The Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan
By Farrukh Saleem, The News, March 29, 2010
ISLAMABAD: What is so strategic about the strategic dialogue? Not too long ago, the Pentagon tried to play with the GHQ’s India-centric national security paradigm. Finally, the GHQ won, the Pentagon had to give in. Not too long ago, the US State Department tried to pressurise the GHQ into submission to civilian executive. Finally, the GHQ won, the State Department lost out.
Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, now says, “How can you have a strategic dialogue without including the military?” The New York Times announced, “Army Chief driving Pakistan’s agenda for talks.” The Washington Post declared, “Gen Kayani is driving the nation’s agenda.” Reuter’s announced, “General Kayani in Washington: Pakistan’s most powerful man.”
Within Pakistan, the GHQ won Operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat, Operation Black Thunderstorm in Buner, Lower Dir and Shangla and Operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan. Over the recent past, the Pak Army successfully conducted the largest heli-borne operations ever undertaken in South Asia.
Strategically, within Pakistan, real power has already moved from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. The ruling politicians have failed to control events around them and are yet to exhibit any ability to control other powerful entities-one a mere 14 kilometres away from the Presidential Palace. And, unfortunately, the civvies have failed to put together coherent strategies to deal with state actors, the US, India and Afghanistan. On November 2, America votes to elect 435 members of the United States House of Representatives, 36 new members to the United States Senate and 38 governors.
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Army Chief Driving Pakistan’s Agenda for Talks - NYT
Courting Pakistan - Wall Street Journal
Yet nothing strategic about it! - The Nation
In Afghan end-game, India gets that sinking feeling - Dawn
India outplayed, outsmarted in Afghanistan - IBN Live
A spy unsettles US-India ties - Asia Times