Transition Time In Pakistan

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Transition Time In Pakistan’s Essay, Research Paper Having suspended the constitution and instituted military rule, the Pakistan Army continues to play a major role in its country’s development. Brian Cloughley examines its training, leadership and equipment and evaluates its fitness for role. ON 12/13 October 1999 the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was placed in abeyance when the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Pervez Musharraf, dismissed the government of prime minister Nawaz Sharif and assumed the title of ‘chief executive’ of the nation. Although the president remained in office — giving some legitimacy to the administration that is widely regarded as prepared to hand over to civilian governance once the economy and the political fabric

of the country have been reconstituted — the army is firmly in control. However, the role and tasks of the Pakistan Army are currently in flux as a result of recent events, and because Pakistan and India now possess a rudimentary but developing nuclear weapons capability. When the Sharif government was in power, the army — and in theory the entire defence force — was tasked to oversee (or actually run) a number of enterprises, including the Water and Power Development Agency. The structure of life in Pakistan had become so ridden with corruption that the armed forces were considered the only sound institutions in the country. The long term effects of undertaking non-military duties cannot be assessed, but in previous periods of military rule the cost was significant because

high-grade officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) were involved in civilian-related tasks to the detriment of planning, training, administration and operational readiness. Regional threats and relations The military threat to Pakistan is regarded as being presented solely by India, with whom relations vary from poor to actively hostile. Pakistan’s defence posture and doctrine are almost entirely concerned with its eastern border, as is apparent from the location of the majority of its forces. The strength of the Indian Army is 980,000; Pakistan’s is 520,000. There are no formal defence ties with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), but Beijing is an active supporter of Pakistan, co-operating in the provision and development of weapons. There is a regular mutually

beneficial and cordial exchange of technical expertise. However, this could be affected should Islamic extremists based in Pakistan and Afghanistan become involved in support of dissidents in the Chinese province of Xinjiang where there is growing Muslim militancy. The PRC has stopped short of giving unconditional support to Islamabad concerning the Kashmir dispute, but has itself unresolved border disagreements with India. In the event of war with Pakistan, India would have to take into account the possibility of Chinese pressure along their 4,000km border, and would need to maintain forces in some strength in the north, both forward and in reserve, in addition to lightly-armed paramilitary border troops. Neither Iran nor Afghanistan pose a military threat, but the borders with

both countries are porous. Policing is conducted mainly by the Frontier Corps but many tribes straddle the Afghan border, making control of smuggling impossible. Guerrillas of various nationalities from camps in Afghanistan cross Pakistan with ease to move to Indian-administered Kashmir where they now form the main opposition in an insurrection that began in 1989. Pakistan has ambivalent relations with the government of Afghanistan, a deeply doctrinaire theistic autocracy, but is one of the few nations to have recognised its authority — although it should be noted that this took place under a civilian government. Role of the army The national defence goal is to deter what is perceived by Pakistan as Indian aggressive intent. The army’s role, and that of the other services, is