Our Announcements

Not Found

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

Archive for October, 2016

Similarities between Trump and Erdogan By Sajjad Shaukat










Similarities between Trump and Erdogan

  By Sajjad Shaukat


Despite some dissimilarities, the Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan share several similarities. Having lack of political wisdom, both the leaders are wavering between fact and skepticism. Hence, in one way or the other, even their dissimilarities show similarities.


Renowned historians opine that William II and Adolf Hitler were impulsive rulers, guided by ungoverned temper. Particularly, Hitler’s character and adverse circumstances in Germany helped him to come to power. Hitler was a great orator and his techniques of propaganda helped him to influence millions of people. The more Hitler manipulated the injustices of the Treaty of Versailles, the more he became popular with the public.


Imitating William II and Hitler in the modern era, Donald Trump promised to make America great again. In order to win the presidential race of the Republican Party, Trump had started exaggerating the threat of Islamophobia by manipulating each terror attack in Europe and the US, including shooting at the night club of Orlando, (Florida) and left no stone unturned in fueling anti-Muslim racialism in America and to get the sympathies of a majority of the ordinary Americans.


While addressing a rally, Trump had called for a ban on Muslims, entering the United States. Trump’s opposition to Muslim refugees, especially from Syria is very well known. During his appearance with the National Border Patrol Council’s Green Line radio show on May 15, 2016, Trump has predicted that refugees with ISIS-funded cell phones will conduct another 9/11-like terrorist attack in the US.


In this regard, Khaled A. Beydoun pointed out on the Aljazeera multimedia network on March 13, 2016, “The world brand Trump is becoming synonymous with expansion of racism and incitement of Islamophobia…I think Islam hate us, said Donald Trump, 24 hours before the Republican presidential debate in Miami…is a call to his voting base, to further galvanize them around a disdain for Islam that not only heightens hateful fervour at his rallies, but incites violence on American blocks and pushes bigots to the ballot box…the statement is rooted in the very ignorance and hate which made him the darling of bigots and surged him up the polls…Islamophobia—the suspicion and fear of Islam and its 1.7 billion adherent-is political ideology for Trump.”


Regarding shooting at the night club in Orlando, on June 28, 2016, The New York Times wrote, “The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12 included a curious phrase: false flag…the victims in the shooting? They were “crisis actors” hired to promote the story as a pretext to impose tighter gun restrictions, the theory goes…the term false flag relates to naval warfare when a ship would fly a flag that would conceal its true identity as a way to lure an enemy closer. Today, it is commonly a shorthand for an act of deception…conspiracy theorists have applied the label to high-profile attacks, including the shootings by a husband and wife last year in San Bernardino, Calif, that killed 14…the phrase has even been used to doubt the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”

The Washington Post wrote on June 13, 2016, “Trump’s standards, his comments about the Orlando shooting have been reckless and self-serving. They are also dangerous for the country…the strongest remaining force that propels the Islamic State is the Islamophobia of Trump and his European counterparts, argue senior intelligence strategists for the U.S.-led coalition. Inflammatory, xenophobic statements about Muslims reinforce the jihadists’ claims that they are Muslim knights fighting against an intolerant West. Trump unwittingly gives them precisely the role they dream about.”


Like Hitler, Trump succeeded in mobilizing the electorates and despite the resistance from his own party, he won over his fellow candidates in the nomination race.


On the other side, as a harbinger of ideological revolution in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who rose to power by the virtue of Justice and Development Party’s Muslim backgrounds, assumed the office as the prime minister of Turkey on March 1, 2003. Like Hitler and Trump, though in some other way, the more he spoke against the Westernization and secular status of his country, the more popularity he gained among the general masses. He became very popular in the Muslims countries due to various decisions and measures such as veto of a proposal to allow the US to use Turkish territory to open a second front against Iraq in order to topple Saddam Hussein, defiance of the US by receiving Khalid Meshaal, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, rejection of an invitation from former prime minister Ariel Sharon to visit Israel, refusal to meet Ehud Olmert, the then Israeli minister of labour and trade’s visit to Turkey, strong stand for the Palestinians during the war on Gaza in 2008 and accusing Israel of committing war crimes.


In January 2009, while addressing Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Tayyip Erdogan told the Israeli president, “President Peres, you are old, and your voice is loud out of a guilty conscience. When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill. I know well how you hit and kill children on beaches.”


When Israel started the blockade of Gaza in 2007 by preventing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, in May 2010, Israeli navy stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara—the flagship of a flotilla of vessels, which was carrying humanitarian aid and thus, killed nine Turkish citizens. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan told the Turkish parliament, “Turkey’s friendship is strong; and all should know that our hostility is strong too…the international community has to say to Israel enough is enough.”


The Arab world defended the Turkish prime minister who withdrew his ambassador from Israel. Besides, Erdogan was considered by the Western countries as a devoted Muslim whose wife Emine wears a headscarf.


