The Muslim League whose campaign led to the birth of Pakistan could hardly be called a grass roots party until after 1940 when the Pakistan Resolution was adopted. The League might have operated at the national level before 1940 but its mass base developed only in the 1940s when several Muslim politicians from the Muslim majority provinces also joined its ranks. In the short period available to them before Pakistan became a reality, they had neither been able to create a party structure going down to the people of all regions nor create a vision of Pakistan in terms of a socio-politico economic entity. In a sense they were not ready for Pakistan when it came and had no framework drawn out to deal with the popular aspirations that surfaced.
The ill health and death in September 1948, of founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, prevented Pakistan from benefiting by the constitutional and western liberal values, which he had cherished. The assassination in October 1951 of Liaqat Ali Khan, his second in command who also had a national stature, amounted to the removal of a benign presence that would have worked for establishing durable representative and participatory institutions and processes in the new country. The lesser leaders who succeeded them and who were mostly drawn from the feudal classes in Punjab were not wedded to such ideals.
In the short period available to them before Pakistan became a reality, they had neither been able to create a party structure going down to the people of all regions nor create a vision of Pakistan in terms of a socio-politico economic entity.
This environment suited the bureaucratic military complex which was the inheritor of the British legacy of colonial culture and which had remained intact in the post independence milieu. It constituted the steel framework on which rested the real responsibilities of governance while the political class feuded in the Constituent Assembly, on such questions as the form of government, role of Islam, parity between the two wings of Pakistan, issues relating to federalism, etc. The more the politicians from various regions quarrelled among themselves, the more grew the strength of this group. Over time, the feudal aristocracy of Punjab and the commercial and industrial elite also allied with them to safeguard their own economic and other interests.
None of the Muslim intellectuals or political stalwarts who had contributed to the build up of the Pakistan idea before partition had examined the question whether the existence of a common identity as Muslims would prove sufficient to obliterate separate cultural consciousness of the same Muslim masses and help evolve a sense of political brotherhood, weeding out parochial considerations, Even a cursory look at the history of Islamic people will show that religion was never an adequate vehicle to bridge the gaps dividing people on the basis of their historical experiences, traditions, languages and culture.
The Islamic concept of one Ummah had ceased to be a practical reality after the Ummaids in AD 650 splintered into different political units. Fundamentalists like the Ikhwanul Mussalmeen had been dreaming about uniting the Muslim world again by rejecting class differences, different political structures and separate cultural awareness but the modern Muslim is unwilling to accept that the state and religion are one. After the adoption of the Objectives Resolution by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, conferring on Islam the role of an anchor, the Ullema class had hoped that in due course they would be ‘able to establish their hegemony over the state on the strength of their Islamic credentials.
The available political leaders seemed to display little respect for parliamentary values”¦ Inevitably, the bureaucracy acquired an ascending role in policy and decision-making, supported from the sidelines by the military.
The bureaucratic military complex, with their values inherited from the British, in their early phase, would only accept that the prevailing social environment called for an interface between politics and religion but they could in no way be considered synonymous with each other. Thus evolved a role for them, to keep the conservatives of religion at bay while ensuring that the absence of a sense of Pakistani nationalism did not lead to the ruin of the state.
Military Becomes the Key Factor
The first decade of Pakistan’s existence was marked by great political confusion and turmoil. The Muslim League, which became the ruling party after independence had leaders in the government who hailed by and large from provinces left (behind in India. They failed to strike roots in the new state of Pakistan. No viable alternative political leadership evolved. The available political leaders seemed to display little respect for parliamentary values and were disinclined to close their differences to speedily work out an agreed constitution for Pakistan. Inevitably, the bureaucracy acquired an ascending role in policy and decision-making, supported from the sidelines by the military. In 1954 the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by Governor General Ghulam Mohammed, a former civil servant, when the draft constitution proposed that the governor general should only be a figurative Head of State, as in India.
A second Constituent Assembly was called into session, which gave Pakistan its first Constitution in 1956. Political management in the period till then had increasingly come into the hands of the bureaucratic military establishment that functioned more or less in an authoritarian manner with no respect for democratic norms.
