Bullying ‘bloody civilians’ over the Kerry-Lugar Bill

Bullying ‘bloody civilians’
By Kamran Shafi
Tuesday, 13 Oct, 2009 (Dawn)
Our Rommels and Guderians are not about to alight from their top of the line BMWs and Mercedes and climb into Suzuki Mehrans. –File Photo
I have read the complete text of the Kerry-Lugar Bill four times. I find nothing in it that impinges on Pakistan’s sovereignty, which went out the window with the Pakistan Army’s first steps towards forming a symbiotic, but completely inferior, relationship with the United States military.

I give below verbatim (parenthesis mine) an exact copy, but slightly abbreviated, of a Top Secret but now declassified (vide NND 959417 14/1/93) letter written by Gen Mohammad Ayub Khan, C-in-C of the Pakistan Army, to Admiral Arthur Radford, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon [sic], Washington D.C. (Please read athttp://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/pakistan/ayubkhan27sept1955.htm)

‘General Headquarters
27th Sep ‘55.
D.O. No. 7/36/C-in-C.

My dear Admiral Radford,
Considering that you have been such a good friend, I thought you would be interested to know how the affairs of military aid stand looked at from our angle … which to say the least is gloomy.

2. In early 1954, we were informed that Meyer’s Mission was coming out to Pakistan to negotiate details of military aid with us. In order to prepare our appreciation and plan for presentation to this Mission, we made several approaches to Pentagon [sic] to give us an indication of the scope of the aid. On failing to get any reply we prepared our case on the following basis.
In the event of major aggression against Pakistan, determine the forces required to:-
(a) Defend it.
(b) Launch a counter-offensive from it.
The result of appreciation on the above basis gave us an estimate of the additional effort to be put in by USA. [sic] after deducting our maximum effort on one or both scores, depending on how far America was prepared to go. It was not till the end of our briefing we were told [sic] that … the Mission had come out to find out our deficiencies in nuts and bolts and no more.

3. Then came our meeting in Washington in October ‘54. On it [sic] we were told
that America would be prepared to complete one ½ Division of our Armour and four Divisions of Infantry, and as we were spending the maximum we could on Armed Forces, apart from weapons etc required our additional
internal expense [salaries, staff cars?] would also be covered for these Formations. The programme was to take three years to complete. Thereafter our dealings began with the USMAAG.

4 .Now that the target was set, I thought the things will move smoothly so long as a sound working arrangement was evolved between the American Staff and our Staff. So, I issued a directive to my staff that they will work in close collaboration with the Americans, who were also asked to work more or less on a joint staff basis with our fellows. Unfortunately I failed to obtain American cooperation on this with the result that when our staff presented our requirements list it was objected to on the ground that our Divisional strength was in excess of theirs, which could not be supported. In any case no more than 40,000 additional men could be catered for. Our figure was 56,000 men. When asked for the working of the figure of 40,000 men, no satisfactory answer could be given.

5. Thereupon the whole thing was put in the melting pot and our staff went to work again. We reduced our establishments to remain within 40,000 men additional permissible limit with the following effect:-
(a) Reducing of officer strength by 20per cent.
(b) Reduction of JCO and OR strength by 10per cent.
(c) Conversion of A/Tk units to Fd Arty Units.
(d) Conversion of two 5.5’ gun units to 155 mm How units.
(e) Non-activation of certain units.
(f) Deletion of expansion in Schools & Centers [sic].

6. Our requirements based on above [sic] were then worked out and submitted to USMAAG and presumably accepted by the Department of the Army, who allotted certain amount of funds for internal use for the fiscal year 1954-55. Incidentally the allotment for a certain set of accommodation [!] estimated to cost 16.64 crores [sic] rupees was 7.40 crores and so on. Meanwhile, the whole of Pakistan Army [sic] in general and especially the five ½ Divisions earmarked for completion are being churned up and re-organised to conform as far as practicable to American establishments.

7. Then came the bomb-shell in the form of the message from the Head of the USMAAG … shorn of its verbiage it reads that as far as the Army is concerned the ceiling of military aid is 75.5 million dollars and that all talk of balancing five ½ Division [sic] is revoked.

8. Forgive me for being frank, but I would be failing in my duty if I did not tell you that our people are completely frustrated. They think they have been given an enormous amount of work unnecessarily and that they have been let down. They are in a mood not to accept an American word however solemnly given. This is sad in that it does not augur well for our future good relationship which was one of the things I had been hoping to develop.

