Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pak Army or Chief Gen Kiani not Going to Fade away

Pak Army or Chief Gen Kiani not Going to Fade away
As I have reiterated many times, while looking at Muslim states it must be remembered that in most of them the struggle between Pir and Mir ie religious/ruling elite and the military has not been resolved, whether it is Egypt, Turkey or Pakistan. Islamist Recep Tayep Erdogan, the hotheaded and authoritarian prime minister of Turkey, who has sidelined and humiliated the Armed Forces, which was responsible for the creation of the secular republic and played an important part as a stakeholder in Turkish politics till a few years ago, remains uneasy and has repeatedly criticized and even opposed the removal of Muslim Brotherhood Pres Morsi by the Egyptian military in a coup d'état.
If there have been elections in Pakistan with the formation of a government by Nawaz Sharif for the third time, the military still remains a if not the dominant factor in Pakistan politics and policy making especially in its external relations and security. Although it was announced that Gen Ashraf Kiani has decided to give up the post of Chief of Army staff, it now appears that he is only being moved upstairs but will remain in overall command of the Armed Forces. Read the article below on Gen Kiani from today's Asia Times.
It is quite clear that Nawaz Sharif is now a less volatile and wiser politician having been removed from his post last time and sent out of Pakistan by Gen Pervez Musharraf on long exile. Gen Musharraf is now himself holed up in his farmhouse in Islamabad both for his protection and for avoiding any mischief from him. Gen Pervez is quite fed up of travelling from Dubai, to London or USA and back .He is not happy in Saudi Arabia.
Quite apparently Nawaz Sharif has learnt from his mistakes of first playing with the order of seniority and bringing up a Mohajir Musharraf as the chief of army staff and the later trying to replace him with a more pliable general.
Instead of making hue and cry, India's talking heads on corporate television channels about whether Man Mohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif not talking or taking strict action against Pakistan without any concrete suggestions, should put in perspective the infiltration being carried on by the Pakistani armed forces into Keran in Kashmir .The Pakistan military is making it abundantly clear that they remain still be arbiters of Pakistan's foreign policy and security specially on Jammu and Kashmir. Election of Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister is but only a routine development
At the end is reproduced my articles on Nawaz Sharif and Gen Musharraf spat and role of military in Pakistan to give a perspective to military /civilian struggle in Pakistan.
K.Gajendra Singh 7 October, 2013, Mayur Vihar, Delhi-91
Retiring Pakistan army chief set for key role
According to this article by Syed Fazl-e-Haider in Asia Times of 7 October, 2013, General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, one of Pakistan's most powerful men, has announced his retirement from the post of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on November 29. He has put to rest speculation in the media that he would try to extend his three-year term for a third time. Some reports claimed that Kiani is lobbying to keep a key defense role. 

He is prepared to accept a position as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), currently a largely ceremonial post that would be given more authority, or to become defense adviser to the government, according to a report published in The Wall Street Journal.

"Kiani is using his office to say that he's the guy who can control North Waziristan, he's the one who can handle what is happening with India," The Wall Street Journal quoted a Pakistan's retired army officer as saying. "With all this going on, he's saying now is not the time for a change of leadership."

Kiani's appointment as head of the newly empowered JCSC would make him de facto head of the powerful military, which has ruled over the country for more than half of its history ---
Sharif has reportedly planned to overhaul the JCSC, a largely ceremonial office, into a central defense body by restoring its command over the entire military establishment and giving it additional powers including the right to promote post and transfer key military officers. 

--- Sharif had not been in good terms with the military establishment during his previous two governments and tussles with the military led to the dismissal of his governments. Sharif was put behind the bars in 1999 when former army chief General Pervez Musharraf overthrew his elected government in a military coup. Unlike his predecessor, Kiani has kept democracy on track and not indulged in adventurism against elected politicians during past six years... "Kiani has a good rapport with the Americans and has worked closely with them in Afghanistan," Reuters reported an aide to the prime minister as saying. "For Sharif and the US, it's better the devil they know."

