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Pakistan Army related discussion: May - August 2010

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http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\10\story_10-5-2010_pg3_2

COMMENT: Tinkering with the military system —Shahzad Chaudhry

The chiefs of the three services in Pakistan end up being both, the commander-in-chief and the chief of staff, defeating the underlying intent and the principle of division of control and power

I have held back this column for a long time now simply because when you have two friends heading the two four-star positions in the army, a chairman joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC) and the chief of army staff (COAS), any inference when discussing the military system is bound to impinge on their incumbent positions and their persons. But now that the season for change is on the cards and many have begun to reflect on the various aspects of these changes, it is about time to make a point or two.

The military system is severely lopsided in Pakistan — the predominant position of the army within the national fabric is already manifested in Pakistan’s historical experience. Its overwhelming role within the military system that constitutes the army, air force, the navy and the joint staff headquarters, is excessive and exaggerated. While operational jointness is the only way to fight modern wars, jointness is seen and known only when either of the two smaller services subordinate themselves to the army’s way of operational thinking — many smaller service officers make their careers following this kernel of assured success. There will always be a lead role for the army because our envisaged operations are more likely to be land-based. However, modern capabilities and capacities within the total military system bring to the table the concept of parallel force application that envisage employment of varying capabilities on simultaneous axes within or outside a front with an aim to synergise effects for a more expeditious and efficacious achievement of objectives. Also, such a predominant position of one force practically stifles creative growth in the other two, which remain stagnated in conformity of thought to the army’s direction of war. Hence, institutional intellect never grows. In its current form, jointness within the military system is a direct reflection of the personal rapport, or its crass absence, that defines how the services work together. These are but laments of the inside of a system that needs serious review.

But what should the nation do to propel the military system towards a more professionally focused and nationally balanced disposition? When Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto created the joint staff system in 1976, it was essentially aimed at clipping the wings of the all-potent commander-in-chief of the army. The US had followed the same route in 1986 through the famous Goldwater-Nichols Act but the aim was entirely professional — to forge greater jointness in operations between the services, which appeared as a major shortcoming of the Vietnam War. Mr Bhutto’s objectives were entirely political with the benefit of better coordination among the services an incidental picking. Militarily, too, it was not tailored appropriately to Pakistan’s operational environment. In the US system, the chief of staff of any of the services does not hold direct command of troops. They are commanded by commanders-in-chief, such as General Petraeus of CENTCOM, divided geographically on a global scale catering to various theatres of war or likely operations. These commanders-in-chief report directly to their supreme commander, the president of the US. The joint chiefs are the staff of the president and work through the secretary of defence in forging policy, structure, equipment, training and manning of their respective services. To reiterate, they do not hold any troops under them.

In Pakistan, the theatre is only one, the geographical canvas of force employment is limited, and for operational efficacy and efficiency alone must be controlled from one central direction. Hence the chiefs of the three services in Pakistan end up being both, the commander-in-chief and the chief of staff, defeating the underlying intent and the principle of division of control and power that Mr Bhutto had in mind when invoking the joint chiefs system in Pakistan. Why has no one from the military ever voiced concern? Maybe because it offered an additional four-star position to the services where they were happy to ensconce anyone as a favour or recompense. Only, the incumbent CJCSC was aggrieved perpetually for gross under-utilisation.

From a political standpoint, challenges in the military system today manifest along the following lines: as per the original thought divesting army of its ability to periodically intervene in the political system remains paramount, and this must come through an in-built system of checks and division of power within the military structure. Secondly, operational jointness is a compulsion and must be institutionalised. Essentially thus the joint chiefs system must stay but needs to be made more potent. The alternate is the chief of defence staff (CDS) system as in the UK or Australia. The difference is that the CDS then becomes the hierarchical top of the pyramid where the three service chiefs become his immediate subordinates. Unless the position is rotated amongst all, at which suggestion the army is sure to balk, the two smaller services will forever remain stunted in independence and growth. It will be akin to institutionalising the army’s informal pre-eminence amongst the three services.

Other compulsions relate to the existing operational environment in the war against terror. Usually, horses are not changed midway in a war. General Kayani has proved an outstanding army chief in that he has helped the political system through its initial faltering steps and has led winning campaigns in both Swat and Waziristan. These operations are likely to stay and expand further. His equation with international players, particularly the Americans, and with the domestic political leadership is extremely comfortable and he seems committed to stabilising the internal and external dynamics of Pakistan’s stability. Losing him would be a blow to the continuity of a transition in the nation’s institutional rebuilding, while extending his present position will likely not go down well with others in the army waiting to have their chance.

