Nawaz Sharif takes on Army establishment: Beginning of the end of Army rule in Pak?

Discussion in 'China' started by ejazr, May 13, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has termed the Abbottabad operation, carried out by the US, culminating in the death of Osama bin Laden, failure of the country’s intelligence agencies, and demanded the government to constitute a judicial commission to investigate into the incident.

    Addressing a press conference following party’s meeting here on Wednesday, Nawaz rejected the government’s internal military probe and said judicial commission be given a 21-day timeframe to complete investigation and the facts be made public after the probe.

    “We completely reject the prime minister’s committee. It is powerless and cannot investigate the matter in depth,” he told newsmen.

    Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday announced that a lieutenant general would head an inquiry “to get to the bottom of how, when and why” bin Laden had been hiding in the garrison town. Sharif called for the government to establish a revised commission within three days headed by the country’s top judge and not the military.

    “This commission should ascertain the full facts of Osama bin Laden’s presence and the American operation in Pakistan,” he said. “The world is raising fingers on Pakistan after the incident,” the PML-N leader said and added that armed forces had not given satisfactory answer. agencies
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Najam Sethi on Nawaz Sharif's press conference
    View topic - Aapas Ki Baat - 11th May 2011 - Pak Politics | Talk Shows | Forum | Discussion | News | Columns •

    Some points:
    * Asking the Pakistani public to tackle the cancer that has been growing since 1958 - First coup was carried out in 1958 by the Army
    * Rejects the army inquiry into OBL incident and wants judges and politicians on the panel
    * Questions why Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism and why Pakistan is isolated -indirectly hinting PA/ISI responsibility
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Berating General Pasha: Pakistan's Spy Chief Gets a Tongue-Lashing - TIME

    The head of Pakistan's powerful Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) offered his resignation to the country's prime minister on Friday as he sought to defend the role of the spy agency. Lieut. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI chief, conceded that Osama bin Laden's presence in Pakistan had been an "intelligence failure" and that he was prepared to step down and submit himself to any scrutiny, parliamentarians from both government and opposition parties told TIME on condition of anonymity. Gen. Pasha was speaking at a rare, closed-door briefing to Pakistan's parliament where the lawmakers swore an oath not to reveal details discussed.

    "I present myself to the Prime Minister for any punishment and am willing to appear before any commission personally," Gen. Pasha said, according to the parliamentarians who spoke to TIME. "But I will not allow the ISI, as an institution, or its employees, to be targeted." According to those present, the general offered his resignation to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, but it was neither accepted nor openly declined. "He did offer to resign, but there was no reaction," a parliamentarian tells TIME. During the briefing, the spymaster was subject to rare and fierce criticism from opposition lawmakers. Pasha is serving the final year of a two-year extension as ISI chief. He was appointed by, and remains close to, Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Sources close to the military told TIME that Gen. Pasha had offered Gen. Kayani his resignation before the corps commanders' meeting at military headquarters on May 5, but the army chief declined to accept it. (See pictures of Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout.)

    The ISI has been subject to rare public criticism and scrutiny since the U.S. Navy Seal raid on Osama bin Laden's hiding place, in a compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad. The revelation that he had been hiding in plain sight has been a source of deep embarrassment for many Pakistanis, with some calling for "heads to roll." The failure to locate him, and the unilateral U.S. decision to capture and kill him, has set off allegations of complicity or incompetence. While no evidence has emerged of Pakistan hiding bin Laden, the country's military leadership has struggled to respond to the crisis as tensions have risen with the U.S.

    In what lawmakers present described as an emotional speech, Gen. Pasha determinedly pushed back against suggestions that the ISI could have had any role in hiding Bin Laden. "If we had shielded Osama bin Laden, why would we have killed and arrested so many al-Qaeda leaders?" he asked with discernible indignation, according to parliamentarians. "Would we have hidden such a large target in such an exposed area? Without any guards or escape route? Our job is safeguarding the country." The CIA, Gen. Pasha said, did not share intelligence with the ISI in the lead up to the raid. (See pictures of the battle against the Taliban.)