However, Tayyip Erdogan who emerged as leader of the Islamic World surprised the Muslims when his own dual approach and secret strategy was exposed when on September 30, 2015, the Russian-led coalition of Iran, Iraq, the Syrian army-the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Lebanon-based Hezbollah started attacking the US-CIA-Mossad-supported terrorists of the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS or ISL) Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and the rebel groups who have been fighting to oust the Syrian President Assad’s regime and against the current Iraqi regime as part of America’s double game to secure the Israeli illegitimate interests in the Middle East. Turkish President Erdogan’s real face was exposed. Covertly, he acted upon the policies of the US, Israel and Western Europe, and distorted the image of Turkey in the eyes of the Islamic World, because he was assisting the rebel groups and the ISIS militants.


In the recent past, by setting aside the Palestinian issue and showing silence over the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkish president Erdogan has reconciled country’s relations with Tel Aviv.


Notably, Trump who is staunch supporter of Israeli policies, in an interview with the Daily Mail on May 2, 2016, stated that Israel should continue construction of illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank. In an interview with the Fox news on September 20, this year, while talking after the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey and a multiple stabbing at a Minnesota mall, shortly before New York police arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized US citizen born in Afghanistan in connection with the bomb attack that injured 29 people in Manhattan on September 17 for which ISIS claimed responsibility, the Republican nominee Donald Trump praised the Israeli authorities for their “unbelievable” anti-terror policing, and “profiling.”  He elaborated, “Our local police, they know who a lot of these people are. They are afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of racial profiling” of the terror suspects…the Muslim refugees…they stay together. They’re plotting.”


Nevertheless, overtly and covertly, both Trump and Erdogan are favoring Israel and double game of the US in relation to ISIS and Syrian war.


In October 2014, US Vice President Joe Biden told a Harvard gathering that Erdogan’s regime was backing ISIS with “hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons.


On April 26, 2016, RT (Russian TV Channel) documentary with exclusive eye witness reports and documents, abandoned by retreating jihadists and found by RT documentary crew members in a region liberated by Syrian Kurds, pointed to commercial scale oil smuggling operations and cozy relations between ISIS and Turkey. A teenage oil refinery worker told RT, “Of course, they wouldn’t get any weapons from Turkey if they didn’t ship them oil…they…go with the oil and come back with the guns.”


Besides RT, Sputnik, some other analysts and especially the Veterans Today have also shown solid proof by pointing out, “While we patiently dig to find who the on and offshore commodity trading middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State’s terrorist oil-that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan’s son Bilal Erdogan…who owns several maritime companies has signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different countries…ISIS is being fed and kept alive by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish intelligence service, including MIT, the Turkish CIA. ISIS militants were trained by US, Israeli and now it emerges by Turkish Special Forces at secret bases in Konya Province inside the Turkish border to Syria.”


The billionaire businessman Donald Trump is also like Tayyip Erdogan. As regards Trump, while mentioning Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, golf courses in New York and his chain of hotels, violation of the US tax laws, tax-evasion and payment of penalty-taxes, The Washington Post wrote on September 20, 2016, “Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses. Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.”


In this respect, on May 31, 2016, nearly 400 pages of a US court documents disclosed, “Trump University instructed employees on how to play on peoples’ emotions to get them to buy more expensive seminars for succeeding in real estate…it is our job to rekindle peoples’ motivation…to make them once again see the potential of achieving their dream…the documents unsealed in San Diego were part of a lawsuit by customers who say they were defrauded…a judge who has earned Trump’s scorn agreed with attorneys that the public had a right to know what was previously confidential.”


Speaking to The New York Times on July 20, 2016, Donald Trump stated that under his leadership, America would not necessarily come to the aid of a NATO ally under attack, saying he would first consider how much they have contributed to the alliance. Trump also warned that if elected, he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies to end crackdowns on political opponents or the suppression of civil liberties, following the failed coup.


Trump continued move against Muslims. In this regard, toughening immigration checks for the French and Germans in the US and hinting at an exit from the World Trade Organization, Donald Trump said on July 24, this year, “We have problems in Germany and we have problems in France…they have totally been compromised by deadly Islamist attacks in Nice and last year in Paris…you know why? It’s their own fault…because they allowed people to come into their countries.”


On June 24, 2016 when Britain voted to leave the EU, Donald Trump stated, British voters just shattered political convention in a stunning repudiation of the ruling establishment in a referendum…in November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first…people want to see borders. They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”


On the other side, taking note of Turkey’s pro-Israeli policies and against the Syrian refugees, Muslim analysts and a number of human rights groups, particularly Amnesty International in its press release on April 1, 2016 criticized, the controversial Turkish-EU refugee deal by indicating, “Large-scale forced returns of refugees from Turkey to war-ravaged Syria expose the fatal flaws in a refugee deal signed between Turkey and the European Union…all forced returns to Syria are illegal under Turkish, EU and international law.”


Confused owing to his own double game and that of the US-led West, on May 8, 2016, Turkish President Erdogan has kept up his rebuke of European nations, accusing them of dictatorship and cruelty for keeping their frontiers closed to migrants and refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict. He clarified that “Turkey would not meet a EU demand for his country to reform its anti-terrorism legislation.” As Erdogan has become target of his dual strategy, hence, a rift has been created between the West and Turkey, the close ally of NATO. On February 10, 2016, President Erdogan lashed out at the US over its support for Syria’s main Kurdish group, saying, “The failure to recognize the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist group is creating a “sea of blood”. He explained, “The PYD, on which the US relies to battle so-called Islamic State in Syria, is an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party.”