Opportune as it may be, the dilemma could be resolved by moving General Kayani as the chairman joint chiefs, a position which in itself needs to be revamped with some powers of the CDS. These must include, as the primary linkage between the military and the political government on most politico-military matters, responsibility to proceed with ongoing operations through the services. The institution of the NSC is an absolute must for bringing together political, bureaucratic and military inputs on issues of national security, both short and long term. Denial of this imperative is at the nation’s peril. As his additional responsibility, the CJCSC must be consulted for selection of the chiefs of the three services. Promotions to the three-star rank in all three services should be cleared by a board consisting of the three services chiefs and chaired by the CJCSC. This hitherto has remained a discretionary one-man decision that must be checked to render greater transparency and merit in the promotion system at this level. The directorates of the ISI, and the ISPR should be moved directly under the CJCSC. This will help create the necessary balance in the powers of the army chief and the CJCSC, including giving greater comfort to political governments.

General Kayani as the CJCSC with enhanced powers can institutionalise the intended changes during his tenure and bring the credibility of both intent and performance to rationalise the lop-sided nature of the present military system.

We should give it a try.

Shahzad Chaudhry is a retired air vice marshal and a former ambassador

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In the last two wars almost all civilian trucks were requisitioned by the military. Do keep in mind that now NLC has thousands of 18 wheeler semis, tankers and vehicle carriers driven mostly by ex-Army drivers and in case of war they will all be available to the military.

I hate to say this, but in the last wars we did not have the possibility of our supply lines being attacked from the rear by terrorists. TTP, in all its "infinite wisdom" may do just that to show its appreciation to any help they may have received from the "consulates".

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I hate to say this, but in the last wars we did not have the possibility of our supply lines being attacked from the rear by terrorists. TTP, in all its "infinite wisdom" may do just that to show its appreciation to any help they may have received from the "consulates".

If they succeed in cutting supply lines to thier homes in FATA then we can worry about them cutting lines to the eastern border.

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If they succeed in cutting supply lines to thier homes in FATA then we can worry about them cutting lines to the eastern border.

True, they have been amazingly ineffective in cutting both PA and NATO supply lines, especially in the past 2 years or so. They have come close in some situations by surrounding forts and bases of PA and limiting supplies until a larger force could fight their way in or the PA had to retreat, but all this happened earlier in the conflict.

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I disagree. They have attacked supply lines but have not succeeded in cutting them. There is a difference between going after the supply line for a small isolated outpost and supply line of a fully mobilized army. Outside of North Waziristan now they don't have an ability to hold ground.

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I disagree. They have attacked supply lines but have not succeeded in cutting them. There is a difference between going after the supply line for a small isolated outpost and supply line of a fully mobilized army. Outside of North Waziristan now they don't have an ability to hold ground.

I would argue that TTP dont have the capability to hold land in North Waziristan either. From the point when we took TTP challenge head on (starting from Bajaur), they have not been able to hold on to any territory. At places they offered stiff resistacne but very quickly got swept aside and more often they simply lacked the stomach for a prolonged hard fight, instead preferring to run away to other areas.

In North Waziristan, their resolve (and hence ours too) is almost certainly going to be challenged. Then we'll see what they are made of.

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Assalamaoalukum,

"Then we'll see what they are made of. "

I always believed in this myth that Tribals are brave, ferocious and honorable people. hell they are none of that. To me they are cowards. Bunch of

armed thugs can terrorize them, kidnap their kids, steal from them and kill their family at will and yet they do nothing

but call themselves hospitable and religious. To me they are cowards. If they had llittle honor they would stand up and

\defend their land from foreigners (Chachens/Uzbak/Punjabi Taliban invaders) but yet they surrendered and in fact joined them.

They deserve no mercy. Just like the myth of South Waziristan was broken by our army they dont stand a chance in North Waziristan either.

Yet again foreign guests in their area are causing shit and they are sitting quietly inviting drone attacks and and retaliation from Pakistan army.

I say once and for all we invade theseareas and bring these jahils out of their stone age mentality and teach them a

lesson which their generations will remember.