    The enduring threat posed by militants linked to al-Qaeda was on brutal display earlier in the day when two suicide bombers attacked recruits from the Frontier Constabulary paramilitary force at their training center in the volatile northwest. At least 80 people were killed, just as the recruits, who had graduated a day before, were preparing to board vans and head home for leave. The attack, which was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, was the first retaliation in the country for the slaying of bin Laden. The Pakistani security forces were being targeted, the Pakistani Taliban claimed, because they had failed to protect the country from the U.S.

    During the closed-door briefing in parliament, Pasha vented his own frustration at the U.S. "We are at a point in our history," he said, according to two parliamentarians, "where we have to decide whether to stand up to America now or have [following] generations come to deride us." His American counterparts see Gen. Pasha as partial to recalcitrance. One senior western diplomat in Islamabad describes Pakistani spy chief as "intense," especially in comparison to his army chief. Kayani was also at the briefing, but remained characteristically quiet throughout. (See why America is stuck with Pakistan.)

    Relations between the ISI and the CIA have been in decline since December 2010, when the U.S. spy agency's Islamabad station chief was forced to leave after his identity was exposed. At the time the CIA alleged that the ISI was responsible for leaking the station chief's name, in retaliation for Pasha being named in a New York City case involving victims of the 2008 Mumbai massacre. Tensions rose further during the six-week standoff over Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who had been held in Pakistan for killing two Pakistani men in February.

    During an exclusive interview with TIME on Wednesday, Prime Minister Gilani said that he could see "no level of trust" between the CIA and the ISI. Gen. Pasha reinforced the observation at the briefing, when he recalled his last meeting with CIA chief Leon Panetta in April, a fortnight before the Bin Laden raid. At that meeting, Pasha said, he had told Panetta that arrangements between the U.S. and Pakistan were all unwritten, and that he had said such a situation could not go on any longer. (See "The bin Laden Raid: Pakistan Feels the Heat of U.S. Mistrust.")

    Pasha was the third military leader to speak before the lawmakers, and the only one not in uniform. At the start of his speech, the general, though he conceded intelligence failure, passionately defended the ISI. He argued that the U.S., U.K. and India did not ridicule their intelligence agencies after 9/11, the 2005 London subway bombings and the 2008 Mumbai massacre. In those countries, retorted Senator Pervez Rashid of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's opposition party, there is no history of military takeovers, a not unsubtle hint to the primacy of the armed forces in Pakistani politics. "There was no response from Pasha," says a parliamentarian.

    Perhaps the most popular intervention came from Javed Hashmi, a veteran from the southern Punjabi city of Multan. "We are with you," Hashmi, who served five years in prison on trumped up charges of "subversion" against the military. "We know that you have lots of responsibilities. How about you give some of them back to us?" The light-hearted remark aroused smirks on both sides of parliament, and led to loud, desk-thumping approval.
     
  5. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Epic!! :-D

    Now that the Pakistani politicians seem to be growing their spine back and have started talking up to the ISI and army, hopefully we have new tidings on the horizon. Though on second thoughts, going by history, this may really not benefit much for Indo-Pak relations!
     
  6. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    I suspect Pakistan Army will do a fake "power transfer" to the "democratic civil society" (whatever the f that means), in an attempt to clean up Pakistan's devastated international image post Op Geronimo.
     
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    More army/ISI bashing by Nawaz Sharif

    Need for checks, not a free hand | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English | Online

    LAHORE - Former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has always been in favour of an all-powerful parliament and a civil government. On Saturday, he addressed a news conference and highlighted the role he had played in the preparation of a ‘potent’ resolution which was passed by a joint session of the parliament. On the same occasion, he demanded that the defence budget as well as the budget for the intelligence agencies should be debated and approved by parliament.
    Then he criticised the role the intelligence agencies have been playing in bringing about change of governments and running foreign policy of the country. The PML-N chief, out of power for the past 12 years, devoted a good deal of time on explaining that it’s the elected government’s prerogative to decide what kind of ties Pakistan should have with countries like India, Afghanistan and the United States. In a democratic setup where the integrity of political leadership is above board, the powers Mr Sharif wants the government to be equipped with cannot be disputed. But whether the recipe should be tried immediately (when the reputation of the rulers is too well known) or it should be deferred for some better times, is a question that needs a serious consideration.
    Also, it should be examined very carefully as to what could be the likely consequences of giving all powers to the political government, depriving the Army and the intelligence agencies of the ‘undesirable’ role they are playing at present.
    Nobody would dispute it that power should be given only to those who can use it judiciously and honestly to benefit the country, not personal gains. And in case it is established that somebody is using his powers more to serve his own interests or that of his cronies, then there will be little justification for the PML-N chief to press his point.
    Not long ago, President Zardari, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, had said that India poses no threat to Pakistan. He further stated that in every Pakistani there’s a small Indian, and vice versa.

