IS PAKISTAN HEADING FOR ANOTHER DICTATORSHIP

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Pakistani Chief of Army Staff: General Qamar Javed Bajwa – Picture Courtesy Arab News

[su_box title=”This article was originally published on 04 Jun 2020. The article is being republished to highlight that what Insightful Geopolitics had predicted in the beginning of the month, mainstream media is confirming the same a week later. Link: https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/army-tightens-grip-on-pakistan-as-imran-khans-popularity-wanes-2243791 Copyright © 2018-2020 Insightful Geopolitics. All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the written permission. “][/su_box]

Pakistan takes solace in dictatorship every decade or so since it came into existence. The last dictatorship of Gen. Parvez Musharaf ended in 2008. Since then, Pakistan has been fighting for its democracy to survive. But today, the atmosphere doesn’t look good. All the indicators are in favor of an upcoming dictatorship. Let us analyze.

A quick look at all the dictators Pakistan has suffered before we continue further.

THE ROGUE’s GALLERY

In 1958, the first Pakistani President Major General Iskander Mirza dismissed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and the government of Prime Minister Feroz Khan Noon, appointing army commander-in-chief Gen. Ayub Khan as the Chief martial law administrator. Thirteen days later, Mirza himself was exiled by Ayub Khan, who appointed himself president. Muhammed Ayub Khan came to power in 1958. He suspended the constitution which had been adopted two years earlier and ensured that the new one gave him ample powers. He was confirmed in office as president by an electoral college of 80,000 members who were merely asked whether they trusted him. He made Pakistan a military ally of the USA. In the mid-1960s, however, the Soviet Union brokered a ceasefire in the short war he had waged against India. Khan had to resign in 1969 because of protests in West Pakistan as well as the growing independence movement in what was then East Pakistan and would soon become Bangladesh.

In 1958, the first Pakistani President Major General Iskander Mirza dismissed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and the government, appointing army commander-in-chief Gen. Ayub Khan as the Chief martial law administrator. Thirteen days later, Mirza himself was exiled by Ayub Khan, who appointed himself president. Khan had to resign in 1969 because of protests in West Pakistan as well as the growing independence movement in what was then East Pakistan and would soon become Bangladesh.

After serving in the war with India over the Kashmir region, he became Pakistan’s youngest brigadier general at age 34 and its youngest general at 40. He became commander in chief in 1966. A protégé of Pres. Mohammad Ayub Khan, Yahya was in command of the military when street riots erupted in the country. Ayub called on him to take over the direction of the government and preserve the integrity of Pakistan. He was appointed chief administrator of martial law, which he declared with the words “I will not tolerate disorder. Let everyone return to his post.” 
The Pakistani general and World War II British Army veteran imposed Martial Law in 1969, only to lose power 2 years later, when Eastern Pakistan broke off to become Bangladesh. Yahya Khan administered attacks on over half a million Bangladeshis and minorities in India. He ordered a separatist movement in 1971, called Operation Searchlight, which targeted Bengali intellectuals and nationalists. He was recorded saying to “kill three million of them” in a high level meeting in the same year, which by the end of, thousands of people had died and Yahya Khan had been exiled.

After serving in the war with India over the Kashmir region, Yahya Khan became Pakistan’s youngest general at 40. He became commander in chief in 1966. He was appointed chief administrator of martial law in 1969 by Ayub Khan, only to lose power 2 years later, and go into exile, when Eastern Pakistan broke off to become Bangladesh. Yahya Khan administered genocide and killed over 3 million Bangladeshis, mostly minority Hindus.

In 1977, Muhamed Zia-ul-Haq grabbed power in a coup. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the ousted prime minister, was sentenced to death and executed in 1979. Zia-ul-Haq promoted Islamisation, turned against Muslim minorities such as the Ahmadis, the Shias, and supported the Mujaheddin, who were fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He not only aligned the country more closely to Washington but also pursued a nuclear program. Pakistan detonated nuclear test devices in 1998, ten years after Zia-ul-Haq had died in a plane crash.

Pervez Musharraf toppled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999, just when Sharif had decided to fire him as top army leader after a failed military campaign in the Kargil region of Kashmir. Musharraf held onto power until 2008. Thereafter he went into self-exile to Dubai. In 2014 he was charged with treason, and sentenced to death in 2019. The Lahore High Court annulled the death sentence given to former military dictator Pervez Musharraf in Jan 2020. He continues to live a lavish life in Dubai. 

A LOOK AT THE CONDITIONS LEADING TO PAST DICTATORSHIPS

Once a renowned Pakistani citizen was asked, “Why Pakistan has had so many coups in the past, and India none”, he stated, “that is due to the moral bankruptcy of the military, and the civilian leadership of Pakistan”. In my eyes, Pakistan failed at many levels, which gave chance to opportunist Generals to play Saviour. The following could be some of the reasons:

  • First nine years, four Prime Ministers, four Governor-Generals, one President and no Constitution.
  • Country ran like an adhoc unit without any direction, guided by personal ambitions and greed.
  • Mega projects and history of either no completion or completion at exorbitant cost. Kalabagh; Mangala; Tarbela dams, CPEC, and Gwadar Port to name a few.
  • Corruption, lack of accountability & transparency, and personal greed of the military & civilian leadership.
  • ISI and its desire to reign supreme in Iran, Afghanistan, and the whole of South Asia.
  • Army’s iron grip over the economy.
  • Challenge to the military establishment from civilian leadership.

