Pakistan, the Army and the Conflict Within

by Pervez Hoodbhoy , Zia Mian

Pakistan’s generals are besieged on all sides. Like never before, they are at odds with their own rank and file. According to the New York Times, the discontent with the top brass is so great as to evoke concerns of a colonels’ coup. The army also is losing support from its domestic political allies and subject to the increasing hostility of the Pakistani public. The generals are even at risk of being dumped by their oldest and most generous supporter, the United States.

Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and other military leaders know it is wise to stop digging when in a hole. But it is not clear if the generals can stop. On July 5, the New York Times reported that US officials hold senior officers of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the military intelligence agency, responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzhad. Shahzhad was well known for his reporting on the military’s ties with militant Islamist groups.

The immediate cause of this crisis was the successful US operation to discover Osama bin Laden’s hiding place in Pakistan, stealthily enter the country and kill him. But, in reality, the generals have been brought to these dire straits by army policies, particularly those enacted over the past three decades, which have left the army, and Pakistan, deeply divided. Keeping the army and the country together is part of the same challenge. ….

Read more → MERIP

By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable. Although IAOJ does not monitor comments posted to this site (and has no obligation to), it reserves the right to delete, edit, or move any material that it deems to be in violation of this rule.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s