Till the seizure of power by Ayub Khan, the larger corps of officers and men of the Pakistan Armed Forces had maintained a non-political but disciplined and professional image.
The period 1947-58 saw a change of seven Prime Ministers and eight Cabinets. But between January 1951 and 1961 there had been only one Commander-in-Chief Mohammed Ayub Khan, who in 1958 displaced Iskander Mirza as the President and abolished the 1956 Constitution. He was also the Defence Minister from October 1954 to August 1955. Till the seizure of power by Ayub Khan, the larger corps of officers and men of the Pakistan Armed Forces had maintained a non-political but disciplined and professional image. The military was also by and large a cohesive force, with its personnel hailing mainly from Punjab and to a lesser extent from the Pakhtoons.
The mindless political squabbling of the groups jockeying for power had corrupted the political processes and created an impression in the people’s mind that their welfare and survival of the state could only be guaranteed by the Armed Forces. The Press, independent politicians and even some army circles’ had started whispering for the Army to take over directly the governance of the country. In the popular view, the Armed Forces thus, had already become the main pillar of strength of the state. Moreover, the Armed Forces constituted the best-organised institution in the country. With Kashmir having become a live issue between India and Pakistan in September 1947, the ruling elite had allocated large funds to the Armed Forces each year to maintain a strong defence profile.
Ayub’s military takeover was intended to establish political and economic order in the country and he went about the tasks with a military man’s ethos of authority, discipline and hierarchy. The military became central to his administration. The bureaucracy felt obliged to co-operate, reversing the pecking order in which the two had functioned till then. The system Ayub created, the basic democracies, under his 1962 Constitution, was designed to establish a strong Presidency with “controlled democracy” in which political dialogue, process and participation were of secondary importance.
Ayub Khan had been disillusioned by the political theatre enacting every now and then in the Constituent Assembly in the early 1950s and had come to believe that principles of Western style democracy were unsuitable to bring about social and economic development. His system too in the long run, failed to receive popular acceptability since it proved inadequate to deal with the political and economic aspirations of the different categories of general masses, such as the political parties, students, professionals, poor and unemployed. But in the meanwhile, the military had been able to establish a dominating voice in all the core policy and decision making mechanisms, especially in the strategic field.
The military had been the true strength of Ayub Khan, and he took care to ensure that it developed a stake in governance and became partial to the system being developed, turning a blind eye towards dissatisfaction in the civil society”¦
The military had been the true strength of Ayub Khan, and he took care to ensure that it developed a stake in governance and became partial to the system being developed, turning a blind eye towards dissatisfaction in the civil society as it started emerging from the inadequacies of the 1962 Constitution. The Constitution of 1962 provided that for the first 20 years after its commencement, the defence portfolio would always be held by a senior military officer who had been a lieutenant general or equivalent.
A system of permanent secondment of defence personnel to the Civil Service of Pakistan began in 1960. Though this practice was discontinued in 1963, another process of placing senior retiring officers from the three services in public corporations or autonomous bodies or in ambassadorial assignments was initiated. The system of granting agricultural land for service rendered was continued with greater vigour. The military was given a role in socio economic sectors through utilisation of their services and resources in five-year plan projects.
A Temporary Eclipse in 1969 in a Spate of Agitations
Ayub had to go because while he kept his supporters in uniform in good humour, he was unable to provide to the larger masses of the people distributive justice and free political participation and expression. His exit and succession amounted to another coup by the military. Under the 1962 Constitution, on the President’s resignation, the Speaker of the National Assembly took over temporarily as Acting President, with election of the new President being completed in 90 days.
The six-point formula was aimed at restoring the balance and removing the oppression by the West. The military wanted some modifications in this formula before transfer of power to Mujibur Rehman, who, as the new Prime Minister, would have also had a decisive voice in the framing of the new constitution. The military felt that if Mujibur did not agree to some accommodation, military power could be used against him.
Despite these factors, Bhutto was unable to minimise the role of the Armed Forces in the system.
Use of troops to tame the Bengalis converted their opposition into a full-fledged civil war, resulting in the emergence in 1971 of East Pakistan as an independent nation, Bangladesh. The debacle aroused resentment in the rank and file of the military, forcing Yahya Khan and the ruling clique of generals to quit. Power was transferred to Zulfiqar Ali Bhuuo whose Pakistan Peoples’ Party had swept the polls in West Pakistan in the elections to the National Assembly.