PAKISTANI ARMY’S BUSINESS EMPIRE

The Pakistani Army has a business empire that would put African dictators and their cronies to shame. China also follows a similar model, and this explains a ’Friendship higher than the Heights of Himalayas and deeper than the depths of the Arabian Sea’. The Pak military empire is run by direct involvement of the forces, through subsidiaries, and individually. The subsidiaries run their business through four foundations, which were operating about 100 independent projects in 2007. The foundations are:

  • The Fauji Foundation
  • Army Welfare Trust
  • Shaheen Foundation
  • Bahria Foundation

These subsidiaries are into private security, oil terminals, phosphate ventures, commercial banks, airline, travel agency, stud farm, shipping and freight, construction, cement, gas, fertilizer, pharmaceutical, power, aviation, air cargo, insurance, fisheries, pay-TV, schools, universities, manufacturing of shoes; hosiery; woolen goods; rice; sugar; paint, etc. The list is endless.

By the late 80s, the Pakistani army’s greed had become cause célèbre, leading to resentment amongst the populace. As per Shuja Nawaz’s book, ’Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within’, the rampant land grabbing and corruption by the Pakistani generals had crossed all limits, and most army officers used to refrain from going out into the public places in their uniforms.

Depiction of Normal Pakistani Citizens(Awam) Vs Army: Courtesy – news-communique.com

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, in her 2007 book ’Military Inc: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy’ uncovers how the Pakistani military was involved in all kinds of conceivable businesses. She estimated that in 2007 the military’s net worth was more than £10 billion, which was four times the total foreign direct investment that came to Pakistan in the same year. She claimed that the army owns over 12 percent of the country’s land. The current and retired senior officers have a monopoly over this land, making each one of them worth over £3.5 million. A Major General can expect to receive on retirement a present of 240 acres of prime farmland, worth on average £550,000, as well an urban real estate plot valued at £700,000(all market values as of 2008).

Interview of Ayesha Siddiqa in Hindi

In 2016, it was informed to the Pakistani senate that the armed forces run over 50 commercial undertakings, which are worth over $20 billion. The military stands today as the biggest conglomerate of all businesses in Pakistan and the jewels in their crown are the eight housing societies in eight major towns. 

PAKISTAN’S ECONOMIC ARRANGEMENT: MÉNAGE A TROIS

Since the founding of Pakistan in 1947, three classes of people have benefited the most. The military, politicians, and bureaucracy. They have properties in western countries, and their wards go there for higher studies. The ordinary citizens of Pakistan understand that and criticize politicians and bureaucrats with impunity. However, they refrain to do so, against the military, for the fear of retribution. 

Pakistan’s GDP Growth Over Two Decades

Before coronavirus disease struck the world, Pakistan’s GDP growth rate was estimated to be 3.3% for 2020 and 2.4% for 2021, its lowest in a decade. Now, Pakistan’s real growth rate for 2020 has been projected by the World Bank to go into the negative, between -1.3 percent and -2.2 percent.

Pakistan has double-digit inflation, almost 12%, and a budget deficit of almost 9%. To overcome this country would need to grow in double digits to break even. Its total external debt stands at a whopping $111 billion($62 billion to China alone). It’s debt servicing obligation for 2020 is over $29 billion. Pakistan is in a classic debt trap. It borrows more to service its debt burdens and pays for its imports, a never-ending cycle. Its foreign exchange reserves at under $11 billion are barely sufficient to cover 3 ½ months of imports.

WHY ROCK THE BOAT

When the going is so good, then who needs military rule. Today the Army controls the country’s nuclear and missile programs, the military budget, national security decision-making, and foreign relations. This is called, a coup without a coup. However, key variables, such as economic instability, a threat to senior military officer’s economic dealings and high-handedness by the civilian leadership could quickly change the course of this relationship. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif got this golden rule wrong. Despite performing consistently better than his predecessors, he was ousted, once by Gen Parvez Musharaf in 1999, and the second time by the invisible hand of the army, in 2018. 

The current incompetent Prime Minister Imran Khan would complete two years in the office in August 2020. Other than establishing a smooth relationship with GHQ(General Headquarters), he has displayed ineptness in every other department. After almost two years of rule, Khan, on his plate, has a bankrupt economy, failed foreign policy, and an incompetent set of ministers. Stuck between the hammer and the anvil, Khan came out with an ingenious idea. He granted the current Army Chief, General Qamar Bajwa a full three-years extension as COAS, and made him a member of the government’s National Development Council. This was akin to paying protection to the mafia, for safely running one’s own business. However, this decision impacted the careers and promotions of 20 Pakistani Army Generals. The main list of disgruntled generals included Corps Commander Multan Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar(forced to resign after being kept under house arrest) who was on top of the seniority list for appointment as the Chief of Army Staff; Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, Lt Gen Humayun Aziz, Lt Gen Naeem Ashraf, Lt Gen Sher Afghan, and Lt Gen Qazi Ikraam. 

