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পাকিস্তান পরিস্থিতি ২

May 20, 2013

২৭ জুলাই ২০১০, মঙ্গলবার

পাঁচটি কারণ যেজন্য পাকিস্তানের মিলিটারি সিভিলিয়ানদের ওপর জেঁকে বসে আছে, এবং যেপ্রক্রিয়া শুরু হয়েছিল পাকিস্তানের স্বাধীনতার পর থেকেই, সেই জিন্নার সময় থেকেই।

What that incident indicates is that some army officers had developed extra-constitutional ambitions within less than a year of the creation of Pakistan, and even while the father of the nation was alive. How and why did that happen? In retrospect it appears that there were peculiar reasons why civil-military relations in Pakistan could not develop in a normal way, apart from the fact that a feeling of disdain in the military for the civilians, especially the politicians, is quite common and almost universal.

In the first place, there was no interaction between the political leadership and the future leaders of the Pakistan Army before independence. The imperial culture of the British Indian Army had kept even the Indian officers aloof from other natives, and interaction with the civilians was discouraged. Hence the two sides, civilian and military, began with some hostility and suspicion that strangers tend to have towards each other.

Second, an unwise administrative decision kept the civil and military leadership separated by a long distance from each other. Till 1960 the political capital (Karachi) and the army headquarters (Rawalpindi) were separated by a distance of about 900km. Even the nearest provincial capital (Peshawar) was about 200km away. The farthest provincial capital (Dhaka) was, of course, light years away.

This perhaps explains why the people of East Pakistan hardly ever figured in the calculations of the army, except as an irksome nuisance. This geographical factor only perpetuated and enhanced the feeling of being strangers that was inherited at the time of independence in 1947.

Third, in the 1950s and later, the Pakistan Army became an important ally of the US in the Cold War rivalry between the superpowers. With US aid and assistance the army grew in size and acquired more clout in the affairs of the state. It was, and still is, more important to the US than the political leadership, separately or collectively. This devalues the importance of the political leadership.

Fourth, the army had, and still has, a well-organised modern structure and a culture of discipline, but politics in Pakistan has been rather chaotic, and the structure of the political parties has remained more feudalistic than modern, and marked by indiscipline and opportunism. With the exception of the MQM and the Jamaat-i-Islami, no other political party has a proper organisational structure or a disciplined body of workers.

For this reason politics in Pakistan cannot but be chaotic and uncertain in its ways and objectives. It is a matter of some significance that since 1947 there have been 14 army chiefs but no less than 23 prime ministers. In India the numbers are about the opposite.

Fifth, the army has many training and research institutions, and some of them (such as Staff College, Quetta, and National Defence University) are as good as any in the world. In contrast, not even the two largest political parties, the PPP and the PML-N, have a properly staffed and equipped secretariat or a research wing to help formulate well thought-out views on various issues. Even the headquarters of these two parties in Islamabad are a pathetic sight of a kind that would embarrass even a regimental centre.

এখানে পড়ুন বিস্তারিত। আর আমাদের দেশের প্রেক্ষাপটে শুধু তৃতীয় কারণটাই আংশিক, আমাদের স্বাধীনতা আমাদেরকে ‘ঠান্ডা যুদ্ধ’-এর আমেরিকার মিত্রের অবস্থান থেকে সরিয়ে দিয়েছিল। কিন্তু আর সব কারণ আমাদের ক্ষেত্রে বর্তমান, কাজেই এই পাঁচটি কারণকে মুখ্য ধরে আমরাও আর্মি-সিভিল সম্পর্ক উন্নয়নের কথা ভাবতে পারি।

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৩ আগস্ট ২০১০, মঙ্গলবার

‘দি হিন্দু’তে প্রবীণ সোয়ামির কলাম : কায়ানির নীরব ক্যু।

General Kayani’s quiet coup

Praveen Swami

In this July 19, 2010 photo made available by the Inter Services Public Relations Department U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks to Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Rawalpindi. Photo: AP
In this July 19, 2010 photo made available by the Inter Services Public Relations Department U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks to Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Rawalpindi. Photo: AP

Late in April, Ashfaq Pervez Kayani stood before a solemn audience that had gathered to mark Martyrs Day.

“There is no greater honour than martyrdom”, Pakistan’s army chief said, “nor any aspiration greater than it. When people are determined to achieve great objectives, they develop the faith needed to trust their lives to the care of Allah. We are well aware of the historical reality that nations must be willing to make great sacrifices for their freedom”. “I am proud”, he went on, “that the nation has never forgotten the sacrifices of its martyrs and holy warriors”.

