Nations take great pride in their armed forces. Nations cherish them and protected by them. In contrast, people of Pakistan have only suffered hardships and traumas at the hands of its own armed forces. expressmedscanada.com
The dream of an independent Pakistan has gone sour because of all the military generals who are acting no less than like a mafia or gang at national level. Imagine a mafia “legally” consuming more than 80% of the national resources and armed to the teeth with all kinds of weapons.
The country suffered a great loss in 1971 when its own Army surrendered in shame after committing one of the worst human right crimes in history and perpetrating the holocaust of three million people who were the citizens of Pakistan. That was just the beginning.
In the last six decades Pakistan Army has transformed into an organized crime syndicate and a business mafia that occupies the country it proclaims to defend. This criminal organization is the biggest stake holder and stock holder in every big business of Pakistan by virtue of the power it has.
Pakistan military has the biggest share in Pakistan's stock exchange. It operates commercial bank, airline, steel, cement, telecom, petroleum and energy, education, sports, health care and even chains of grocery shops and bakeries.
In short, the military’s monopoly is present in every sector of Pakistan economy. To the contrary, its performance at the professional level is zero. Instead of defending Pakistan, it has undermined the very foundations of this country. Particularly, under General Musharraf, it has bankrupted Pakistan of its ideological grounds for existence. Instead of defending its physical borders, the army that is being ranked as the seventh biggest army in the world has only brought embarrassment to the nation in the battle fields of Kargil and Dhaka. On top of that, since 2001, it has started acting like occupation force in many parts of the country. Bombing homes, mosques and schools has become a routine.
Although the military permanently remained very active behind the political scene, the criminal Generals of Pakistan betrayed the nation four times by breaking their oath and constitution and overthrowing civilian governments.
They over threw elected government and captured the power to fulfill their evil desires and to protect the interests of their imperialist masters. The Pakistani Army has played an evil role in mainstream politics throughout the history with the objective to manipulate everything to their advantage.
Even though Pakistan is a republic, the military Generals have ruled the country more than public representatives. It is because of these Generals that a people’s government could not take root in Pakistan.
The Generals of Pakistan consider themselves above every law and they take pride in disobeying orders from civilian government. It has been their practice since 1947. General Douglas Gracey, the first commander-in-chief of Pakistan Army started this tradition by disobeying orders from founder and Governor General of Pakistan, Mr. Jinnah during the first Kashmir War. Instead, Gracey sought instructions by telephone from his superior, Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, in New Delhi. Since then it has been a rule in Pakistan Army to break their oath and to take orders from outside. From Gracey to Musharraf, every last one of them used power to sabotage political process that could lead to self-rule and stability of the country. They have been serving their outsider masters instead of defending the physical and ideological borders of Pakistan.
Pakistan came into being in August 1947 but partition plan of India had been announced in June 1947. British divided national resources between two newly formed states. British army had been divided and according to this division six armored, eight artillery and eight infantry regiments formed Pakistan's army. Division of armed forces was according to demographic division of states and 4000 officers and 15,000 soldiers, 2332 Air Force personnel and 74 air crafts were given to Pakistan that was approximately 36% of total resources. General Douglas Gracey was acting Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army and Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, was still Commander-in-Chief of the armies of both India and Pakistan.
Soon after the independence, US started investing in Pakistan Army to prepare an agent in South Asia to thwart Soviet ambitions and use Pakistan like a South Asian Israel. US backed every criminal act of Army Generals to crush people’s rule in the country. Since the inception, this army has been serving as a tool in Washington’s strategic planning for the region. The US granted $400 million to establish and strengthen Pakistan’s armed forces initially. The US needed a terrorist arm in the region to play its strategic game against the Soviet Union. For this purpose, Washington backed successive dictatorships in Pakistan, and also throw them out of power when they outlived their utility.
Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
The first war between India and Pakistan began in October 1947 and ended in December 1948. At that time, both Pakistan and India were trying diplomatic process for the merger of Jammu and Kashmir. To sabotage diplomatic process, Pakistan Army played a cowardice game. Pakistan Army prepared armed tribesmen to infiltrate into Kashmir and upraise anarchy. This act of cowardice led to signing an instrument of accession with India in October 1947. Pakistan Army then joined infiltrators and a war broke out.
Initially Pakistani Army fought with armed forces of Kashmir and they gained significant successes. Maharajah of Kashmir thus requested Indian government for help and Indian government deployed its forces in November 1947. So far Pakistani forces had been facing resistance only from Kashmiri forces. That enabled them to enter far into Kashmir. After the deployment of India forces, Pakistan Army and Army-backed tribesman faced fierce resistance. Though Indian Army was facing serious logistic problems, it thwarted the advancement of Pakistan Army.
Indian Army suffered setbacks due to logistic problems and also that it was not prepared for a war just two months after partition, especially for a high altitude combat. Whereas Pakistan Army had planned and conducted this operation with the help of tribesman of NWFP, who were able to face extreme weather and mountain range. Still Indian army had been successful in regaining most of the area. In 1948, United Nation entered into conflict and broke a ceasefire in January 1949.
The cease- fire agreement formalized the military status quo, leaving about 30 percent of Kashmir under Pakistani control. Apparently it was a major success but in reality, it brought such a disaster to the Kashmir cause that it can still be witnessed. Pakistan lost 70 percent of the Kashmir territory in the process. This created reluctance and hatred among Kashmiris for Pakistan and Pro-Indian Kashmiri political parties gained significant strength in Kashmir.
Pakistan's first democratic elections were scheduled in 1958. But a democratic government and a strong parliament was not in the interest of US foreign policy. General Mohammed Ayub Khan, the commander-in-chief, took over the government in a coup and cancelled the elections that were a threat for military’s blind power. Ayub Khan imposed Martial Law in the country and seized constitution. Under Ayub Khan rule, Pakistan became a US garrison state in South Asia. During this period, US granted $630 million directly and $670 million indirectly to purchase military equipment. US also paid salary of General Ayub Khan.
General Ayub Khan, with the support of US, made every effort to thwart peoples’ self-rule in the country. He used every dictatorial method to shut voices against his brutal attacks on democratic process. In this period, Ms. Fatima Jinnah, sister of the Founder of Pakistan, who was at that time most respected woman in Pakistan, raised voice against military dictatorship and criminal acts of the Generals. Ayub Khan and his companions played their dirty games to defame this respected lady.
War of 1965
During Ayub period, Pakistan army planned an operation against India after a green signal from Washington. Operation Giberaltar was planned to infiltrate and start rebellion in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani soldiers trained guerillas for infiltrating into Kashmir and starting an insurgency among local Kashmiris. This plan failed as locals did not respond as expected by the puppet military of Pakistan. Infiltrators were soon exposed and it resulted in a counterattack by Indian forces.
After the shameful failure of Operation Giberaltar, the coward army planned another Operation, called Grand Slam, to cover-up its embarrassment. The plan was to capture Akhnur, a north-eastern town of Jammu that was a key region for communication between Kashmir and the rest of India. This however resulted in more problems for Pakistan as India countered by crossing the international border further south in Punjab. As a result, a large scale war started between the two neighbors. The war lasted five weeks, resulting in thousands of casualties on both sides and ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire. The war remained largely inconclusive despite Pakistan suffering relatively more losses.
Though the war was indecisive, Pakistan suffered much heavier material and personnel casualties compared to India. Many war historians believe that had the war continued, with growing losses and decreasing supplies, Pakistan would have been eventually defeated. The Pakistani Army's failures was apparent right from the beginning as Pakistan Army had expectations that local Kashmiri will support insurgency started by Pakistani soldiers. But the people of Kashmir, for whatever reason, did not revolt against Indian government. On the contrary they provided Indian army with information about Pakistani intruders.
