An open letter to Gen Kayani

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Flint, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    An open letter to Gen Kayani
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=172290
    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    By Dear Gen Kayani,
    Sir, let me begin by recounting that old army quip that did the rounds in the immediate aftermath of World war II: To guarantee victory, an army should ideally have German generals, British officers, Indian soldiers, American equipment and Italian enemies.

    A Pakistani soldier that I met in Iraq in 2004 lamented the fact that the Pakistani soldier in Kargil had been badly let down firstly by Nawaz Sharif and then by the Pakistani officers' cadre. Pakistani soldiers led by Indian officers, , he believed, would be the most fearsome combination possible. Pakistani officers, he went on to say, were more into real estate, defence housing colonies and the like.

    As I look at two photographs of surrender that lie before me, I can't help recalling his words. The first is the celebrated event at Dhaka on Dec 16, 1971, which now adorns most Army messes in Delhi and Calcutta. The second, sir, is the video of a teenage girl being flogged by the Taliban in Swat -- not far, I am sure, from one of your Army check posts.

    The surrender by any Army is always a sad and humiliating event. Gen Niazi surrendered in Dhaka to a professional army that had outnumbered and outfought him. No Pakistani has been able to get over that humiliation, and 16th December is remembered as a black day by the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani state. But battles are won and lost – armies know this, and having learnt their lessons, they move on.

    But much more sadly, the video of the teenager being flogged represents an even more abject surrender by the Pakistani Army. The surrender in 1971, though humiliating, was not disgraceful. This time around, sir, what happened on your watch was something no Army commander should have to live through. The girl could have been your own daughter, or mine.

    I have always maintained that the Pakistani Army, like its Indian counterpart, is a thoroughly professional outfit. It has fought valiantly in the three wars against India, and also accredited itself well in its UN missions abroad. It is, therefore, by no means a pushover. The instance of an Infantry unit, led by a lieutenant colonel, meekly laying down arms before 20-odd militants should have been an aberration. But this capitulation in Swat, that too so soon after your own visit to the area, is an assault on the sensibilities of any soldier. What did you tell your soldiers? What great inspirational speech did you make that made your troops back off without a murmur? Sir, I have fought insurgency in Kashmir as well as the North-East, but despite the occasional losses suffered (as is bound to be the case in counter-insurgency operations), such total surrender is unthinkable.

    I have been a signaller, and it beats me how my counterparts in your Signal Corps could not locate or even jam a normal FM radio station broadcasting on a fixed frequency at fixed timings. Is there more than meets the eye?

    I am told that it is difficult for your troops to "fight their own people." But you never had that problem in East Pakistan in 1971, where the atrocities committed by your own troops are well documented in the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report. Or is it that the Bengalis were never considered "your own" people, influenced as they were by the Hindus across the border? Or is that your troops are terrified by the ruthless barbarians of the Taliban?

    Sir, it is imperative that we recognise our enemy without any delay. I use the word "our" advisedly – for the Taliban threat is not far from India's borders. And the only force that can stop them from dragging Pakistan back into the Stone Age is the force that you command. In this historic moment, providence has placed a tremendous responsibility in your hands. Indeed, the fate of your nation, the future of humankind in the subcontinent rests with you. It doesn't matter if it is "my war" or "your war" – it is a war that has to be won. A desperate Swati citizen's desperate lament says it all – "Please drop an atom bomb on us and put us out of our misery!" Do not fail him, sir.

    But in the gloom and the ignominy, the average Pakistani citizen has shown us that there is hope yet. The lawyers, the media, have all refused to buckle even under direct threats. It took the Taliban no less than 32 bullets to still the voice of a brave journalist. Yes, there is hope – but why don't we hear the same language from you? Look to these brave hearts, sir – and maybe we shall see the tide turn. Our prayers are with you, and the hapless people of Swat.

    The New York Times predicts that Pakistan will collapse in six months. Do you want to go down in history as the man who allowed that to happen?

    The writer is a retired colonel of the Indian army who lives in Pune. Email: [email protected]
     
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  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Although posted by Vinodji in another thread, the importance of the letter will never be die down, but I think it is sad that the appeal made by respected Col(r) Puri, will be ignored purposefully, Taliban will make more inroads and Gen will churning out rhetoric against us.
     