9. What the political repercussions be [sic] when this news gets known, and after all you cannot conceal facts indefinitely in a Democracy [this is really rich coming from the grand-daddy of coups d’état in the Land of the Pure!], I do not know. But one thing I do know that [sic] this government will come under tremendous pressure and fire from within and without.
Hope you are in very good health.
With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
M.A. Khan’

So, gentlemen, why the discourteous, nay rebellious reaction to the Kerry-Lugar bill? Bullying the ‘bloody civilians,’ eh? After all your great forebear even gave out the TO&E (table of organisation and equipment) of the Pakistan Army in such detail? Surely the bit about the secretary of state certifying ever so often that the bloody civilians in Pakistan ‘exercise effective control of the military…’!?

I can only appeal to President Obama not to change a single word in the bill except ‘or the reallocation of Pakistan’s financial resources that would otherwise be spent for programmes and activities unrelated to its nuclear weapons programme.’

For that is our money. Otherwise tell ‘em to take it or leave it. Our Rommels and Guderians are not about to alight from their top of the line BMWs and Mercedes and climb into Suzuki Mehrans.



Sovereignty or

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Fayyaz Ali Khan

Amazingly, the people of Pakistan are being convinced to reject a US financial assistance bill which, for the first time in our history intends to help the people and bar the government from diverting these funds to the military, which many view as being the main hindrance to democracy in the country.

Why do we call it dictation when the bill bars the government from diverting these funds to the military? Isn’t it a fact that so far whatever foreign aid has been given to Pakistan, most of it has been consumed by the military establishment? Is it not a fact that the sons of all the previous dictators, who all belonged to the middle or lower middle classes of our society, are today some of the richest in this country? I think we have “eaten enough grass” and the time has come to inject some nutrients in to the drained veins of the hapless masses.

Why is it being portrayed as meddling in our internal affairs when the bill, under the heading, purpose of assistance, says, “to help strengthen the institutions of democratic governance and promote control of military institutions by a democratically elected civilian government”? Or when it states, under limitations on certain assistance, “the security forces of Pakistan are not materially and substantially subverting the political or judicial processes in Pakistan”? Is it not what our Constitution says? Or are we forgetting Chaudhry Shujaat’s famous utterances that it takes only one jeep and a truck to bring about regime change in this country?

Why are we raising a ruckus over the Americans asking us not to get involved in nuclear proliferation or to stop supporting networks involved in proliferation activities given that it has been proven that certain Pakistani individuals were indeed involved in such activities? Also, what is so wrong with the certification requirement in the bill that the government of Pakistan prevent Al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups, such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, from operating within the territory of Pakistan? That this also include the prevention of cross-border attacks in to neighbouring countries, the closure of terrorist training camps in FATA, and the dismantling of terrorism infrastructure in other parts of the country? If we oppose the bill what signal are sending to the rest of the world? That we are involved in nuclear proliferation and are abetting terrorism overseas?

In fact it would be fair to say that most of the anti-KL bill critics are advocating the adoption of a position that runs counter to our national interest. Also, it would be equally fair to assume that most of the critics will not have read the bill in its entirety and are also unaware of the fact that the certification clauses included in it are usual for most aid bills that the US legislature passes.

Since we say that we are responsible nation and not involved in proliferation activities or that we provide help to terrorist groups operating from our soil to carry out attacks in other countries, there should be little reason for us to oppose Kerry-Lugar. Besides, let us not forget that during the Afghan war, in return for US funding, we were supposed to cap our nuclear programme and that the US president then too was required to certify every year that this was being done. And despite that we managed to develop our nuclear deterrence.

We are projecting ourselves as a nation whose policies, instead of interests, are governed by emotions. Also, in this emotional frenzy, we fail to see that for a change – and this is perhaps a first – the aid that we receive will not go towards purchasing tanks or warplanes but towards addressing poverty, towards building schools, hospitals, improving access to clean drinking water, and on socio-economic development in general.

It is good to see parliament and the civil society debate and discuss our relationship with the US vis-à-vis the conditions attached to Kerry-Lugar. Having said that, it needs to be pointed out that the majority of criticism of the bill is coming from quarters who are known to be supporters, beneficiaries and perpetuators of the rule of the men in khaki. Since the birth of our country, our sovereignty has been time and again breached from within and not outside. I wish the Americans had translated the bill into Urdu and other regional languages so that the people could read it for themselves and see that for a change we are getting foreign aid with strings whose objective seems to be to foster socio-economic development.

The writer is a development consultant based in Peshawar. Email: fayyazalikhan@ yahoo.com (The News)