Sharif has to take the critical decision to appoint a successor to the COAS after Kiani retires from the post on November 29. Seniority-wise, General Haroon Aslam, who currently holds the position of Chief of Logistics Staff at the Army Head Quarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, should get the job. But Sharif may appoint the army chief out of turn, violating the principle of seniority. In 1998, Sharif ignored seniority by appointing Musharraf as army chief. His decision proved a blunder when Musharraf ousted his government in a coup d'état.
For full article  

by K. Gajendra Singh Bucharest (Romania )12 May 2003..
It is the grand puppeteer in Washington, who has started the process of talks between India and Pakistan rolling, now that the combat operations in Iraq are almost over (but Saddam Hussein's tapes still keep propping up- as late as May 7) as well as the War in Afghanistan, at least according to USA. Ominously, after its glorious military triumph in Iraq, USA might be in too much of haste to score a diplomatic triumph.  But to begin with it is the Indian and Pakistan leaders and their ever gushing media who have shown undue exuberance followed by confusion.  Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, was in the sub-continent to see things for himself.  He has expressed cautious optimism about normalization of relations between India and Pakistan
But from the Indian point of view, after elections in Pakistan, there is now some cushion as the talks would be between Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan prime minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali and not with Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf, on whose insistence at the centrality of the Kashmir problem, the July 2001 Agra summit had collapsed dismally, without even a joint statement.  For most Indians Gen Musharraf, the man behind the Kargil intrusions earlier, remains the bete noire.  But the General remains the man in charge in Pakistan
Only Indian naiveté believed that complex problems embedded since the intrusion of Islam in the body politic of Hindustan a millennia ago, could be resolved by offering Gen. Musharraf  emperor like hospitality. He was very clear in his objectives which he achieved, having and exploiting Indian media with a breakfast. With his wry sense of humour he even said that if he were to make concessions, he might as a well buy back the old Delhi Haveli where he was born (and stay back).
July 2001 Agra Summit;
Musharraf had seized on the June 2001 invitation for talks by Prime Minister Vajpayee, prodded and blessed by the US, to anoint himself president of Pakistan for five years ( not for the last time), while retaining the all-powerful post of the army chief. He thus became the first Mohajir head of state of Pakistan. Some of his loyal generals had absented themselves from the swearing-in ceremony.  A few were taken care of them and others when he joined USA in its war against terrorism after September 11. 
After his initial charm offensive in India it should have been clear that for the Pakistan's first Mohajir president, the first priority was to establish his credibility and consolidate his position within the Pakistan armed forces, its people, Kashmiri secessionists (by meeting All-Hurriyet Conference leaders for tea at the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi) and the jihadis in Pakistan and Kashmir. Thus, the centrality of the Kashmir dispute in relations with India had to be maintained, which sent his popularity back home soaring.  After the unraveling of its two-decade Afghan policy, Pakistan could not let go on Kashmir too. Too much blood has been invested in it.  The nuclear threat option remains the only gain after the US exploitation of Pakistan in its proxy war with the USSR in Afghanistan, which left behind millions of heroin addicts, a Kalashnikov culture and a bankrupt economy. 
Since then Gen Musharraf has weathered 11 September and 13 December events remarkably well and he remains well ensconced by virtue of being the president and the armed forces chief in his person. Gen. Musharraf is a representative and the leader of the armed forces, the most powerful and best organized entity in Pakistan, with the ISI doing its dirty work most of the time. This is his internal constituency which he must cultivate and guard. USA is his external constituency, which he must humour and be on its right side. 
 On 6 May he dismissed the demand of Pakistan opposition parties that he quit the post of the chief of armed forces, if he wanted to remain the president.  He told Pak TV that he would not give up his uniform till institutional harmony among different power centres in the country was restored i.e. the understanding between different powers centres in the country, including the legislature, military and judiciary. "I am providing the harmony among the institutions.  I will not leave my uniform because if I take such a decision at this juncture it will be detrimental to Pakistan's interest," he said.