Following ambivalent policy, in the pretext of fighting ISIL and Kurds, the Turkish military has continued shelling and interference in Syria.


As regards the propaganda techniques, one can easily witness resemblance between Trump and Erdogan who follow Hitler’s tactics. They misguide the general peoples of their countries, who did not have much time to go into depth-analysis to know the double game and have been impressed by emotional speeches, stereotype-statements and false hopes of Donald Trump and Tayyip Erdogan who keep on exploiting the threat of Islamic militants, ISIS and Syrian refugees.

During their emotional speeches, the body language and way of speaking of Trump and Erdogan are not less than those of Hitler. Like Erdogan, Trump managed to consolidate popular support among Republican voters, despite the resistance from his own party. He won over his fellow candidates in the nomination race.


One can note many self-contradictions in the statements of Trump and Erdogan. And Turkish President Erdogan has also been implementing contradictory policies and ambivalent strategy. When on June 28, 2016, more than 42 persons were killed in the simultaneous terror attacks at the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, by neglecting American pressure; President Erdogan improved relations with Russia, and stated that the attack at the Istanbul airport should serve as a turning point in the global battle against terrorism.


Report suggests that Moscow had already informed Erdogan about the failed coup of July 15, 2016. Turkey’s President Erdogan and top officials of his government held the US and CIA responsible for the failed coup to topple his regime by replacing Erdogan with the CIA’s “designated figurehead”, cleric Fethullah Gülen, currently living in Pennsylvania in the US.


Criticizing non-cooperation of NATO and Western allies with Turkey in connection with the failed coup, Ankara is also considering a military agreement with Moscow and Russian-Turkish joint operation against ISIS in Syria. Russian President Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on August 9, 2016 in St. Petersburg to bolster their governments’ ties.


Turkish media reported that the Erdogan told journalists on September 7, this year, that he had agreed with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in China—Ankara to work together to push Daesh terrorists out of their de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. President Erdogan explained that Turkey would join any future operation proposed by the US to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Nonetheless, Erdogan decided to join Russia to fight ISIS militants, while he also ensured Washington to eliminate ISIS terrorists jointly. It clearly displays political follies of the President Tayyip Erdogan.


We can also note self-contradictions in the statements of Donald Trump. In an interview with the Fox News, Republican presidential nominee Trump signaled a reversal on one of his key policy issues on August 23, 2016 by suggesting that he would be open to a “softening” of his positions on illegal immigration. He said, “I had a great meeting with great people, great Hispanic leaders, and there could certainly be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people. We want people—we have some great people in this country. We’re going to follow the laws of this country and what people don’t realize.”


Earlier, Trump stated tough immigration stance which includes deporting all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US and building a wall along the US-Mexico border, while calling the Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists”. Trump is fueling racism between the Muslims and Christians—the black people and the white people. And like Erdogan, if he becomes American president, he is likely to move America towards autocracy, while American public is already protesting against the curtailment of liberty.


When President Obama hosted the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on March 31, 2016 to check the spread of nuclear weapons, showing concerns about the ambitions of terrorist groups such as the ISIS in acquiring a nuclear weapon or radioactive material, Donald Trump had taken a different stand in his interview with the CNN by saying, “More nuclear weapons could make the world safer…US can no longer afford to bankroll the defense of its allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East…Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia may need arsenals to confront threats in their region on their own.”


At the same time, by pursuing the US double standards, Trump also intends to favour India, while opposing the nuclear weapons of Pakistan. He has brushed aside the ground realities that Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi led by the ruling fundamentalist party BJP has been implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda, while encouraging Hindutva (Hindu nationalism). He is also silence over the fact that Indian rulers have created a war-like situation against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri base terror attack in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, which was, in fact, arranged by the Indian secret agencies to deflect the attention of the recent uprising in the Indian held Kashmir. Therefore, if elected, as the US president, Trump’s flawed strategy could result into atomic war between India and Pakistan in wake of the unresolved dispute of Kashmir.


There are several other statements which display Trump’s cognitive dissonance. For instance, on September 14, 1987, he stated, “I have no intention of running for president,” while on June 16, 2015, he said, “I am officially running for president.’


In the recent months, political character of Donald Trump has become more controversial and dangerous for America, especially, after Trump’s statement against Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim soldier-US Army Capt. Humayun Khan who was killed in 2004 by a car bomb in Iraq, President Obama stated on August 3, 2016, “Republican nominee Donald Trump is unfit to be president, and questioned why his party still supports the New York billionaire’s candidacy… he is woefully unprepared to do this job.”


Noting Donald Trump’s discriminatory speeches and statements, several prominent Republicans and Democrats, including some congressman have decided that they will not vote for Trump by arguing that “he is unfit to serve as president of the United States.”


Taking cognizance of Trump’s political follies—terror-hysteria, religious bigotry and racialism which are well-penetrated in his personality, some writers and researches, including American politicians call him a “crazy person” and some call him, a “mad man.”


