Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Civil Military Relations in Pakistan.

The word ‘corps’ meaning an army formation is sometimes used interchangeably by some with the word ‘core’— so what should be done when the Corps Commander’s conference gets reported as the ‘Core Commanders’ conference — not really significant except that in our environment ‘core commanders’ could take on the connotation of some kind of inner body of what is called the ‘deep state’! Better to stick to the Corps Commanders—who held their 139th conference at General Headquarters on Thursday June 9, 2011 and subsequently the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate issued a carefully worded and detailed statement. This statement is important and deserves analysis. The statement mentions a ‘perceptual bias’ that is driving the virulent outbursts against the armed forces thereby drawing a distinction between constructive criticism of the acknowledged lapses and the attacks intended to weaken the institution and drive wedges between institutions-something that is specifically mentioned as being undesirable and not in the interest of the country. The military’s support to democracy that has been a constant since the present government was elected but never before stated has now been spelt out and that too as support for democracy and not a political party. This implies that the military wants no part in politics and accepts the democratic structure without reservations-as it should. The statement indicates that the military to military relations between the US and Pakistan will be within the overall ambit and context of the bilateral relationship between the two countries and not a separate facet of the country-to-country relationship. REFERENCE: The Army has accepted civilian supremacy By General (retd) Jehangir Karamat Monday, June 13, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6665&Cat=13&dt=6/13/2011

0906 - Reporter - Dangers Facing Pakistan - Ep 195 - Part 1

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1NXGDw-U6k

WASHINGTON: As CIA chief Leon Panetta returned from a tense visit to Pakistan, the US media reported on Monday that the civilian and military establishments in the country differed with each other on relations with the United States. While the civilians wanted closer ties with the US, the military was reluctant to give up its influence with the Taliban, said Bruce Riedel, a South Asian specialist who helped formulate the Obama administration’s current Af-Pak policy. “The Pakistani army continues to believe that parts of the Jihadist Frankenstein it created are useful assets and is not prepared to dismantle those assets,” Mr Riedel, a former CIA officer and National Security Council staff member, told a US media outlet. Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, told Bloomberg that the military’s stance was also linked to talks in Washington about withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. “It’s a vicious circle,” she said. “The more the US talks about withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and the more pressure that comes from Capitol Hill to speed up that withdrawal, the less cooperation we’re likely to get from Pakistan.” The Washington Post reported that Pakistan’s army and intelligence chiefs told Mr Panetta they were not willing to reverse a decision to cut the number of US troops in their country. Mr Panetta, nominated to take over as defence secretary next month, visited Pakistan this week, his first trip since the May 2 US raid that killed Osama bin Laden and severely damaged ties between the allies. US counter-terrorism experts, while talking to the New York Times, confirmed media reports that Mr Panetta confronted Pakistani intelligence officials face to face with what the United States believed was evidence of collusion between Pakistani security officials and militants staging attacks in Afghanistan. This involves two alleged IED factories in North and South Waziristan which produce explosives used against US troops in Afghanistan. Diplomatic sources in Washington, however, told Dawn that Mr Panetta’s visit – although not very successful – had led to a better understanding on two issues, intelligence-sharing and the presence of US intelligence and security personnel in Pakistan. “Both sides realise that intelligence-sharing has yielded positive results in the past and it should continue,” a source said. Similarly, the US has started “providing details of their security and intelligence personnel in Pakistan”, the source added. Pakistan, however, did not show much interest in a US proposal for joint military operations, arguing that it would be counter-productive and would increase negative feelings against the army and the United States. Pakistan also refused to make any specific commitment on launching a military operation in North Waziristan, a top priority on the US agenda. REFERENCE: US probing Pakistan’s new approach By Our Correspondent | From the Newspaper (7 hours ago) Today