Who is Pervez Musharraf ?
 Pervez Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943, in an old haveli (mansion) in Neharvali Gali (street) behind the Golcha cinema in Delhi.  When he was four years old, his family - mother and father and two brothers (his father hugging a box stuffed with a few lakhs of rupees) - migrated to Karachi in the new Pakistan soon after it became independent on 14 August, 1947.  
Non-Punjabi speaking immigrants from India (Urdu was the home language of the Musharrafs) are now mostly concentrated in the ghettoes of Karachi and nearby Hyderabad in Sindh, and are known as Mohajirs (a name preferred by them to that of "refugees") and they form over 8 percent of the population. They have been openly discriminated against by the ruling Punjabi-Pathan elite and have, therefore, established a political organization of Urdu-speaking migrants, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), in Karachi, whose leader, Altaf Hussain, now lives in London. But exiling powerful leaders in nothing new in Pakistan polity.  Starting with president Iskender Mirza, who was exiled by General Ayub Khan after the 1958 coup, the tradition has been kept up. Former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif are the latest examples.  
The Mohajirs, led by the Karachi-born Jinnah of the Ismaili Bohra community, who built up his legal practice and political career in Bombay, now Mumbai, were primarily responsible for the creation of Pakistan.  Being generally better educated, they had formed the ruling group in Pakistan's then capital city of Karachi before the new capital was built and power center moved up north to Islamabad in the heartland of the Punjabis, who form around 60 percent of the population.  
After spending six years in Ankara, where Pervez learned to speak and write Turkish fluently, he completed his further education in English medium schools in Karachi and Lahore.  He joined the Pakistan Military Academy in 1962 and finished second in the class after Quli Khan.  The military has always been a coveted profession in Pakistan, but its officer class has traditionally been dominated by Punjabis, with the Mohajirs actively discriminated against.  Nevertheless, Musharraf proved himself loyal and diligent, especially with regard to Pakistan's anti-India policy.  
Other members of the Musharraf family have sought greener pastures outside Pakistan.  Except for his married daughter, Ayla, an architect, who lives in Karachi, the oldest brother, Javed, is an economist with the International Fund for Agricultural Development in Rome. Another brother, Dr Naved Musharraf, is based in Illinois, US, and is married to a Filipino.  Musharraf's son, Bilal, an actuary, is settled in Boston, US, and even his mother and father, who passed away a few months after Musharraf took over, had become naturalized US citizens.  
Raised by parents who were moderate in their religious outlook, modern and almost secular in outlook, and well educated (his mother had a master's degree in literature from Delhi and had worked for the International Labor Organization in Karachi), Pervez's catholic outlook was reinforced by his stay in Ankara.  Outgoing and extrovert, Musharraf is a caring family man, but somewhat authoritarian.  After a normal retirement as a lieutenant-general, Musharraf would have perhaps divided his time between Pakistan and the US. Even now, when ever he visits USA on official visits, he spends time with Bilal in Boston, but still utilizes the time to promote the cause of Pakistan.  
Destiny's wheel
But destiny had other plans for Musharraf.  Two things happened that catapulted him to the top of the heap.  A thoughtless and erratic prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, who twice came into power in the musical chairs with Benazir Bhutto - conducted by the Pakistan military after the death of dictator General Zia ul-Haq in 1988 in an air crash - started to go haywire after his 1997 election victory.  After getting a two-thirds majority, with an abysmal turnout of less than 30 percent, an arrogant Sharif amended the constitution, stripping the president of the power to dismiss the government and made his power to appoint military service chiefs and provincial governors contingent on the "advice" of the prime minister.  
Worse, in a rush of blood, he forced into early retirement General Musharraf's predecessor, General Jahangir Karamat, an able and apolitical general.  Gen Karamat, after a lecture at the Pakistan Defense Academy, in response to a question, had only expressed the need for a National Security Council (NSC) in view of the introduction of nuclear weapons into Pakistan's arsenal. But the armed forces took a serious note of the insult.  