So, if succeeded in the forthcoming presidential election, the fundamentalist and impulsive politician Trump will not bother for dangerous implications of the US flawed strategy—America and its Western allies have already been entangled in a prolonged war in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries as part of the phony global war on terror. While, double game of American military and CIA has badly failed in Syria, and Russia is in best position, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has proved his leadership qualities in relation to domestic policies and international strategy, especially by thwarting the sinister designs of the US-led entities in Syria.


In case, Trump is elected as American president, his impulsive and racist approach could cause a civil war in the US.


On May 21, 2016, Kevin Barret, while giving a wake-up call to the Americans, wrote on the Veterans Today, “Donald Trump’s terror hysteria, combined with the ever-growing terrorist attacks around the world means that a dark future awaits America in case the presumptive GOP nominee becomes president.”


Likewise, in the recent years, if we note several acts of terrorism in Turkey, being committed by the militants of ISIS, PYD and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party-PKK, we can see that Turkish President has become target of the US-Israeli double game and his own duplicity.


In this connection, The World Beast Com wrote, “If we take cognizance of the perennial wave of terror attacks in Turkey and failure of country’s security agencies in thwarting these subversive acts…Turkey will surrender to the terrorists.”


Both Donald Trump and the President Tayyip Erdogan lack leadership qualities such as decision-making power in accordance with the situation, cool-mindedness, tolerance etc., as they are guided by emotionalism, ungoverned temper, irrationalism, rashness, self-egoism and unrealistic idealism. Having religious prejudice, they are staunch conservatives, who lack pragmatism, as they have ignored ground realities. They are creating obnoxious chauvinism in their peoples like the Indian Prime Minister Modi. They are power-hunger and wants fame by keeping them in the limelight through media. 


Famous thinker of international relations, Hans Morgenthau points out that external policy of a country should be moulded in accordance “with the exigencies and circumstances of time and place” otherwise, there will be “failure of the foreign policy.” It is quite true in case of Erdogan who has already destabilized Turkey owing to his failed external policy, while Trump will further thwart the American foreign policy goals, because, he does not have political wisdom.


Political characters of Donald Trump and Tayyip Erdogan are amalgamation of the traits of Rasputin, Russian spiritualist, Germany’s rulers William II (Kaiser) and Adolf Hitler who brought about unrest in their own countries and also devastated Europe through World War I and World War II.


We can conclude that Trump and Erdogan who shares a number of negative similarities may bring about a nuclear war between Russia and America in wake of the unresolved issue of Syria. Both can further divide the world on religious lines, culminating into major war between the Western Christians and the Muslims, involving other religious communities. They will take the world to the ‘state of nature’ when there was a war of “all against all” in the sense of Thomas Hobbes.


Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations


Email: [email protected]

Courtesy Veterans Today


No Comments

Enough is Enough by Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Enough is Enough


Now that India has herself brought the Kashmir issue under international focus by stupidly claiming to have carried out surgical strikes against us, which has appropriately alarmed the world powers of its escalation into a fully fledged war between the two nuclear neighbouring states, Pakistan should make the most of this opportunity to its full advantage and to the advantage of our Kashmiri brethren.  In that an all out effort be made to demand the Plebiscite under the 1948 UN Resolution to settle the 68 year old long long outstanding dispute between the two countries due to which three conventional wars have already been fought and the fourth one that could be nuclear is in the offing. The very thought of such a war is horrendous as it would not remain confined to the subcontinent only but could engulf most of the rest of world also.  Along with it Pakistan must demand of India to stop the most inhumane kind of atrocities being perpetrated by the Indian armed fo! rces upon the helpless unarmed Kashmiris where even  old men, women and children are not being spared.  Pakistan must boldly and unequivocally make it known to the Indians in particular and the world powers in general that from here onwards Pakistan will lend its full moral, psychological and relief support in all forms and kinds to the Kashmiris across the border.  As a starters Pakistan could ask India to allow it an air corridor for its C-130 aircraft to drop relief goods and supplies to the beleaguered Kashmiris who are under the 80th day of the curfew imposed upon them.  It is high time that we also showed our some muscle to our adversary who is now talking of stopping our waters and isolating us from the comity of the nations.  I think time has come to call “Enough is Enough”.



Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
30 Westridge 1
Rawalpindi 46000
Tel: (051) 5158033
E.mail: [email protected]

No Comments

Mistakes & Accomplishments of Gen Pervez Musharraf Asif Haroon Raja









Mistakes & Accomplishments of Gen Pervez Musharraf

Asif Haroon Raja

The Army, paramilitary forces and the police are fighting the US dictated war on terror since 2003 but have yet not been able to completely root out terrorism. I will be frank in stating that the Army was not mentally prepared, trained, equipped, acclimatized and motivated when it was suddenly launched to conduct irregular warfare in South Waziristan (SW). As a result, its performance for the first five years was not up to the mark and it suffered reverses. The Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took advantage of it and managed to gain influence over 18 administrative units in the northwest and became a powerful force to reckon with. A state within state was created in Swat while SW became the main base of operation with its tentacles in other six tribal agencies. Another important factor behind not so good performance of security forces was the double game played by the so-called friends of Pakistan that were on the quiet supporting and creating space for the very terrorists Pakistan was asked to fight. 

