Monday, January 6, 2020

Battle For Pakistan 2007-2019: Pak-US Ties and Civil-Military Relations

Shuja Nawaz's "The Battle For Pakistan: The Bitter Friendship and a Tough Neighborhood" looks at key events of the last decade that have characterized US-Pakistan ties and civil-military relations in Pakistan.  One of the biggest developments in the period covered by Shuja Nawaz's book is the rise of Narendra Modi and the Hindu Nationalists in India. His book is a well-written treatise but it is strangely silent on the implications of this major development for South Asia region and the world.

Author Shuja Nawaz

US Raid in Abbottabad:

On May 2, 2011, US commandos raided a house in Pakistani city of Abbottabad and killed Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden. There are many stories about who led the Americans to Bin Laden's hideout. The story that Shuja Nawaz appears to confirm is the one about ex Pakistani spy Lt Col Iqbal Saeed Khan walking into the US Embassy in Islamabad to tell the CIA station chief the exact location of Bin Laden. This spy was apparently well rewarded for it. He now lives in San Diego, California where he owns a multi-million dollar home and drives a BMW convertible.

“Col. Saeed, who ran a security firm in Islamabad, may have been responsible for providing logistic and surveillance assistance to the Americans in tracking and locating movements related to what turned out to the final lair of bin Laden in Abbottabad,” says Shuja Nawaz in his book. “Col. Saeed’s office in Abbottabad is reported to have been used as a listening and staging post. He is reported to have been recruited by Lt. Col. Hafeez, his predecessor at the helm of the 408 Intelligence battalion, who had been hired by the U.S., and according to one report, was even in the U.S., and that CIA Director George Tenet once brought him to a meeting with Gen. Kayani,” it adds.

Imran Khan's 2014 Dharna (Sit-in):

Shuja Nawaz confirms what was widely reported by Pakistani media in 2014: Pakistan ISI was behind Imran Khan's Islamabad dharna. He cites US Ambassador Richard Olson as his source. Olson said the following in a January 2017 interview with the author:

"We received information that Zahir [-ul-Islam, the DG-ISI] was mobilizing for a coup in September of 2014. [Army chief] Raheel [Sharif] blocked it by, in effect, removing Zahir, by announcing his successor...[Zahir] was talking to the corps commanders and was talking to like-minded officers....He was prepared to do it and had the chief been willing, even tacitly, it would have happened. But the chief was not willing, so it didn't happen."

Pakistan Military Dominance:

Shuja Nawaz argues in the book that "the armed forces, and in particular the army, continue to dominate decision making in Pakistan" in spite of the fact "the constitution of Pakistan established civilian supremacy". He explains that it is "largely because of its (army's) experience in running the country through successive military regimes and, to some extent, by the inability of civilian regimes to exhibit the political vision and will necessary to exert their constitutional control over the military".

Going back to the 1970s, Shuja Nawaz says in his book:

"The elder Bhutto (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) had wished to cut the military down to size, demoting the commanders-in-chief of the services to chiefs-of-staff. But, he failed to understand that their power stemmed from their disciplined and organized institutions, while the political party that he headed, not unlike other political parties, tended to be fractured and weak, especially on governance.....family rule was the order of the day. Civilian leaders failed to empower the people who elected them time and again, and they failed to deliver on the promise of economic development."

Shuja Nawaz's Silence on Rise of Hindutva:

The biggest development in the period covered by Shuja Nawaz's book is the rise of Narendra Modi and the Hindu Nationalists in India. His book is strangely silent on the implications of this development for South Asia region and the world.

Clearly, Nawaz did not foresee what has happened in India and Indian Occupied Kashmir with the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution and the passage of highly discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act. Nor did he see Modi's dangerous gambit with attack on Balakot in Pakistan. The Indian action drew strong Pakistani response with Pakistan Air Force crossing the Line of Control in Kashmir and shooting down two Indian fighter jets.  Pakistan also captured an Indian fighter pilot shot down down in Azad Kashmir. It was Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's deft handling of the regional crisis that prevented further escalation into a full-blown India-Pakistan war that could have gone nuclear.

