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For Pakistan, time to try India as a friend

Discussion in 'International Relations' started by RoYaN, Jun 21, 2011.

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  1. RoYaN

    RoYaN Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Is Pakistan set to implode in its exasperating persistence to define itself in only security terms vis-à-vis India as did the Soviet Union with the United States in a nuclear-shadowed Cold War that lasted 40 years, a numbing fear that consumed three generations, but ended in a barren inevitability 20 years ago of the former collapsing into 13 new countries?

    It seems more likely than not, given the few signs that a fundamental rethink in underway in Pakistan in determining what it stands for rather than what it doesn’t stand for, which passes for its schizophrenic identity.

    Two specific WikiLeaks cables published in Dawn in recent weeks reveal more than just what is already known about Pakistan’s paranoid obsession with India and the authorship and control of the policy of paranoia by the military establishment. In the first, President Asif Zardari, the commander-in-chief of Pakistan’s armed forces, counters the suggestion of Senator John Kerry that New Delhi is interested in pursuing peace with Islamabad by arguing that India has five times more tanks than Pakistan and that these are Pakistan-specific because the Sino-India border terrain cannot support a tank battle. In the second cable, severe civil-military tensions are revealed over access to and control of American aid flows to Pakistan with the army insisting for, and getting, direct aid and refusing to share details with the elected government even during drafting of the annual budgets.

    The oversimplification of the link between military prowess and bilateral relationship – no doubt handed to Zardari in briefings from the military leadership – is disturbing. If Pakistan has to match India tank to tank, plane to plane, soldier to soldier, frigate to frigate and missile to missile before making peace, then it’s a lost battle in perpetuity. If matching military might was the precondition to peace then the world would have been blown up 200 times over because the unending Indo-Pak tensions and Indo-Pak like wars would have been replicated on every shared national border on the planet. What use was there to acquire super-expensive nuclear capability if it didn’t solve the problem of imbalance in conventional military capability? No two nuclear powers have fought a conventional war. Tensions are one thing but war is another. So why still sacrifice national prosperity at the cost of national dignity, as Army chief General Kayani said days after Osama bin Laden was taken out.

    The farcical civil-military equation in Pakistan that has kept political forces emaciated and socio-cultural progress stunted is insulting enough it itself but for the military to have its cake (of American aid) all these decades and eat it too is going too far for even weak states. The military is twice richer and the elected governments twice the poorer when it comes to foreign aid. America has been Pakistan’s biggest civilian and military aid provider. In the last 10 years alone it has received over $21 billion in American aid. General Kayani and his corps commanders may have gingerly offered recently that the US military aid to Pakistan may be diverted for civilian development spending but it is neither here nor there since it managed to prevail on the government to secure the highest ever defense budget in the country’s history this year (over Rs500 billion).

    Tellingly, seven of the last 10 years have been ruled by the military. So they have ended up getting $17 billion of this aid, whether military or ‘civilian’ (the “uniformed” Musharraf had a ‘civilian prime minister’). The civilian government – in place for the last three years only – has received barely $3 billion but the bulk of this too has gone to the military and spent on fighting a war on terror. No wonder there is nearly a trillion-rupee budget deficit crippling Pakistan at the joints – this is why the economy is tanking, social development is at a standstill and unemployment, starvation and poverty are soaring according to the government’s own statistics. Pakistan is fighting a war with its own proxies who also take money and dictation from al Qaeda.

    The two WikiLeaks cables on Pakistan’s security obsession with India and the skewed civil-military equation are at the root of Pakistan’s sorry state. The deficit of trust between Washington and Islamabad that is so wide that despite being allies the former had to invade Pakistan militarily to eliminate bin Laden has thrown up for public debate – and pressure on the military – the need to define “sovereignty”, the concept that the military has traditionally used to reinforce its stranglehold over the national polity.

    The military early on crafted a national security doctrine that helped it manufacture a national security state (as opposed to a national welfare state). This is based on the supposed “clear and continuing” danger from India to unravel Pakistan. The doctrine extrapolates that this “perpetual threat” is a projection of India’s supposed “capacity” to hurt Pakistan rather than its intention to make peace.

    The problem with this contention is that India may have the same stance on Pakistan, which means this is a formula for an unending arms race and not a remedy to war, which should be state’s priority. India’s ruling elites may have been averse to the idea of Pakistan and hostile to the new country in the early decades but it follows that after the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan and their testing in 1998, the deterrent has demolished any existential threat to Pakistan from India. The Lahore summit between the popularly elected civilian governments of both countries (Sharif’s in Islamabad and Vajpayee’s in New Delhi) within a year of the nuclear tests was an affirmation of this new reality. So why no let-up in the paranoia even 15 years down the line?

