The Islamic army of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is unlike any standing regular army, in the world. The motto of Pakistan Army, Iman, Taqwa and Jihad fi Sabilillah means- faith, piety and war in the name of God. The Pakistan army neither has faith in its people- nor are the officer corps known to be a pious lot and over the years has time and again hit out at India- its arch enemy! Throughout age and evolution of Pakistan itself, from 1947 till date, Pakistan army has come to be singularly “the most important pillar of Pakistan state!”
As with most nascent countries at the time of birth, suffering from teething issues, Pakistan had to suffer its share of trouble, tribulations and trauma of various social and political miscarriages. With time, instead of healing and progressing towards a better life for its citizen and gentry, Pakistan descended into a regressive cauldron of “long term suffering” for the majority of its people, the army and ruling class being an exception.
At the outset of its existence, Pakistan army became all supreme with the Gen Muhammad Ayub Khan’s 1958 coup. The Pakistan army was here to stay and continues to this day- in some form have a strong ‘iron-grip’ hold over the state, or the other! With Ayub’s coup – Pakistan Army became all powerful in all domestic and international matters of state policy- even when, whenever under a civilian government- if at all, ever!
With coming and going of successive military rulers- from Ayub, Yahya, and Zia and till Musharraf in the recent past- Pakistan army’s General Head Quarters at Rawalpindi truly, became the “nodal power centre” of the Pakistan state! Accept it or deny it, or even call it a propaganda theory- fact remains, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani- Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army is power behind the man at Aiwan- e- Sadr, President Asif Ali Zardari and his Prime Minister- Yousaf Raza Gilani! The power and hold of the Pakistan Army over its people can be gauged from the fact that, a common Pakistani – will think twice before opening his mouth against anything to do with the Pakistan army and it’s all powerful Inter Service Intelligence. Yhose who do tend to speak up or try to be vocal- are either picked up, tortured or killed as with the case of noted journalist, Najam Sethi in the 90’s and as recently, Syed Saleem Shahzad the journalist who was picked up by the Inter Service Intelligence, tortured and killed, in cold blood.
The lavish life styles of officer cadre of Pakistan army are legendary. It emanates from the fact that, the Pak army has an equal share in most business and financial enterprises and their dealings thereof within and outside the conuntry. Organisations like the ‘Fouji foundation and Army Wives Welfare Organisation” are conglomerates unto themselves- with budgetary allocations from the state running into millions. The Pakistan army have dedicated teams of officers and ex-servicemen who run ‘fouji’ welfare centres, businesses, enterprises and engaged in trade on behalf of the “army”. With interests in stock markets, agriculture, IT, textile and all other forms of economic diversification, the Pakistan armed forces and its intelligence agencies have its fingers dipped in every pie of state and civil life of the state of Pakistan.
The Corps Commanders of Pakistan are almost a law unto themselves- martial rule or civilian rule, notwithstanding. The Corps cdrs are so powerful within their jurisdictions- they get protocol equivalent to Chief Minister or Governors of provinces and their advice are sought from time to time by the civilian sat-raps as and when the situation arises! The commanders of Pakistan armed forces and army in particular lead a life of extravagance, which is not known to many a standing army, in the region or of a similar “economy at par with Pakistan’s”!
Every state in the world has its own trained, armed professionals- who call themselves its army. But Pakistan, is the only state of which the army over rides the powers of an elected civilian govt and holds sway over its masses, irrespective, of the army at the helm or not.
As a dwindling economy, post break away of Bangladesh, Pakistan’s state of affairs took a beating and it survived by virtue of aiding the United States and Central intelligence, at the mercy of providing for and training “mujahedeen’s” by the American ‘petrol’ dollar via CIA and Saudi Arabia. It was during this time, with Gen Zia ul Haq, at the helm as President and COAS did winds of fortune began to blow kindly upon Pakistan in general and Pakistan army, in particular.
Apart from training the mujahedeen’s in the 80’s against the USSR, Pakistan army, slowly and steadily started diverting funds and hardware to train Indian separatists into militants/terrorists and create insurgency situations inside Indian state- which in turn spread to the Indian hinterland in form of terrorism towards the Indian people. This is how, after suffering ignominious defeat at the hands of Indian forces in each conflict- viz 1947, 1965, 1971- the Pakistan army devised an unique, ‘5 point strategy to counter the Indian state’s war machine, from within.
The ‘Badla of Ikkattar’ – or “revenge of 1971”, as it’s known in circles- within Pakistan army and state- is an ‘unofficial’ official doctrine of ‘breaking up India’- which as per plan, is working very well for Pakistani’s and Pak armed forces in particular.
- Funding militant/terror groups inside the state of Jammu and Kashmir - continues unabated till date
- Funding moderate separatist groups and people inside J&K to speak out and fight against the Government of India and the Indian Army - continues till date
- Funding militant and terror modules inside Indian hinterland by using religion as a tool to bring in educated, moderate followers of Islam –turn to violence and extremist militant against the Indian state – continues till date
- Funding groups of civil society members within India and giving them intellectual platforms outside India to propagate Pakistan propaganda such as – “Aman ki Asha”- is the way forward in order to divide Indian society down to the middle
- Pakistan army’s bent towards India’s long time- rival, China to put India in a corner, in order to move in ‘at will’
In case you wonder, where the money is coming from- Pakistan has plenty of access to huge amount of narcotics money, dollars which came in during the Zia and Pervez years and that’s the basis of its funding terror, via a fledging black economy! With change of fortune, since Zia days and ‘black-money’ being no problem for the Pakistan army- it has systematically been able to put its above mentioned plan into action and continues unabated since. In recent time, with Gen Pervez Musharraf at the helm of Pakistan- dollar has not stopped for Pak army- sanctions, following nuclear test and dwindling white money, notwithstanding. Pakistan army-navy-air force and its intelligence agencies have never felt short of money, even at the peril of its countrymen dying, day in and day out because of their follies and internal strife.
Pakistan army has always been financially stronger than an average Pakistani and it still is. With no dearth of money and a ‘ever-helpful’ Chinese PLA to the rescue- following the void created by Americans slowly and steadily giving up on its “best friend in South Asia” and “Pakistan not being the friend it used to be”... Pakistan, like always will “muddle out”. Though, hope not it.
What needs to be seen- analysed and understood-in the present scheme of things is Pakistan’s duplicity against India will never cease till it sees to it – “India balkanised” at all and any cost! What we Indians need to understand and realise is – “Pakistan army is the Pakistan state itself” and it can’t be trusted, so long, Pakistan continues- its fake, pseudo charade of- Aman ki Asha via its stooges in Pakistan civil society and ex military cut outs! This neo-modern day treachery, by sections of our (Indian) own – civil and ex military society is going to cost us the very land we fought for- to achieve and sustain from imperial rulers.
Cross-border interactions- mushaira’s- Aman ki Asha- people to people contact is always beneficial- but not at the hype it is happening and this very –Aman ki Asha will turn to nirasha once the velvet gloves of ‘Pakistan army’ and its ‘best-friend’ “PLA” come out to play with us. The day is not very far and the writing is on the wall. If only we can get rid of our blinkers and smell the stale coffee brewing across!