Summary:

"The Battle For Pakistan" by Shuja Nawaz covers the period from 2007 when President Musharraf fired former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to the beginning of 2019 before Balakot attack by Indian Air Force. The book is strangely silent on the implications of far-right Indian Prime Minister Modi's rise for South Asia region and the world.  Most of the book is devoted to discussion of US raid on Osama Bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad, Salala incident that took the lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers, Memogate that led to Husain Haqqani's ouster, Dawn Leaks incident that soured relations between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the military and Pakistan Army operations to defeat Pakistani Taliban. The author appears to confirm stories about an ex ISI colonel helping CIA find Bin Laden and Pakistan ISI's instigation Imran Khan's 2014 Islamabad  dharna (sit-in). One of the biggest developments in the period covered by Shuja Nawaz's book is the rise of Narendra Modi and the Hindu Nationalists in India. His book is strangely silent on the implications of this development for South Asia region and the world.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

India: A Paper Elephant?

Modi's Hindutva

Imran Khan's 2014 Dharna in Islamabad

Seeing Bin Laden's Killing in Wider Perspective

Top US CIA Agent on Pakistan ISI

Shuja Nawaz on Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Ownership of Appliances and Vehicles in Pakistan

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

5 comments:

Rashid A. said...

Thank you Riaz Sahib for this great review of this excellent book.

It was well known the it was a former employee of Army/ISI who told CIA about OBL. Even PMIK admitted/claimed that ISI informed CIA.

Ziaul Islam was very ambitious and was making moves. His shenanigans were revealed during Dharna.

I have no respect for these military dictators, but Shuja Nawaz is spot on when he says,

"The elder Bhutto (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) had wished to cut the military down to size, demoting the commanders-in-chief of the services to chiefs-of-staff. But, he failed to understand that their power stemmed from their disciplined and organized institutions, while the political party that he headed, not unlike other political parties, tended to be fractured and weak, especially on governance.....family rule was the order of the day. Civilian leaders failed to empower the people who elected them time and again, and they failed to deliver on the promise of economic development."

It is lack of values, conviction and courage coupled with greed for money or power that invites military.

Riaz Haq said...

I think the book is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in Pakistan affairs.

Shuja Nawaz's credibility comes from his family background and his inside connections in the military.

His father, uncles and grandfather all served in the military.

His cousin Asif Nawaz served as Army Chief briefly before he died under mysterious circumstances.

We had a couple of conversations with him in 2014 when dharna was going on. Here are the links:

https://youtu.be/nafyJdpGqW8

https://youtu.be/LCawsTRitCM

BTW, the ISI chief was Zahir ul Islam, not Zia ul Islam.

Rashid A. said...

Pakistan Army Act Amendments have been approved by both houses and signed by the President.

Any comments from this esteemed group?

My thoughts:

Given their past noise, the speed at which this was “processed” and how PMLN and PPP turned around to support it was surprising.

The language of the act has already become controversial, technically. It seems like it was hastily drafted. The constitution says President “shall” appoint but this law says, he “may” appoint. Also this law says Appointing authority (President) has discretion, whereas the constitution gives no discretion to the Pres.

The law says the appointment /extension of Army Chief cannot be challenged in any court. That is also questionable. I wonder if the law itself can be challenged. Don’t know for sure.

The theory that Parliament is supreme, and hence it can make laws that are not subject to judicial review, may allow such exemption from judicial review. Yet, the other theory is that Parkuamebt cannot make laws that are ultra vires if the Constitution, and the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means. Hence the law cannot escape the judicial review.

The parliament can change the constitution, but that is a different exercise.

See: https://harvardlawreview.org/2016/02/the-constitution-means-what-the-supreme-court-says-it-means/

Riaz Haq said...

Rashid A: " Pakistan Army Act Amendments have been approved by both houses and signed by the President."


