My Views

Troubled Neighbours

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on February 27, 2009

The latest developments in east has added to the worries of India, who is already having tough time dealing with its western state and non state actors. Mutiny by Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) might have dangerous consequences for not only Bangladesh and its government but entire South Asia. The episode has shown some deep seatd fissures within and acrosss the security establishments. The mere size and the unity that the lower rank officers and soldiers of  BDR has shown during the whole operation indicates towards a long standing anguish and frustations inside the ranks of force. Their main demand was low salaries and inferior service conditions vis-a-vis the Bangladesh army. They also voiced their anger against the control that Bangladesh army exercise over BDR. Although Sheikh Hasina government has done a visibly decent  job by pressurising the mutiniers through warnings of strong lawful actions. Matter is soon expected to be over albeit with many important lessons.

The internal conditions of Pakistan are also in a rapid flux, both politically and strategically. With latest judicial decision of barring Sharif brothers of contesting polls, the political environment is very much heated up and there are many allegations on the incumbent government of influencing the judgement. In the north and west the situation is, as always, grim. The influence of taliban and many fundamentalist outfits is slowly gripping up. On one hand where Pakistani government has shown undesirable weakness in compromising the internal security and democracy in the SWAT valley, Obama administration is sooner or later going to increase its military influence on the western and northern frontiers adjoining Afghanistan.

Where does India’s role lie in all this series of so called dangerous developments in our neighbourhood. India can no longer afford to wash away its responsobilities as the largest democracy in world and biggest country in South Asia, by merely declaring everything happening in the neighbouring countries as their internal affairs. The poison that is spreading in east as well as west is slowly going to cross the borders in a more visible manner. We are already facing fundamentalist terrorism in its worst form. Even international community expects India to play a major and proactive role in such related matters. Sheikh Hasina’s goverment’s friendly relations with India should be capitalised in a better way. BDR’s mutiny has some very deep security concerns for India as we share a long boundary with Bangladesh and BDR is the guard of Bangladeshi borders. As far as Pakistan is concerned we have been seriously pursuing the case of 26/11, but a more broder policy is required to deal with Pakistan and its uncontrollable non state actors. We have to get our equations more straight and aligned with US in this matter. In Afghanistan as well, time has come when we increase our presence beyond humanitarian and reconstruction areas.

Military funding in Pakistan

Posted in India and World, Pakistan, Terrorism by dullar on January 18, 2008

In order to understand how military operates in Pakistan, one of its important aspect is the funding of military oerations. Its been evident that seeing the proportions and dimensions of its activities, be it internal security, ensuring security across north-west border along Afghanistan, fightning insurgency in Baluchistan, and aiding the millitancy in Jammu & Kashmir the military in Pakistan cant be funded wholly by the internal resources, thanx but no thanx to its economy’s condition. So money flights in Pakistan for its military activities across the border in form of aids. US, China, Middle East Islamist countries, especially Saudi Arabia are the foremost in aiding Pakistan, of course for their own objectives. According to an estimate Pakistan got a sum of around 58 billion USD from 1950 to 1999. It has been further aided heavily by US after 9/11 in the name of fighting the taliban and Alqaeda  in Afghanistan. Its been to everybody’s guess that how efficiently Pakistan and it military spending all this aid. But the results have their own story to tell. Military has been highly incompetitive as far as above stated objectives are concerned. Containment of cross border terrorism, internal security condition, popularity and credibility of army among civilians has been at its all time low.

Dealing the mater, this article cites some of the enlightening reasons for the Pakistan Army’s dire conditions, which have brought much miseries to people at large there-

“…….Extensive research shows that when governments luck into unearned cash (which economists call ‘rents’) from oil or other resources, the healthy links that bind them to their citizens are often severed. Freed from relying much on taxes, governments spend the money arbitrarily. Citizens, left untaxed, feel less motivation to monitor things carefully. The result is corruption, misrule and a host of other ills.

Rents paid for natural resources are bad enough. But ‘strategic rents’ — earned by a country for its role in the foreign policies of other states — are even more damaging. Military aid by definition entrenches the militaries that get it, making them less responsive to civilian control. Pakistan’s military has grown enormously powerful over the years, resistant to democratic checks and highly entrenched in every aspect of the country’s commercial, civil and political life… …” (more)

Possible solutions for above mentioned problems cant be arrived at so easliy, but there can be few broad starting points- Credible elctions next month under neutral, foreign authorities’ monitoring; seperation of army affairs from civilian affairs,as General Kayani has hinted,(see previous post); pro-active involvement of people and media in scrutinising the daily affairs of government and the military activities; China and India playing an increased role in ensuring peaceful neighbour.

Neighbour’s Nightmare

Posted in India and World, Insight, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on January 17, 2008

Disturbing news from the India’s western neighbour are coming more frequently than ever. With Musharraf’s
loosing grip over the affairs of the country, people given up there trust in the polity and the military, civil
liberties curtailed to their new low, the situation in Pakistan is really grim. The military is seen as unable to the
danger that is bubbling under its western and northern borders. The terrorist activities backed by the Al Qaeda, and
the taliban groups are bleeding the army like never before. Its been yesterday that a fort has been seized by the the
terrorist groups from control of army in the north-west of the country. Army was too demotivated or lacked the power
to tackle the dullheadedness of the armed terrorists. Again few groups of millitia that had been trained by the ISI
have turned their guns to the mentors. Now when Musharraf was under pressure from US to curb the cross border
terrorism that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were fomenting in Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan before 9/11,
the activities of training millitants have tobe slowed and lowered down by ISI. Now the monsters reared by them are
up inthe arms against their own establishment when these blood-thirsty monsters did not find a outlet for their long
reared killing habits.

Internal political and military reforms are the need of hour in Pakistan. But seeing the attitude of Musharraf, who
is not ready to give away his powers, whose unpopularity is all time high in Pakistan, and demoralised military the
hopes are grim. Although the elections are due on 18th Feb but there are few takers as far as their transparency is
concerned. General Kayani is trying to bring back some
discipline
to armed forces in his own subtle ways. Armiy personnels are strongly advised to remain away from the
political and civil affairs of the country. But country is far from the day when armed forces will mind only their
own affairs.

Pakistan being a country which hold nuclear weapons, there has been growing concerns across the world about the
security of the same. With growing influence of terrorist activities in the country and army loosing grip over
internal and border security, al qaeda pose the most potent threat to not only Pakistan’s security but also of
whole world. Although Musharraf dont want to
be dictated by Washington
as far as the secutiry of its nukes is concerned, but world community definately have
some credible responsibilities inthis matter. Pakistan’s nukes cant be taken as its own internal matter. This is
one of the main agenda of various candidates in US Presidential election campaign. World has a very close interest in
the security and peace in Pakistan. One of ways of ensuring that is to create strong international pressure on the
establisments in Pakistan to ensure credible and transparent election process. India seems to be silent in the matter
but it would not suit its long term interests.

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