Sharif, whose family is of Indian Punjab origin and now settled in Lahore, was a small-time businessman.  He was groomed (along with many other middle class Punjabis) by General Zia (also from Indian Punjab) as a reliable rival to the Sindhi Benazir Bhutto, and other feudal political leaders. Sharif had promoted Musharraf in October 1998 to chief of Army staff, ahead of many others including Gen Quli Khan.  He thought that being a Mohajir without a Punjabi support base he would not have any Bonapartist ambitions. Perhaps Musharraf would have faded away after completing his term. 
But at a time when the economic situation at home was dismal, in another rush of blood and hoping to gain absolute power and popularity, Sharif dismissed Musharraf and attempted to replace him on October 12, 1999, with a family loyalist, the Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant-General Ziauddin.  Although Musharraf was out of the country in Sri Lanka at the time, the army was prepared this time and moved quickly to depose Sharif in a bloodless coup.  After Musharraf took over, Sharif was charged with attempted murder and other crimes.  
One of the reasons why Sharif wanted to get rid of Musharraf was that the latter had led the Pakistani forces in the debacle at Kargil, in the summer of 1999.  Infiltrators from Pakistan occupied Kashmir had clandestinely occupied the remote  mountainous area of Kargil in Kashmir, threatening even the ability of India to supply its forces on the Siachen Glacier.  Serious fighting flared up, but the infiltrators had to withdraw after a Washington meeting between Sharif and then US president Bill Clinton in July.  Sharif was severely embarrassed by the incident, although he appeared to be in the loop and would have happily reaped the benefit of popularity if the Kargil misadventure had succeeded.  
Two days before the coup, the Washington Post had noted that "analysts said (that) Sharif has little idea how to restore confidence in a government that has lost credibility at home and abroad - this deeply unpopular government is facing its worst crisis since early 1997".  A Gallup Poll taken a day after Musharraf seized power revealed that most Pakistanis wanted an unelected, interim government of "clean technocrats" to rule for at least two years.  Even Benazir Bhutto said, "He [Musharraf] was a professional soldier and I thought he was very courageous and brave.  He'd been a commando and one who is a commando can take tremendous risks and think afterwards."  
A Pakistani editorial welcomed the coup, "This is perfectly understandable.  The political record of the last decade of 'democracy' is dismal. Benazir Bhutto blundered from pillar to post during 1988-90. Nawaz Sharif plundered Pakistan (1990-93) as if there were no tomorrow.  Then Benazir was caught, along with her husband, with her hands in the till instead of on the steering wheel. So Sharif returned to lord it over a bankrupt country.  Then, obsessed with power, and emboldened by an illusion of invincibility, he went for the army's jugular and paid the price for his recklessness."  
Turkish connection;  
At his very first press conference soon after taking over as Pakistan's chief executive , General Musharraf spotted some journalists from Turkey. Speaking in fluent Turkish, Musharraf told them that he was a great admirer of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic and its first president.  "As a model, Kemal Ataturk did a great deal for Turkey. I have his biography. We will see what I can do for Pakistan. " Not only is he more at home with Turkish than Pakistan's national language, Urdu, Musharraf also admires Turkey's generals and the country's political model, having spent his most impressionable school years in  early 1950s in Ankara, where his father was posted as a junior diplomat.  Ataturk's legend of forging a new, vibrant, modern and secular Turkey out of the ashes of the decaying deadwood of the Ottoman Empire left an indelible mark on young Pervez, as evidenced by his remarks above and his subsequent actions as the leader of Pakistan.