The demoralisation brought about by these events in the military and the diminution in the public esteem for them enabled Bhuuo to establish civilian primacy over them. The new Constitution of 1973 made its subversion or abrogation by unconstitutional means or force an act of high treason punishable with life imprisonment or death. Despite these factors, Bhutto was unable to minimise the role of the Armed Forces in the system. With the vivisection of Pakistan, its defence needs were seen to have grown, requiring the strengthening of the clout of the military. A secret nuclear programme was launched in which the support of the military leadership was crucial.
With the vivisection of Pakistan, its defence needs were seen to have grown, requiring the strengthening of the clout of the military. A secret nuclear programme was launched in which the support of the military leadership was crucial.
Bhutto also relied heavily upon the military for dealing with serious law and order problems such as the tribal nationalist insurgency in Baluchistan in 1973 and tribal uprising in Dir in 1976. However, Bhutto started gradually losing his standing and goodwill with the people and the military as he turned more and more to personalised and autocratic rule, denying political opposition legitimate space to function democratically.
The creation by him of a new paramilitary force, Federal Security Force (1972), was seen as a counterforce to the military. The rigged general elections of 1977 in which the PPP won 155 out of 200 seats for the National Assembly led to a wide ranging anti Bhutto agitation during which opposition groups appealed directly to the Armed Forces to topple Bhutto from office. Beleaguered, Bhutto himself took to consulting the military brass on political matters.
The ultimate question again became one of the legitimacy of the Government, and the military was being made the arbitrator by both the sides. The deepening crisis had aroused the top brass to consider whether a solution other than another military intervention was in sight. General Zia-ul-Haq, the Army Chief, finally decided that a military take over was the only answer. He struck on July 5, 1977, paving way for the third military regime of Pakistan.
A large number of military officials were inducted into the governing system to augment the militarys supremacy. National security policy, particularly that relating to India, Afghanistan and nuclear matters, came under their direct control.
The coup also ignored the provisions relating to treason in the prevailing constitution, thereby demonstrating once again the absolute irrelevance of the constitution for the Armed Forces.
Military – The Bedrock
The military remained the bedrock of Zia’s regime, which marked the longest Martial Law reign (July 1977 to December 1985) in Pakistan so far. Even after Martial Law withdrawal, he remained President and Chief of Army Staff till his death (August 1988). Even though a facade of civilianisation was created after the withdrawal of Martial Law, a mix of senior generals and top bureaucrats ruled the country. A large number of military officials were inducted into the governing system to augment the military’s supremacy. National security policy, particularly that relating to India, Afghanistan and nuclear matters, came under their direct control.
The military’s move into a more privileged status continued with Zia contriving to give it an expanded role as protectors of Pakistan’s ideological frontiers and Islamic identity. He felt that Pakistan’s creation on the basis of the two-nation theory made them soldiers of Islam with a duty to safeguard the country from internal and external dangers. The military brass wanted the concept given a constitutional standing so that it could legitimately participate in decision-making and intervene in the event of a national crisis. More military officers were diverted to civilian positions of influence under government control.
The policy of distributing agriculture land and housing plots continued with greater vigour to perpetuate the feeling that a military government was good for one and all in the military. Besides, the system of placement of military officers in civilian jobs in the governmental sectors, autonomous bodies, etc., secured for it wide penetration in all walks of life.
Today the Armed Forces directly control vast commercial and industrial interests also.
Today the Armed Forces directly control vast commercial and industrial interests also. The Army Fauji Foundation has become the largest industrial group in the country. It runs schools, colleges, hospitals, and joint ventures with foreign companies. The Army Welfare Centre operates sugar and woollen mills, cement plants, projects in power generation, petrochemicals, aviation, pharmaceuticals, agro sectors, etc., financial institutions, insurance companies and a host of smallscale businesses. T
he Air Force and Navy have foundations of their own, which operate separate strings of businesses. Besides, the Ministry of Defence runs many defence production units like ordnance and arms producing factories, aeronautical complexes, etc., producing components for aircraft and other material.
