civilian rule, the most pertinent question would be the fate of Pakistan’s democratisation and how far has it progressed. There can be no simple answers to this question given that Pakistan is in the midst of a war next door and battling against homegrown extremists. The conflict and 2010’s natural disaster in the shape of floods have adversely impacted the economy. Whilst the passage of 18th and 19th Amendment to the much mutilated Constitution have heralded political reforms, sadly, a comprehensive institutional reform agenda is nowhere in sight. At the end of 2010, we find ourselves facing the prospect of political instability due to a weak and opportunistic coalition and unresolved issues of civil-military imbalance. Democratisation scuttled?: The year started with increased pressure by … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Pakistan, public policy

The ardent messiah seekers

Raza Rumi A natural disaster, largely unavoidable, has provided a glorious opportunity to all those who have been hankering to reverse Pakistan’s fragile transition from an authoritarian to quasi-democratic rule. There is hardly a new script for the much-touted change and its proponents are using the same old tricks out of their worn out hats to prepare for a rollback of the democratic process. Therefore, the intense rumour-mongering, which has gripped Pakistani psyche over the last fortnight, is a tried and tested success formula: create the perception of change and then turn it into reality. Even though Pakistan’s military remains unwilling to intervene, regime-change seems to be the flavour of the month. Ironically, this time large sections of the electronic media are hyperactive participants in the process, which is most likely going … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan, Politics, public policy

Devising a new framework for Indo-Pak peace

Raza Rumi Today the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India will meet. This major development should be welcomed. Sceptical noises of distrust in both countries have been heard and the Kashmiri leaders have issued rejectionist statements. Subcontinental leaderships have time and again floundered peace. Sometimes it is the recklessness on the Pakistani side and at other times the Indian officialdom chants the trust-deficit mantra. But this must end. Media wisdom about the BJP and the Pakistan … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, strategy