If it hadn’t been for General Kayani’s impeccably-ironed military uniform, his audience might have been forgiven for believing that the speech was being made by the Islamist clerics who have exhorted insurgents to claim the lives of over 2,700 Pakistani troops in combat.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister went on national television in July to give his country’s army chief an unprecedented three year extension of service. The decision has won applause in some western capitals, as well as from some liberal and conservative commentators in Pakistan. In the midst of a bitter war against Islamists many believe poses the greatest existential threat Pakistan has ever faced, Kayani’s supporters believe its army needs continuity of leadership.

Those propositions might be true — but casts little light on the strategic considerations which have given Kayani three more years in office. Pakistan’s army hopes, in essence, that Kayani will be able to craft a way out of the crisis without compromising the power and influence of its generals.

Islamabad elites had long been discussing Kayani’s plans to secure an extension; this newspaper carried an extensive discussion of the issue in March. Key politicians, though, were evidently clueless. On May 17, Pakistani Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said the government “was neither granting extension to Chief of Army Staff; nor had the general sought it.” But just a week later, media reported that a conference of corps commanders had called for an extension.

Some accounts hold that President Asif Ali Zardari, who is distrusted by the army, had little choice but to accept this fait accompli. Other commentary suggests both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani went along with decision, hoping to stave off any confrontation with the armed forces until 2013 — the year their terms in office end. Either way, as Pakistani lawyer and political commentator Asma Jehangir has noted, the extension suggests “that democracy has not taken root. The decision was taken on the basis of obvious pressure from the military”.

But just what was it that drove this pressure? Pakistan’s army isn’t, after all, short of competent commanders. “My advice to Kayani”, wrote the commentator Kamran Shafi days before the extension, “would be to issue his last Order of the Day on the appointed date of his retirement, receive his successor in General Head-Quarters, and after a cup of tea get into his private car and fade away.” There are good reasons, though, why that advice wasn’t heeded.

The Pakistan army’s agenda

Kayani is at the centre of three projects critical to the long-term power of the Pakistan army. The first is this: extricating the Pakistan army from a counter-insurgency campaign that appears unwinnable. During Kayani’s visit to troops in Orakzai on June 1, the Pakistan army announced “the successful conclusion of operations in the Agency”. But, as analyst Tushar Rajan Mohanty recently pointed out, it has admitted to over a dozen engagements there since, involving the use of combat jets and helicopter gunships. Refugees displaced last year are yet to return.

Hoping to manoeuvre an exit, Kayani has escalated support to the jihadist networks of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani. Last week, Canadian diplomat Chris Alexander — who spent seven years serving his country and the United Nations in Afghanistan — charged Kayani with “sponsoring a large-scale, covert guerrilla war through Afghan proxies.” “Without Pakistani military support,” Alexander asserted “all signs are the Islamic Emirate’s combat units would collapse”. Earlier, Harvard University’s Matt Waldman quoted Islamic Emirate commanders admitting that the ISI’s role was “as clear as the sun in the sky.”

Kayani, the Pakistan army hopes, will be able to secure it allies power in a future regime in Kabul — and then use their influence to scale back its conflict with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan at home. Pakistan has, notably, offered to broker a rapprochement between its jihadist allies and Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s regime.

Linked to this objective, Kayani is working to heal President Musharraf’s rupture with domestic jihadists — a constituency who were once drawn to state-backed organisations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, but have been increasingly supporting the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Pakistan’s India policy is being reinvented by Kayani to this end: the second project he needs time to see to fruition.

In a thoughtful 2002 paper for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, George Perkovich cast light on Musharraf’s reappraisal of Pakistani military strategy on India. Lieutenant-General Moinuddin Haider, who served as interior minister under President Musharraf, told Perkovich he argued that the long-term costs of continuing to back jihadists would be higher than the potential losses from taking them on. President Musharraf feared that confrontation would provoke a civil war. “I was the sole voice initially”, Haider said, “saying, ‘Mr. President, your economic plan will not work, people will not invest, if you don’t get rid of extremists.’”

Haider gathered allies — among them Pakistan’s former intelligence chief, Lieutenant-General Javed Ashraf Qazi. “We must not be afraid,” General Qazi said in the wake of the 2001-2002 India-Pakistan military crisis “of admitting that the Jaish was involved in the deaths of thousands of innocent Kashmiris, bombing the Indian Parliament, [the journalist] Daniel Pearl’s murder and even attempts on President Musharraf’s life.”