The militarys move into a more privileged status continued with Zia contriving to give it an expanded role as protectors of Pakistans ideological frontiers and Islamic identity.
The Army Chief also has under him many service providing groups like telecommunications, border roads, frontier works, etc. Recently, a new opening was given to the army personnel in WAPDA to oversee power distribution. General Parvez Musharraf who carried out a military coup against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on October 12, 1999 has carried out army penetration into civil administration to its utmost limits. There is now an army supervisor to monitor the performance of every major civilian unit.
Backstage Control of the Military
And yet, when Zia-ul-Haq was killed in an air crash in August 1988, his successor as Army Chief, General Afzal Beg and his senior colleagues did not wish a government of a military man to take over. The experience of the three military regimes (of Ayub, Yahya and Zia) had brought home the reality that a military led government offered no panacea for curing the basic problems of political, economic and social development of the nation which had plagued it during civilian rule and solutions, however imperfect, must be sought through a system of participative institutions and processes, which the framework of elective democracy alone ensured.
Beg and his top brass were pragmatic enough to accept the limits of possibilities of growth of political institutions under a military regime and were no longer desirous of asserting military supremacy directly in the governance of the country. The constitutional processes under the amended (by Zia) 1973 Constitution were allowed to work but there was never any doubt where power resided. The understanding was that so long as the professional and corporate interests of the Armed Forces were not threatened, a fagade of civilian supremacy could be allowed to be maintained.
The military leaders were much disappointed at the continued failure of the civilians to ensure effective governance. Their own conviction grew that without their monitoring, the turmoil in the polity would remain uncontrolled.
Between 1988 and 1999, four general elections were held. These elections threw up four elected Prime Ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif twice each. These elections contributed to the development of civil society and enhanced its expectations but the political leadership did not again measure up to their expectations. The military leaders were much disappointed at the continued failure of the civilians to ensure effective governance. Their own conviction grew that without their monitoring, the turmoil in the polity would remain uncontrolled. The conference of Corps Commanders became an important institution within the military, functioning like a politburo, which kept an eagle eye on the economic and political management of the government in power.
The Army Chief emerged as the most important member of the Troika, a term coined to refer to the group of three most powerful personages in Pakistan, the other two being the President and the Prime Minister. The Troika provided a forum for consensus building between civil and military perspectives on all problematic issues facing the decision makers. The Army Chiefs was always the dominating voice. In the removal of the four Prime Ministers mentioned earlier, the role of the Army Chief was the most decisive. In this period, two Presidents also had to go, Ghulam Ishaqque Khan (1993) and Faroukh Leghari (1998); in their exit too the Army Chief had an important role
The never-ending fragility of the party system created a dilemma for the military leadership. Since the constitution conferred no constitutional role to them to participate in the exercise of power, they could do so only from the shadows.
Nawazs removal once again demonstrated that the military would not tolerate any compromise with what it saw as its legitimate domain of supervening interests.
In October 1998 the then Army Chief, General Jehangir Karamat, with the agreement of the senior commanders mooted a suggestion for the creation of a National Security Council, backed by competent advisers and a think tank of experts for evolving credible policies to tackle the ongoing national problems in the political, economic and security zones. Such an arrangement would give the military a direct and legitimate voice in the decision making at the highest level and would do away with the fiction that the military in Pakistan was subordinate to the civilian government.
Nawaz Sharif, in his second term as Prime Minister, with nearly 65 per cent seats in the National Assembly, had become the most powerful Prime Minister that Pakistan ever had. He had already had a President (Faroukh Leghari), a Chief Justice of Pakistan (Sajjad Ali Shah) and a Chief of Staff (Navy) quit their offices for one reason or other. Karamat chose to resign rather than create a standoff when Nawaz Sharif disapproved of his statement. General Parvez Musharraf was appointed the new Chief. With his successes, like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto earlier, Nawaz turned to a personalised style of governance, packing loyalists into key positions. This style took little notice of the ground situation that military sensitiveness had to be factored into important decisions or its independence in in-house matters such as postings, promotions and transfers had to be respected.