Gen Pervez Musharraf was appointed Army chief on October 6, 1998 and soon after he ventured into Dras-Kargil inside Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), which is quite intriguing and raises many questions. It strained civil-military relations and led to the downfall of Nawaz Sharif. As DGMO under Gen Jahangir Karamat, in his operational briefing to the then PM Benazir Bhutto in 1996, he had presented Kargil plan and was keen to execute it. (1). She trashed it realizing its consequences.

Commenting on Kargil conflict in 1999 which had brought the two nuclear rivals close to war with nuclear overtones, Musharraf proudly proclaims, “Our maneuver was conducted flawlessly, a tactical marvel of military professionalism; a plan for plugging gaps between our positions was formally presented and approved towards the middle of January 1999. (2).

According to Lt-Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz who was heading ‘Analysis Wing’ of ISI during the conflict: “The Kargil war was an unsound military plan based on invalid assumptions, launched with little preparation and in total disregard of the  regional and international environment”. (3). Late ex-DG ISI Gen Hamid Gul was also of the view that a military operation without a clear political purpose was like shot in the dark and Musharraf should have faced court martial for his harebrained adventure.

Kargil operation was undoubtedly a brilliant tactical maneuver which caused paralytic effects on the Indian military, but it failed in achieving the objective of de-freezing and internationalizing the Kashmir issue as had been contemplated. It should have been planned in entirety and not as a piecemeal operation. Helped by the US and G-8, India converted its tactical defeat into victory on the media plane.    


Musharraf took over the reins of the country on October 12, 1999 after dethroning the elected government of Nawaz Sharif through a military coup. He wore the hats of President, Army chief and CJCSC and remained in full power till October 2007 after which he shed off his military hats and finally abdicated his President seat in August 2008 and went into exile under an agreement in April 2009. He made a political party All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and returned home to take part in May 2013 general elections. Not only he was put under house arrest and on Exit Control List, he was debarred from contesting elections. He was charged with several cases which included Benazir Bhutto murder case, Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case, Lal Masjid case and subversion of constitution on November 3, 2007. The last case has been termed as an act of treason and comes under Article 6 of the Constitution. He underwent the embarrassment of media trial and also suffered the stings of hate from his opponents.

After about three years of ordeal, he proceeded to Dubai for medical treatment of his backache and the Supreme Court and the federal government facilitated his exit. The media has been highlighting his wealth in foreign banks/offshore companies and people are asking questions as to how he could amass so much of wealth. Courts are pressing his lawyers to produce him and have issued non-bail-able arrest warrants. He is often seen on the TV channels and known for his power of arguments, he keeps telling his side of the story in reply to number of accusations made against him.  

Mistakes made by Musharraf. Taking stock of his nine years tenure, Musharraf had committed mistakes but he also had done good things. It will be in fitness of things to first dispassionately have a look at those accusations that exist in public memory. Just to recapitulate, I am tabulating these here. First the accusations made against him:

  1. He and his team had no plausible reason to oust a democratically elected government and takeover power.
  2. He should not have accepted all the seven demands of the US after 9/11 and that too without consulting others. He gave in to the US demands too quickly, and cheaply, which set into motion a slippery path for Pakistan, its social fabric, politics and institutions and because of which we are still suffering.
  3. His reason to succumb to US pressure and accept all the demands was that he had been threatened that in case he decided not to side with the US, Pakistan will be bombed to ‘Stone Age’ has triggered a controversy. In his autobiography, “In the Line of Fire” on page 201 he writes: “When I was back in Islamabad the next day, our DG ISI, who happened to be in Washington, told me on the phone about his meeting with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage. In what has to be the most undiplomatic statement ever made, Armitage added to what Colin Powell had said to me and told the DG not only that we had to decide whether we were with America or with the terrorists, but that if we chose the terrorists, then we should be prepared to be bombed back to the Stone Age. This was a shockingly barefaced threat, but it was obvious that the US had decided to hit back hard”. (4).

But apparently, both of these statements are not correct. There is now enough evidence to prove that there was no direct military threat made to Pakistan. George Bush, Colin Powell and Richard Armitage have all denied in their separate memoirs that they ever threatened Pakistan with military action, let alone the threat of bombing it back to the Stone Age. (5). In his book “Bush at War” at page 59, Bob Woodward writes: “at I: 30 P.M. on 13th September 2001, Powell called Musharraf” and “Musharraf to Powell’s surprise said that Pakistan would support the US with each of the seven actions”.

In 2006, when Bush was asked about the threat made against Pakistan, he claimed that the first time he had ever heard of it was when he had read a report of Musharraf’s remarks in that day’s newspaper. “I guess I was taken aback by the harshness of the words,” said Bush. “All I can tell you is that shortly after 9/11, Colin Powell came in and said, President Musharraf understands the stakes and he wants to join and help root out an enemy that has come and killed 3,000 of our citizens. I don’t know of any conversation that was reported in the newspaper like that. I just don’t know about it”. (6).

