The Pindi Manifesto

February 21, 2010

The Pak army chief gets candid about India, and unresolved issues

Worldview From GHQ:

  • Stridently opposed to India’s role in Afghanistan
  • India shouldn’t train the Afghan National Army
  • Gains from backchannel diplomacy need not be the starting point, especially on Kashmir
  • Principal focus remains Kashmir
  • Worried by India’s military doctrine: Gen Kapoor’s statements on a cold start strategy “under a nuclear overhang”.

For decades now, Pakistanis have watched on their TV screens images of the corps commanders’ conference room at the Pakistan army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The images are invariably beamed every time the generals meet. And invariably, the images would show dour officers seated around a long table, engaged in discussions on the country’s future. Of course, these TV grabs are supposed to evoke a sense of awe, conveying to the audience who really holds the reins of power in Pakistan. It’s in this room that contemporary history has been shaped—generals are known to have walked out to stage a coup, call for election, or reprimand civilian governments trying to assert themselves.

Into this room I walked in gingerly on February 12, Friday. Present along with me were a clutch of former generals and strategic thinkers. The room reeked of history, of power, but today also an expectation of disclosures significant to diplomacy and the region in general.

Perhaps my expectations rose because of the timing of General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani’s briefing, held as it was in the week during which India had invited Pakistan for talks. For a man who was at best reticent during his earlier tenure as director-general, isi, it was surprising to find the army chief expressing his thoughts on strategic issues with a candour quite remarkable for a general.

During the three-hour interaction, he smoked six cigarettes, each time replacing the one in the cigarette filter before it had become a stub (he didn’t light up in the first hour) as he proudly talked about the successful army operations in Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan. The myth had been broken, he said, that no army could take control of South Waziristan and hold it. Heliborne operations at 8,000 feet in South Waziristan were the largest ever in South Asia, he declared,  and for which the US didn’t pay a cent.

The conversation turned to India. Questions flew thick and fast. As Outlook heard Gen Kiyani speak on strategic issues, it was easy to draw some conclusions: Pakistan won’t countenance a significant role for India in Afghanistan; New Delhi’s recent military pronouncements worry Islamabad immensely; the gains from backchannel diplomacy, launched during Pervez Musharraf’s rule, need not necessarily be the starting point for Islamabad now; and Kashmir remains Pakistan’s principal focus.

At one point during the interview, Gen Kiyani intoned emphatically, “Yes, we are India-centric.” He then went on to spell out his reasons, taking quite seriously Indian army chief Deepak Kapoor’s cold start doctrine articulated in December last. General Kiyani said, “We have unresolved issues, a history of conflict and now the cold start doctrine. Help us resolve these issues so that we can shift our attention from the eastern borders to the west. Let us normalise these burning issues. We want peaceful coexistence with India. After all, India has the capability, and good intentions can change overnight.” Strong words these.

Islamabad remains worried about General Kapoor’s statements at a closed-door seminar at the Army Training Command, Shimla, where he underlined the need to bolster India’s capability to wage a two-front war (against Pakistan and China). He had wanted India to develop a cold start strategy—of launching quick offensives (presumably against Pakistan) “under a nuclear overhang”. New Delhi’s disclaimers that it didn’t share Kapoor’s views had no takers in the GHQ.

General Kiyani also opposed the idea of India training the Afghan National Army. “Strategically, we cannot have an Afghan army on my western border which has an Indian mindset. If we have an army trained by Pakistan, there will be better interactions on the western border.” Expect an intense jostling for space between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan.

Partly, the jostling for space arises from Pakistan’s need to remain relevant in the region, at a time New Delhi has inched closer to Washington and gallops ahead economically. Kiyani said as much, “Our objective is that at the end of all this (Afghanistan), we should not be standing in the wrong corner of the room and should remain relevant in the region. This is our greatest challenge.”

Kiyani’s remarks, and those of many others in the government, have etched out the backdrop to the talks between India and Pakistan. For one, it seems quite probable that Pakistan would want to start fresh on Kashmir, not inclined to consolidate upon the scheme agreed upon by Musharraf and Manmohan Singh. Reportedly worked out through protracted backchannel diplomacy, the two sides had agreed to provide self-governance in the two parts of Kashmir, undertake demilitarisation in phases there and, ultimately, establish a joint mechanism to administer the two parts.