Nawaz got disillusioned with Musharraf also when he resisted the former’s efforts to dominate the military apparatus. He tried to dismiss him in October 1999 but this time he had overestimated his strength. There was an immediate institutional response from the military. On October 12, 1999, he himself got sacked through an army coup, the fourth in Pakistani history. Nawaz’s removal once again demonstrated that the military would not tolerate any compromise with what it saw as its legitimate domain of supervening interests.
The Supreme Court has given Musharraf three years to restore full constitutional rule and return Pakistan to democracy. This time, a new form of democracy is likely to return”¦
Today the corporate and institutional interests of the military have reached such a peak that any attack on them from any direction invites an immediate counter-attack by their top leadership. In a real sense, the military in Pakistan has become ungovernable by the civilians. Three Constitutions, of 1956, 1962, and 1973, have tried different formulae and political engineering to give democracy to Pakistan, subordinating the military to civilian institutions and authority but each of these got subverted. Under the doctrine of necessity, the military has demonstrated that it accepts no fetters on its supremacy, no limits to its course of action and no questioning of its judgment.
The civilians, therefore, play second fiddle to the Armed Forces. The military, thus, considers no one within the country as worthy of its respect. If at all, it will pay heed only to external operators that control agencies, like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as Pakistan’s economic well being has become highly dependent on the doles it receives from them; or suppliers of arms, nuclear material, etc. This ascendancy now gives the military an overriding veto in determining national security policies and the military prevail even if the civilian leadership has reservations.
Islamisation of the Military
The military personnel inherited by Pakistan on independence were not ideologically motivated except that the Mohajirs among them chose to serve in Pakistan like other Mohajirs chose to make the new state their home.
The officers in this class constituted 12 per cent of the whole. Like the other Mohajir class of 1947, they harboured a certain animus against the Hindus. The post independence recruited officer class could not escape being affected by the pulls and pressures operating in the contemporary scenario.
Two events, Pakistans defeat in the Bangladesh War of 1971 and Zias rule between 1977 and 1988, gave a tremendous push to the fundamentalist orientation
According to Dr Akmal Hussain “during the mid 1960s and 1970s the social origin of the officer corps shifted towards the petite bourgeoisie in the urban areas and in the countryside. This shift in the class Qrigins of the officer corps was accompanied by increasing ideological factionalism in terms of a fundamentalist religious ethos on the one hand and a liberal left wing ethos on the other”. Two events, Pakistan’s defeat in the Bangladesh War of 1971 and Zia’s rule between 1977 and 1988, gave a tremendous push to the fundamentalist orientation.
The demoralisation caused by the defeat made the soldier look inwards to fathom its causes and generally find solace in the explanations of the obscurantist. Orthodox groups like the Jamait-e-Islami and the Tabligh Jamaat were thus able to spread their influence in the Armed Forces. When Zia appeared on the scene, his search for legitimacy drew him towards Islamisation and an organic alignment with political forces with Islam high on their agenda, Zia allowed Islamic propaganda among the military personnel by such groups and was even said to have permitted secret JI cells to be established in the Armed Forces. His decision to send young officers to the universities to study, where also the JI had been given a free hand, accentuated their Islamic orientation.
Colonel Abdul Qayyum: “The Pakistani must not be merely a professional soldier, engineer, or doctor” but must use this (western education) to become “Muslim soldiers, Muslim engineers, Muslim doctors, Muslim officers and Muslim men. A secular approach is ruled out forever.”
Two other factors aided the surge towards such propensities. The 1979 Iranian revolution provided the additional edge to the zeal of such people. The struggle in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union was directed on Pan Islamic lines, creating a sense of Islamic unity. Personnel from the Armed Forces were deeply involved in this struggle and when the Soviets withdrew finally, the victory was celebrated as a successful Jehad, the technique of which could also be utilised in the J&K state and elsewhere.
Zia was always expressive of his convictions about the salience of Islam in the life and thinking of the soldier. In a foreword to Brigadier SK Malik’s book, The Koranic Concept of War, he said, “The professional soldier in a Muslim Army, pursuing the goals of a Muslim State, cannot become ‘professional’ if in all his activities he does not take on ‘the colour of Allah”.2 Dealing with an enemy is thus, not just a professional duty; it has to be also an Islamic duty for a Pakistani soldier. If India is to be identified as an enemy, for professional purposes, Zia’s exhortation is to identify India as an enemy from the Islamic angle also.