  1. Musharraf’s sudden U-turn on Afghanistan and betrayal of Muslim brothers of Afghanistan was flawed and Pakistan is still paying a heavy price for it through blood and flesh. Even now, a resurgent Taliban don’t trust us.
  2. Sending regular troops into South Waziristan (SW) in 2003 at the behest of USA to flush out Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers was in violation of the 1948 Agreement with the tribesmen, and it triggered insurgency in FATA.
  3. He shouldn’t have given a free hand to the CIA and FBI from 2006 onward to track Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. It gave a free hand to the foreign and regional agencies to establish their inter-connected network in Pakistan amongst the aggrieved tribal elements and religious groups. CIA got office space in the ISI headquarters, Pakistani civilians were bombed with drones, and Blackwater agents roamed freely all over Pakistan until Musharraf was replaced by Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. It was this ‘network of agencies’ that subsequently played havoc with Pakistani lives and targeted key institutions.
  4. Allowing CIA to use Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan for drone strikes helped CIA to bolster BLA, BRA and BLF in Baluchistan and to create space for the launch of TTP in FATA.
  5. Rather than working on his 7 point agenda which had germs of success, his option to create a King’s party comprising of turn coats from other political parties and who were tagged with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases was selfish and politically motivated – and eroded whatever good work NAB had been doing. His much trumpeted across the board accountability, both horizontal and vertical went for a six.
  6. Change of policy on Kashmir was a blunder which gave a severe blow to liberation movement in occupied Kashmir. APHC was divided into two factions and Pakistan’s age-old stance based on UN Resolutions was compromised. It antagonized the Kashmir focused Jihadi groups and they chose to join hands with TTP.
  7. Pak military gave a befitting response to Indian aggressive posturing after carrying out a false flag operation on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001 and carrying out biggest troop deployment along the border after 1971 followed by a military standoff for next ten months.
  8. Indian military withdrew without achieving any objective, but Musharraf caved in on political/diplomatic front under the US pressure. He banned six Kashmiri Jihadi groups and froze their accounts, ceased firing in Kashmir, and gave a written unilateral commitment that Pakistan will not allow its space for use for cross border terrorism. He agreed to allow India to fence the entire length of Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.
  9. In response, Vajpayee signed peace treaty with Pakistan in January 2004 and assured that all outstanding issues including Kashmir will be resolved through composite dialogue. This was in fact a big trap and Musharraf fell into it.
  10. India quietened the eastern front but on the quiet opened western front and used Afghan soil for carrying out massive covert operations to destabilize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan. Additionally, it used eastern front for people-to-people contact but in reality was meant to launch Indian cultural invasion and rob the youth of its fighting spirit and sink it in the pool of fun and frolic.
  11. Rather than making a change in strategy on Kashmir, Musharraf unilaterally changed the Kashmir policy by announcing out of box solution and depriving Pakistan of its principled stance based on UN resolutions. He thus gave a severe blow to freedom movement in Kashmir which in that timeframe had peaked.
  12. While he kept doing more and more, he never realized that USA, India and Afghanistan were not friends but playing a double game; and that Pakistan was not an ally but a target. His yielding to ‘do more’ policy to please the US – often acting in cahoots with India – was detrimental to Pakistan’s interests.
  13. Musharraf’s “Concept of Enlightened Moderation” (apparently drafted by Henry Kissinger Associates) was in contravention to Objectives Resolution and Quaid-e-Azam’s dream of making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state. In his apparent bid to show soft face of Pakistan to the world, he strove to make Pakistan a secular state. This open declaration of secularism hurt the aspirations of the people of Pakistan and ended up igniting storm of religious extremism
  14. Sacking of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry in March 2007 was a wrong move which triggered lawyers’ movement and led to his fall.
  15. The other mistake he made was going out of the way to politically strengthen MQM about which I am sure the ISI and MI Directorate would have given sufficient information about its linkage with RAW since 1989. It was a miscalculation which he thought was in his own self-interest, but it was his worst sin, which caused grievous harm to Karachi, Pakistan’s economy and jolted Pakistan.
  16. National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was his biggest blunder which cleansed the entire leadership of PPP involved in mega corruption and 8000 leaders and activists of MQM involved in heinous crimes. Condeela Rice was the moving force behind NRO which envisaged Musharraf-Benazir sharing power for next five years. It enabled the US and the UK to empower their dream team of PPP-MQM-ANP from which it was to execute the final phase of their gory plan of making Pakistan a compliant state.
  17. Musharraf paid no heed to the emerging energy crisis and despite holding all the levers of power and repeatedly pledging that he will construct the Kalabagh dam, he didn’t do so. Answering a question of Dr. Moeed Pirzada on 11th September 2016, Dunya News, he stated about Kalabagh dam: “We couldn’t construct Kalabagh dam due to political situation”. Factually, he aborted the decision to construct Kalabagh Dam after receiving a call from MQM chief Altaf Hussain. The latter is of course remote controlled by foreign agencies and India not wanting Kalabagh dam at any cost must have twisted his arm. But Musharraf oblivious of all that continuously nurtured Altaf Hussain’s MQM during 9 years of his regime.
  18. Although he claims that the Americans never interfered in high rank military postings during his regime, George Bush disclosed in his autobiography that Musharraf resigned from the post of chief of army staff, lifted the emergency and held free elections upon his strong suggestion”in the fall of 2007.( 7 ).
  19. He took official jets to set out on tours of Europe and America on promotional campaigns for boosting the sale of his book “In the Line of Fire”.
  20. Musharraf’s disclosure in the book that the US had paid millions of dollars to Pakistan for capturing Al Qaeda operatives was a humiliation for the country. Under the US law, they cannot give prize money to any government or institution, and the Govt of Pakistan has denied receiving any such payments.
  21. He couldn’t be more wrong when he tried to drag ethnicity as one the key factor for his selection as Army chief. On page 136 of his book he writes “It could be that such affronts on my part made the prime minister realize his folly in selecting me for my position. He had probably thought that being the son of immigrant parents, I would acquiesce in his demands ___ that I would feel insecure and vulnerable and do his bidding.”