Bajwa today stands at crossroads, where he is haunted by General Ayub Khan’s dilemma of October 1958. His solutions to problems could generate more issues, and his allies may turn into his critics and his critics into hostile opponents. So would he take things in his own hands before any disgruntled general decides to undertake the route of Maj. Gen. Akbar Khan of Rawalpindi conspiracy(1951), or Maj. Gen. Tajammul Hussain Malik’s conspiracy to assassinate Zia-ul-Haq(1980), or Maj. Gen. Zahirul Islam Abbasi’s coup attempt against the government of Benazir Bhutto(1995).

This new reality would haunt General Bajwa for a long time. He got an extension of three years, which surprisingly coincides with his protégé Imran Khan’s government’s tenure. Imran Khan’s incompetent government, the country’s failed economy, the exodus of industries, a meltdown of exports, the crash landing of Pakistani rupee, false fear of external threats, the fake narrative on J&K, and COVID19(a gift from their all-weather friend) would give Bajwa enough reasons to be the fifth dictator of Pakistan. The million-dollar question is, would he do it now or towards the end of his three years extension? And believe you me, Bajwa is having sleepless nights over this question.

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245 thoughts

  1. I have been reading over many articles in regard to this issue and I can surely say this article provides a very detailed and accurate approach to the real situation in Pakistan right now….And the ending line speaks a lot more than we can just think of..

    1. Thank you so much, Bhawani, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Indeed the situation is precarious there and the biggest worry is their unsecured nukes.

  2. While the situation seems ripe for a coup and help the army take control of the nation, Pakistan unlike China has an elected government.

    In a situation where the pandemic has overwhelmed the Government and it is looking for economic bailouts such a move could harm its own interests as it can’t be as belligerent as China. It could give India ammunition to conduct cross border strikes to safeguard against increased terror attacks.

    So while I agree that there is a chance for a coup, I don’t see it becoming a reality.

    1. Thank you so much, Hardik, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. If you read the concluding part, it states exactly the same. In fact, it would be a big dilemma for Bajwa. He has 3 years and Imran Khan also has 3 years. He might strike closer to the end of this extension. There are many other Generals, who are not happy with this extension and they may work on these lines.

  3. My view is that a military coup in the near future seems bleak. Bajwa would be stupid to take over a leaking rusting ship. The fall guy would be Imran if Pakistan collapses. To give the Devil it’s due Bajwa has tread carefully till now without attracting any adverse attention into himself

    1. Thank you so much, Ajay, for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. You are right, as I have also put across in my conclusion that Pakistani establishment would not like to rock the boat since it going so good for them. However, Bajwa has three years and Imran Khan has over three years to complete. Running the country is beyond the capability of Imran Khan, which would tempt Bajwa towards the end of his career to take the bold step. There are many other Generals who have lost the chance to reach higher levels. They are very cut up and may venture out on the adventurous path.

  4. An excellent compilation of subject. Good research undertaken by the writer. All the best for future of Pakistan. God only knows what will happen to pakistan.

    1. Thank you so much, Sanjay for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am glad that you liked it.

  5. Another thought-provoking post Sandomina. I really do enyoy reading your take on things and I shall be looking at how the next three years develops in Pakistan now for sure.

    1. Thank you so much, Malcolm, for stopping and sharing your thoughts. I am honored to have such amazing comments from such an experienced person.
      Warm regards.

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  7. A very good analysis of what Pakistan is heading for
    A failed state / dictator in power will certainly cause anxiety in the power corridors of the tegion

      1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. That information is a bit private. I hope you understand that.

      2. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. That information is a bit private. I hope you understand that.

  8. Pakistan’s democracy and dictatorship have been playing hide and go seek ever since the country was formed. We can only wait and watch what happens next. Well written Sandeep

    1. Thank you so much, Rinku, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am glad that you have liked it.

  9. As usual, a very detailed analysis that makes for an easy and interesting read. If there is only one blog I follow, I am glad this is the one.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am glad that you have liked it.

  10. Thank you for adding to my knowledge and understanding of this subject, Sandomina; glad to visit you here!

    1. Thank you so much, D’Nanda, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am glad that you have liked it.

      1. I’ll be following the blog now. Why do you think people are so willing to tolerate one-man rule? and How can we encourage a tendency toward self-determination/self rule, whatever that looks like? (I’m not just thinking of Pakistan, but more generally.)

      2. I suppose ordinary people are miserable in their lives. These people want to believe in something, which can get them out of misery. Be it a strong leader, a Godman, or a dictator. Dictators thrive on this fear.

      3. If only we all knew that it takes many years to become an overnight success.

  11. With inept leadership of Imran Khan, and Pakistan with dire straits on various fronts, looks like a distinct possibility of military dictatorship in very near future.
    Another very well researched article!

  12. Hi Sandy always a pleasure reading your articles. Well researched and easy narrative. My take every General in the Pak eyes that coveted take over of the establishment through a martial law and scuttle the democracy. More so whenever there is a weak govt and specially in present scenario when the country is devoid of Strong political leadership.
    Keep writting

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. It is confirmed information from very reliable sources that Imran Khan would have gone if Coronavirus had not come. That is the reason Imran Khan amended the Constitution of the country in a hurry. Now he would linger on for some more time. Bajwa would surely give serious thoughts to taking over towards the end of his extension.