  4. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    have u guys seen the response of this letter, this is the way an average citizen thinks, it is chilling and funny the dream world they live to say at least:

    Is n't this is madness of nth degree?
     
  5. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    They seem to be welcoming the Taliban...
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ^^Not they, only Mr. Shabbir Ahmed.

    Lets keep the discussion focussed on the points Col(R) Puri raised and some additional ones which are relevant and not mentioned.
     
  7. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    No mate. Most average Pakistanis are unaffected by the oncoming of Taliban.
    Nor do they mind if they take Islamabad.
     
  8. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    are you going to back that claim up ?
     
  9. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Sure.
    Read Musalman's posts. Read articles in an average Pakistani newspaper. Observe the behavior of the current Pakistani government. Read reports of PA denying to fight the Taliban. Listen to what the Pakistani defence analysts on various news channels think about the Taliban(I don't know their names).
     
  10. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ^^
    His posts represent his own personal views.
    I read dawn and dailytimes regularly, they are not taliban supporters. Which other paper supports them ? Only Hamid Mir does iirc
    PPP is anti-Taliban, zardari btw is a shia. Though they are run an impotent inapt incompetent govt.
    Surrendering, refusing to fight, deserting show that some soldiers are either pro-Taliban or weaklings. This is not the official policy of PA afaik.
    Which defence analysts ? Quality analysts in Pak media are a rarity. and no Zaid Hamid please.

    Your arguments or (lack of) proofs do not give credence to your sweeping generalization.
     
  11. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Really ?
    Ok. If you are bored enough you can read up some other forums which will show you the "general opinion".
    Musalman's views are that of an average Pakistani.
    Zardari might be officially against the Taliban, but it doesn't take much to see him giving in to their demands.
    I wasn't talking of Zaid Hamid, i was talking of people who come on NDTV and HT.

    A sweeping generalization it may be. But not a false one.
     
  12. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Forums don't give general opinion. You ought to know this right ? If people read BR, the whole world will think Indians are anti-muslim including their own!

    Musalman is a very dear friend of mine but I'll have to disagree.

    This shows that the govt is weak and taliban are powerful.

    like who ? what did they say ?

    Its not a true one either.

    I would appreciate if you do some research rather than believing what you want to believe. Taliban are certainly popular in certain areas and certain sections and that's about it.
     
  13. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    guys no more discussions on "other forums" please and singh sahab BR is not anti muslim please. We need to understand the difference between other religious thugs and our muslim population they are much better then others. And they were/are/will be with us in defending our motherland
     
  14. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Ok. I won't mention other forums. My bad.
    @Singh :
    I'll give you the names of the analysts when I see them again.
    Now...
    There was an exchange program in my school 2 weeks back in which I talked to Pakistani students and teachers about this issue and the response I got was " They are not as bad as the world believes they are. "
    All of them appreciate the justice system of the Taliban because once their local courts are in place, no-one dares to commit any crimes.

    They believe that its Al-Qaeda who is bad, and not Taliban.

    I don't speak without knowledge Singh. I believe it when I see it.
    And when students of my age and slightly older and their teachers have an opinion, don't you think it wouldn't represent the general opinion of the youth. You don't actually expect me to organize a plebiscite do you ?
     
  15. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well one could argue that the average Pakistani is not displaying any signs of hate towards the Taliban. There seems to be an air of denial among the middle classes and acceptance among the poorer section of society.
     
  16. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Are they wrong ? Do you know the genesis of Taliban ? Where-ever Taliban or Taliban-like organizations operate in Pakistan the security situation is actually better than the places where Pak govt's writ is followed.

    Plebiscite is not required, references are aka books, newspaper articles, journals etc.


    Yes this argument is sound. Acceptance-Denial.

    3-points

    Pakistanis cannot believe that a "Talib"(a student of Islam) can possibly commit such crimes. And they only fight against infidels not mumineem.

    Historically Pak society is fed info that it is Raw,Cia,Mossad that does all the attacks in Pakistan, esp the ones aimed to create rifts and spread terror.

    Taliban-ruled territories are actually safer than places where the writ of govt is followed.
     
  17. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    I think I have given you a sound enough example to back my claim. And your last post reflects what I have been saying.
    So we are even.
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Soham : Lets leave petty things aside, we are here to discuss and learn.

    Putting ourselves in shoes of an Indian, its easy to bash Pakistan and Pakistanis for creating conditions which will plunge them into chaos but looking from a Pakistani perspective things get a tad more murky and complex.