Under the influence of controlled propaganda, many Pakistanis rated the performance of military positively and September 6 is celebrated as 'Defence Day' in Pakistan in commemoration of the successful defense of Sailkot against the Indian army. However facts are not always based upon emotions. This war left a lot to desire as Pakistan lost more ground than gained and more importantly Pakistan army did not achieve what was planned. War also imposed a huge burden on Pakistan's economy. It took a sever decline after witnessing some progress earlier.
The war also created a tense state of affairs between the two neighbors and both countries increased their defense budgets. Pakistan's spending on defense reached its height as Pakistan was spending 70% of its budget on defense needs in 1973. This extra burden brought negative impact on Pakistan's social and economic progress.
Another negative consequence of the war was the growing resentment against the Pakistani government in East Pakistan. Bengali leaders accused the government for not providing adequate security for East Pakistan during the war even though large sums of money were taken from the east to finance the war.
After the war, Genral Ayub Khan handed over the power to General Yehya Khan violating the constitution instead of holding general elections. General Yehya Khan was a butcher in his nature and because of his incompetence Pakistan faced the greatest loss in its history.
After the 1965 war, a strong resistance against military dictatorship and exploitation of Bengalis had started and Yehya Khan used his dictatorial method to solve political problems. Under the orders of Yehya Khan, Pakistan army acted in fascist ways against it won people and committed worst crimes in East Pakistan.
To control the voices of protestors, the fascist army performed genocide on its own land. With American Support and military aid, Pakistan Army butchered three million Bengalis and raped Bengali women in 1971 only because Bengali leaders were asking for provincial autonomy and an end to exploitation of the people of East Pakistan.
That is the Army way to handle political problems. That is the policy of every dictator to slaughter everyone who dares to speak against dictatorship. Every dictatorship in the world practices the same policy. But Pakistan Army is unique in this matter that Pakistani soldiers killed their own people. They did not spare anyone. They massacred innocent unarmed citizens in colleges, schools, roads and even in mosques.
Atrocities by Pakistani soldiers in East Pakistan shocked the world and conscientious people from around the world condemned crimes of Pakistan Army. Genocide in East Pakistan and human rights crimes led to another war with India in 1971. As a consequence of this war and atrocities of Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan had to loose a large part of its territory which became an independent state, called Bangladesh today.
War of 1971
To control the protests against exploitation and dictatorship in East Pakistan, in March 1971, Pakistani Army started a planned genocide in East Pakistan called 'Operation Searchlight' to curb Bengali nationalist movement. This operation ended in December 1971 and resulted in deaths of three million Bengali people. Indian Government at this time expressed full support for the people of East Pakistan. America was providing full support and military aid to fascist Pakistani soldiers. Indian government launched a successful diplomatic campaign against Pakistani military's crime on a grand scale.
To cover their embarrassment in international forums, Pakistan's military rulers launched an offensive air strikes on north-western Indian border. However, the Indians had anticipated such a move and the raid was not successful. The Indian Air Force launched a counter-attack and quickly achieved air superiority. Pakistan Army counter-attacked India in the West in an attempt to capture territory which might have been used to bargain for territory they expected to lose in the east. The land battle in the West was crucial for any hope of preserving a united Pakistan. The Indian Army quickly responded to the Pakistan Army's movements in the west and made some initial gains, including capturing around 5,500 sq miles of Pakistan territory.
At sea, the Indian Navy proved its superiority by the success of Operation Trident, the name given to the attack on Karachi's port. It also resulted in the destruction of 2 destroyers and one minesweeper, and was followed by the successful Operation Python. In every field, Pakistan Army faced heavy losses. The war ended in a crushing defeat for Pakistan military in just a fortnight. Pakistan's general Niazi, who was titled as 'Tiger Niazi' for killing innocent un-armed civilians appealed for a cease-fire and surrendered in extremely shameful manner. As a result, East Pakistan became Bangladesh. Pakistan lost a half of its navy, a quarter of it Air-Force and a third of its army. India captured 93000 Pakistani soldiers as prisoners of war. India wanted to put them on trials for their war crimes in East Pakistan but eventually released them as a gesture of reconciliation.
