Pakistan Army: aal is not well - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 3 May 2010

Pakistan Army: aal is not well

About 150,000 Pakistani soldiers are engaged in operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This includes formations that have long been deployed along the Indian border

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 4th May 2010

India’s evident climb-down at Thimphu, and Islamabad’s barely-concealed glee at resuming a dialogue process that was never going anywhere, should not obscure the big picture. From the strategic perspective, Pakistan today remains exactly where the most hawkish Indian analysts would want it: diminished on the Indian border; and locked in bloody combat on its western reaches.

It is difficult to miss the irony: on the subcontinent’s northwestern frontier --- the gateway to India for Alexander, Timur, Ghor, Ghazni and Babar --- an alphabet soup of radical militants that ultimately threaten India are being held back by the Pakistan Army.

This stems not from any new love for India but from a long-delayed realisation amongst the generals, primarily army chief Ashfaq Kiyani, that the most immediate target in the militants’ cross hairs is the Pakistan Army, not India. The game has changed dramatically in the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) was renamed last month. Rawalpindi’s traditional modus operandi since 2006 ---- rattling a few sabres while negotiating a truce with the militants --- is no longer an option. The Pakistan Army is now in a serious fight.

During earlier years, while Islamabad played faint-hearted footsie in the tribal areas with jehadi groups like the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the world was carefully excluded from the tribal areas. With less to hide now, the Pakistan government has even dared to conduct a posse of Indian journalists through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 150,000 Pakistani regulars beef up as many paramilitary scouts in manning 821 posts on the border with Afghanistan.

Given these circumstances, it is astonishing that anyone is buying into the ludicrous argument that things are going Pakistan’s way in Afghanistan and the tribal areas. The argument, which a beleaguered Pakistan Army is doing all it can to buttress, goes broadly as follows: with Obama looking to thin out forces substantially from Afghanistan before facing American voters in late 2012, the job of policing the AfPak badlands will fall into Islamabad’s lap. With a free hand to run the place, Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence Agency (ISI) will carry the Taliban to power in Kabul and then douse the flames in its tribal areas by reorganising it into a terror factory from where it can direct jehad towards India and the west.

This monochromatic argument fails on many counts. Even if handing over Afghanistan to the Taliban were as simple as loading the Quetta Shoora into trucks and driving it to Kabul, Islamabad no longer desires an unfettered Taliban in total control of Afghanistan; when the Taliban ruled from 1996-2001, Islamabad’s relations with that prickly animal were far from smooth. Pakistan now sees greater benefit in a splintered Afghanistan where power is delicately distributed: a beholden Taliban in charge in the south; and a weakened Hamid Karzai in Kabul, dependent on Islamabad for key elements of power.

Islamabad’s wooing of Karzai has been under way for months and is yielding dividends. In March, on a visit to Pakistan, the Afghan president termed Pakistan a “twin brother” without whom peace could not be restored to Afghanistan. It was not a mere diplomatic flourish.

But even with the Taliban and Karzai willing to play ball, Islamabad realises that calibrating and maintaining a balance of power in Afghanistan will not be easy. Calling all the shots in Kabul is clearly unachievable; Pakistan’s more limited aims are to keep India out of Afghanistan, and to keep the lid on the Pashtunistan issue.

If Islamabad faces a tightrope walk in shaping Afghanistan’s political power structure, manipulating militancy presents an even thornier problem. Pakistan’s skill at organising purpose-built jehadi structures has resulted in chaos as the boundaries between militant groups effectively dissolve. Increasingly, a plethora of groups including the Pakistani Taliban; Afghan Taliban factions like the Haqqani group; foreign groups from Uzbekistan, Arabia and Chechnya; sectarian militias like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; and the erstwhile India-centric groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Lashkar-e-Toiba; all train, plan and even operate in coordination.

The Pakistan Army’s and the ISI’s growing isolation from these groups is evident from a series of fidayeen and suicide attacks on army targets, including the General Headquarters in October 2009. Two months later, militants stormed a Pakistan Army mosque killing dozens, including the young son of Lt Gen Mohammad Masood Aslam, the corps commander who oversaw operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Militant groups are increasingly attacking the ISI; coordinated attacks have been launched on ISI offices in three cities.