    Now let me ask you, do you think AQ, Taliban, LeT are the same ? Why do Pakistanis like your mate not consider Taliban and LeT to be bad but only AQ ?
     
  19. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Response to 'Open letter to General Kayani'

    X-post from other thread. The responses here reflect some of the people at higher echelons in Pakistan Army and a common Pakistani.

    Open letter to General Kayani


    Wednesday, April 15, 2009
    This is in response to Colonel Harish Puri's unbecoming "open letter" to the COAS of the Pakistan army published in your newspaper on April 14. It is by no means intended to be on behalf of, or in defence of, General Kayani – his dignified persona and rightfully august office would not even consider any such move. Probably, neither would ISPR.

    Firstly, straight off the bat your quote and the wild googly on the "surrender" in 1971, are nothing but silly remarks. (Then what was it?)May I suggest that Colonel Puri read chapter 12 of Shuja Nawaz's excellent book Crossed Swords – Pakistan: Its Army, and the wars within.

    Regarding the colonel's snide remarks insinuating "surrender" to the dreadful 'Taliban' in Swat, and inaction of the army against the perpetrators of the dastardly flogging of the 17-year girl, the matter is sub judice in the Supreme Court and shall not be commented upon. (really? Are u kidding me?)As for the army, it is in Swat as required/in support of and in assistance to the civil security forces and to the NWFP government. It is not in a war zone and nor is it is a judicial/policing force and hence cannot take any independent action. From one honourable retired soldier to another honourable retired soldier: best wishes, and may the light of understanding envelope you.'

    Brig (retd) Mateen M. Mohajir

    Karachi



    ****

    This is with reference to an open letter written to Gen Kayani by a retired Indian colonel. What is going on? Whose interest is this letter serving? This is outright poor journalism on part of The News -- our newspapers should not become a tool in the hands of the foreign agents and publish such articles. Freedom of press does not mean compromising on the values that we cherish/hold and protect at all cost. One such value is the pride and glory we take in the professionalism of the Pakistan Army and its soldiers. The retired Indian colonel should focus more on writing open letters to his own COAS and on the atrocities happening on a daily basis in Occupied Kashmir by the Indian army. The retired colonel wrote that he was perturbed to watch a girl in Swat being flogged. I hope he is equally moved when women are raped and murdered in Occupied Kashmir? If the Pakistan Army is trying its best to allow the politicians to find a peaceful solution to the problem that is the best course it is taking.

    Security forces are only a tool to implement the broader agenda/security polices designed by governments. On one hand India accuses Pakistan of lack of democracy and on the other hand it keeps looking up to the generals in Pakistan for solutions.

    Mohammad Ali Ehsan

    Karachi



    *****

    I protest the publication of "An open letter to General Kayani" by a retired colonel of the Indian army (April 14). This letter should not be taken lightly as it is the most provocative piece written by anyone against the leadership of our Army in living history, and a befitting reply from the Army must come forth, without further delay. How dare the writer suggest that Pakistani soldiers would perform better (in Swat) under Indian officers, as our own have turned into property dealers. And how dare he propose that we slaughter the Taliban in the same manner in which we (allegedly) butchered the Bengalis back in 1971. And even if we did, will we never be allowed to learn from our past mistakes? (Truly hit the ego of PA)

    How the DG ISPR will respond to the Indian colonel, I don't know. However, being a true nationalist, I am going to give my own befitting reply to him. Let it suffice if I tell him (and our enemies) to stop hatching conspiracies against our nationhood (and our strategic weapons), as this time we have the Taliban on our side, against whom no known antidote exists. A country governed by the Taliban and armed with nuclear weapons has the potential of becoming the next real superpower of the 21st century. No wonder our opponents look terrified. And no wonder General Kayani is abiding by "national interest." (True Pakistani mentality is on display here, already talking about Taliban Govt. - Freudian slip perhaps)

    Shabbir Ahmad

    Islamabad



    *******

    This is with reference to Colonel Harish Puri's 'open letter' to General Kayani. As far as writing of the said article is concerned it was a good effort but without much substance. The colonel highlighted many points of which a few were correct while most others were based on assumptions and have no bearing on the current situation which the world is facing. While mentioning the role of Pakistan army the Indian colonel tried to give a bitter toffee wrapped in chocolate paper.