After this shameful defeat, General Yehya Khan resigned and handed over power to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, an elected leader and thus democracy started being restored eventually. It was against the Interest of foreign policy of US, who had spent a huge amount in Pakistan Army. Bhutto's policies were leaning towards Soviet Union while US has established a fascist terrorist arm in the form of Pakistan Army. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto remained in power from 1971 to 1977.
In July 1977 the military, led by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, staged a coup. Zia removed Bhutto from power, held him in detention and later persecuted and hanged him. Zia pledged that new elections would be held in 90 days. He kept postponing the elections and eventually took all power in his hand. He ruled the country for 11 years that is the longest period in Pakistan's history till date. General Zia imposed Martial Law in 1977 and assumed the post of president in 1978. He secured his position by a rigged referendum in 1984 and in 1985 he eased Martial Law and announced non-partisan election. Zia handpicked a dummy Prime Minister to show the world that he is restoring democracy. Muhammad Khan Junejo who could not breath without the General’s permission was sacked in 1988.
Zia’s period is not only longest but darkest too as during this time, historical places were turned into prisons for those who raised voice against military dictatorship and it became a routine to arrest, punish and persecute intellectuals who dared to speak. This period was full of brutality, suppression and fear. A number of intellectuals fled from Pakistan and many were sent to specially set up torture cells. He imposed his policies in the name of Islamization to get support from religious schools. This Islamization was directly imported from Washington and was based on violence for serving American interest in the name of Islam and Jihad in Afghanistan. Results of his Islamization are clearer after nine years.
General Zia was an actual employee of US. After holding the power, he started a proxy war on the orders from his US masters against Soviet Union. He proved himself as the most reliable instrument for his imperialist masters. In his period, Pakistan was flooded with military aids from US. Zia was performing as a middleman between US and tribesman of Afghanistan who were fighting against Soviet Union. General Zia did everything to serve his Washington-based masters from training of Afghan fighters to sending Pakistanis to Afghan war. In his period, religious schools became training camps for militants. Whole country was flooded with arms and ammunitions and it resulted in a continuous state of violence in the country that is present to date.
Zia's rule witnessed heightened tensions with neighboring states. He was instrumental in providing military assistance to Mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan against Soviet Occupation and then later diverting them to the Kashmir cause in the late 1980s. During his time as President, Zia was also accused several times by Indian premier Indira Gandhi (and later Rajiv Gandhi) of training Sikh insurgents and sending them to destabilize India.
Under the orders from Washington, Zia provided logistic support to Afghan Mujahedeen and opened Pakistani borders for Afghanistan. A great number of refugees fled into Pakistan and the country faced a huge burden on its economy. Zia’s era is also remembered as the golden age for drug trafficking. This period was also golden for criminals as all sorts of arms and ammunition became easily available throughout the country.
Zia’s greed for more and more power led him to introduce theocratic laws without the broader context and without fulfilling other basic requirements for implementing those lasws. It was a show to win support in the name of Islam. He imposed total censorship on media and he introduced a controversial Hudood Ordinance to win support from religious fundamentalist groups. Human rights Organizations have been criticising the implementation of this law and they accuse that this law has been being abused to suppress half of the population of Pakistan. This infamous ordinance was introduced to control adultery but in itself this ordinance protected rapists. Under this ordinance many rape-victims were arrested and sent to prison because they could not produce witness to meet the standard of this ordinance. Zia also banned women from participating in sports activities.
With continuous support of the US, General Zia became the most powerful and cruel ruler of the country. He declared Pakistani constitution as a 'rag of paper'. The person who polluted the soil of Pakistan with drugs, arms and corruption died in an air crash in 1988. Officially his death remains a mystery as no one dares to point a finger towards the actual mastermind behind the plot.
General Zia also militarized the bureaucracy systematically. By the order of his government, 5% of all new posts in the higher civil service were to be filled by army officers who, consequently, occupied important civilian positions. Successive democratically elected governments did not rescind this order due to the power wielded by Pakistan Army. Under Pakistan's current military government, militarizing the bureaucracy is again pursued.