It’s the triumph of Shahbaz Sharif/Chaudhry Nisar wing within PMLN....a step toward reconciliation with the military

I think Shahbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar are very wise. They know the alternatives are far worse for their party and for Pakistan as a nation-state.

Compromises are the only way to make gradual progress toward a better future for democracy in Pakistan.

Confrontation has not and will not work.

Meanwhile, the politicians need to work on the best ways to deliver for the people to wean them off direct/indirect military rule.

BTW, have you heard about Concordance theory on civil military relations?

After observing that most civil-military theory assumes that the civilian and military worlds must necessarily be separate, both physically and ideologically, Rebecca L. Schiff offered a new theory—Concordance—as an alternative. One of the key questions in Civil-Military Relations (CMR) theory has always been to determine under what conditions the military will intervene in the domestic politics of the nation. Most scholars agree with the theory of objective civilian control of the military (Huntington), which focuses on the separation of civil and military institutions. Such a view concentrates and relies heavily on the U.S. case, from an institutional perspective, and especially during the Cold War period. Schiff provides an alternative theory, from both institutional and cultural perspectives, that explains the U.S. case as well as several non-U.S. civil-military relations case studies.

While concordance theory does not preclude a separation between the civilian and military worlds, it does not require such a state to exist. She argues that three societal institutions—(1) the military, (2) political elites, and (3) the citizenry must aim for a cooperative arrangement and some agreement on four primary indicators.

1. Social composition of the officer corps.
2. The political decision-making process.
3. The method of recruiting military personnel.
4. The style of the military.


If agreement occurs among the three partners with respect to the four indicators, domestic military intervention is less likely to occur. In her book, The Military and Domestic Politics, she applied her theory to six international historical cases studies: U.S., post–Second World War period; American Post-Revolutionary Period (1790–1800); Israel (1980–90); Argentina (1945–55); India post-Independence and 1980s; Pakistan....

-------------------

Just as there are many versions of democracy, Schiff argues that there may exist
various types of civil-military relationships and that these arrangements are rooted in the
cultural and historical experiences of the nations they serve. Concordance theory relies on
the agreement of the ''three social partners" with respect to ''four indicators": the social
ix
composition of the officer corps, the political decision-making process, recruitment
method, and military style. If there is general acceptance among the partners with respect
to these indicators, then the likelihood of military interventions is diminished. The theory
has the additional value of explaining the institutional and cuhural conditions that affect
relations with the military.
The pmpose of this thesis is to test Rebecca L. Schiff's ''Theory of Concordance"
against the case of Argentina. I use the case study method to determine whether this
relatively neglected theory of civil-military relations accounts for the occurrence of
military interventions in the past and the subsequent return to democracy. Secondary to
this, I examine whether the theory provides a better tool than separation theory by which
to analyze civil-military relations in this case and the suitability of its generalization to
other cases both within Latin America and trans-regionally.


https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/36731691.pdf

Ahmad F. said...

Civil-Military convergence

The theory that perhaps responds best to the peculiar security and political environment of Pakistan is Rebecca Schiff’s Concordance theory. According to that theory for best civil-military relations there should be complete concordance between the political elite, the military and the people on four indicators ie social composition of the officers corps, political decision making process, method of recruitment and the style of the military.

The allegory does not end with military oppression alone but the economic and political exploitation of hapless Pakistanis too. The concordance as per Rebecca Schiff’s theory between Pakistan Army, the political elite and the hapless citizen is fraught with discordance between the citizen and the rapacious political elite. It is within this externally threatened and internally fractured politico-economic milieu that the appointment of the COAS assumes the greatest salience. The need of the hour in this critical juncture for Pakistani “anocracy” (mixture of democracy and autocracy) is of a sheet anchor that can provide stability to the political sailboat of a fledgling democracy being buffeted by the winds of democratic turbulence. The change of a military helmsman at this crucial juncture would be a risky proposition considering the fragility of the slim majority political parvenus of PTI who are up against an obstreperous sea of political opposition infested by the sharks of status quo.


https://pakobserver.net/civil-military-convergence/