The implication being that it is up to the government to determine the contours of this relationship. While clarifying the exact status of US military aid and the amount actually received by the military the statement indicates that such aid could be utilised for economic purposes thereby giving the government the final word on dissemination of resources to the military as well as reviewing allocations. Going further the statement clarifies that future military operations would be conducted on the basis of political consensus—the clear implication being that political directives to the military would be translated into military strategy. In this context there is reference to the joint parliamentary resolution of May 14 and also to the proposed national commission for investigating recent events-as something the military accepts and supports. The military had already briefed a parliamentary committee earlier. Without specifically saying so the statement in its reference to the people signifies the military’s acknowledgement that in a democratic dispensation the center of gravity is in the people and that the military as a national institution is sensitive to public opinion and criticism. There is more. The military has stated that on its part and staying within its sphere the military has asked for a reduction in the US training presence in the country and that its intelligence cooperation with the US would be on the basis of reciprocity and transparency and foreign intelligence agencies should not be operating in Pakistan. ] Earlier the Corps Commander Peshawer had said that ‘intelligence cooperation (with the US) had been curtailed but not cut-off’. Here too the implication is that it is up to the government to decide the exact extent of cooperation with the US in other spheres. This ties in with the reference to the overall relationship with the US mentioned earlier. The military has a realistic view of the relationship with the US and its importance. REFERENCE: The Army has accepted civilian supremacy By General (retd) Jehangir Karamat Monday, June 13, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6665&Cat=13&dt=6/13/2011

0906 - Reporter - Dangers Facing Pakistan - Ep 195 - Part 2

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THZWivdKgr0

A look at history at this point may not be out of place. The strategic depth policy envisaging a co-opted Afghanistan and a march into the Central Asian Republics was initially envisioned by Gen Ziaul Haq in the early 1980s. Realising the immense strength of a religious emotional appeal, the security establishment of Pakistan perceived that by supporting non-state actors and militant militias, Pakistan could achieve its objectives for political influence and resource exploration in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The security establishment perceived, in defiance of all logic and objective reality, that through the use of non-state actors Pakistan could defeat India in political influence, explore the energy reservoirs in Central Asia and expand control over a large swathe of the planet to be considered a regional power. For this to happen, the security establishment adapted proxies, supported the Taliban government in the 1990s as well as the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan after the government was dislodged by the Security Council`s mandate granted to Nato and Isaf forces. Analysts and policy experts have since been pointing out the inherent flaws in the construct of the strategic depth policy but to no avail. All the years of the decade of the `90s and into the 21st century, the security establishment of Pakistan had engaged with non-state actors and private militias active in Afghanistan and India, with no consideration being given to the policy`s socio-cultural and socio-political impacts. Though things on the security front substantially changed after 9/11 around the globe, the security establishment of Pakistan stuck to its outdated paradigm — favours to elements like the Haqqani network, the Maulvi Nazir group, the Afghan Taliban leadership, the Jamaatud Dawa and several others continued throughout the `90s to date. At the same time, the security establishment of Pakistan captured dozens of Al Qaeda operatives and handed them over to the US besides cracking down on those organisations which frequently attacked state installations and the security establishment of Pakistan. The security establishment`s media manipulation duly advocated the strategic depth policy by dividing the Taliban into good (the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistan militant militias believed to be active only in Afghanistan) and bad Taliban. Three crucial and simultaneous dynamics were ignored in this whole construct. First, the growing ideological and non-state militaristic infrastructures in the settled and tribal belt of Pakistan started taking root in the socio-cultural and socio-economic dynamics of the communities around Pakistan. The militant organisations were able to develop mechanisms for social permeation of their extremist discourse winning a section of the population, especially the youth through the use of radios, websites, daily newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, posters and banners besides the use of the electronic media. This phenomenon had helped gain them social control in certain communities. REFERENCE: Of good and bad Taliban By Khadim Hussain | From the Newspaper (11 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/14/of-good-and-bad-taliban.html