However, following his statements lauding Ataturk, the Jamaat-i-Islami, the largest of Pakistan's religious parties, immediately expressed its opposition to the secular ideology of Kemalism. As a result, Musharraf now also highlights the aborted vision for Pakistan of Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the country's founding father and its first leader after independence in 1947.  Therefore, it came as no surprise when Musharraf visited Ankara in November, 1999, within weeks of taking power, on a pre-coup invitation from Turkey's military chief of general staff, who happened to be away when the Pakistani general landed in Ankara. Musharraf s main objective was to meet with General Kenan Evren, who had carried out the 1980 coup.  But Musharraf found himself a most unwelcome guest because both President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, now back in power, had been imprisoned and debarred from politics after Evren's coup.  They advised Musharraf to restore democracy at the earliest possible.  
The influential Turkish Daily News, close to Demirel, castigated the visit as "untimely and unnecessary so soon after grabbing power and jailing elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The coup in Pakistan or one in any other country can never be accepted.  Despite the role of the military in public life in Turkey the general failed to realize the sensitivity Turks feel towards coups and authoritarian rule.  He seemed to forget that Turks have now found out that coups have not solved the problems of the country and that, to the contrary, they have further complicated things. The way the general praised former coup leader General Evren was unnecessary."  
Discouraged from seeing Gen. Everen, Musharraf met his old friends in Ankara and lunched with the chief of protocol, an old school mate. Musharraf did concede before leaving that all countries must find their own solutions.  
Turkish political model
The fascination of the Pakistani military with the Turkish military's institutionalized role in politics through a National Security Council (NSC) is old and abiding.  It stems from the days of General Zia ul-Haq, if not earlier, because of close interaction between their military brass as Cold War allies of USA.  Many senior Pakistani generals have been posted as ambassadors to Ankara.  Zia ul-Haq had wanted to create an NSC in the 1980s, but he was dissuaded from doing so.  President Farooq Leghari, under military prodding, had even issued a decree in January 1997 creating an NSC on the Turkish pattern, but Sharif, on being elected in 1997, allowed it to lapse. 
After the Turkish coup in 1960, the new 1961 constitution transformed the earlier innocuous National Defense High Council into the National Security Council.  The president of the republic, instead of the prime minister, was made its chairperson, and the "representatives" of the army, navy, air force and the gendarmerie became its members, apart from the prime minister and four other ministers. The council now became a constitutional body and offered "information" to the Council of Ministers (cabinet) concerning the internal and the external security of the country. After constitutional amendments following the 1971-73 military intervention, it submitted its "recommendations" to the Council of Ministers. The 1982 constitution, a less liberal product and the result of the 1980-1983 military intervention, further strengthened the NSC's role by obliging the Council of Ministers to give priority to its recommendations.  Threats from the military members of the NSC had made premier Demirel resign in 1971and the first-ever Islamist premier, Necmettin Erbakan, was forced to leave in 1997, thus avoiding direct military takeovers.  
The Turkish armed forces enjoy total autonomy in their affairs.  Its Chief of General Staff (CGS) ranks after only the prime minister, and along with the president forms the troika that rules the country.  Since the 1960 coup, Turkish politicians have slowly worked out a modus vivendi with military leaders, with incremental assertion of civilian supremacy.  Since 1923, except for President Celal Bayar (ousted in the 1960 coup), all Turkish presidents had been retired military chiefs.  But first Turgut Ozal (1989-1993) and then Demirel (1993-2000) strengthened civilian ascendancy by getting themselves elected as president. The current President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, is a former president of the Supreme Court. 
In Pakistan, the position of the army's CGS, originally based on the British colonial pattern but modified after 55 years of experience since independence in 1947, during which the military has directly governed for more than half the period, is even more decisive and certainly more arbitrary than the Turkish equivalent.  In mooting an NSC in 1998, with a say for the armed forces in decision-making, Gen. Jehangir Karamat was only stating a political reality, which might have avoided unsavory confrontation.  It would have legalized the de fact position of the military and made its role more predictable and even accountable.  