  13. A well chronicled essay. Dictatorship has been the key feature of Governance in Pakistan. Whenever the heat/pressure from the world on democratic violations in Pak increases and the sword of sanctions looms over it, the Army allows/positions a democratically elected leader. The Army is also very adept at portraying the pit falls of the puppet govt vis a vis the good order and stability that is provided by a military ruler. The change around to Dictatorship will happen on either of the two events, firstly the Pak economy goes into a free fall and secondly if the Pak economy sees a revival trend (with support of China). Your articles are good food for thought…….

    1. Thank you so much, Atul for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. Pakistani army thrives on fear. Form the countrymen they display fear of India, Iran, Afghanistan, the United States, and on and on. For the world, they use nuclear blackmailing. The modus operandi is to the show of the fear of nukes falling in the hands of bad boys if Pakistan collapses. Advanced and rich nations have always fallen for it, giving Pakistan donations, grants, and loans.

  14. Very well researched Sandy. But I agree with one of the comments above, ‘why rock the boat when the going is good and you have a fall guy for any eventuality’ . In any case there appears to be a case in Lahore high court against Gen Bajwa that he is secretly an Ahmadi and thus not entitled to hold any public office. Intrigue intrigue…..

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. There is so much money involved that one gets tempted to rock the boat. I am aware of that case. It was initiated by those disgruntled Generals, who lost out due to his extension.

  15. Sandy, as always a brilliant piece. The difference between India and Pakistan which I gathered from your article is that Bureaucracy, Politicians and Military thrived in Pak whereas in India the Military stayed dignified but couldnt stop the Politicians and Bureaucrats from looting and corrupt practices. While the Military guarded the borders there was no one to safeguard the internal mechanism. Hopefully the current govt in India will steer us clear of corrupt Politicians in India.

    Gen Bajwa is enjoying the Remote control of the country! Of course when its a year to go for Imran Khan he will pull the rug! Power corrupts more than anything else which has been displayed in an arbitrary extension given to him and upsetting the career growth of many an officer. Am sure there will be a lot of dissent. But then they have an all weather friend in China!

    As per me the Question is when Bajwa will be Emperor Vs when China will take over Pak completely!

    Either way not good for India!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. You are right in your analysis. As I have also put across in my conclusion that Pakistani establishment would not like to rock the boat since it going so good for them. However, Bajwa has three years and Imran Khan has also got over three years to complete. Since running the country is beyond the capability of Imran Khan, that would tempt Bajwa towards the end of his career to take the bold step. There are many other Generals who have lost the chance to reach higher levels. They are very cut up and may venture out on the adventurous path. China is going to get benefitted from every chaos Pakistan suffers. Foolish Pakistanis would still keep thinking that higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the Arabian Sea friend would bail them out when the same country would be actually milking them.

  16. Congratulations Sandeep. A well researched paper. Money power of such proportions within the defence establishment was a revelation to me. Nuclear arsenal and it’s control is a huge worry.
    Look forward to more articles from you.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. I am glad that you have liked it. Rogue nations north and west of India are surely a cause of concern.

  17. Conditions in Pakistan are ripe, I think, for their Chief to take over. Probably, he would’ve before Imran Khan got elected had it not been for the Chinese influence. We all know who runs Pakistan….their Army men. Over the last decade, they have allowed China to make deep strategic inroads into their country almost amounting to selling it off to them. There are many cases, CPEC being just one of them. With such strong Chinese influence, I don’t think Pak Army chief has any options with him without Chinese approval. Dictatorship, if it happens, will be more of a Chinese decision rather than Bajwa’s.

    Given the strong global criticism China is facing due to COVID, it’s unlikely they will get involved with a coup in Pakistan. On the contrary, they will prevent it, I think. A coup in Pakistan also gives options to US & India to further isolate Pakistan on the international stage besides strengthening relations with Afghanistan & Iran. With the current strongly offensive Indian mindset, it would be in Pakistan’s interest to lie low and avoid creating any internal upheaval.

    A coup, hence, seems unlikely. But, then, its Pakistan – a state that’s consistently proven that it is unfit to govern itself and uses large scale terrorism as a state policy. Am sure sooner or later, China’s honeymoon with Pakistan will come to an end. Once that happens, a coup will most likely be the only resort available.

    I would rather do some loud out of the box thinking here. At an opportune moment in the next decade, with international support and some kind of understanding with China, India may ultimately isolate Pakistan dividing it into four part – making Balochistan independent; taking over POK; merging Sindh with itself and Pakistani-Punjab as the New Pakistan less its NWFP. Let’s see what the future holds.

    1. Thank you so much, Ajay, for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. Imran Khan was saved by Coronavirus. Had the pandemic not hit the world, he would have been history. This information comes from very reliable sources. Who would have led the country is a million-dollar question? Imran Khan is erratic in his behavior and actions. He is investigating CPEC and the wrongdoings there, by the Pakistani establishment. That is not going down well with China and the Pakistani Army.
      This question is surely going to haunt Bajwa towards the end of his extension, should he, or shouldn’t he.
      As you have said, it is Pakistan, and anything is possible. One thing is sure, the extension of Bajwa has left many disgruntled Generals in the Pakistani Army.