Islamic teachings form a regular part of the curriculum of defence training institutions and Staff Colleges in Pakistan. Post Zia military leadership has worried over excessive commitment within the Armed Forces to Islam distorting objective professionalism while some others worry over creeping secularism through westernised thinking and doctrines. But all emphasise that core values of Islam should be maintained.
Colonel Abdul Qayyum who has given lectures at the Staff College, Quetta, defines it very simply. The Pakistani must not be merely “a professional soldier, engineer, or doctor” but must use this (western education) to become “Muslim soldiers, Muslim engineers, Muslim doctors, Muslim officers and Muslim men”.3 A secular approach is ruled out forever. Islamic groups such as the Jamait-e-Islami on the other hand want “a joint front of the Islamists and the Armed Forces against the common enemy of Islam a coalition of Hindu-Jewish and Western imperialism… ”and rail “against those who want to sideline Islamic officers or belittle the Islamic character of the garrison”.4
Animus against India
In the debate between faith and professionalism, faith is thus placed higher. For the Muslim of Pakistan, as seen earlier, the Hindu is the natural enemy. The land of Hindus thus becomes ideologically a land of adversaries, a permanent enemy for its large forces. A conversation with a colonel in charge of training at a regimental centre reported by Stephen Cohen graphically illustrates this point:
Distrust of the Hindu is fundamental and monumental. For the Pakistani military all Indians are Hindus.
“Q: What do you teach the recruits about potential enemies?
A: As it happens, we don’t have to teach them anything, everybody in the country knows who is the enemy! The threat, who is the enemy we don’t teach them this in the syllabus but somehow they all know!
Q: What about the Afghans or Russian Muslim troops?
A: Oh! There is no question, we will go wherever we have to – Arabia, Iran, anywhere – they have taken an oath, that is not a problem, but of course they would go more readily and happily to the other direction. As for the Russians, well, they [the other ranks] would have no hesitation; perhaps fighting the Afghans there would be some, but against the Russians there will be no hesitation. We all know they are atheists and, again, we group them with the Hindus.”5
Distrust of the Hindu is fundamental and monumental. For the Pakistani military all Indians are Hindus. The existence of Muslim Indians is taken note of only by the ISI for using them as fodder for their operations of intelligence, subversion and sabotage. How fundamental this distrust is can be judged from the following quotation from a Staff College course document relating to Pakistani analysis of Indian nuclear plans:
“In no field is the inquiry into Indian intentions more revealing of the Indian mind than in the field of her nuclear development. The official line that India is developing her nuclear power potential for peaceful uses only is well known. The instinctive Pakistani reaction to it, shaped by centuries of close association with the Hindu mind from Chanakya to Pannikar and Subrahmanyam, is equally well known.”6
The military doctrine of Pakistan has been shaped largely by concerns about India. Maoist guerrilla warfare has been studied in the context of Kashmir
Rigid images about the Hindus had been present in the psyche of so called Muslim martial classes i.e. the Punjabis and Pathans from pre partition days. They believed themselves to be the descendants of the conquerors from West and Central Asia who had established Muslim rule in India and whom they considered to be superior to the indigenous people on account of the perceived exaltedness of their religion. The personnel of the Pakisfan military on the formation of Pakistan had carried the baggage of these concepts. The teaching material of military training institutions reflected this. Before the defeats of 1965 and 1971 a general conviction existed that a Pakistani soldier was more than a match to ten or so Hindu soldiers.
National Security Doctrine
The military doctrine of Pakistan has been shaped largely by concerns about India. Maoist guerrilla warfare has been studied in the context of Kashmir and the current proxy war there world seem to be a refinement of some Maoist concepts. Defeats in the 1965, 1971, and 1999 (Kargil) wars have given rise to a sense of collective hatred in the Armed Forces, which has augmented age-old misjudgements about India. Generals of today are the captains and majors indoctrinated with religious passion during Zia days. It is difficult for them to come to terms with India.
