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The Pakistani Army-Dominant Since The Nation was Born
The Associated Press ^ | 11/11/2007 | STEPHEN GRAHAM

Posted on 11/11/2007 8:57:51 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki

Pakistan Army Dominant Since Nation Born By STEPHEN GRAHAM – 9 hours ago

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan's army has led the country for more than half of its 60-year history and dominated — or ended — the fragile rule of the few civilian governments to take office.

The country's position on the front line of America's war on terror and the army's increasing involvement in the economy suggest the generals are well-equipped to defend their privileges — and may be reluctant to share them in the name of democracy.

Officers and their families have their own upscale schools, hospitals and housing compounds. The military is deeply involved in businesses from banking to transportation and, under President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, scores of retired officers have been appointed to run civilian institutions, from universities to the municipality of Islamabad.

"You now have the army completely embedded like marble inside most of the civil institutions," said Shaun Gregory, a Pakistan expert at the University of Bradford in Britain.

Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup, declared Pakistan's current state of emergency in his capacity as army chief, underscoring the importance of the military in the nation's turbulent politics. He is refusing to say when constitutional rule will be restored.

He promises to step down from the military once his Oct. 6 presidential election victory had been endorsed by a Supreme Court newly relieved of its most independent justices, but tempered that pledge on Sunday with an affirmation that the nation's soldiers will back him in any dispute.

"Even if I'm not in uniform, this army will be with me," Musharraf said.

Pakistan was founded with an oversized security apparatus and little else.

It has fought three wars with its eastern neighbor India, the first within months of independence in 1947. Pakistan also has had border disputes with Afghanistan that have fueled enduring tension on its western frontier.

"Unfortunately, Pakistan did not inherit a strong political system. In the first nine years we couldn't even find a constitution," said Mirza Aslam Beg, a former army chief. "It was in this time that the military physically took over."

Some historians see that legacy in the harsh attitude of Pakistan's military-dominated elite toward dissent, its bickering politicians and any aspiration toward regional autonomy. The attitude is unlikely to change soon.

"As long as there is the context of the war on terror for the next decades — goodness knows how long — that is going to continue to create a security-focused situation" that the military can exploit, said Gregory.

Musharraf insists his latest suspension of the constitution amounts to a state of emergency, though critics note that he acted in his capacity as army chief and have called it "mini martial law."

The general insists he had no choice but to remove Supreme Court judges who were hampering the fight against terrorism by ordering the release of suspects held without charge.

That has underlined how both Musharraf and his supporters in the West — who appear loathe to sanction Pakistan's latest authoritarian lurch — see the military as the key bulwark against Taliban and al-Qaida amid rising extremism, particularly in the regions bordering Afghanistan.

Like all uniformed rulers before him, Musharraf insisted he was acting to protect the nation's vital interests.

Political parties, in contrast, remain weak — dominated by individuals rather than policies, lacking nationwide appeal and with a record in government stained by corruption and vicious feuding.

The generals, abetted by Pakistan's powerful and well-resourced intelligence agencies, have been quick to cut down the few prime ministers who tried to take control.

Gen. Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, who staged his coup in 1977, overthrew Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, father of current opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and arguably the most able politician in Pakistan's short history. Musharraf toppled Nawaz Sharif when the latter tried to fire him.

The Nov. 3 declaration of an emergency saw Musharraf purge the increasingly assertive Supreme Court just as it prepared to rule on his eligibility for another term as president.

Husain Haqqani, a professor of international relations at Boston University, said the weakness of Musharraf's legal case "hardly matters."

"His actions reflect the calculation that he can get away with anything as long as the Pakistan army remains behind him," Haqqani wrote in a column for Pakistan's The Nation newspaper.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ayub; ayubkhan; isi; musharraf; pakistan; pakistaniarmy; yahya; yahyakhan; zia; ziaulhaq
Image Hosted by

A combo picture shows Pakistan's military rulers, from top left, clockwise, President Gen. Ziaul Haq, President Field Marshall Ayub Khan, President Gen Yayha Khan and President Gen. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule was not the first time the army has demonstrated its supremacy in Pakistan. It is also unlikely to be the last. (AP Photo)

1 posted on 11/11/2007 8:57:53 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

No, Ignorance has dominated since its founding.

2 posted on 11/11/2007 9:06:14 PM PST by 359Henrie (38 million illegals create a big carbon footprint. The real inconvenient truth.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

You are (or were) an officer in the Indian military, correct? If so, what do you think would be the best and worst scenarios that could play out here, and what should the US and our allies do about it?

3 posted on 11/11/2007 9:09:06 PM PST by lesser_satan (READ MY LIPS: NO NEW RINOS | FRED THOMPSON/ DUNCAN HUNTER '08)
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To: lesser_satan

Nope-I’ve never served in the Indian military,though I know quiet a few serving/retired folks.Most people I’ve heard say that there is very little chance of an allout war happening in the short term & there is a level of political agreement in India about not escalating tensions with Pakistan after terrorist attacks.But in the long term,pretty much no one has a clue of how things will pan out.The most optimistic scenario is that Pakistan continues to stay in the shape it is-weak,ineffective & a pain in the rear for everyone.The worst would be of it breaking up along ethnic lines & it’s crown jewels splitting up.The talk of India,America & Rambo taking out Pakistan’s nukes is more hot air than anything else.

4 posted on 11/11/2007 9:14:49 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: lesser_satan

Most people Ive heard say that the US is as clueless as India is about dealing with Paksitan .

5 posted on 11/11/2007 9:15:48 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Ah, thank you.

6 posted on 11/11/2007 9:24:32 PM PST by lesser_satan (READ MY LIPS: NO NEW RINOS | FRED THOMPSON/ DUNCAN HUNTER '08)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

After resignation as Foreign Minister, Mr. Bhutto founded Pakistan Peoples Party in 1967. PPP was founded at
Lahore at a convention held on 28th November, 1967. Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was elected as the Chairman of the
Party. The foundation of party was laid on following principles.
Islam is our Faith
Democracy is our Politics
Socialism is our Economy
All Power to the People
The PPP attracted the active participation of the peasants, workers, middle class and students.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s

7 posted on 11/11/2007 9:32:14 PM PST by BARLF (Who is Huma?)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
The army is the only institution in Pakistan that really works. Civilian institutions are weak, corrupt and incompetent. The political parties are little more than fronts for ambitious individuals like Benazir Bhutto. As a British colonial creation, Pakistan has few of the features of a real state. Its more or less the Muslim majority part of India that did not want to be part of Hindu dominated India at independence in 1947.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

8 posted on 11/12/2007 7:41:17 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: gonzo; DeaconBenjamin; indcons; sukhoi-30mki; Eyes Unclouded; ECM; SE Mom; Heatseeker; ...

Pakistan ۋﮧ۱م

FReepmail if you want on or off

9 posted on 11/12/2007 9:58:11 AM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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