    If 9/11 (New York) was the moment America and 26/11 (Mumbai) that India changed forever, 2/5 (Abbottabad) could be Pakistan’s crossroads of opportunity to likewise choose the path of being a state that protects its own people by fighting terrorism unconditionally. Sovereignty is not about nurturing dubious proxies to fight your wars but to fight against the instinct to do so. The real violation of sovereignty is the imbalance in receiving foreign aid flows in-country and then not accounting for it. It is the civil-military imbalance within Pakistan that has distorted the nature of civil society and crippled the economy, thus opening up the space for non-state actors and terrorists to appropriate the sovereignty by propelling the country into a suicidal conflict with America and India instead of forces like al Qaeda and Taliban that espouse violence and extremism. Having plans in place in perpetuity to fight India and not even contemplating plans to fully and decisively fight the terrorists (foreign and local) in the border regions (particularly North Waziristan) of your own country – this is not stuff sovereignty is made of. A German delegation that met Kiyani last week was quoted by a local newspaper as saying to them that Afghanistan’s stability is not a priority for Pakistan Army if its strategic interests don’t match it.

    Of course, like any country that has the resources to do so, Pakistan should have a robust military and adequate defense preparedness not only against an overarching India but also an unstable Afghanistan. But India throwing its weight around and building its military muscle is a function of its political, economic and cultural stability and durability, not the other way round. After all, doesn’t Pakistan do the same when it comes to the other six states in South Asia? Pakistan wants political and military parity with India (without matching the democratic and economic stability that India has) but how come it is in a virtually one-sided relationship with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan who can’t match it in military terms?

    The only way to protect Pakistan against threats, perceived and unperceived, is to build trust, peace, trade and interdependence with India, Afghanistan and Iran and key global allies like America and Europe that have deep interest in the region’s stability. Safety and protection will not come from the military’s policy of paranoia to serve in ‘national interest’ which forces the unwilling country to weaken or leverage regional and international players by internal and external state and non-state provocations. These include supporting some militant organisations allied with al Qaeda and Taliban while going after others and by both doing little and seen to be doing even less to stem the involvement of people in attacks or attempted attacks in India, Afghanistan, the US and Europe.

    There is no shame in acknowledging that some things are wrong and accepting that these need to be set right. Pakistan must stop equating sovereignty with defiance. Sovereignty is neither abstract nor absolute but a function of power, which in turn is also not absolute or abstract. Power is relative to the demonstrated power of others and dependent on the discipline of political and economic stability both of which elude Pakistan. Beneficial and lasting power flows from the social contract between a people and its rulers via a consensus constitution in which universal rights are adopted and elected civilian parliaments are supreme and empowered to make all policies, including security and foreign policies, both of which are the military’s handmaidens in Pakistan and therefore without public support or sanction.

    Pakistan needs rigorous and sustained accountability of outmoded, unchanging self-serving institutional doctrines that don’t have public sanction and which have propelled Pakistan into an unsustainable arms race with India and are seeking to control Afghanistan, and which seek to leverage terrorist non-state actors against even allies. It is due to these policies that, according to yet another WikiLeaks cable published by Dawn, a French national security advisor told an American envoy “Pakistan is an army in search of a country.”

    Misplaced bravado does not make pride and there’s no shame in desiring peace with someone we’ve painted as an enemy. The only way the delusional mindset that ill-serves Pakistan will be righted is when the national security doctrine puts the people, not the military establishment, at the center of Pakistan’s raison d ‘etre. We have tried India as an enemy and it has cost us dearly. It’s time to try India as a friend because the cost of being a friend is far, far less than the cost of being an enemy. For this to happen, what we need to do in Pakistan is what Peter Feaver suggested as the perfect civil-military equation: “The civil-military challenge is to reconcile a military strong enough to do anything the civilians ask with a military subordinate enough to do only what civilians authorise”. Good luck Pakistan!


    Adnan Rehmat is a journalist, analyst and media development specialist. He heads Intermedia, a Pakistani media support NGO.
     
  2. sahil

    sahil 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    This will be good for the entire region if their intention is good.
     
  3. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    In May 2004, I went to china for selection for Shenzhen airline to be pilot to operate their B737-800s. I was paired with a PIA guy called Ahmed. I reached before him and like a true naval officer, with sundown my drinks were served in my room. Ahmed bhai reached in the afternoon. I called him up in the evening and went to his room. he was doing his Namaaz. I stood at his door and once he was thru with his prayers I went in. I had drinks but knowing very well that muslims normally do not drink alcohol, i did not carry my drink to his room. He surprised me by ordering my drink in his room. I sat with him and went thru our procedures for simulator check.