Longstanding linkages still remain between the Pakistan Army and the jehadis it midwifed. And, where both sides find a convergence of interests, they can still work together. But only in India does the belief still run strong that the Pakistani establishment controls and directs the jehadis in a meaningful way. In fact, so much blood has already flowed that the “ISI’s terror factory” thesis is simplistic and outdated.

Despite the Pakistan Army’s unenviable plight, it inexplicably believes its upbeat rhetoric about victory just ahead. But just as the J&K insurgency roiled on through years of upbeat Indian Army assessments, the Pakistan Army too will find itself embroiled in prolonged operations on its west. The Indian Army is large enough to contain multiple insurgencies while still retaining a formidable warfighting capability. That is not the case with Pakistan.


  1. Col. Shukla,
    "The Pakistan Army’s and the ISI’s growing isolation from these groups is evident from a series of fidayeen and suicide attacks on army targets, including the General Headquarters in October 2009. Two months later, militants stormed a Pakistan Army mosque killing dozens, including the young son of Lt Gen Mohammad Masood Aslam, the corps commander who oversaw operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Militant groups are increasingly attacking the ISI; coordinated attacks have been launched on ISI offices in three cities"
    This was true last year. Since the dawn of 2010, life's been pretty quiet in Rawalpindi. Any comments about that?

  2. While i dont disagree with your assessment it is still unclear as to whether the war in the west will last if US cut and runs. Most probably NOT !

  3. Dear Shukla,

    I read this article in today's Business Standard. While I agree with the bulk of it, somehow I do think that from india's point of view, we really haven't done enough. The only value Pakistan has is nuisance value and it turns it's terror machine on and off as it pleases and India is a punching bag, sometimes receiving grievous wounds like in Mumbai , but does nothing in return other than some sanctimonious moralizing and making noise on TV and everything and running to the US. From the Pakistani point of view, they have successfully deterred India/ have a military standstill, while still retaining the initiative to launch strikes against India using their proxies. What is India doing? How does India deter and punish Pakistan ?. That is the big question.

    PS: I do think you look better with your "Che Guevara" type beard and cap (like you used to have in your pics in Arunachal in your blog). The "clean shaven" look that you have been sporting lately is probably not your best. Maybe we are just used to it . Time to grow that beard again ?.

  4. All the more reason why we must never let our guard down.

    The Pak army,ISI and their rogue supporters will try everything to create trouble in India in an attempt to get some relief from their present predicament.

    Talking peace etc with Pak is one thing,but we must never lose sight of the perennially anti-Indian nature of the Pak army.ISI etc.

    The present civilian pak govt is just a sideshow or an episodic event at best.

  5. >> Increasingly, a plethora of groups including the Pakistani Taliban; Afghan Taliban factions like the Haqqani group; foreign groups from Uzbekistan, Arabia and Chechnya; sectarian militias like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; and the erstwhile India-centric groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Lashkar-e-Toiba; all train, plan and even operate in coordination.

    If LeT and Jaish are now increasingly 'training, planning and operating' in coordination, why does the LeT chief roam free holding public meetings and rallies, while Haqqani and others like him are treated to nice artillery barrages..

    Shukla saab, what is the source for the information/opinions you have expressed in the article? You obviously havent been to Pakistan lately. How can you say that Pakistani Army has started considering the Punjabi Taliban (LeT, Jaish) the same way it considers the Pashtun Taliban?

  6. There is no denying the fact that Pakistan's veins are irreversibly poisoned with the Jihadi cyanide. Thanks to to the idiotic policies of Americans and Zia-ul-haq this fire will burn for a long time, maybe forever. Your assessment of Pakistan is very accurate, the disparate groups that are splintered across the Pakistani soil are now uncontrollable. Pakistani army and ISI may be able to handle a few of them but there is no way that they can control them completely. The AK47 culture that has become ingrained in Pakistan is impossible to eradicate.

    However, this is no excuse to let our guard down (not that we have covered ourselves in glory). 26/11 is still fresh in our memory, what has India done to make life more secure for it's citizens. All that we have done is to give reams and reams of papers to Pakis who then use it as toilet paper.

    India has lagged and still lags behind the in most of the critical defence areas. Shri Antony and other CIA agents of Congress government are trying to make India dependent on USA and incapable of any war fighting.

  7. The problem is Talib have huge support in Punjab. Unlike the indians (who have no idea of ground realities in Pak) Paks don't distinguish between the Pakhtuns and Punjabi's or any warrior's ...Why do you think Talib's come and hide (actually rest openly) in eastern cities of pakistan? The whole country has become more militaristic, with more guns then people.