  18. Yes Sandip,you are very much right in your research on Pakistan!Under the prevailing political crises,the unaddressed havoc Corona that is bound to unlease soon in the country &the nearly-crashed economy,most probably it is heading towards another dictatorship!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Imran Khan was saved by Coronavirus. Had the pandemic not hit the world, he would have been history. This information comes from very reliable sources. Who would have led the country is a million-dollar question? Imran Khan is erratic in his behavior and actions. He is investigating CPEC and the wrongdoings there, by the Pakistani establishment. That is not going down well with China and the Pakistani Army.
      This question is surely going to haunt Bajwa towards the end of his extension, should he, or shouldn’t he.

      1. While the Indian strategy of eyeball to eyeball confrontration was seeming to be so very effective till now with India observing restraint in first-provacation policy.China has played dirty politics like a stinking pig needing to be repaid in the same coin.This number of 43pigs will have to be multiplied manifolds to make our intensions clear regarding our soverignity and integrity.Only we must take the rest of the world community into confidence as its so called friends -Pak, Nepal…dont have any voice at all.We have to counter China’s misadventures in the same coin inflicting with higher damage with no casualties in our side.Life of our jawans is definitely higher that those filthy Chicoms,Sandeep!

      2. It is a long-drawn war to be fought at multiple fronts. Economically, diplomatically and militarily. A smaller and weaker China is in our as well as other Asian nation’s interests. The present format of China would eventually be more dangerous than Nazi Germany. We cannot effort to be complacent and colonized for another 1000 years. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Always a pleasure.

      3. It has been quite a fruitful experience of interracting with you with your collossal knowledge on world affairs &foreign policies due to your persistent research on them being your forte. Keep it up& keep enlightenning us!

  19. An interesting read and summarized well a short history of Pakistan.
    My take is that Gen Bajwa will be fool to do the coup when he is enjoying all power in the country with all his misdeeds on head of so called elected representative. Similar to Indian government with mute PM for a decade (a political corruption and no involvement/role of indian military)
    The point of concern is that when economic reasons would push Pak to the brink of extinction & anarchy with their citizens’ anger ever growing against ruling elites, they will turn towards China to sell/ handover regions of PoK to them causing another permanent problem like Aksaichin for India to pay off their debts. China would be ready to grab the opportunity.
    Therefore balkanisation of Pakistan with India claiming control on complete area of J&K will be like hitting two birds with a stone. Firstly, people of balkanised Pak can live in control of their own with India too rid of terrorist of Pak. Secondly Chinese can be tamed as they would see their immense investments on CPEC in drain otherwise along with cutting off their advantageous trade routes

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You have brought out very correctly that Bajwa would be foolish to take any such step. However, if Coronavirus had not come, Pakistan was very close to removing Imran Khan. What they would have done after that is anybody’s guess.
      Towards his third year of extension, Bajwa would surely give serious thought to a takeover. If he doesn’t do so, there are enough disgruntled Generals in Pakistan, who lost out on making tons of money by not becoming the COAS.
      The next 5 years are very crucial for the whole region. I am working on something, on a similar line.

  20. A very detailed article on the malpractice of the Pakistani military establishment. I am aghast at the obscene amount of money these senior officers are siphoning off.

  21. Well, I suppose, as you have brought out that General Bajwa and team are making enough money to live a lavish life after retirement, then why would he take any foolish step. Maybe he would get greedy or power-hungry towards the end of his extension.

    1. Thank you so much, Elon, for stopping by and sharing your experience. You are right and that is our assessment also that Bajwa might take a step towards the end of his extension.

  22. chronologically extremely well brought out the history of military take over of Pakistan, its control over the economy and businesses/industries, steep divide between the masses and the elites of Paki society and the state of economy and its future. Finally logically analysed the possibility of yet another military take over by Gen Bajwa at a time when he feel appropriate.For a student of geopolitics, its an easy and comprehensive read.
    Great effort.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. It was indeed Imran Khan’s good luck that the pandemic hit the world, else he was history, and Pakistan’s history would have taken a new turn.
      Now it looks like that he would wait for an opportune time to further his agenda.

    1. Thank you so much, Alpana, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am glad that you have liked it.

  23. A very nice reading!
    🙂

    I do not think that the Pakistani military generals and the elites care a damn about the mounting debts and rising inflation. In fact, how much money they siphon from India through multiple channels is not researched by anyone. Classic example is the movie entertainment industry of India. How much it earns for them? Most of the finance invested is Dubai based and the earned money (profits) is also circulated to those banks.

    1) What could be the reason that the country created as a Medina for the Muslims of the subcontinent is actually a hell for most of them?

    2) Why is it that the elites and the military of Pakistan act so insolently in their dealings with the ethnic minorities, be it the Baloch or the Pashtuns?

    3) Are they pinning their hopes on the >30 crore muslims of India for doing a Ghazwa-e-hind and assimilating the Indian state wealth, eventually? They indeed suffer the “Mughaliya-syndrome“, in which they crave to get back New Delhi as the –takht to rule the subcontinent again under the Islamic Caliphate of the Turks and grant their crony non-muslims some parts as ‘khillat’.