Going further the ISPR statement in the context of North Waziristan states that the operation in the western border areas is being conducted as a well thought out campaign plan and no pressures could be accepted to deviate from this for a particular action at a particular time. This is something the military has been consistently saying as it is the best judge of overstretch, balance, scale and duration of operations within the overall evolving situation. This, of course, has to be in line with any political directive by the government. Significantly the statement urges the people of North Waziristan to evict foreigners and not allow their soil to be used for terrorism elsewhere. This when considered with the view expressed that the internal security situation is the highest priority implies that this is something that could be done on a larger scale within the country and the focus could be on those destabilising the country internally creating vulnerabilities that are being exploited externally. The restricted tone of the statement indicates that the military does not want to overstep bounds even in an advisory capacity. Finally on drone attacks (recently stepped up by the US) the statement states without ambiguity that the policy needs reconsideration -obviously a reference to the overall negative impact of unilateral action by a foreign nation. In conclusion it can be said that the ISPR statement has come after some game changing events within the country and have led to justified outrage. The statement itself could be considered a game changer because within its carefully constructed structure is the clear indication by the military that it considers itself to be within the overall civilian supremacy that a democratic structure demands. The military has clearly indicated that it has a full understanding of the economic and internal security situation and their linkage with each other. It is inevitable that the military will take a hard inward look to remove weaknesses. It would be wrong to consider this statement as signal for ill considered hasty actions. It would be right to take this as a signal for a future civil military relationship in which the military can strengthen democracy, help in stabilisation and ensure that a nuclear power orchestrates the strength of all its elements of power to present the globalised world with the image of a country that has learnt from its follies and is determined to march forward. REFERENCE: The Army has accepted civilian supremacy By General (retd) Jehangir Karamat Monday, June 13, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6665&Cat=13&dt=6/13/2011

0906 - Reporter - Dangers Facing Pakistan - Ep 195 - Part 3

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Twice in recent weeks, the United States provided Pakistan with the specific locations of insurgent bomb-making factories, only to see the militants learn their cover had been blown and vacate the sites before military action could be taken, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials. Overhead surveillance video and other information was given to Pakistani officials in mid-May, officials said, as part of a trust-building effort by the Obama administration after the killing of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid early last month. But Pakistani military units that arrived at the sites in the tribal areas of North and South Waziristan on June 4 found them abandoned. U.S. officials say they do not know how the operation was compromised. But they are concerned that either the information was inadvertently leaked inside Pakistan or insurgents were warned directly by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or ISI. A senior Pakistani military official said Friday that the United States had also shared information about other sites, including weapons-storage facilities, that were similarly found empty. “There is a suspicion that perhaps there was a tip-off,” the official said. “It’s being looked into by our people, and certainly anybody involved will be taken to task.”

In the past, Pakistan has strenuously denied allegations that its security services are colluding with insurgents. The incidents are expected to feature prominently in conversations between Pakistani officials and CIA Director Leon Panetta, who arrived in Pakistan on Friday. The U.S. argument, one official said, will be: “We are willing to share, but you have to prove you will act. Some of your people are no longer fully under your control.” U.S. officials said Panetta would also carry a more positive message, reiterating that the United States wants to rebuild a trusting, constructive relationship with Pakistan. Immediately after bin Laden’s death, some administration officials and lawmakers argued that the al-Qaeda leader’s presence in a suburban Pakistani compound was reason enough to withhold U.S. assistance from Pakistan. But the prevailing view has been that the two countries need each other despite their problems. Pakistan has frequently responded to U.S. entreaties to move against insurgent safe havens in the tribal areas by asking for proof of their presence. Officials said that video of the two installations indicated both were being used to manufacture improvised explosive devices, or IEDs — the roadside bombs that are the principal killers of U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. One was located in a girls’ school in the city of Miram Shah, home to the Haqqani network’s North Waziristan headquarters. The other, in South Waziristan, was thought to be an al-Qaeda-run facility, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. While the United States has conducted an aggressive campaign of drone strikes in the tribal areas, both sites were considered poor drone targets because of the high potential for civilian casualties. REFERENCE: New challenge for U.S.-Pakistan ties By Griff Witte and Karen DeYoung, Published: June 10 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/karzai-arrives-in-pakistan-for-reconciliation-talks/2011/06/10/AGzsWPOH_story.html