    The other thing that is happening is that the FC is really being trained up and equipped to be comparable to any PA light infantry unit. Before FC was really a mixed bunch, with some good units and many bad ones. Additional units are also being raised. Current strength is close to 90,000 and increasing (paid by USA). Even the ranger units are being re-trained, re-equipped and increased in strength. The attention is also currently being focused on retaining the police and creating more elite poice units, who are taking over the FC/Ranger duties in internal areas. This allows for the redeployment of FC/Rangers and thus de-creasing the army role from holding positions. Army units are also being re-equiped. This is mainly due to good old US of A.

    Remember one thing we paks actually quite like fighting, if we are not fighting our neighbours we are fighting each other. But nothing unites us faster then an external enemy. The unity is actually increasing, this has been the whole mark of our people for centuries.

  8. This is a classic recount of
    " One always falls into the pit you dig for others"

    Pakistan made a big hole for India in Kashmir and now it has to fight a proxy war in its own land.

    Well Again God is indeed Great.!!!

  9. Bismillah:

    You're wrong in thinking that Indians have no idea of the ground realities in Pakistan. Many of us travel often to Pakistan and an outsider's viewpoint is often clearer and more objective than an insider's.

    I am intrigued by your assertion that "Paks don't distinguish between the Pakhtuns and Punjabi's or any warrior's..." As anyone with even a smattering of knowledge about Pakistan knows, Punjabis are the kings of the heap and treat the Sindhis and Baluchis as second class citizens.

    Do you think that is untrue, or are you saying that Sindhis and Baluchis are not "warrior's"?

    Pakistan's unity is increasing? Most of the world believes that Pakistan is fragmenting badly... along economic, ethnic and provincial lines.

    You also seem to be ignoring the threat posed to Pakistan by the growing influence of the militant groups. Sorry if I read you wrong, but you seem to be quite unperturbed by the havens being given to the Talibs in eastern Pakistan. Incidentally, my article mentions the fact that diverse jehadi groups are now beginning to come together in their planning, logistics, intelligence and operations.

  10. Its probably too early to say 'ISI terror factory' is no longer applicable. LeT still seems to be firmly under the control of ISI, while some other groups seems to have gone astray. But once US leaves Afganistan, PA could give into the demands of these outfits (like they did earlier) and try to bring these groups to their side or atleast make sure they are not hostile towards the army.

    Right now there seems to be an all out war between PA and other militant groups. All of it is happening because US forces the Pakistanis to fight, if US is out of the picture can't things go back to how it used to be?

  11. Here comes the sympathy wave. Pakistan does not deserve anything of it at all. We need to tighten the screws on pak. This is the time to hit them hard. I sincerely wish there is another 26/11.

  12. Ajai, thanks for another nuanced, thoughtful article.

    Pakistan's strategy is failing on multiple fronts. For years, it had painfully built up the various anti-India terrorist groups as an asymmetrical third front against India. At the same time, it had built up Taliban as the ruling warrior class of Afghanistan to give itself strategic space.

    These two forces were to serve Pakistan in separate, distinct ways. Unfortunately for it, the Frankenstein monsters that it created now have a mind of their own and are not cooperating with their common master.

    For one, the anti-India terrorist groups have not been as successful as they or Pakistan would have wanted. This is fomenting frustration within the ranks and causing them to look westward. The opportunity to fight and defeat the American infidels in Afghanistan is very timely here, and just too tempting to miss. This in turn means that the anti-India and Afghanistan-centric groups, which were never meant to meet, are now coordinating and interacting with each other to the point where the distinction between them is fast vanishing.

    On the other hand, Pakistan Army is increasingly being seen as America's puppet by the militants, and this is further alienating the two.

    There is no possible outcome to this mess other than effectively a long-drawn bloody civil war in Pakistan. What we are seeing right now is the beginning. Most sane observers will hope that the civil war will end with the Pakistan Army gaining the upper hand and the Pakistani civil society gravitating towards moderation rather than further radicalization.

    This situation presents many challenges to India...maybe the different scenarios, and how India should respond to them and in fact actively work towards supporting the most favorable one, should be the subject of your next article!

  13. Col Shukla,
    Well what you say does not cut much ice for once. To me it looks like Psy ops. What happened at S-E-S and now at Thimpu is pure cowardice by MMS. I guess MMS (due to his own political irrelavance in Kangress) is hell bent to stamp his authority and keen to leave his legacy.