    In any case, the window of freedom is closing fast for the non-muslims of the subcontinent. All that we cherish as freedom in India would be converted to a system like Pakistan, if heaven’s forbid, they become successful in their designs. The dark ages will descend upon us with unholy alliance of the Mullah, Madrassa and Military ruling the roost from the Hindukush to Hind-Mahasagar.

    1. Thank you so much, Jyotirmay, for your interesting and detailed analysis.
      Pakistan has created so much divide within its own society that it is just a matter of time before the divides would start emerging. The Pakistani Army needed causes like India and J&K to stay alive to justify to the normal citizens the need for such a huge army for a small nation. The day normal populace realizes that and raises questions, that would be the end of the Paki Army. More than any nation, it is China, which wants destabilized Pakistan, so that it continues its economic and military activities unhindered.

      1. “The day normal populace realizes that and raises questions, that would be the end of the Paki Army.”

        The Awaam of Pakistan is on the continual dose of Afeem of Islam.

        Their psychological dependence on the religion, as a eternal hinge to rest their identity and aspirations, is such that they have become trapped in the game that the British had designed for their ”crown jewel” India. What Pakistan awaam thinks of as the ‘holy ghazis’ of their Medina are in fact and in effect were the stooges of the colonial masters.

        The only power to break the vicious cycle of religion induced sleep is the real and tangible hunger.

        With abysmally low literacy rates among the general populations and madrassa preaching the army propaganda, its a wishful thinking that -the day- will come on its own. At least this is what seems to me. It has to be either an invasive or a non-invasive surgery, by the powers that be, that does it. Much like how India intervened, during the 1971 war, due to the massacre and exodus of largely non-muslims and to a certain extent muslims (thought to be aligned with the Kafir or not “muslim” enough).

        What is the purpose of Pakistan other than to keep the whole region destabilized and economically lagging? In their pursuit of the destruction of their ancestors i.e. the Indian Hindus, they are ready to be vassals of the Chinese, if only for a short term.

        China may be doing things to them; but do they understand Islam enough, and its power to move hordes upon hordes, when called upon to save Islam and Allah? One of the the biggest USP of Islam is the mobilization of its masses for its cause. The hive mind is a close representation of such behavior.

      2. You are so right. However, the Pakistani Army has created an atmosphere of fear and that they have learned from their masters in Beijing. China doesn’t care about religion. They believe every person and organization has a prize and available for sale. Our belief system is very different from the Chinese system. If we try to understand Chinese from our system, we would be always disappointed.

  24. A nice analysis of a failed country. India’s bad luck that we have such a dirty neighbor. World’s largest democracy shares its borders with a country that has history of military dominated decades. Pakistan would suffer more on economic front , hunger, poverty , corruption which will lead the way to provide safe heaven to terrorist outfits. God save this nation !

    1. You are so right. In fact, India is surrounded by unstable countries from all sides. West-Pakistan, East- Myanmar, North- China(and now Nepal is also desperately trying to get into that category), South- Sri Lanka(in and out of this category).
      The next two years are very crucial for India. If we play our cards well, we would come out at the top.

      1. China should be taught a lesson that it cannot do any nonsense at borders with India 🇮🇳 . Just for diverting world attention from corona pandemic created by China, India can’t lose its brave hearts. Wait and watch for India’s response 🇮🇳🇮🇳

      2. Do give your valuable feedback on the article page too. I highly appreciate that.

  25. Sandeep…. thanks for sharing your thoughts… Whether we like it or not, we can’t change the geography and Pak is our neighbour at all times, whether it’s flourishing or failing….In that context, disregarding the past & current political situation (I mean last 7 decades post independence from British India), what & how can we take measures to straighten this failed state in the future? Can we adopt a different strategy than the present one, to change the mindset of ordinary Pak citizen which can pave way in overthrowing the present political & military set-up? Only then, Bharat can live in peace. My statement shouldn’t mistaken, but that’s the reality as saying goes “you can choose friends not neighbours”…

    1. Thank you so much, Ramki, for stopping by and sharing your immense experience. You are right in your assessment.
      Pakistan is under tremendous influence of coronavirus spreader. In fact, it is not India but China, which has a vested interest in Pakistan remaining in this chaotic situation at all times. This would ensure that Army rules the country directly or indirectly, Generals siphon off as much as they like, and in the bargain, Chinese companies have a monopoly in Pakistan, while doing their businesses uninterrupted.
      Both these countries would eventually collapse under their own weight by 2025. The next 2 years are very crucial for India and the whole region.