But Musharraf did little to develop an institutional consensus around these ideas — and, as his legitimacy eroded, proved unable to make a decisive break with the past. Many in the Pakistan army blamed him for precipitating the internal crisis which developed during his term in office. Like so often in the past, the Pakistan army moved to force out a commander-turned-liability.

Ever since Kayani replaced Musharraf, there has been mounting evidence that the Pakistan army is seeking to renew hostility with India. In 2008, the United States was reported to have confronted Pakistan’s army with evidence that the ISI was involved in a murderous attack on the Indian diplomatic mission in Kabul. Later that year, it is now known from the testimony of Pakistani-American jihadist David Headley, the ISI facilitated the carnage in Mumbai. Pakistan has denied its intelligence services were linked to the Mumbai attacks, but has neither questioned the officials Headley named, nor sought to interrogate him on the issue.

In February, Kayani told journalists the Pakistan army was an ‘India-centric institution’, adding that this “reality will not change in any significant way until the Kashmir issue and water disputes are resolved”.

Language like this fits well with the intellectual climate of Pakistan’s armed forces. Lieutenant-General Javed Hassan — who played a key role commanding Pakistan forces during the Kargil war — was commissioned by the army’s Faculty of Research and Doctrinal Studies to produce a guide to India for serving officers. In India: A Study in Profile, published by the military-owned Services Book Club in 1990, Hassan argues that is driven by “the incorrigible militarism of the Hindus.” “For those that are weak,” he goes on, “the Hindu is exploitative and domineering.”

Faced with a flailing war against jihadists at home, Kayani’s anti-India platform offers the army the strategic equivalent of an escape button: precipitating a crisis with a historic adversary, secure in the knowledge that Pakistan’s nuclear umbrella guarantees is protection from a large-scale war. Pakistan’s military, many Indian foreign policy analysts believe, precipitated the bruising showdown between Foreign Ministers SM Krishna and Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad last month, undermining the fragile dialogue between the two countries.

India and Afghanistan are just parts, though, of the third, and most important project: guaranteeing the political primacy of the Pakistan army. In the wake of President Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq’s assassination in 1988, Pakistan developed what the scholar Hussain Haqqani — now his country’s ambassador to the United States — described as “military rule by other means.” Hasan-Askari Rizvi noted that the army chief became the “pivot” for political system. The army chief, in turn, derived his authority from the corps commanders who addressed “not only security, professional and organisational matters, but also deliberate on domestic issues”.

In January 2008 General Kayani passed a directive which ordered military officers not to maintain contacts with politicians, and followed up with orders withdrawing serving personnel from civilian institutions. The move was interpreted as evidence of Kayani’s commitment to genuine civilian-led democracy. But Kayani repulsed President Zardari’s early efforts to bring the ISI under civilian control, and defeated his efforts to seek a grand rapprochement with India. Pakistan’s army proved willing to cede influence over the administration of the state, but not over the structure and thrust of national strategy.

“The army is the nation,” General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said in his Martyrs Day speech, “and the nation is with the army.” Ensuring that this pithy proposition survives the crisis Pakistan is faced with is the purpose of the silent coup that has given Kayani three more years in office.

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১০ আগস্ট ২০১০, মঙ্গলবার

হু জিনতাও, ওয়েন জিয়াবাও-এর ঘনিষ্ঠ জারদারি, দেশের দুর্যোগে কিভাবে ঝাঁপিয়ে পড়তে হয়, তার চীনা বন্ধুদের কাছ থেকে তার কিছুই শেখেননি। ডন এর সম্পাদকীয় ও আরো আরো সমালোচনা আজ তাকে ইউরোপ সফর থেকে দেশে ফিরিয়ে এনেছে। ডন-এর সম্পাদকীয়তে পশ্চিমের বিশেষ করে ওয়াশিংটন ও লন্ডনের ত্রাণ চাওয়া হয়েছে। কিন্তু নিকট প্রতিবেশীদের কারো কাছে ত্রাণ চাওয়া হয়নি। চীন ও সৌদিআরবের কাছে চাইতে হবে না, তারা দেবেই। কিন্তু প্রতিবেশীদেরও উল্লেখ থাকা উচিত ছিল।

আর প্রতিবেশীদের উচিত কে চাইল না চাইল ভেবে এথনই পাকিস্তানে ত্রাণ পাঠানো। আমরা বাংলাদেশ সরকারের কাছে অনুরোধ করব, পাকিস্তানের এই ভয়াবহ বন্যায় প্রতিবেশীর সাহায্যে এগিয়ে আসার দৃষ্টান্ত স্থাপন করে, বেসরকারী অনুদান গ্রহণ ও প্রেরণে সুযোগ করে দিয়ে অচিরেই একটা ত্রাণ সেল গঠন করে ও উপদ্রুত অঞ্চলে চিকিৎসা সেবা দিয়ে পাকিস্তানের বন্যাপীড়িত মানুষের পাশে দাঁড়াতে। আর এক্ষেত্রে ভারতও বড় অবদান রাখতে পারে, কারণ আমরা জানি এ অঞ্চলে অর্থনৈতিকভাবে তারাই সবচেয়ে সমৃদ্ধ।