    This south Asia business is pure Anglo-Saxon Bull crap and MMS is the perfect stooge. As usual, this is cowardcie and helplessness and dhimmitude and "South Asianess" among India's ruling elite masquerading as strategic thinking. One doesn't need the IQ of a genius to realize that as a Pakijabi, Gilani is nothing but a mouthpiece of the TSPA/ISI terrorists. By bending down before Gilan's knees and begging for deliverance, it somehow conveys the impression that India has a strategy. Fact of the matter is that the cowards and "South Asians" in Delhi are taking orders from US. Someone even said that emulating US, Kiyani should be given a red carpet welcome in Delhi as a "great power" bringing regional peace. Makes me throw up.

    Kiyani asks how high when US asks him to jump in return for military goodies to terrorize and beat the living crap out of us SDREs; while Kiyani through his mouthpiece Gilani demands Kashmir at terrorist gun point or else. And this is what happened at Thimup. TSP terror is equated with India making concessions. So much trust in Gilani. My foot. It is unadulterated surrender.

    Witness the alacrity with which Pakis from Quereshi on were quick to condemn the NY city plot by one of their pigs. Contrast this witj the brazen chutzpah post 26/11 even daring India for a fight.

    This whole bull of removing 150000 Terrorist state of Pakistani soldiers from India border! Well that is a bad joke. You are an army man, Help me calculate how many divisions roughly need to be moved? This is a just pulling a wooly curtain on the Mango Indian eyes to give more concessions to 'TSP' under pressure from 'GOTUS' and POODLE. MMS is treading a very dnagerous line . This Bull of South Asian university talks of South Asia are a sign of intense yearning of a certain 'Piss' prize.

    I am surprised how come a junior officer made him shift during the Photo op to the other side with gropper Gillani! Due to such people even Mauritius has the temerity to advise us on Kashmir.

    Col, It's only the FC that is fighting in Pakhtoonkhwa. You know it too. Moving 10 divisions frm Indian borders, well can you number them please? This NDTV (Kangress mouthpiece ) propaganda machine must stop.

    With all respect to your designation. let's keep the debate civilised also.

  14. Col,
    By the way where are the dead bodies of those 10000000000000 number of terrorists killed? the modus-oprendi is simple...

    1. Make announcements atleast one month in advance for the more pious (Yahoos) to leave the area of likely operation

    2. When ordinary pashtoons are left in the area, operations begin

    3. Use long range artillery and heli gunships to flatten the villages and hutments.

    4. Show the Amirkhans the flat lands and riase a bill under Coalition support find and now Kerry Lugar Bill

    5. Amirkhan happy, Yahoos happy as they are saved for a rainy day and Poor pashtoons are butchered, slaughtered by the Pakjabi army.

    This is a genocide of pashtoons happening and what a shame, Indians are doing nothing. There is no Kashmir issue, the real issue always was Pashtoonkhwa and that is the reason of setting a goal for the nation( kashmir). in 1947 too, Mehsuds were used to capture POK and then Indian army pushed them from Valley.

    Pashtoonkhwa is the real fear TSPA lives in. Thsi blood of innocent pashtoons will be taken count of. They will take a 'BADAL' against these pakjabis. I am watching

  15. Pakistanis kill only the failed militants.

  16. The recent killing of an Ex ISI official (Mr Khawaja) is encouraging.Finally the people of the great land of Pashtunistan has come to realize that the Pakistan Army is has historically used them as cannon fodder to further their narrow interests.
    History will remember this phase as the beginning of the end of Punjabi domination of power in Pakistan.
    The rule of the punjabi landlords and the army on the rest of the ethnic groups in pakistan should come to an end.
    INDIA will have to find ways to directly talk to this people and show that we are not the deamons that we are made out to be in front of them.
    We need to get back some lost good will among the Pashtuns in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.we should be in this for the long haul.OUR afghan policy can only be successful if we win over the pashtun population.I dont know what the best way to do it will be ,but we as a nation should understand the pashtuns and recontinue our historic ties with them.We as a nation doing this right may be the turning point in our war against terror.
    IF the baloch and the pashtun work together then no power in this world can stop them ,let alone pakistan.The nationalists in both those regions should work towards that goal.