    Next day, we went into simulator. We had pilots from australia, germany, brazil and USA who had applied for this great pay job. In Boeings the worst emergency that can happen to you is if you fail N1 governor on one engine and at the same time the other engine has uncommanded reverser deployement. So what happens is that one engine goes to maximum power while the other goes to maximum takeoff power with reverser deployed. This is the worst hypothetical assymetric situation that a pilot can face while rotating for take off. we were given this situation after we had gone thru all other emergency situations easily. Ahmed bhai was a First officer and I was a commander. everyother guy from which ever country crashed on take off in the simulator when given this emergency. Only this Indian and his Pakistani copilot landed back safely. Next day we went thru second simulator check. That day four examiners of Shenzhen airline alongwith a CAAC examiner was in the simulator. We again repeated the same. The chinese were converts. They told me and Ahmed Bhai, you guys are the best, why do you always fight eachother. We topped the selection as a team.

    Ahmed Bhai later joined Air Blue in Pakistan and he always gave me a call whenver he came to Delhi. We shared our family details with eachother like any brother will do. His daughter was to be married to a guy from London in 2005 and he invited me to join him as his friend and Ladkiwala. I promised him that I will be there with my entire family as my wife is from a family which lived in Ravalpindi before partition. My visa was denied by Pak embassy in India as i was a retired service officer. I lost contact with Ahmed Bhai in 2007.
    If me and Ahmed Bhai could defeat the best of the pilots from the world, What do you think will be the future if India,Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afganistan can come together as some kind of EU type of union?

    IMAGINE
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
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  4. TereBinLaden

    TereBinLaden Captain STAR MEMBER

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    A very welcome effort, I must say but such friendship must be promised my assurance not to deal with terrorist anymore now and ever.
     
  5. Praveen Taneja

    Praveen Taneja 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    So far all efforts done by India to improve relation with Pak is seen as Indias weakness and Pak aided terrorist think its a soft state Now its time for pak to think what it want total elimination or peace:triniti:
     
  6. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    A united South Asia can surpass any challenge that one can imagine logically,

    I really hope something like that happens and the South Asia Unites,

    there is a lot of $hit in the world, it time peace was give a honest chance.
     
  7. sahil

    sahil 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Time for pakistani political class to show some guts.They should overrule their military and show them who is the boss.
     
  8. vikas jat

    vikas jat Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    you r right guys i m also made a sister in pakistan on facebook she also call me on my cell phone frequently .....ldai chor dane chaiya ............n one more thing guys pakistan sa call ane par mera khilaf koi police action ho sakta hai kya ............i mean tapp hote honge kya callls ???????
     
  9. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    Nopes, i dont think soo :bounce-grn:
     
  10. UNAM

    UNAM 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan may want to be friendly with india but we should keep one thing in mind that more than indian friendship pakistan want kashmir
     
  11. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    I think we both nations cannot have a friendship as long as Kashmir Dispute Exists

    Both must put Kashmir aside for atleast 20-25 Years and restart
    when we have stronger relations and Understanding of each other.
     
  12. TereBinLaden

    TereBinLaden Captain STAR MEMBER

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    I always supported status quo for Kashmir issue as per my opinion. idk why some people will accept more or less of it on both side of the border, well more is fun but no one will accept with a lesser share, at least we can concentrate more on development then spending Tons of Rs. on fortifying our border, for instance most of the military asset of both the nations are used on pointing each other in border area shared between our two nation then in any other part of the nation.
     
  13. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    Old habits and beliefs seldom change easily
     
  14. Praveen Taneja

    Praveen Taneja 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Its all depend on situation I am not pointing but on net how can you confirm she is innocent citizen of pak and not an ISI agent???

    shaque ki gunjaish hamesha bani rahti hai and in case of any big drama by pak trained terrorist is always troublesome for people like you its suggestion not a warning bro I am not god and can be wrong Too:big_boss:
     
  15. Nick 779

    Nick 779 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    We don't have any problem with normal, moderate Pakistanis. But i would hesitate to trust its politicians and Generals. Remember Musharraf and his backstabbing. Their declarations of friendship should be taken with a pinch of salt. Zardari is seen as a moderate, but what can you deduce from his statement that friendship with India is not possible as India has 5 times more tanks than Pakistan. No Mr. 10 percent India does not have 5 times more tanks than Pakistan but it is 10 times more powerful than Pakistan, so make amends with us soon or you are going to regret it.:yes2:
     
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