Reflecting the military’s thinking (which controls Islamabad’s policy on Afghanistan, India, the US and nuclear policy) was foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who declared, “We know nothing of this backchannel diplomacy. There is not a shred of paper present in the foreign office on this.” Countering him was his predecessor, Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, who toldOutlook, “What’s he talking about? Why this flip-flop? The files are present at the president’s office and President Zardari must have seen those when he commented, soon after he took office, that the nation would hear some good news on Kashmir soon. (If you do this flip-flop), no one will take you seriously….”

The political class seems to be veering around to the view that Pakistan must begin afresh on Kashmir. As Pakistan Muslim League (Q) leader Mushahid Hussain says, “Many problems have accumulated since the time Musharraf left. India now boasts of a cold start doctrine, there is also the looming water war, the situation in Balochistan and India’s role in Afghanistan. The Pakistan army also feels that India left no stone unturned to isolate it internationally.” About the backchannel diplomacy under the current dispensation, Hussain said, “To my knowledge, only one meeting has taken place, between Indian diplomat S.K. Lambah and (ex-foreign secretary) Riaz Mohammad Khan in Bangkok.”

At the GHQ interaction, Kiyani confidently said that the world was finally listening to Pakistan’s story. It should give a certain heft to Islamabad as it engages with New Delhi. Perhaps it was also the reason why India did not overplay the Pune blast, aware that the wind perhaps has shifted direction post-Mumbai.

Outlook India




  2. Looking at the past not so clean record of Mariana Babur(wife of Farhatullah Babur),Zardari’s spokesman,it was surprising that she was given access to GHQ.Remeber,Farhatullah Babur has cricised COAS for his stand on KL Bill.

  3. Paki Army is scared of India training the Afghan Army.

    • Yes Pakistani army is scared that the world most coward conspirer army of india training the afghan army means making them coward and conspirer like themselves. We want brave afghan army who can kick the hindu ass not the one who will be a coward a conspirer and terrorist like indian army who cannot fight but kill un-armed civilians of kashmir. SHAME ON INDIA THE EPICENTER OF TERROR

      • The Indian army does’nt run India, unlike the Pakistani Army. I think that is a good thing, but you might disagree.

        Hindus make up less than 0.001% of Afghan population. Whose asses will the Afghan army supposedly kick?

        The Indian army would fight if Pakistan declared open war (as has happened four times already). Except for 1948, when Nehru erred by accepting the UN ceasefire, the Indian forces have been successful in all wars.
        These facts are not supportive of the Indian army being cowardly.

    • It is wise to be scared and secured yourself rather than be brave and besieged yourself.

    • you hindu zealot… get out of this forum.. ahmaqon ke alm-bardaar!

    • kayani thinks afghan army will get an ‘indian mindset’

  4. I agree that whatever deals were made during Musharraf-Manmohan meetings have become invalid in the wake of new Indian anti-Pakistani actions such as blocking Pakistani waters, supporting BLA, supporting militancy in Pakistan, the cold start strategy, the accumulation of more weapons etc.

    Musharraf’s position was NOT in line with what majority wanted anyways. He made many deals secretly without taking into confidence the Pakistani public. He was steering Pakistan according to his wishes.

    Pakistan should never give up her classic stance. We support the cause of Kashmir liberation from India and Kashmiri’s rights to self determination. Pakistan should not establish cordial relations with Israel until she backs of to pre-1967 borders.

  5. SalamunElaik

    every body knows that from the day first india+israeel+america are being tried to make pieces of our beloved country.