After the 1971 Turkish coup, with the top military command's views expressed in the NSC, putsches by colonels, tried a few times in the 1960s, disappeared in Turkey. The 1971 intervention was a result of pressure from middle level officers.  Like Turkish politicians, Pakistanis will have to slowly work out a modus vivendi with military leaders for an incremental assertion of civilian supremacy.  But while the Turkish armed forces, a bastion of secularism, annually expel officers suspected of any Islamic proclivities, Pakistan's armed forces and the ISI have become "Islamized" at the lower and middle levels, and even higher.  In the short term, Musharraf is following General Evren's "Qaida" (primer).  So soon after becoming the chief executive he created the NSC (now to have 12 members), heavily weighted in favor of the military, and formed a cabinet of technocrats.  
Before the 1980 Turkish coup, political leaders such as premier Demirel and the leader of the opposition, Ecevit, and others, had totally abdicated their political responsibilities.  They went though hundreds of rounds of voting without electing a new president. Nearly a thousand Turks were killed in six months in left against right violence prior to the coup.  So General Evren barred Demirel, Ecevit and others from politics, and closed their parties. Similarly, Musharraf has kept Benazir Bhutto out of politics on corruption charges, and in a deal exiled Sharif to Saudi Arabia in 2000.
Musharraf's army constituency;
 From the outset, Musharraf made no secret of using referendums or amending the constitution to institutionalize the military's role in decision-making and to prolong and strengthen his hold over power.  General Evren had established a committee of experts to recommend a new constitution, the approval of which by referendum also granted him a seven-year term.  Musharraf had also chopped and changed the 1973 constitution, but the referendum in April last year to grant himself five more years as head of state was not a neat exercise (accusations of rigging) and left some legal loopholes.  He is now having problems. He could have done better.
Musharraf has succeeded in legalizing the military's takeover in 1999 - the coup was endorsed by the Supreme Court on the condition that elections be held within three years, which he has done - and he has institutionalized the military's voice through the NSC.  His mentor, General Evren, after heading the NSC for two years, had himself elected as president in a referendum for a new constitution. A yes for the constitution was also a yes for another seven years for him. To make it doubly sure, he forbade any discussion of the vote on the constitution for many weeks prior to the poll.  In the end, General Evren remained head of state for nine years. Musharraf has recently reiterated that his presence is necessary to harmonise the various centers of power in Pakistan
Pakistan's democracy;
Throughout the Cold War, the so-called democracy in Pakistan was basically a Western media myth to put its ally on a par with India, which was on the opposite side. Utterances by Pakistan prime ministers against India made good copy in Western media. Barring perhaps Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1972-77), after the military had been totally discredited in 1971 following the liberation of Bangladesh, the Pakistan armed forces have been de jure or de facto rulers of the country. In the 11 years between General Zia's death in 1988 and Musharraf's takeover, Benazir Bhutto and Sharif were eased in and out of power whenever they tried to interfere with the military's autonomy, or their control of nuclear arms, or the policy on Kashmir and foreign affairs.  Constantly squabbling with each other, they nevertheless amassed huge fortunes by corrupt means.  Bhuttos, specially Zulfiqar Ali, and Nawaz Sharif had the opportunity and political support to lay the foundations for democracy, but instead they chose despotic ways to steamroller the institutions that provided the checks and balances in the state. This highlights the inability of Pakistan in general to accept the give and take of a democratic system and administration.  
For all the good copy that Benazir still provides the Western media, she was perhaps one of the most incompetent administrators in Pakistan's history, with her husband, "Mr 10 percent" Ali Zardari, making it worse. She played a seminal role in 1996 in promoting the stranglehold in Pakistan of the Jamaat-i-Islami and other fundamentalist groups, now hiding and biding their time in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  They remain deeply entrenched in the Pakistan armed forces, the ISI and the establishment, with the potential for implosion. Tacitly approved by the US and with support from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, Pakistan created the Taliban and other jihadis to provide peace, stability and security in Afghanistan so that US oil giants could lay a pipeline from Central Asia to South Asia. Despite the ban by the Taliban on growing opium, jihadis, resurgent warlords and drug barons on both sides of the non-enforceable Durand line that separates Pakistan and Afghanistan financed themselves by the cultivation and export of opium and heroin.  Too many vested interests in and outside of Pakistan, especially in the military, benefited from this lucrative arrangement So after some pause since the US war on Talebans, the production and trade in narcotics is going up again.  
