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.