Musharraf’s Achievements

He broke the isolation of Pakistan and made it relevant. He strengthened state corporations. After a long time the Railway and PIA became profitable organizations and the Steel Mills for the first time in its history earned largest profit. Inflation and prices remained within limits and value of dollar didn’t cross Rs 60. GDP was above 7% and foreign exchange reserves were increased from $ 3 million to $ 14 billion. Pakistan for the first time in its history came out of the noose of IMF and foreign debts decreased from $ 38 billion to $ 34 billion. Foundation of Diamer Bhasha dam was laid in his time, which was not pursued by the successor political regime. Ghazi Barotha project was completed during his time. There was no shortage of gas and load shedding was minimal. There was boom in property and stocks were bullish.

Al-Khalid tank was developed into a main battle tank and joint manufacture of JF-17 Thunders was undertaken which was quite an accomplishment. He established Strategic Plans Division (SPD) and placed all nuclear/missile related setups under it, which formulated comprehensive nuclear doctrine and gave the concept of minimum nuclear deterrence. Surface to surface, air to air and air to surface missiles were radically improved and work on cruise missiles and drones was initiated. Three Agosta submarines were upgraded and given capability to fire nuclear warheads while remaining 400 feet submerged in sea, giving Pakistan second strike capability. All nuclear facilities were made safe and secure under foolproof multi-layered security system compatible with international standards. Despite the fact that Dr. AQ Khan had passed on designs of old centrifuge to Iran, Libya and North Korea, Musharraf handled the crisis well and disallowed the IAEA to inspect our nuclear arsenal or to interview AQ Khan.

With regard to the oft repeated charge that Musharraf buckled under pressure and cheaply gave in to Colin Powel’s demands, in hindsight I may dare to say that it was not altogether a sellout as generally perceived. Had he refused, the US that had made up its mind to attack Afghanistan and the whole world including the UN was supportive of the military venture, would have taken on Afghanistan and Pakistan in one swipe with its air power as was suggested by India and Israel. Pakistan air force with 700 to 800 aircraft was in no position to counter the aerial cum cruise missile threat of US-NATO having 30,000 warplanes and sophisticated technology. The US-NATO airpower was in good position to destroy our communication, economic, defence infrastructures and nuclear plants.  

Our missile technology was not potent enough to do any damage particularly when the US had satellite jamming and imagery capability. Indian military for certain would have activated the eastern front to engage our ground forces once the PAF, tanks and strategic assets had been taken care of by the US B-52s, Daisy cutters, stealth helicopters and cruise missiles.

As regard the accusation that Musharraf ditched the Taliban at the behest of Washington, the Taliban had no choice but to withdraw and abandon Afghanistan in the face of systematic carpet bombing. They had no means to fight against air power. Had Pakistan been bombed and pushed to Stone Age, the Taliban could not have taken shelter in FATA/Baluchistan, regrouped and then waged a resistance war. It was simply impossible for the Taliban who had been forsaken by the world to carryout sustained struggle for 14 years without receiving training, weapons, equipment, funds and guidance and safe havens for the leaders. Haqqani network in North Waziristan and Quetta Shura could not have functioned at their own. Had it been otherwise, how come Pakistan handed over more than 3 dozens Taliban leaders to Afghan government in 2013 and 2014? It was not possible for Mulla Omar to remain off the radar all these years. He died in April 2013 but these news were learnt in July 2015.

Another accusation against him is that he antagonized the tribesmen by sending regular troops to FATA. Had he not done so, the ISAF troops would have certainly barged into SW to hunt Al-Qaeda as was being threatened. Such a move could have jeopardized the regrouping of Afghan Taliban to wage resistance movement against occupying forces.

Musharraf was also accused of hobnobbing with Israel and holding a meeting with Israeli PM In Turkey, but at the end of the day he neither recognized Israel nor opened up diplomatic relations despite lingering rumors.  But this statement of former and late Israeli President Shimon Peres cannot also be disregarded. “As a good Jewish boy, I would have never dreamed that I would pray for the safety of Musharraf, the president of Pakistan. That is a most unexpected experience.”(8).

I guess Musharraf’s best move was to push forward the Gwadar project with the help of China in 2002, which FM Ayub Khan wanted to develop as a port after he had purchased it from Oman in 1959, but Shah of Iran requested him not to do so. One reason of triggering an armed insurgency in Baluchistan by USA was Gwadar seaport.