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১১ আগস্ট ২০১০, বুধবার 

চাইলেও তো মনে হচ্ছে ত্রাণ পাঠানো যাবে না। পাকিস্তান তালিবান সাহায্য গ্রহণ করবে না।

Pakistani Taliban urge rejection of foreign flood aid

SUKKUR: Pakistan’s Taliban have denounced all foreign aid for victims of the country’s catastrophic flooding, and said they can match the latest US pledge of 20 million dollars.

“We condemn American and other foreign aid and believe that it will lead to subjugation. Our jihad against America will continue,” a spokesman for the group, Azam Tariq, told AFP by telephone.

“The government should not accept American aid and if it happens, we can give 20 million dollars to them as aid for the flood victims,” he said.

“We will ourselves distribute relief under leadership of our chief Hakimullah Mehsud among the people, if the government assures us that none of our members will be arrested.”

The floods have been most devastating in the Taliban’s stronghold in the northwest. Across Pakistan they have left six million people dependent on humanitarian help for their survival, the United Nations said.

The United States announced Tuesday it would increase its flood aid by another 20 million dollars to 55 million dollars, while the UN said it would launch an international appeal for several hundred million dollars.

The world body believes 1,600 people have died in the floods while the Pakistani government has confirmed 1,243 deaths.

US aid so far has included 436,000 halal meals and 12 pre-fabricated bridges, while the White House said that US helicopters had helped to save more than 1,000 lives in Pakistan.

But critics say that as the worst floods in living memory spread across Pakistan, the official relief effort has been woefully slow, and Islamic charities have been stepping into the breach.

Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Taliban faction is a key architect of extremist violence that has killed more than 3,570 people across Pakistan in three years.

However Daniel Feldman, a senior State Department official working on Afghanistan and Pakistan, on Tuesday dismissed reports of extremist groups providing aid to needy Pakistanis as “quite overblown”.

Referring to US efforts to win public support in a country where anti-American feeling runs high, Ward said the US government tries to “brand as much as possible” of its aid.

“In this crisis, in the face of this disaster, we very much want the Pakistani people to know that the people of the United States are behind them, are helping,” Ward said.

Beyond the northwest, about 1.5 million people have been evacuated in the south and a large swathe of fertile farmland has been destroyed in the central province of Punjab.

Parts of the northwestern Swat valley, where Pakistan fought a major campaign to flush out Taliban insurgents last year, were still cut off Tuesday by road, as were parts of the country’s breadbasket in Punjab and Sindh.

But weather cleared Tuesday, allowing Pakistani, US and Afghan helicopters to distribute relief items and rescue people stranded in the northwest.

UN officials said aid would focus on six million people who need emergency help to survive, while 14 million in all are said by Pakistani authorities to be facing direct or indirect harm.

The UN has warned that children are among the most vulnerable victims, with diarrhoea the biggest health threat and measles a serious concern.

At the Ali Wahan relief camp about 20 kilometres (13 miles) east of Sukkur in Sindh province, there were barely a dozen flood survivors and a clinic with limited stocks of basic medicine.

“There are no facilities for families to live in this camp. My husband has gone to arrange some transport and we’ll leave,” said Mai Jannat, 35.

Doctor Nazir Ahmed at the camp said patients were suffering from gastroenteritis, stomach and eye diseases.

President Asif Ali Zardari is now back home after courting massive criticism for not cutting short a visit to Britain and France, although it was unclear if he would visit flood-hit areas

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১৪ আগস্ট ২০১০, শনিবার

বন্যার পর, জার্মান পত্রিকা ‘স্পিগেল’-এ পাকিস্তানের বন্যা নিয়ে ফটোগ্যালারি দেখুন এখানে

Photo Gallery: After the Floods
08/11/2010
Some remote areas in Pakistan hit by the recent floods still haven't received...

Hasnain Kazim

Some remote areas in Pakistan hit by the recent floods still haven’t received any aid. With the authorities unable to cope, private charities have stepped in. But just getting to the affected villages is a huge challenge. Here, workers with a private charity load up a truck in Takht-i’Bhai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with relief supplies.

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