    On the other hand, the Armed Forces regard India as their enemy number 1. They are so focused on India that most of their defence preparations are aimed at meeting any eventuality or challenges to be created by the eastern neighbour.
    The military leadership’s assertion that despite the fact that US commandos had carried out the “Kill Osama” operation in Abbottabad without being noticed by Pakistani system, a similar attempt by India would not be tolerated should be sufficient to manifest the thinking of the defenders of Pakistan.
    The wide gulf between the thinking of the Supreme Commander and the Armed Forces is very clear.
    If it is left to the political government to decide what kind of relations Pakistan should have with India, is it difficult to imagine what that policy would be?
    The present government has not done anything for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and is not much enthusiastic to do anything on this front even in future. It will be very happy if the dispute is sent to the cold storage, leaving it to posterity to deal with it.
    The freedom movement in Occupied Kashmir, which was once taken notice of at the international level because of the sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiri people, seems to have lost momentum. Nothing is being done by the present rulers to get the Kashmiris their right to self-determination. So disenchanted are the people of Occupied Kashmir that it is being said in private conversations that in case Pakistan did nothing for their rights for some more time, they may prefer to have an independent state rather than go for accession with the Islamic Republic.
    The PML-N chief must bear in mind that Wullar Barrage controversy was there even in the eighties when he was the chief minister. There has been no progress as yet towards the solution of this problem. An Indian delegation that visited Pakistan only a few days ago is reported to have agreed to change the design of the controversial project. Whether the two countries will really reach some agreement, and if so, when is as unclear as it was a couple of decades ago.
    Now let’s see what kind of ties Pakistan has with Washington.
    Many say that Pakistan’s ambassador to US is a man who is in fact “US ambassador to Washington”. His statements serve the US interests more than they serve Pakistan’s.
    It is also now a common knowledge as to who is responsible for the establishment of a CIA network in Pakistan.
    Under instruction from President Zardari, Pakistan’s embassy in Washington issued visas to a large number of US citizens, without any scrutiny by the ISI.
    All decisions are taken by the president, who is also the co-chairman of the ruling party. The prime minister is just an obedient servant of the president. Soon he will have to follow the instructions of Bilawal, who is due to assume political role in September.
    The integrity of the present political leadership is known to everyone. The president faces corruption charges, but instead of facing them he argues that he enjoys constitutional immunity from prosecution. Never ever has he said that he gives up immunity to prove himself innocent.
    Media reports that ISI chief told the joint session of parliament that Raymond Davis had been handed over to the US under instructions from the president and the prime minister should expose the ‘truthfulness’ of the two leaders.
    The prime minister has consistently been telling the nation that Raymond was released in accordance with the court order.
    This shows that for the time being it will not be wise to give all powers to the civil government. Instead, some checks should be introduced to ensure that the top government functionaries don’t misuse their powers. Political and military leaders together can take better decisions that can ward off what Mr Sharif called ‘existential threat’ to the country.
     
  8. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    It's the beginning of the end for Nawaz Sharif*.


    *Being subliminal. On a less subliminal note, it does indicate a weakening of the Army and a sense, that popular leverage can be gained from exploiting the bad image of the Army wit the people. My hunch is that the ISI, under Pasha and the Army are no longer working in tandem, and that the Army is the sole entity that remains opposed to American intrusion. In the end, though the only way the Army can be weakened is to simultaneously weaken it from the outside and within. That is difficult, given it is a service cadre and has a cult of personality. In the event, an ambiguity between serving the nation and serving the CAOS, would see most soldiers chose to serve the CAOS. It can be done in the long-haul, but in the short term, penetrating the institution is more difficult. I would guess the U.S would have figured this out long ago, and would have begun procedures accordingly. But if they didn't, opening back channel discussions with senior Army officers is crucial. If they truly want to make the job of flushing out militants from that smite upon the earth easy, if they truly want stability and peace to be brought o this region, then the Pakistani Army and attendant agencies under the Inter-Services will have to be weakened, until they are no longer a political force.
     