After the death of General Zia-ul-Haq, Ghulam Ishaq Khan became caretaker president of Pakistan and he held elections in the country to restore democracy. Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zufiqar Ali Bhuto, former Prime Minister who was persecuted by Zia-ul-Haq won with heavy majority and her victory proved how much hatred Zia-ul-Haq had earned. Military supported president Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved National Assembly just after twenty months and forced new elections. In fact fascist military Generals could not tolerate the popularity of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was still alive in the hearts of people of Pakistan even after an 11 years long period of suppression.
In upcoming elections of 1990, Nawaz Shareef became Prime Minister. Elections of 1990 were fully controlled by Military and Nawaz Shareef was actually a hand-picked Prime Minister. But Nawaz Shareef soon demanded for restoration for real democracy that could never be tolerated by Generals. Nawaz Shareef's started standing against Army mafia. However, Ghulam Ishaq Khan was still president of Pakistan and was acting as a front-man of the military Generals. He removed Nawaz and dissolved National Assembly.
In the 1993 elections, the Generals did not have any dummy to appoint and Benazir Bhutto won with a heavy majority again. This time Benazir came in office with more power and she removed Ghulam Ishaq Khan from office. In 1996 she was removed from office again on the charges of corruption and bad governance. This time again Nawaz Shareef who had become a national level leader by now won with such a huge majority and popularity that the Generals felt threatened. Nawaz Shareef had now understood politics of the fascist Generals and he wanted to control their games.
Nawaz Shareef had been doing his best to restore democracy in the country and in his second tenure he secured extreme popularity in the country. He was the second leader in Pakistan who became so popular in a short period after Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Nawaz Shareef proved himself a sensible leader and he did not give any chance to US to support Pakistan Military to destabilize democracy.
In 1999, Generals played another nasty game to weaken democracy in the country. At this time Nawaz Shareef was working for the peace with Indian Government which could jeopardize the status quo which the military wanted to maintain. The Generals found it a golden opportunity and launched a plan to infiltrate Kashmir. They started an operation in Kargil with the help of some fundamentalist militant organizations. The situation was embarrassing for Nawaz Shareef. He came under pressure from the whole world especially from the USA. In furious state, Nawaz Shareef used his constitutional power and dismissed General Parvez Musharraf who was the mastermind behind Kargil operation.
Kargil war started after military operation code named Operation Badar in 1999. In the beginning Pakistan Army supported intruders and provided logistic support. As a result, they captured Indian Positions at a time when Indian forces had left positions due to cold weather. Due to extreme weather, it was a common practice in both militaries to leave such positions in winter and re-occupy them in spring. Pakistani paramilitary forces took control of Indian positions but Indian forces responded and forced them back to the line of control.
Pakistan Military tried to capture Kargil posts with the help of intruders but Indian forces responded with mobilization of 20,000 troops to the line of control. Indian troops soon secured most of their territories and India also launched a diplomatic campaigned on international level that had been successful and this rogue misadventure by a fascist Army brought embarrassment to the nation. International Media titled Pakistan Army as 'The Rogue Army' for its coward act. Pakistan has been criticized for the criminal activities of its Military and “international community” forced Pakistan to withdraw its troops from Kargil.
Pakistan faced the loss of approximately 4000 troops and extreme damage to the morale of Military. As a result of this fascist act of violating the Line of Control by Pakistan Army, Pakistan faced the possibility of isolation and Pakistan's economy tumbled. Image of Pakistan shattered in international community. The ongoing peace process with India stopped. Prime Minister who was under pressure from international community tried to constitute a committee to investigate. Nawaz Shareef wanted to bring Parvez Musharaf under charge for such irresponsible action.
Tension between Prime Minister and Army chief arose on the issue of investigation. the Army chief, according to the traditions of Generals, started acting arrogantly. Army Chief, who was responsible for the loss, was afraid of investigations and under such fears he started ignoring constitutional orders from Prime Minister. He challenged the writ of democratic government and as a result, Nawaz Shareef issued the orders of dismissal of Army Chief to maintain the writ of parliament.