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Very harsh appraisal, these takfiri are some of the most evil, bloodthirsty people to have achieved infamy, there is a section of the tribals who are with the takfiri, but to deny the hundreds of tribals killed, both civilians and soldiers in Pakistan's cause is not right. The takfiri have to be seen to be believed, murder of children and infants and the wiping out of whole families of people who oppose them. There is sometimes a romantic view of the tribal, that comes from Kipling, the great game of the last century's regarding the tribal, but what must be remembered is - he is a human being - and also liable to human failings and weaknesses.

Edited by Rafi

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Pakistan district mourns lost military sons

CHAKWAL, Pakistan (AFP) – In each village in the impoverished, barren district of Chakwal, officials say there is the grave of at least one soldier killed in Pakistan's wars.

Decades of sending sons to the military provided employment and helped boost literacy rates in Chakwal, but at a heartbreaking cost.

As Pakistan fights against the Taliban across the northwest tribal belt, the military is swelling its ranks with young men who come from Punjab districts like Chakwal and risk their lives to feed their families.

"At least one person of each family in a population of one million is still serving in the army," said Tariq Bakhsi, Chakwal's administrative chief.

The military graves dotted over the 6,524-square-kilometre (4,054-square-mile) region are a testament to the risks the soldiers sign up for, but Chakwal has little else to offer its young men.

Across the vast arid fields, farmers try to eke out a living from wheat, mustard seeds and peanut crops, but are only just able to feed their families.

Ironically, footsoldiers in militant groups often enlist for similar reasons -- lack of education and employment opportunities that make a life of militancy their only realistic chance of securing a monthly stipend.

Unemployment is 12 percent in Chakwal -- more than double the national average of 5.2 percent, according to official statistics.

Soldiers get a starting salary of 8,000 rupees (95 dollars) a month, with salaries rising throughout their careers.

"Industry could have been established but there was no road network in the past and insufficient raw material," said Bakhsi.

"Due to the unavailability of a water source, we can't have an irrigation system. There is only one major river, Jhelum, in the area, which is separated by the huge and solid salt range and a water channel is impossible."

With most residents unable to pay for post-secondary education for their children, the military is seen as the best option.

"With the army recruiting hundreds of young men every year, the unemployment rate of the district has been reduced... and the literacy rate shot up to 72 percent," said Bakhsi.

Lying about 100 kilometres (62 miles) southwest of Islamabad, Chakwal is known as the martial district of the country. The area was a favourite infantry recruitment centre for British colonial rulers.

The first Victoria Cross on the sub-continent was awarded to Chakwal's Khudadad Khan in 1914. Since then, the area has provided footsoldiers for three wars against India and now the war on Islamist extremism.

The army says that 2,273 military personnel have been killed battling insurgents since 2001, while about 6,500 troops have been injured.

Munawar Noor was the mother of one such recruit.Her husband died when her only son, Safdar Hussein, was just a baby and with no financial support she struggled to provide for him. So when he was 19, Hussein left Chakwal's Dhedwal village and joined the military.

Hussein served for 13 years and helped provide his mother with a regular income, sending home 5,000 rupees (60 dollars) every month so she was finally able to pull herself out of poverty.

But on August 15, he was killed instantly in a car-bomb attack on a military checkpost in the northwestern Swat valley.

The 60-year-old visits his grave daily. She still keeps his clothes, shoes, shaving kit and military effects close.

Relatives are entitled to compensation dependent on rank, but that is little consolation for the grieving mother.

"My son was lucky. He served his mother, motherland and died a brave man. I am unlucky -- I spent my youth grooming him and when the time came to enjoy his life in its prime, he left me alone to wait for my death," she told AFP.

Talagang, one of the major towns in the district, is also in mourning.

Walls are plastered with photos of Havildar Isthzar Hussein, who led a commando operation to end a siege by Taliban militants of army headquarters in Rawalpindi last October.

Hussein served in the Special Services Group unit when he volunteered to lead the rescue operation at the headquarters, where militants had taken around 40 people hostage during an assault that saw another 15 people killed.

Hussein was among the dead.

"He called me in the night of October 10, hours before the operation and prohibited me to call his cell phone," said his 23-year-old widow, Khalida Nasreen.

"The next day I received his dead body and all my happiness went with him," she added.