  17. If your smatering of knowledge comes from the usual souces, articules written by people who have read few other articles, never gone to the hinterland and spent actual time there, then its understandable. Many indians (even the well meaning ones) see pak through their coloured lenses and thus can never really understand us. NB. Paks by their nature don't trust outsider (even people outside their area), this is why we are good at small talk.

    Do you know the percentage of Balouchis, Pakthuns and Kashmiris in Punjab who own land there?

    Sindhi used to be an issue however since the time of Zia they have become integrated in all power structures in pak, even in the can be seen by the number of shaheeds from interior sindh (just an example). What also helped was that people in karachi actually started showing some balls and fighting back. Like i said we respect courage and the ability to fight in pak., even the sindhis, thus went away the issue in sindh. Haven't seen many reports regarding sindh lately...

    Balouchi's are slowy getting there...did you notice how quickly the farangi came over to the government when newspapers,tv (falsely i think) said they were getting support from india. The balouch FC used to be mainly recruited from punjab, now almost all new recruits are coming from the balouch tribes. Another question for you, do you know the percentage of none Balouch's that own land in Balouchistan?

    'most of the world believes...' The world has been believeing for a long time...60yrs and counting i think. Does that not make one think what is holding the place together? Or the fact that these coloured reports could be wrong?

    Pakistan will breakup but into smaller districts, Seriki's, Potwaris, Hazara, etc..
    There was a time the tribals areas did not want any non-tribals but now they want to be integrated with the rest of the country properly. Hint: there are almost the same number of Pakthuns in karachi from tribal areas as in Peshawar.

    More integration is happening due to education, tv, reduced travel times and oh islam.

    TTP by the way are not considered Talibs and they have been so dumb and have quickly lost all support. The PA/FC that used to hate fighting these guys now relish the prospect of facing these guys. These guys can be taken care of however only if public want to get rid of them, otherwise there is no chance. Or if india starts making serious noises....

    Most of us were extremely offended and upset by what happened in Mumbai but then guess what india starts making noises and these guys are back up there again....

  18. Bismillah@15.01
    ''Remember one thing we paks actually quite like fighting, if we are not fighting our neighbours we are fighting each other.''

    This is another of those quaint myths of the 'martial' Pakistani!one Pakistani Equal to 10 others(Indians!!!).
    It would be an amusing thought were it not for the disastrous consequences such ideas have caused to Pakistan.

    Systemic instability,internal squabbles,ethnic domination, corruption lust for power and dominance by the powerful,strategic failure and overreach cannot be covered up by attributing it to the 'fighting nature ' of a people out for a 'jolly old scrap'.

    Internalizing such myths and actually initiating action on such Myths, a la Grand Slam, Gibraltar,Kashmir, Kargil and what have you,have all contributed to the sorry state that Pakistan finds itself now in.

  19. Well if Pakistan wants a splintered Afghanistan, well let them have it. Let them have a lawless Southern Afghanistan and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa where they can surrogate terror outfits under full backing of ISI.

    Why, because these regions are the main production centers of opium; a prime source of slush funds for ISI. What they do with it, well everybody knows that.

    Lets face it, the ISI, the most powerful center of power in Pakistan(even more powerful than judiciary, parliament or military) will do anything to keep them sphere of influence intact.

    India on its part should try to do what it can do best to finance and bolster the resources and capabilities of former Norther Alliance commanders (Ismail Khan, Md. Fahim, Ata Md., Rashid Dostum) alongside as many Shunni Pashtun commanders they can get from Pashtun dominated Nangharhar and Bamiyan province, and areas close to Iran border (near the zarang-delaram-Iran border, who are mostly Shia).

    I am saying this because as soon as the US runs away from Afghanistan in 2012, whatever everyone may say; the fact remains
    a resurgent Taliban will do anything to recapture Afghanistan.
    It will once again be supported by religious elements in Pak military and ISI. Not to forget the parties like JuD, LeT, TTP, who will whole heartedly support them.

    One important thing, what you sow is what you reap, or should I say riding a man eating tiger is not easy. The US and Pakistan in their game of one-up-manship over Russia created a man eating tiger called the Mujahedeen; indoctrinated in religious hatred who later became Taliban.

    Now this tiger is eating them bit by bit. First the tiger will eat up Pakistan army, then Pakistan and then may be the US also (9/11, liquid explosives on planes, underwear bombs,Times Square plot).

    Pity those in Pakistan army who want peace will be left rueing their decision of staying silent to the wrongs that have been happening since the time of General Zia.