0906 - Reporter - Dangers Facing Pakistan - Ep 195 - Part 4

The video was handed over to Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and ISI head Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha during a visit last month by Marc Grossman, the Obama administration’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and CIA Deputy Director Michael J. Morell. The classified videos have also been shown to members of the congressional intelligence committees. After the visit by Grossman and Morell, the administration also demanded in a series of high-level telephone calls that the CIA be given access to the compound in the city of Abbottabad where bin Laden was killed. That access was granted two weeks ago, leading to a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At that time, Clinton asked about action on the videos. She has since followed up with two telephone calls to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. The two installations had been cleared out before Pakistani military units moved against them on June 4, satellite imagery subsequently revealed. A local security official in North Waziristan confirmed that Pakistani forces had raided the girls’ school after militants had abandoned it. A local tribal official, who, like the security official, spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it is common for insurgent groups to use schools and hospitals to manufacture weapons.

Tense relations

When Clinton visited Pakistan two weeks ago, she said Washington expected to see “decisive steps” from Pakistan “in the days ahead.” But in recent weeks, Pakistan has seemed only to further distance itself from its U.S. alliance, forcing out most of the 135 U.S. troops who had been here training Pakistani forces. On Thursday, Kayani issued a pointed statement that called for U.S. military aid for Pakistan to be converted into economic assistance, demanded an end to U.S. drone strikes in the tribal areas and insisted Pakistan would not be pressured into conducting military operations. The United States has been pushing Pakistan for more than a year to mount an offensive in North Waziristan. But Pakistan has resisted the calls, saying its forces are already stretched too thin. Tribal leaders in North Waziristan said Friday that a government official had recently visited the area and told residents not to leave their homes, because no military operation was imminent. In addition to pressure from the United States, Pakistan’s military has faced intense domestic criticism since the May 2 raid. On Friday, opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif accused the army of running “a parallel government” and demanded that it end its “dominance of Pakistan’s foreign policy.” The comments were unusually bold in a country where civilian politicians have long bowed to the military’s authority. Panetta, who has been nominated to be the next U.S. defense secretary, left for Pakistan soon after confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill concluded Thursday. Pakistan’s army issued a terse statement saying that Panetta had met with Kayani, and the two discussed “the framework for future intelligence sharing.”

Karzai arives for talks

Panetta’s arrival coincided with that of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who traveled to Islamabad on Friday for two days of talks with top Pakistani leaders amid cautious hopes that the two nations can forge a coordinated strategy for reconciling with insurgents. The two governments have long mistrusted one another, with Afghan officials accusing Pakistan of covertly backing the Taliban and other militant groups. But tensions have eased in recent months, and Afghan officials said Karzai’s visit will help to test Pakistan’s assertions that it is prepared to play a constructive role in ending the war in Afghanistan after more than three decades of conflict. “There is a change of attitude here,” said Mohammad Umer Daudzai, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan. “Pakistan has been badly hurt by militants. They are under pressure. So we have to realize that this is an ideal opportunity.” But Daudzai also acknowledged that any negotiated solution to the war is a long way off. Pressed on a likely deadline, he cited 2014, when foreign troops are slated to hand over security responsibility to the Afghan government. REFERENCE: New challenge for U.S.-Pakistan ties By Griff Witte and Karen DeYoung, Published: June 10 DeYoung reported from Washington. Special correspondents Haq Nawaz Khan in Peshawar and Shaiq Hussain in Islamabad contributed to this report. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/karzai-arrives-in-pakistan-for-reconciliation-talks/2011/06/10/AGzsWPOH_story_1.html

1 comment:

Farah said...

I think in order to solve problems which are facing in Pakistan now-a-days,the solution is Revolution,now Pakistanis needs a pure leader like Quaid-e-Azam......