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While one's heart goes out to the grieving families of chakwal, I am sure there are a lot of grieving families in waziristan, bajaur etc. also.

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Zia

Lets not forget that Bahkter Shikan is not the only anti-tank weapon. We inducted this when we were under sanctions. I think it is very capable against T-72, APCs and Bunkers.

We have ordered over 3,000 TOW 2 missiles. These are still in frontline US use and have amazing stopping power. Our light and heavy anti-tank units are equipped with these, and you can bet that the formations facing Indian T-90s will have them. Bahkter can handle everything else. The manufacturers of TOW 2 are constantly updating the warhead to take into account latest threats. Our order in 2007 should give us the latest versions.

I agree, we need to provide all M113 armed versions (TOW, Stinger, RBS-70 etc) with remote controlled mounts.

Also remember, we have a massive advantge in night fighting abaility that has recentky been enhanced with massive supplies of US NVGs. Add these to the night fighting capability on Cobras, T-80/Al Khalid/Al Zarrar and night capable TOW 2 then it seems we have a massive advantge in this area, which (in a short war) may actually end up being more important then any other factor.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

a few years back we had tested a new warhead for the bakhtar shiken(shaped tandem charge).. it had 800mm penetration on Armour with ERA and 1200mm on Armour without ERA. as per the information made public anyway.

lets not forget, the Bakhtar shiken is continually being updated by Nescom

Edited by Ali55

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While one's heart goes out to the grieving families of chakwal, I am sure there are a lot of grieving families in waziristan, bajaur etc. also.

Nobody mourns for the Takfiris not even their comrades or mentors. They have no families or friends. They will and have killed their own familes if it serves their cause which is not Islam. Yes there are grieving familes for the innocent victims of the violence.

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I have a question! If we produce NVG's why are we so desperate for the US NVG's? Are our NVG's not sufficient?

I think we are getting mostly individual sights and NVG from the US not Tank or APC mounted. ATCOP mostly produces vehicle mounted sights and even if they produce indivual sights the demand far out stips their production. BTW ATCOP has a huge facility on the Hasanabdal Abottabad road but there has been no recent updates on its range of products. Anyway, we are not paying for what we are getting from the US.

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US delivers two Bell helicopters to Pakistan Army

ISLAMABAD: The United States government Tuesday delivered two Bell 412 EP helicopters to the Government of Pakistan to assist the Pakistan military in its counter-insurgency efforts.

The U.S. Army Brig. General Michael Nagata handed over the helicopters to Brig. Tippu Karim, 101 Army Aviation Commander during a signing ceremony at Qasim Army Air Base in Rawalpindi, said a press release of the US embassy issued here today.

The U.S. purchased the two enhanced-performance utility transport helicopters, valued at $24 million, to support Pakistan’s counterinsurgency operations. The U.S. also provided $20 million in associated spare parts, special tools and other equipment to support the aircraft.

“The purchase of the aircraft demonstrates the United States’ full commitment to a stable, long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan-one based on shared interests and mutual respect that will continue to expand and deepen in future years,” Brig. Gen. Nagata said during the ceremony.

During the last three years, U.S. civilian and security assistance to Pakistan has totaled more than $4 billion. Assistance provided and delivered has included support for medical aid, school refurbishment, bridge and well reconstruction, food distribution, agricultural and education projects.

Specific security assistance includes 14 F-16 fighter aircraft, 10 Mi-17 helicopters, more than 450 vehicles for Pakistan’s Frontier Corps, hundreds of night vision goggles, day/night scopes, radios, and thousands of protective vests and first-aid items for Pakistan’s security forces.

In addition, the U.S. funded and provided training for more than 370 Pakistani military officers in a wide range of leadership and development programs covering topics such as counter terrorism, intelligence, logistics, medical, flight safety, and military law.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=105024

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Nobody mourns for the Takfiris not even their comrades or mentors. They have no families or friends. They will and have killed their own familes if it serves their cause which is not Islam. Yes there are grieving familes for the innocent victims of the violence.

Those are your opinions and you alone are responsible for them! And they've got little to do with facts.

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What became of the MI 17s - were they on loan? and have they all gone back?

thanks

ndad

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What became of the MI 17s - were they on loan? and have they all gone back?

thanks

ndad

Huh? We have around 90 MI-17s. US provided us around 10.

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Those are your opinions and you alone are responsible for them! And they've got little to do with facts.