  26. Nice article!
    Military rule in Pakistan is like back side of mirror, always there but no reflections.
    Bajwa will wait for his Chinese counterpart and take a call. He is not in a hurry and he has no sleepless nights. He still holds the cane.
    Until this country moves away from Jagidari system, it has no solution. During the partition jagirdars thought that they can rule by way of politics but later they started sending their children to army because they realised that kids in the army can rule the country better than politics. It took some time, around 30 years to establish this system, now it is stable.
    Earlier public had to deal with jagirdars and military separately but now they have to deal with them together.
    🙏🏻

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your immense experience.
      Yes, Bajwa in no hurry, but he would surely have thoughts about it when he is about hand over the reigns. If coronavirus had not hit the world, Imran Khan would have been history. Pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for him.
      The Chaudharis and Jagirdars are killing the Pakistani system and that suits China very well. It gives the opportunity to do business unhindered.
      There also many disgruntled Generals, who missed out on many opportunities due to Bajwa’s extension. You never know if one of them springs a surprise.

    1. Thank you so much, Nitin, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. 😅Thats a nice quote.

  27. Pheew, I’m so happy not to be a politician in Pakistan. As a woman I’d have no chance to ever get anywhere in politics anyway. :/

    1. Man/woman doesn’t matter in Pakistan, you should be well connected to a political family, business house, or the best, Army. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  28. What is left to say about Pakistan. Mired in toxic ego battles, slave to outdated beliefs of ruler and ruled, and constantly needing to justify breaking away on the basis of religion. Imran Khan perhaps has good intentions but comes across as a babe in the woods in the cut-throat world of politics and military and has to play to the gallery for survival. Unfortunately, peace is a distant, dwindling hope for the common man.

    1. Thank you so much, Ankur, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Imran Khan should thank Coronavirus, else he would have been out by now(this information is from a very reliable source). For now, Pakistan has to suffer him for the next 3 years. Bajwa would have a major dilemma at the end of his extension, should he or shouldn’t he take the plunge?

  29. A wonderful description of military and the general masses from the time of formation of Pakistan to present day. Since the formation of Pakistan, the aam awam was not considered important. Only one part of the country Punjab province was given more prominence and had more say in governance and otherwise. People who migrated from India are called as Mahajirs and the condition of people of other religious people, the less said the better.

    The Generals in general and the army in particular from its inception, had much say in formation and functioning of Governments in different period of time. That may be Gen. Ayub Khan to Gen. Bajwa, all of them had their part in the government either directly or indirectly.

    Presently, PM Imran Khan is heading the Government but real power is vested in the army. The country is passing through a huge financial stringency due to pilling of debt from other countries. So much so is the financial dire strait that even the interest payment on the exact amount is difficult to be paid. Secondly, the invasion locusts (tidies) on the standing crops have created another problem, The army has come forward in controlling these.

    The exorbitant amount taken from other countries including China has added to the financial stringency more and more which has emboldened the army in taking decisions which are not in their domain; which seemingly is an indication of coming things.

    Dependence on other countries for meeting urgent needs, no control over the militant groups and other conditions have made Pakistan more precarious to govern and hence only option is the army.

    With regards

    1. Thank you so much, Harbans, for stopping by and sharing your immense experience and wisdom.

      Imran Khan was saved by Coronavirus. Had the pandemic not hit the world, he would have been history. This information comes from very reliable sources. Who would have led the country is a million-dollar question? Imran Khan is erratic in his behavior and actions. He is investigating CPEC and the wrongdoings there, by the Pakistani establishment. That is not going down well with China and the Pakistani Army.
      This question is surely going to haunt Bajwa towards the end of his extension, should he, or shouldn’t he.
      It is Pakistan, and anything is possible. One thing is sure, the extension of Bajwa has left many disgruntled Generals in the Pakistani Army.

      1. Thanks a lot for your views of today’s Pakistan. Fact remains Pakistan has taken so much loan from other countries and also leased out part of his country to China, the money this country cannot pay and therefore land leased would remain with China. China has started construction infra in Gwadar besides CPEC project’ for which there had been corrupt practices.

      2. It is a colonization of a different kind. The Pakistani Generals can only see how and from where they are getting huge funds. They park these funds in western countries and utilize them post-retirement. The amounts in question are obscene and beyond any ordinary Pakistani citizen’s imagination. China is more than happy to oblige these Generals. This gives Chinese companies, deep inroads into Pakistani businesses. These Generals are selling the country piece by piece. The normal populace establishes their nationalism on the basis of the fake narrative and fear sold by the same army which is meant to serve them.

      3. The Generals, after their retirements, more often, do not remain in Pak. What happens to their country is not their worry. It is sold or leased out hardly matters. All pervading corruption is eating into the vitals of their society.

        Regards

      4. China owns 40% of the Pakistan Stock Exchange. The $62 billion loans at an 8% rate are one of the highest commercial rates in the world. Pakistan is in no position to pay back this loan in the coming years. Pakistan would see more such institutions being sold to China in the coming days. The coal-based power plants being set up by China are obsolete and excessively overpriced. The electricity generated by these plants is also very expensive and would further burden the Pakistani citizens.

      5. It goes to show that Pakistan’s economic activities are run by Chinese money, of course, taken on loan or lease. Pakistan will not be able to pay even the interest from these loans and thus remain sub-subservient to them and one day Pak would be a colony of China; which will not a good augury for India too – having China in our western front.

        Thanks for your informative comments.

      6. The Pakistani outflow this year itself is $29 billion. Their foreign reserves are less than $11 billion. So you can understand how badly they are stuck with China. China would eat up that country one bite at a time. However, good news for Pakistan is that China is going to be in big trouble itself and may not be in that strong position to trouble Pakistan.