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  9. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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  10. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Javed Hasmi of the PML-N has been taking on the army earlier continuously. In this episode of Capital Talk with Hamid Mir, he almost breaks down over the recent killing of a man in Karachi by Rangers



     
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  11. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    It got amply clear from the wikileaks, the pa has no liking for the pml-n and they in their own capacity would not allow them to regain power.

    When the said leak was made public, the pa was busy working behind the scene on toppling the ppp government with a hand picked replacement which would then be termed a technocratic caretaker government without direct involvement of the pa and with the support of the courts. The plan was similar in nature to one hatched in Bangladesh, where army backed caretaker government took center stage and stayed till the time army found an opportune moment to handover the running of the affairs back to the political parties which is when the elections were called, but in case of Bangladesh the same happened a lot earlier than one would have seen a similar transition in Pakistan and it was at this time when Imran khan was being actively propped up as a future PM, an option which is still on offer if the need arises.

    Pml-n sensing this, thought it best not to derail the ppp led government and made sure their opposition took a climb down, the over criticism again took a back seat and made sure the pa couldn’t have its way and back then they publically actively started backing a complete term for the ppp led government come what may, suggesting the democratic process be not derailed by vested interests.

    With water poured over the pa ambitions, the ppp sensed an opportunity of striking a deal and making peace with the army and soon enough one was to witness isi’s pasha getting a one year extension which had an American nod and were more than willing to take the pa on board on every decision which mattered to them or where they wanted to exert their influence and so ppp quite literally took a back seat, busy making money and making sure they last the full term of 5years.

    Pml-n felt cheated and used, by now they seemed to have been losing the plot rather sourly when in not so distant past it seemed they were the ones calling the shots, but tables had turned by now.

    To their good luck first the Raymond davis episode happened where after the release when they were being made the scape goat, in a retaliation they got successful to a great extent and exposed the role played by the pa/isi, before the charged up emotions on raymond’s release were to die down the abottabad raid was to happen and typical of Pakistani skewed intellect, no one was really interested in knowing or questioning why and what was osama doing in Pakistan but everything got centered on how could the US conduct such a raid right under the watchful eyes of the mighty pa and the isi, who till then were seen as the best in the world. By now the emotions had been whipped up against the pa/isi and it is this when Nawaz was to return from London and take center stage and before this criticism faded away, the Karachi naval/airforce base was to come under terror attack and with one opportunity after another on offer, the pml-n made sure the sentiment against the pa/isi grew stronger and spread across the spectrum, they played the crusaders to the gallery and soon enough the democracy chanters were to join the pa/isi bash party and in this the pml-n was to be projected as the voice of the awam of the growing resentment against the pa/isi and here we are in a situation, where after Musharraf, for the first time the pa/isi have come under constant and most audacious attacks, with an image which has gone for a toss and is taking a daily beating.

    Let us see how this unfolds further, and with america pushing the pa to attack north Waziristan, there would be no one more happy than the sharif brothers, for there is more fuel than the two bros desired for to set the emotional flames soaring high, which is what has made the pa wary about and back down on the attack for now.

    Curious onlookers, take a deep breath and see for yourselves as the drama full of suspense unfolds and takes pakistan from one crisis to another, with the pa/sis the new punching bags!
     
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  12. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Asia Times Online :: Pakistan's 'sacred cow' military under fire

    By Karamatullah K Ghori

    Pakistan opposition leader Mian Nawaz Sharif seems to have taken it upon himself to wage a campaign to cut Pakistan's bloated military establishment down to size.

    Without naming the Pakistan armed forces - but leaving no one in doubt where his guns were trained - Nawaz went straight at the military's jugular by publicly asking it to "change its mind-set".

    The two-term former Pakistan prime minister's demand was made in a key-note address at a June 10 seminar, organized to mourn the death of Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Asia Times Online Pakistan bureau chief whose brutal murder two weeks ago has Pakistan's intelligentsia firmly in its grip. Shahzad went missing two days after publication of an article stating that al-Qaeda was engaged in negotiations with the Pakistan Navy for the release of personnel incarcerated for alleged links to the terror outfit (see Al-Qaeda had warned of Pakistan strike, May 27).