So share the facts with us.

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Asalamo-a-laikum.

Zia

Lets not forget that Bahkter Shikan is not the only anti-tank weapon. We inducted this when we were under sanctions. I think it is very capable against T-72, APCs and Bunkers.

We have ordered over 3,000 TOW 2 missiles. These are still in frontline US use and have amazing stopping power. Our light and heavy anti-tank units are equipped with these, and you can bet that the formations facing Indian T-90s will have them. Bahkter can handle everything else. The manufacturers of TOW 2 are constantly updating the warhead to take into account latest threats. Our order in 2007 should give us the latest versions.

I agree, we need to provide all M113 armed versions (TOW, Stinger, RBS-70 etc) with remote controlled mounts.

Also remember, we have a massive advantge in night fighting abaility that has recentky been enhanced with massive supplies of US NVGs. Add these to the night fighting capability on Cobras, T-80/Al Khalid/Al Zarrar and night capable TOW 2 then it seems we have a massive advantge in this area, which (in a short war) may actually end up being more important then any other factor.

Yasser

You're right of course to mention the TOW2 (A or B - I'm not entirely sure off the top of my head), but the latest Indian MBTs are fitted with Kaktus ERA which is a generational improvement over Kontakt-5, and the T-90S Bishma also has Kanchan armour instead of the Russian armour. We don't yet know if our new TOWs will penetrate this dual layered armour (Kaktus + Kanchan). During GW1 the Yanks were very surprised to find that their TOW missiles were stopped dead in their track by the armour on T-55 Enigma tanks. Things have moved on from there on all sides, but the latest variant of the TOW is actually a top attack weapon. That's not the version we're getting. Even the Indian Nag is a top attack weapon, and I don't think we have anything in our armoury that will be able to resist it. PA MBTs don't actually have much ERA on top.

The figures given by the guys who make our Bakhtar Shikan ATGMs give some fairly low penetrative figures in conjunction with early HJ-8 variants. They do mention a more advanced warhead, but don't give figures. Our original spec missiles of this type may not be able to handle a IA T-72 that has gone through the Rhino upgrade. It seems to have very good ERA package.

One thing we have overlooked is that ugly little tracked APC unveiled in IDEAS2008. We should be looking at what the Germans have done with Wiesel-2, and copying that. It may be more cost effective than using a larger vehicle, especially if we copy something like the Ocelot ADS/SAM variant of the Wiesel-2. Does anyone know if the PA has looked on it favourably?

Night vision is something where we perhaps have an advantage for now, but the Indians are trying to close this quite quickly.

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Those are your opinions and you alone are responsible for them! And they've got little to do with facts.

Another trade mark of many Pakistanis! Once in a while, for example, I have tried to tell people not to push or jump the line. Not only my advice fell on deaf ears, their ‘wakeels’ moved forward to defend the man!

Why is it alright to carry all sorts of weapons, take law into your own hands, start ‘jihad’ with everyone in sight, be unimaginably cruel to others; all for sake of personnel power, glory and gain?

If anyone dares to speak against these terrorists or tries to stop them then either such people are liquidated or terrorist acts are perpetuated against them and their families; including killing kids in a mosque offering Friday prayers!

The Holy Quran doesn’t allow us to kill kids of non-Muslims in their country during the time of war but killing our kids offering prayers is somehow justified by their crooked mentality!

Their families are suffering when they get neutralized? Why don’t they drop their weapons and try to find legal means of earning ‘halal’ living for their families and most importantly, a father must be held responsible for his kids and shouldn’t make any that can’t be properly fed, educated, etc.

I am not advocating a society of prostitutes and pimps either where soon most kids may be born out of wedlock. That is another extreme that we need to avoid and quarantine its advocates. Actually, militants justify most of their cruelties and earn public sympathy by citing examples of such people of other extreme.

Edited by Saeed Khan

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Zia

TOW 2 is listed as having a penetration capability of 1,000mm behind ERA!

That pretty much takes care of any idol named tank version.....