Pakistan is now seriously infected with the virus of Islamic fundamentalism. The sympathizers of democracy cannot wish it away with the wave of a magic wand as the country has pursued the path of Sharia law, religious intolerance and authoritarian regimes.  A constitution does not a democracy make. Even Turkey, perhaps the only secular democracy in the Muslim world, 80 years after Ataturk's sweeping reforms with a secular constitution in place since 1923, gets wobbly from time to time.  Even its moderate Islamic parties have to be banned regularly. In November, 2002 Elections, Justice and Development party, which has Islamic roots, won two-third of seats in the Parliament but with 33% votes polled.  Tensions are already building up between the new government and the secular establishment led by the armed forces.    
Pakistan polity;
In any case, unlike India, Pakistan began with weak grassroots political organizations, with the British-era civil servants strengthening the bureaucracy's control over the polity and decision-making in the country. Subsequently, the bureaucracy called for the military's help, but soon the tail was wagging the dog.  In the first seven years of Pakistan's existence, nine provincial governments were dismissed.  From 1951 to 1958 there was only one army commander in chief, two governor generals, but seven prime ministers.
While the politicians had wanted to further strengthen relations with the British, the erstwhile rulers, General Ayub Khan -encouraged by the US military - formed closer cooperation with the Pentagon.  And in 1958 the military took over power, with Ayub Khan exiling the governor general, Iskender Mirza, to London. A mere colonel at partition in 1947, with experience mostly of staff jobs, Ayub Khan became a general after only four years.  Later, he promoted himself to field marshal.  He eased out officers who did not fit into the Anglo-Saxon scheme of using Pakistan's strategic position against the evolving Cold War confrontation with the communist bloc.  
General Zia ul-Haq, meanwhile, was a cunning schemer, veritably a mullah in uniform who, while posted in Amman, helped plan the military operation, which expelled Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization from Jordan in the 1970s.  But he is more remembered for having prayed at all the mosques of Amman, if not in the whole of Jordan.  He seduced the north Indian media with lavish praise and chicken and tikka kebabs meals.  He planned Operation Topaz, which in 1989 fueled insurgency in Kashmir, while hoodwinking Indians with his goodwill visits to promote cricket contacts between the countries. His Islamisation of the country made the situation for women and minorities untenable, while the judicial killing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977 turned General Zia into a pariah.  But the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made him a US darling, restoring and fatally strengthening the Pakistan military's links with the Pentagon. This made the Pakistani military and the ISI's hold pervasive, omnipotent, omniscient and ominous in Pakistan. This defense alliance, the seeds of which were planted by Ayub Khan, and the symbiotic relationship between the ISI and the CIA bolstered under General Zia, was never really dismantled and is unlikely to be fully disentangled.  
Pakistan's external constituency:
The form of government in a country has seldom bothered the US in the pursuit of its national interests.  Otherwise, why would it embrace Pakistan, or say Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia or any of the other kingdoms and sheikhdoms and repressive regimes around the world, and shun democratic India.  Beginning with Ayub Khan's unofficial visit to the US, the foundations for bilateral cooperation in the military field were laid.  These have survived through thick and thin, like a bad marriage where neither side can let go, and despite bad patches, such as the takeovers by Zia ul-Haq and Musharraf.  In fact US finds military or other dictators easier to handle. 