    First of all let me clarify the abnormal situation of our western front in which our brave army is operating. Here we have to be very clear that who is the enemy and who is a citizen. (So, you still don't know if Taliban is your citizen or terrorist, great). Before blaming us, the Indian colonel should have seen what is happening in India. What about the insurgencies in Kashmir, Assam and other parts of India? The same thing we are facing by the curtsy of your intelligent agencies. Being an army officer, Colonel Puri must be aware of who is behind all this unrest in Pakistan. The writer quite cleverly has tried to hide the role of the Indian government which is behind all this mess as it operates from a veritable safe haven in Afghanistan. As for the flogging of the Swat girl, yes it is barbaric and has been condemned by one and all. However, surely such barbaric acts – and worse – have happened and do still happen in India as well.

    Major (retd) Anwar Pasha

    Lahore



    *******

    In his article 'An open letter to Gen Kayani', while highlighting the Taliban threat, Col (retd) Harish Puri has actually tried to malign the Pakistan Army by distorting the facts. He has probably forgotten the bashing that the Indian Army took from a handful of Kashmiri Muhahideen and later by the brave Pakistani soldiers led by dynamic young officers in tactical encounters. He should have better consulted his colleagues who took part in the Kargil operations to find out that a Pakistani post of about 10-15 persons equipped with small arms was able to withstand several assaults by a battalion of about 800 soldiers of the 'valiant' Indian army. (Then how come you lost Kargil war?)

    Before stories about the Pakistan army, the Indian colonel should first look around in the rank and file of his own army to see its moral bankruptcy, professional incompetence and low morale.

    Brigadier (retd) Shahid Masud

    Rawalpindi

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=172498
     
  20. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Agree. Even Musalman on this board isn't too perterbed by the charge of Taliban and welcomes Swat like situation all over Pak
     
  21. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    T'last peace arrives and when it arrives what bliss it brings.
    Now let me answer your questions.

    I don't regard AQ, LeT and the Taliban as same. All were created for different purposes, although inter-dependency and sympathy is coming to light in recent times.

    Now the Pakistani PoV.

    • Taliban are the students of Islam who have returned to protect Islam and take it back to its glorious years.
    • The LeT are freedom fighters who fight for the independence of Kashmir.
    • Al-Qaeda fights a personal battle, but Bin Laden was instrumental in the spread of Talibani rule in A'stan by providing huge finances from his oil money.

    LeT to Pakistan today is what revolutionaries of the Freedom Struggle were to India. Freedom-fighters.
    LeT to India is what the revolutionaries were to the British. Terrorists seeking to disrupt.
    Pakistani's have no sympathy for LeT. "They hurt India......very good. But we don't care whether they win or lose."

    Al-Qaeda again is no favourite among Pakistanis. Their war has always been personal. They survive on hatred. Don't view them as "Saviour's of Islam". They don't give a sh*t about Islam. Even though their speeches are based on upliftment of the status and glory of Islam, that is just an illusion for recruitment.
    Al-Qaeda does command respect though, and thats because the very leaders of Al-Qaeda today were once the reason for USSR's political failure in Afghanistan. The "Jehad" they practice is totally against the Koranic principles. The Koran, or more correctly the Q'uran forbids suicide attacks, yet that is the most lethal weapon system in Al-Qaeda's arsenal. The other reason is their instrumental help to the Taliban.

    Now, comes the Taliban.
    Taliban when formed was viewed as "saviors" and saviors they were, in the beginning. They put an end to atrocities committed by the Afghan warlords after the Soviet withdrawal. Under the able leadership of Mullah Omar, their influence spread vast and fast. The public support was firmly with the "Men in Black".
    Taliban is not actually evil. Their obsession with strict enforcement of the Sharia had taken them to the brink of evil. Suicide attacks were never practiced by the Taliban until a few years ago. They are an Al-Qaeda favourite.
    Even though today's Taliban is plagued by corruption, and their principles are no longer the same, the Pakistani public still looks at them as "the students".
    They are still looked upon as "saviors".
    Due to the WOT, sections of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban have united against a common cause, turning the Taliban from "saviors" to "slaughterers".

    Do bother to go over my post with an un-biased paradigm, as it is a result of extensive reading in this field. You are free to criticize as its self-written and I'll be more than happy to defend every word.
     

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