Sunday, December 20, 2009

The role of Kashmir and the Army in Pakistan

Pakistan has built up the 5th largest army in the world and has erroneously fallen upon the rent an army concept. America has been instrumental in feeding upon the ambitions of the various army generals to keep Pakistan under their influence.

The army has now become an integral part of the political structure. Pakistan's generals are no better or worse than it's political leaders, although they ( the generals) have been less covetous of personal fortunes than the civilians.
I believe in any future political set up the army must agree to keep out of politics in return for some form of consultative role. The Turkish example might be worth studying.

Kashmir is a lost cause for all but the Kashmiris but it has spawned the huge defense spending on both sides and has resulted in Pakistan today becoming a Nuclear power. In many ways Pakistan's nuclear capability has come at the expense of the literacy of it's citizen, but without it's nuclear muscle Pakistan would be a pariah nation shunned by all including the US.

For better or worse Pakistan has the misfortune of sharing a border with Afghanistan, which is today the wild west of Muslim fundamentalists and this will no doubt shape the future of what Pakistan will become. If India has shaped Pakistan's past, Afghanistan will likely shape it's future. This is what happens to a people who have no legitimate vision of their own. They are buffeted by fate and others.