His next best move was to sign Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project agreement. Commissioning of this project would have provided India its 40% gas need. India walked out of it not only because of the US pressure and the lure of civil nuclear deal with USA, but also because of the fact that it would have effectively neutralized India’s blackmail through water terrorism. In case of India blocking Pakistan’s water in the three rivers, Pakistan could have retaliated by blocking the vitally needed gas.   

In hindsight, weighing the mistakes and achievements of Gen Musharraf, I leave it to your judgement as to who played a better double game and who had the last laugh.


(1).Interview with “Third Eye Television” 2003

(2). In the Line of Fire, Page 90

(3). Daily Mail 2013, Qaswar Abbas

(4). In the Line of Fire, p 201.

(5). Bush at War by Bob Woodward, p 59.

(6). US threatened to bomb Pakistan back to “the Stone Age” By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, September 2006

(7). Decision Points, Autobiography by G.W Bush.

(8). Newsweek magazine, 5 November 2001, Washington

The writer is a war veteran, retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Governors Thinkers Forum Pakistan. He regularly takes part in TV talk shows and seminars and delivers lectures. [email protected] 

No Comments

India’s ‘surgical strikes’ remain an enigma By Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar – October 2, 2016

Funny & Ticklish Surgical Strike


India’s ‘surgical strikes’ remain an enigma

By M K Bhadrakumar – October 2, 2016

The Indian journalists must be compulsorily made to read the parting speech by Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, as she resigned from her position last weekend, on how the scramble for ‘breaking news’ is degrading and destroying what used to be a wonderful profession. She valiantly makes a case for ‘slow news’. (Independent)

At issue here is the Indian media coverage of our “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control at Pakistan on September 29. India has been whipped into frenzy by the media. What happened is not good for health – of individuals or of the nation. Fortunately, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley interjected with perfect timing to take the mind away to the exciting vista of the “biggest disclosure” in independent India’s history by tax-evading crooks.

But that crime thriller can make the “surgical strikes” go away only momentarily. According to news from Islamabad, a top aide to PM Narendra Modi contacted a key figure on Friday to convey to PM Nawaz Sharif India’s desire not to ‘escalate’. But then, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar promptly undercut Modi the very next day by just recalled the Caesarean section by India to take out the little Bangladeshi infant out of the Pakistani womb. So, Jaitley is passe.

The war is wide open, again. Parrikar must be pleased with himself. In fact, he is only being true to himself. Remember his famous statement in June last year that the people of India were losing respect for the Indian Army, because it no longer fought wars? (DNA)

Meanwhile, the “surgical strikes” as such remain an enigma wrapped in mystery. The government has officially stated very little on the actual operation. Almost the entire Indian media coverage is based on off-the-record briefings or hearsay, or, worse still, the fiery imagination of journalists.Spin doctors had a whale of a time.

Two things must be said about Indian Army: one, it takes the business of war very seriously and will not make exaggerated claims; and, two, it is very precise with words. Especially so, the office of Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO), the transcripts of whose conversations with Pakistani counterparts I have had occasion to read in their dozens while heading the Pakistan Division in the Ministry of External Affairs.

However, in his entire presentation on September 29, DGMO Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh actually said nothing to corroborate what the media reported. And he read out from a prepared text.

Troubling questions arise.

Not a single American lawmaker – and there could be quite a few who are within the orbit of Indian embassy’s influence – has spoken specifically about our “surgical strikes”. They only speak about India’s commitment to counterterrorism. These are of course Congressmen who are willing to speak up for India in real time, rain or sunshine. Why are they so aloof?

The US state department briefings too neatly sidestepped our “surgical strikes” and stuck to old mantras —  supreme importance of India-Pakistan engagement, etc. Nor did the White House readout on the conversation between NSA Susan Rice and her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval make reference to “surgical strikes”. (One could argue, perhaps, Doval couldn’t be expected to disclose beforehand an imminent James Bond-style operation, but then, Rice represents Washington’s ‘defining partnership’ with Modi government.)

To be sure, Americans have positioned military satellites above India that could spot a bat flying in the dark. And they must be knowing what exactly happened.

Again, Russians too have advanced capabilities. In fact, a Russian army contingent is conducting exercises in Pakistan. Yet, Russian official media tiptoed around our “surgical strikes”. The RT report pointedly noted, “He (DGMO Ranbir Singh) did not elaborate on the nature of the operations, or whether Indian troops had entered Pakistani territory.”

There were no references to our “surgical strikes” by the FO spokeswoman in Moscow, either. Maria Zakharova, in her briefing on September 29, touched on 12 different topics and took thirteen questions, but there was no take on “surgical strikes”.

Now, the unkindest cut of all is that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon’s spokesman disclosed in New York on Saturday that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan “has not directly observed any firing across the LOC related to the latest incident (of September 29)”. We simply stonewalled the UN’s remark.

It is all becoming rather murky. In the absence of authoritative statements, Pakistani version gains the upper hand — namely, that there were no “surgical strikes” and that Indians simply hyped up artillery exchanges and are hiding heavy casualties.

Perhaps, MEA spokesman could at least contest the Pakistani version factually. It’s anyway ‘slow news’ already, as Helen Boaden put it.

, ,

No Comments