General Pervez Musharraf
As it had been the policy of Fascist Generals to never perform their constitutional duty and accept orders from Federal Government, General Musharraf refused to accept orders and captured the capital in a military coup in 1999. Generals once again murdered the democracy. General Musharraf arrested the elected Prime Minister and later exiled him. Musharraf charged Nawaz Shareef with accusations of corruption and bad governance.
Such charges of corruptions and bad governance always had been a lame excuse for military coups. Politicians all over the world are charged with such accusations but they do not solve such problems with military coups. It is only Pakistan's fascist army that uses its power to destabilize democracy and over-throw civilian government. It is evident that generals of Pakistan are more corrupt than politicians. Their only problem is that they cannot let democracy be strengthened.
General Parvez Musharraf hijacked power and illegally held the office of president. of Pakistan. He followed the footsteps of his predecessor General Zia-ul-Haq and used every dictatorial method to sabotage democratic process in the country. He used every brutal tactic to control voices of protest. He crossed every limit in serving his US master in order to remain in power. He is the first dictator of Pakistan who follows every command from Washington keeping aside national integrity.
General Parvez Musharraf started Military operation in his own land to control protests against his dictatorship and repeated the story of East Pakistan. Pakistan Army started brutal operations in Waziristan and Balochistan to control the people who are demanding their basic rights. General Musharraf recently killed a nationalist leader from Balochistan, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti who had been a strong voice against Military dictatorship and the due rights of his people. Conditions in Balochistan are being worsened and the exploited people are feeling insecure and frightened.
Under the Musharraf rule, the whole country has become a cantonment. Military is dominating the life in Pakistan. Fascist Army has captured every civil institution including schools, universities, factories, hospitals, public offices and public utility services. Pakistan Army has grabbed a large area of state owned land and it is being allotted to Military officers. They are looting all resources of the nation. Musharraf government is also selling profitable national assets at throw-away prices and getting huge kickbacks. Such corruption cases have been exposed before the Supreme Court but Musharraf is misusing his power and using every dictatorial method to control protests against his corruptions.
People of Pakistan are under a continuous state of fear under Musharraf rule. People are afraid to speak as they have seen how Military rulers killed Nawab Bugti for raising voice against dictatorship. Even international media is silent because Musharraf is being supported by his Washington based masters. Price for the fascist acts of Generals is being paid by common Pakistanis who are suffering poverty and humility.
General Mushararf, following the footsteps of his predecessor generals, forced censorship on media. Government banned websites and newspaper in Balochistan who were reporting the atrocities of Pakistan Army in Balochistan. At some occasions, the government also blocked a reputable news resource 'South Asia tribune' that published the reports of corruption of Generals. They have also blocked some other websites that publish reports on military operation in Balochistan.
Many journalists and activists were kidnapped by agencies and a large number of citizens have disappeared in the past few years. Reporters Sans Frontiers, International Organization of journalists ranked Pakistan as No. 12 in world’s most restricted press in 2006 because of Musharraf’s continuous attacks on the freedom of press.
More recently Pakistan Army raided a religious school in NWFP, killing more than 83 students, accusing them of terrorism. Most of these students were under 14 years of age and no evidence of any weapon or suspicious activity was found. Government also banned journalist to enter in the premises of bombed school. This act of Mushararf is extra-judicial murder and human rights organizations condemned Musharraf regime for such operation without investigation.
International Fund for Peace declared Pakistan a failed state in 2006 because of the policies of General Musharraf. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned the criminal policies of the fascist General. Transparency International ranked his government as most corrupt in the history of Pakistan. But he is not willing to leave the office, ignoring protests going on in the country, condemnation worldwide and worsening situations of homeland security, national economy and human rights.
Land of Pakistan has been suffering the rule of these ambitious and opportunist military Generals denying people their right to self-determination and dancing at the tunes from Washington and London. It is the responsibility of conscientious people from around the world to raise voice against this cruel dictatorship and show support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan who had been a victim of cruelty of its Fascist Army sine 1952.