      7. The debit ridden country has really mortgaged their country to China for some dollars – an act which their next generation of Pakistan will not cherish.

      8. You are absolutely correct. I was abhorred to witness one commentator, what he was stating about Balochs on the Pakistani national television. He said, Balochs are only 4 million, so if we spread 10 million Chinese in Balochistan, they would finish them off. That is the kind of mentality they have.

      9. Yes, that is the kind of mindset they have for their own countrymen. Obviously, that country is bound to fail. Eventually, that country would be left only with Punjab. Other states would make their own destiny.

      10. You are so right, Harbans. Balochistan is a very mineral-rich state that remained impoverished since the formation of Pakistan.

      11. Balochs are very enterprising and hard working people. They want to secede from the near autocratic state of Pakistan.

      12. In Pakistan army is always in control, the civilian Government is only a smokescreen which could just be eliminated any time. Though General Bajwa was given extension for three more years yet the power does not matter to the general, they want absolute power wherein they can do anything and everything including looting what is left in Pakistan after the country has been made hallow from within by the Chinese, of course, with the active collaboration and collusion of generals. The day is not far when military rule would be declared and civilian government purged.In Pakistan army is always in control, the civilian Government is only a smokescreen which could just be eliminated any time. Though General Bajwa was given extension for three more years yet the power does not matter to the general, they want absolute power wherein they can do anything and everything including looting what is left in Pakistan after the country has been made hallow from within by the Chinese, of course, with the active collaboration and collusion of generals. The day is not far when military rule would be declared and civilian government purged.

      13. Affirmative indeed. The generals are the special class of special people and have special powers to govern by proxy, the civilian Govt. is only a facade real power is enjoyed by these general. Where our neighbour is headed to is anybody’s guess!

      14. Just like an institution, office, or organization, a country also has a character. This is established at the time of inception. People may come, people may go, but that character stays. It seeps into the DNA and remains there until a major structural change takes place. The same is true for Pakistan. It would change when it’s map changes. The next 5 years are very critical and crucial for India, Pakistan, South Asia, and China. We are heading for a major change.

      15. In fact after Corona subsides, there would be change around the world itself. Less said the better about of neighbour Pakistan. China, is a little different story since it is a central controlled powerhouse and have many things which are not hitherto known to the outer world. Lets see what happens, but one thing is sure, it has uncertain portents. TIME is the factor which can tell us the happenings..

      16. Absolutely. It is my prophecy that by 2025 there would be a major shakeup in the world order.

  30. I won’t pretend to have any really deep insights into Pakistani politics but I do know this:For a dictator, that guy has no style at all. If he hadn’t earned all those medals for bravery and service (Like every other dictator) he might have confiscated that uniform from a trash collector.

  31. With the pandemic around its not the best of times to go in for a coup. The fact that he has been given an extension is in a way an indication of the upper hand the army hold over the weak Imran government. Another reason for not going in now would be since Paks all weather friends too is facing the heat courtesy the pandemic . As regards sleepless nights which Bajwa would be going thorough well he’s not that as lucky as the previous four coup Generals . Simply unfortunate that he has to wait and watch. But overall Sandeep as always a well analysed article

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your immense experience.
      Imran Khan should be thankful for the pandemic, else he would have been history. Now, of course, they are stuck together for the next 3 years. Bajwa would have sleepless nights when he is about to finish his 3 years extension.

  32. I didn’t realize Pakistan had to many dictators. Thank you for outlining this history and for talking about the current situation, e.g. the economy, and the “coup without a coup”. Very informative, as always.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Indeed the situation is precarious in India’s neighborhood, and that is the reason India is on the edge, at all times.

  33. merci pour cet article et ce site qui me permet de mieux appréhender la réalité de ce pays nommé le Pakistan !
    le premier ministre Imran Khan avait il d’autre possibilité que de gérer le quotidien du pays ?
    n’a t il pas obligé l’armée première puissance économique du pays a assumer ses responsabilités ?

    la dette vis a vis de la chine est elle garantie par le pouvoir civile ou aussi par les bien de l’armée ce qui l’obligerait, dans cette période de baisse généralisée du taux de profit, a se serrer la ceinture et revoir a la baisse son train de vie ?
    traduction :
    thank you for this article and this site which allows me to better understand the reality of this country named Pakistan!
    Did Prime Minister Imran Khan have any other possibility than to manage the daily life of the country?
    Didn’t he oblige the army, the first economic power of the country, to assume its responsibilities?

    is the debt towards china guaranteed by the civil power or also by the army’s assets which would oblige it, in this period of generalized decrease of the rate of profit, to tighten its belt and reduce its lifestyle?

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

    1. The Pakistani army is the hidden hand behind any person or party, supposedly ruling the country. Pakistan has seen numerous coups and would continue on a similar path in the future too. The narrative was set soon after the formation of Pakistan, which can be changed by the army only. The army brass makes tons of money by remaining involved in all the economic activities of the country, so it doesn’t look plausible that they would give up the golden goose, any time soon.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am glad that you have liked it.

    1. Thank you so much, Anna, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. That’s very kind of you.

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