“¦the possession of nuclear weapons by the Pakistani Armed Forces becomes a matter of grave concern for India. Given their psyche there can be no certainty that they will never be tempted to use these against India”¦
The range and scale of operations of ISI, a wholly military controlled outfit, provide an adequate testimony about the military’s ultimate intentions. Their target is no longer the territorial integrity of India; ISI targets its social, religious and cultural integrity as well. The ISI masterminded the guerrilla campaign in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, forcing it to withdraw. Their trainees of yesteryears are the Taliban of today, ruling over Afghanistan with an Islamic zeal unmatched in recent times. Their blueprint for India seeks to wrest Kashmir out of the Indian Union through a proxy war, destroy its secular fabric and balkanise its polity. The two-nation theory and the ideology of Islam have brought Pakistan to a point where destruction of India seems to have become the unstated national security doctrine and preoccupation of the ruling military establishment.
The Nuclear Policy
In this context, the possession of nuclear weapons by the Pakistani Armed Forces becomes a matter of grave concern for India. Given their psyche there can be no certainty that they will never be tempted to use these against India, irrespective of the consequences which could follow for Pakistan. Any scenario can serve as an excuse or be treated as a provocation. There is a Pakistani acceptance that at least on three occasions in the last two decades the leadership there had examined the use of nuclear potential against India.? On a number of occasions, Pakistani leadership has demonstrated a propensity towards irrational military behaviour. Kargil was the latest exhibition of such foolhardiness. It showed that existential deterrence did not operate as a check.
On the contrary, the military strategic planners in Pakistan went by the calculations that the Indian policy of no first use would deter India from crossing the Line of Control or the international border. This was sheer reckless nuclear blackmail on the part of Pakistan. Pakistan’s nuclear programme is India specific. Leaders of that country have not hesitated from saying that they reserve the right of a nuclear strike against India under certain circumstances and that is why they do not subscribe to the principle of no first use. A small coterie of people there decides on such issues without recourse to wider consultations or true understanding of where Pakistani interests actually lie. It will be futile to try to analyse what those circumstances might be when a Pakistani nuclear bomb might be launched.
Past behaviour, a deep sense of insecurity and the two-nation theory make a rational judgment on Pakistani future behaviour impossible to arrive at. This is one fit case for the worst-case scenario to determine policy options Pakistan is always vainly searching for balance of power with India but it is refusing to recognise, what other countries of the world are now coming to recognise, namely that India does not try to change this balance, it is built on the geographical realities of the subcontinent.
If the former Chief of Army Staff, General Karamat is to be believed “no real peace process has ever been started between India and Pakistan which could decide against a military option and in favour of peace.”8 This statement underlines that the Tashkent Declaration, Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration all stand rubbished in the eyes of the Pakistani military. No wonder Kargil occurred and may recur again, all because the two-nation theory admits of no solution of Kashmir unless it is on terms favourable to Pakistan.
- Akmal Hussain: 'Pakistan, The Crisis of the State' p. 208, ed. Asghar Khan 'Islam, Politics and State'.
- Stephen Cohen: 'The Pakistan Army', 1998 edition, Oxford, Pakistan Paperbacks, Karachi, p. 86.
- Abdul Qayyum: 'On Striving to be a Muslim', Lahore Islamic book centre, 1978, as quoted by Stephen Cohen, The Pakistan Army, p. 95-96.
- Imtiaz Alam: News, Nov. 1, 2000 as quoted in Pot, November 16, 2000, p. 4722.
- Stephen Cohen: 'The Pakistan Anny' p. 40.
- Command and Staff College, Quetta, Staff Course: 'Military System: India', quoted by Stephen Cohen 'The Pakistan Anny' p. 78.
- Agha Shahi, Air Marshall Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Abdul Sattar: The News, Oct. 5, 1998. These high personages, policy makers of yester years, refer to three episodes of mid 1980 (Kahuta), 1987 (Brasstacks) and 1990 (whi~h brought Robert Gates, US Dy. National Security Adviser, to India and Pakistan) as illustrating the value of Pakistani nuclear capability. Sattar is now Foreign Minister in Musharrafs cabinet.
- Dawn: Oct. 8, 2000 as reported in Pot, November 13, 2000, p. 4675. General Karamat was addressing Pakistan Professional Forum at Dubai on 'Peace in South Asia, Opportunities and Challenges' on October 26, 2000.