Like the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, September 11 revived the necessity, if not the passion of the 1980s, for Pakistan and the US to come close to each another once again.  A divorce now, as naive Indian policymakers and media propose, is wishful thinking . The US needed Pakistan to protect itself from a backlash of its earlier Afghan policies of creating the mujaheddin and supporting the jihad in Afghanistan and then Talebans, After 11 September, Washington desperately needed to stop Pakistan's nuclear bombs or material from falling into jihadi hands, and to eliminate, or at least curtail, further damage to US interests.  The US and others in the West will keep on making pro forma noises in favor of more democracy but for US there appears to be no alternative to the Musharraf regime. The options are not attractive.  In last year's elections, fundamentalist parties canvassing on anti-US platform increased their votes to 11% from a normal 3% or so. They now control governments in sensitive border provinces of Baluchistan and North Frontier province and are the major opposition party in federal parliament.
Ataturk as a model
Musharraf, with his elite commando training, is cool and calculating.  He has handled difficult and complex situations well.  And in terms of intelligence, opportunism and dedication, he is professionally far ahead of the bluff and bumbling Ayub Khan.  Zia ul-Haq, a retrograde Mullah in uniform, reversed human rights progress and irreparably damaged Pakistan's polity. And there is not much to write about the befuddled General Yahiya Khan, who presided over the breakaway of Bangladesh in 1971. Under Musharraf, media has enjoyed greater freedom then in recent history. Musharraf has tried to reform the economy and reduce corruption. Joining the coalition against terror has helped prop up the external sector with US support, but fundamental weaknesses in Pakistan's economy still remain And while he might have gotten rid of or relocated unreliable and Islamist generals, in such situations the toss up is either thakt (throne) or takhta (noose).
At best Musharraf can be said to have succeeded in emulating his publicly undeclared model Gen Evren and that too not that well. There are some similarities with Ataturk.  Delhi-born Musharraf's family comes from east Uttar Pradesh (India). Blue-eyed Ataturk was born in Salonika (Greece) and his family came from Macedonia.  Ataturk was able to rally the world war-weary Turks, whose land had been occupied by foreigners.  At first he battled the Ottoman Sultan's forces sent to kill him and then vanquished friend turned foe rebel Ethem and his ragtag army, which had helped fight off invading Greeks who had almost reached Ankara. This was something like the various jihadi forces and foot-loose groups that Musharraf now faces. Later, Ataturk ruthlessly crushed religious revolts led by feudal Kurdish tribal chiefs and others.  And to fulfill his destiny, he even got rid of his earlier nationalist comrades, who were in favor of continuing with the Caliphate. 
Musharraf, too, has succeeded in sidelining many unreliable generals but not completely. Despite his belief in his avowed destiny, his proclaimed good luck in escaping helicopter mishaps, not being in the plane crash that killed Zia and victory in the standoff with Sharif, he has not shown the boldness and ruthlessness of Ataturk.  September 11 and December 13 , provided him with a golden opportunity to go the whole hog in the fight against the virus of fundamentalism and usher a new era in Pakistan on the lines of Ataturk's reforms.  He would have got unstinted support from US led West, India and others. 
Ataturk had boldly and ruthlessly carried out westernising and modernizing reforms against religious obscurantism and dogma and forged the remnants of the Ottoman Empire with a 99 percent Muslim population into a secular republic in the 1920s.  The Ottoman Sultan was also the Caliph .He abolished both the offices. But he had kept his external ambitions in check, he did not claim former Ottoman provinces lost in World War I, and had concentrated on building a new Turkey from the bottom up. 
Musharraf, a child of his times, did step down, after September 11, from the fundamentalist tiger he was riding and had helped nurture. Quite clearly he is not fully in command on the home front, with suicide bombers killing foreigners and Christians and senior officials being assassinated.  He tightens up from time to time, with some arrests of ranking Al-Qaeda members and others to please USA.  If he tried too hard, these forces, now baying against him, would conspire for his blood and threaten his US allies.
Musharraf's  childhood Ataturk-inspired dream is unlikely to come true. Perhaps he is not ruthless enough, determined and single minded like Ataturk, or maybe there are just too many cards stacked against him.  
(K Gajendra Singh, served as Indian Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan in 1992-96. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. .