    India on its part can just sit on the fence and watch the events unfold. Hoping against hope that Pakistan manages to stop Pakistan breaking into 4 separate countries (Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Sindh, Punjab).

  20. @Broadsword

    It does not take genius to relise there are minorities in India complaining about Northern domination. Similiar situation in Spain (Basques and Catalan regions), so minorities elsewhere feel agreived.

    BTW, Ayub Khan, Musharraf, Yayha, all military leaders of Pakistan were from minoritie groups. PML N placed Musharraf as COAS because they believed "Punjabi military" would not follow him, if he led a coup. I think they were disproved and so are you!?

  21. Bismillah @...
    5 May 2010 02:26

    The problem is also that, Pakistan at no point tries to understand is as long as it does not direct mercenaries at India and not make unnecessary hue and cry about issues it knows it does not own.
    Good Bilateral relation and a developed Pakistan is as much in the Indian interest as it is in the interest of Pakistan, than having to sustain development through aid from elsewhere.

    This is as much in the interest of South Asia for that matter, I also know a common man or lets say the business community in Pakistan as well would be in favor of the same, the common population ofcource would benefit.

    Any attempts made by Pakistan in this regard with view of improving bilateral relations than waging war in the past 60 years?

    Back to the topic of Pakistan internal unity and strength, the above is also mentioned for the same reason, initially the country was asked to be united against India and ofcourse every one understands that over the years the internal differences between tribal and others were looked into to a good extent. People understand that without such an effort the breakup of Pakistan would have happened no doubt.

    But even today, when one directs the unity factor is it being Pakistani that invokes unity?
    Again while I can say so when i speak to a common man or business class in Pakistan, the same does not look good when Army comes into the picture ( why didn't I refer politicians , sadly democracy is still young and fighting still as good as it could to come out of these clutches, so no time to concentrate on real issues, than become a political face for the army's intentions).
    Hope Pakistan is able to come out these shadows soon and concentrates and invests on real issues concerning Pakistan in Which India can only be a Bilateral partner from the point of view of Pakistan not a enemy.

    Anyone wondered why reduced army strength on the border is not a concern for Pakistan... Because unless there is a misadventure by Pakistan it never is.

  22. Col,
    were my posts offensive in nature thats why they are not on the page? Your call in any case.


  23. Anonymous 10:52

    I agree with what you say. It's a strange quirk in the mindset of a certain class of Punjabi Pakistani... the need to convince themselves that, man-for-man, they are better fighters than the cowardly Indian and that the only reason why Pakistan comes a very poor second in every major clash with India is because the devious Hindoo mind has bypassed the need to fight (never mind Sun Tzu) to win yet another major strategic victory.

    That argument allows a fragile and uncertain machismo to still hold onto its self-image.

    Alas, I've seen too much of the real thing to buy the argument that the Pakistani soldier is any different from the Indian jawan. In numerous tactical engagements, the Indians have scored over the Pakistanis. To name just one, Pakistan's apparently impregnable Qaid Post on the Siachen Glacier, held by the Special Services Group, was assaulted and captured by a regular Indian infantry platoon from the JAK Light Infantry.

    There are multiple examples of this kind. There are also examples where Pakistani units and sub-units have come out looking better than their Indian opponents. So big deal!

    Chandrabhan, if you want your posts to be carried on this blog, try being a little less abusive towards Pakistan, China, America, the Congress, in fact everyone. Also, try writing in English; crap like "Porkistan" etc is not welcome here.

    Anonymous 18:53:

    Where do you live? I've lived 52 years in India and I haven't met the minority that complains about being dominated by North Indians. I've met people who want to leave India, but not because they were being dominated by North Indians.

    Since you clearly know nothing about India, here's some information. There is no dominant majority in India of the kind that the Punjabis constitute in Pakistan. In this country, the dynamics of democracy give the states, particularly the bigger ones, real leverage in power. So, sorry, but there's no domination here. Not even by UP when it was such a big power centre.

    Joydeep Ghosh:

    Stop beating this tired old ISI drum. Who has told you that the ISI is a bigger power centre than the Pakistan Army?

    Here's some information for you: the Pakistan Army has complete control over the ISI. Every ISI officer gets his posting order to and from the ISI from the Pak Army. The DG of the ISI is appointed by the Army Chief. The ISI is merely an intelligence agency of the army, albeit one that has acquired a powerful executive arm as well.