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Before the start of the actual ground offensive, US Marine units successfully employed the TOW against various Iraqi targets. On 18 January 1991, newspapers reported that US Marine Corps AH-1T Cobra helicopter gunships destroyed an Iraqi command post following Iraq's sporadic shelling of the Khafji area near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. Four Cobra gunships destroyed a building used as an Iraqi command post with TOW missiles. Accounts told by Gulf War veterans who witnessed the TOW in action during the fighting revealed several instances where TOWs did things that surprised the engineers who designed them more than the soldiers who fired them. TOW missiles proved to be a determining factor in the first ground engagement of Operation Desert Storm. During the Battle of Khafji, which took place before the start of the actual ground offensive, the TOW demonstrated a pretty unique ability: the Saudis fought Iraqi tanks with TOW missiles and drove them out of the city. At one point in the battle, the Saudis saw Iraqi soldiers on top of a water tower. Not wishing to blow up the tower, the Saudis fired a TOW, blew the ladder off the tower and left the Iraqis stranded until the end of the battle." The lethality of the TOW missile was proven beyond doubt during the 100-hour ground campaign when one of the antitank munitions fired by US troops went right through the tank it was aimed at and penetrated another tank parked next to it. Another TOW went through a six foot dirt berm and knocked out an Iraqi armored personnel carrier on the otherside. In both instances, the TOW performed a feat which it supposedly was incapable of accomplishing.

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Also, I think instead of catching up India is actually falling further behind in NVG. Equipment delivered last year and this year by US to Pakistan includes "thousands" of NVG goggles and Day/Nighscopes. Pakistan's advantge in this area is actually increasing, and I have not even mentioned home produced NVG kits!

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An interesting idea. If Kayani does stay and oversee the Navy and Air Forece, it may help the two services e.g Air Force and Navy besides the Army.

Pakistan considers new role for army chief

By Farhan Bokhari and Matthew Green in Karachi

Published: May 19 2010 10:20 | Last updated: May 19 2010 10:20

Pakistan is considering creating a powerful new military post to ensure the head of its army, who has played a crucial role in strengthening ties with the US, retains his influence after his term expires in November.

The proposal would give General Ashfaq Kayani, who is waging Pakistan’s biggest campaign against Taliban militants, oversight of the air force and navy as well as preserve his control of land forces, according to a cabinet minister.

Obama administration has come to rely on Gen Kayani as a key interlocutor as it struggles to deepen an alliance with nuclear-armed Pakistan that has far-reaching strategic implications but is weighed down by a complex legacy of mistrust.

The US sees Pakistani co-operation as vital to its strategy for fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and combating Islamic extremists.

Chauhdary Ahmed Mukhtar, Pakistan’s defence minister moved at the weekend to quash speculation that Gen Kayani might stay in his position as chief of the army when his term expires in six months. “Gen Kayani is neither being considered for an extension nor has he asked for one,” Mr Mukhtar said.

But a cabinet minister told the Financial Times that a proposal is under discussion to create a new position as Chief of the Defence Staff that would allow Gen Kayani to broaden his control of the armed forces. An alternative proposal would see him appointed as the powerful chairman of an existing Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, previously a largely ceremonial role.

“The discussions are right now to see exactly how the position can be made more powerful, with clout, and of course direct oversight of the army, navy and air force,” the minister said.

Critics say that retaining Gen Kayani in place beyond the three-year limit stipulated in the constitution would undermine the military’s attempts to elevate institution-building over personalities and could trigger grumbling among a generation of officers awaiting turnover in the upper echelons.

Possible successors to Gen Kayani include Lieutenant-General Khalid Shameem Wyne, the army’s chief of general staff.

Gen Kayani’s position as head of the army makes him one of the most powerful men in the country, giving him command of the country’s nuclear arsenal as well as hundreds of thousands of troops, primarily configured to face arch-rival India.

Pakistan has been under military rule for much of its existence, and the army remains the strongest institution in the country and the locus of foreign and security policy-making.

Gen Kayani, a former head of Inter-Services Intelligence, the country’s powerful military intelligence service, became the chief of army staff in late 2007, taking over from General Pervez Musharraf, then president.

Gen Kayani has won credit for reducing the military’s overt role in politics, although the army retains huge influence behind the scenes.

Since early 2009, Gen Kayani has led the army in its biggest campaigns against Pakistan’s Taliban militants, first in the northern Swat valley and then the South Waziristan region along the Afghan border. The US has since pressed Pakistan to widen its campaign into North Waziristan, home to militants who have targeted Nato troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan says its forces, which have suffered heavy losses in the past year, cannot afford a new front.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a515489e-630b-11df-99a5-00144feab49a.html

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