    ''There is no sacred cow in the country and none should try to become a sacred cow as [we] won't allow such an attempt [to succeed], " Nawaz said at the meeting in Lahore.

    The Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader was categorically intoning what many have been whispering for a long time, but more pointedly since the twin disasters for the Pakistan military last month; the humiliating American raid to kill Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout and the storming of the Mehran naval base in Karachi.

    Nawaz's ire had been raised by a military bulletin issued a day earlier by the Directorate of ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations), the mouthpiece of the military establishment, at the conclusion of a meeting of the corps commanders at the general headquarters in Rawalpindi, presided over by army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani.

    Admonishing the intelligentsia and political parties that have doubted the military's commitment to security - with Pakistan Muslim League (N) leading the pack - the bulletin said: "Some quarters, because of their perceptual biases, were trying to deliberately run down the armed forces, and the army in particular. All of us should take cognizance of this unfortunate trend and put an end to it."

    While the generals were reading the riot act in a desperate attempt to silence their critics, a 25-year-old man was being killed like a rabid dog by trigger-happy jawans of the Rangers, a para-military force under the army, in cold blood and the broad daylight of a public park in Karachi.

    The extra-judicial murder of Sarfraz Shah - allegedly for trying to rob people in the park - was caught on camera by Awaz (Voice) TV, a private channel, and splashed around the world in minutes. The killing was gruesome as the picture from war-torn Vietnam in 1968 of a Vietcong officer being shot by a general of the South Vietnamese Army, which - like the Pakistan military today - was allied with the Americans.

    Much as the military establishment may try to distance itself from the dastardly crime committed against an unarmed man, while also reminding the people of the Rangers being quasi-military, the grisly episode in a park named after slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has singed the conscience of a populace that was still mourning the death of Shahzad and licking its wounds after Abbottabad and the PNS Mehran naval base raid.

    Nawaz articulated the sentiment of ordinary Pakistanis in his address, saying: "When all hands rise to grab someone by the collar that's time for introspection. Had those at the helm of affairs done introspection there would have been no incidents like Abbottabad and PNS Mehran."

    The Rangers are supposed to keep Karachi safe from the terrorists for whom the throbbing megalopolis of Karachi offers a place to dig their heels and stay beyond the reach of the law. But the man killed by the Rangers wasn't a terrorist. And to rub salt into the wounds of the people of Pakistan, this grisly episode, unlike Shahzad's murder, was caught live on camera.

    With a canny sense of timing, Nawaz picked the right moment to challenge the army. The iron is hot and Nawaz, perhaps rightly, has surmised that the time is ripe to settle old scores with an establishment that, under Kiani's predecessor General Pervez Musharraf, forced him into exile after a 1999 coup.

    Nawaz is not alone in deciding to hold the military's feet to the fire. Earlier in the debate kicked off by Shahzad's murder, the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, Asma Jehangir (who is well-known internationally for her crusading role in the forefront of human rights in Pakistan) described the military as a qabza - a group taking illegal possession of land) in a television talk-show, and demanded that the generals go back to barracks for good.

    The ISPR communique is the military's terse response to calls now coming to a head for it to be held accountable. Many in Pakistan all too aware, but perhaps few outside the country may know that the popularly elected parliament - despite its claim to be sovereign and represent the will of the people - doesn't have the mandate to even discuss the military's budget, much less take stock of it.

    That privileged immunity of the armed forces from the microscope of public scrutiny is now being challenged by the likes of Nawaz Sharif. He has unfurled his banner and set the tone of his shibboleth. It's too early to say what kind of popular following his battle-cry will spawn and energize. But the generals of Pakistan have now been challenged by their own people like never before.

    Karamatullah K Ghori is a former Pakistani ambassador and may be reached at [email protected]
     
  13. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Sharif won't make it into the coming elections if he continues this. PA needs just one simple excuse, 1 staged drama enough to snuff him.
     
  14. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    The only way Army rule will end in Pukistan is with the end of the country itself.
     
  15. sukhish

    sukhish Senior Member Senior Member

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    army is not going down so easily in pakistan, there is going to be a very long struggle in pakistan and I don't think pakistan will be a state by 2020. an average person retires at the age of 65 in the U.S , pakistan is already 63 years old. In another year or so it will retire.
     

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