    The ISI is no Frankenstein's monster. It is a tool of the army and nothing more.

  24. @ Broadsword

    My point of post was Pakistan Army has had non Punjabis as COAS and who led nation. You did not reply to that.

    Instead said no minorities in India are agrieved that they have been neglected by center, dont you forget Assam? I expect you will counter last part of post rather then question why "Racist Punjbi" military allowed minority groups to lead nation, Musharraf is good example.

  25. Ajai sir

    may be you consider me wrong, but as per the news on its the ISI all the way.

    ISI first sent Khalid Khwaja and retired Colonel Amir Sultan Tarar (popularly known as Colonel Imam), and Asad Qureshi, a British journalist of Pakistani origin, to North Waziristan; then organized their kidnap and got the Taliban to kill Khalid Khwaja and got them to negotiate release of Taliban militants in exchange of Amir Sultan Tarar with plans to get bigger Taliban names out of jail in exchange of Asad Qureshi.

    Though their kidnap gave Pak Army chance to attack North Waziristan, but ultimately it was the ISI which was calling the shots.

    Well if this is true then it proves that ISI which was unhappily pressured into supporting the US led campaign against Al Qaeda and Taliban, is doing everything possible to retain its influence and undermine not just the US but also its own army.

    What is important here is that whether Pak Army is really willing to fight those people whom they groomed, trained and armed.

    Pak Army has no doubt the ability to counter any internal threat. With respect to India its a different ball game.

    Point is whether Pak Army really has it in itself to taken on its own creation (Taliban) and its cousin (ISI). If they do its good for them, but if they dont, its bad for everybody.

  26. @ Bismillah:
    "Remember one thing we paks actually quite like fighting, if we are not fighting our neighbours we are fighting each other."

    The other word for such people is "Barbarians"

  27. The ISI appears to be under Army control, as you rightly pointed out, at least based on news reports. However, the army seems to be in no one's control, certainly not the civilian govt. They way promotions and extensions were decided recently is a good example, if any is required.

    The Army also seems to have jehadi elements that beyond its own control, as shown clearly by several assassination attempts against Musharraf with moles inside army playing significant role, as per Pakistan's own admission. The hosing down of Benazir Bhutto's murder site is yet another case in point.

    So the whisky-swilling dog-rearing outwardly secular class in the army is getting crowded out by the jehadi class as these recruits of last few decades after Zia are bound to move up in the ranks..

    Therefore, it is not right to say we don't have a Frankenstein monster and that it is simply another intelligence agency like those of other countries.

    Pakistanis (at least the honest ones) already seem to know they have a full fledged monster in their midst...they seem not to know what to do about it.

  28. I used to regularly read Ejaz Haider, whom I consider one of Pakistan's better defence analysts and under the constant barrage of doomsayers reports bemoaning the fragility of the Pakistani state, he stated that it was institutionally stronger than outsiders believed. As an insider, we have to concede that his point of view does have some strength - because unlike the Bangladeshis whom they drove away with their racism, the West Pakistanis jitter through with some mad sense of a common destiny that no one can define but everyone seems to feel. In such a small country, the army has the material and physical strength to underwrite this unity in any case.

  29. jagmohan swain14 May 2010 at 10:30

    "The other word for such people is "Barbarians" "

    To extend that topic a little further, days of barbarians, be it the German types or Asian Steppes have been extinguished forever.

    For almost 4500 years of Human history, since the invention of Bronze age until the invention of firepower, barbarians and not the civilized ones were the real masters of time, shaping human history on the edge of sword (Mongols vs Chinese, Huns vs Romans).

    Since the large scale adoption of firearms, finally human technology had evolved to a point where technology and not intensity of barbarianism determined the final outcome of the war.

    It's a good thing that barbarians from our western border is still unaware of this paradigm shift in history of warfare.Which is good for us.May be few hundred years hence when Indian scientists would be sending cutting edge spaceships deep into space our barbarian brothers on the west would be still fighting each other with steel-age swords and reminding themselves glory of Ghori and Taimur.

  30. India is a toothless snake and the Pakis know it from long. Hear out what the poet of our times' Ramdhari Singh Dinkar' has to say about such relations as exist between India lead by UPA and the rogue Pakistan
    ie peace and forgiving suits that snake which has poison. What force the forgiveness and peace overture of a snake carry which has no poison , is toothless and is too polite and a simplton.


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