    But. Inellaha Alaa Kul-e-Shaein Qadeer

    Khuda her us aankh ko phordy jo maili nazer sy hamary waten ki teraf daikhy

    Khuda ya hamar waten k kharji or andaroni dushmanon ko naist o nabood kerdy aameen

    or hamain achy leaders or sistdaan ata ferma.

    hamain apnu mulk ki hifezet kerny ki tofiq enayet ferma. aamee

    A true Pakistani
    Ali Raza Zaidi

  6. The army has its hands full. Yes, all the world has to listen to Pakistan army. The times of army taking over have gone but the important perspective and input from general Kayani has to be listened to. As Pakistan , including army finds its new paradigm in post current Afghanistan conflict and especially as the foreign forces withdraw , there is very urgent need for a consensus building within Pakistan between political forces and the army and all the regional states like India, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Central Asian States for future peace in a highly Nuclearised zone.

  7. @anirudh you are quite stupid you think nehru erred actually he cowardly ran to the UNO to stop pakistan capturing Kashmir otherwise you cunning banya would be settled by pakistan once and for all if pakistan will go all out in that war of kashmir. Nevertheless it is still not to late and your time is close as your yanky dad who you banya been begging not to leave afghanistan is about to leave and now it is the hindu ass and you (cold ass strategy) which will be kicked by Pakstan, China, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri lanka and whoever likes to join in this adventure would be welcome.
    As far as training the afghan army is concerned they will not accept the hindu banya conspiracy training as they come from Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi who kicked the hindu ass very hard. Do I need to remind you this you coward moron hindu with no brain at all. King of terrorism india – shame on you

    • So what is hindu history by the way drinking own piss, sold out to british during the struggle of freedom. You moron if it was not muslims you black ass will still be kicked by goras. Can you deny the history that Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi, Sultan Ghauri and the Mughals kicked the hindu ass and ruled for 1000 years. Now you black fox using the yanky shoulders and dead bodies to call yourself a pussy superpower. India the superpower my foot.

      • somebody is jealous of a superpower……

      • superpower… the army of EUNUCHS..
        google it.. India has the max # of EUNUCHS.. and you probably be one of them 🙂
        Better luck finding your ancestrial background..

    • it is interesting, how they keep underestimating us. no wonder they lose all wars

  8. First i will copy/paste an email from a friend, views i share 100% :
    mei tumhein Apni fouj aur duniya ki foj ka MAIN Difference (farq) bataounga……. history k ref. se =
    Mai jo baaat batanay laga hoon….. ye kisi Column/article/feature mei nahi aae hai …… Mai ne abb tak jo kuch Different books mei perha, Observe kiya, Baatein suni etc etc …….. usko aik jaga summarise ker raha hoon………

    Hum aik word bohot sunntay hein… THINK TANK …. 1940 se pehlay bhi Think Tanks thaey… mager ye THINK TANKS kisi proper Organisation/ Departments/ Institute/ Group ki shakal mei nahi thaey…… Sub-continent pe goray ne jitni bhi hukumat ki wo Individual military theorist ki Base pe ki….. Yani Lord Rippen aaya tu uss ne apni technique laga k target poray kiye, issi terhan 17 Lords jo sub-continent mei aaey unhon ne apna apna kaam kiya……. aur British Lords k liye…. Sub-continent k Khicheri Minded logon pe Zyada time tak hukumat kerna bohot mushkil thaa….(saain aap paki/indian ki nafsiyat jaantay hee ho)

    Doosri Jaanib 1939 mei WW-II shuru huee tou British aik taraf se SUB-CONTINENT mei phasa huwa thaa… doosra WW-II bhi galay per gaee…. Africa mei bhi hukumat kerna aasaan nahi thaa….. lehza Winston Churchill ne in tamaam Phaddon ko Handle ker nay k liyee… aik PROPER GROUP banaya Jisay Hum aaj THINK TANKS kehtay hein…… Churchill ne ye THINK TANK bnaya hee HUM jesay 3rd world k liyee thaa…… Baed mei USA, EUROPE ko ye IDEA itna pasand aaya k unhon ne bhi apnay apnay THINK TANKS banaey…….

    Ye THINK TANKS baazahir dekhnay, samjhnay, soochnay mei Kuch Civilians ka GROUP nazer aata hai…… Lakin Haqeeqat mei ye aik UNSEEN ARMY prove huwa hai aur hai……….

    THINK TANK ki base 2 types logon pe depend kerti hai….. Intellectuals and Barbarians.

    #1 = Think Tank group aisay logon ko choose kerta hai jo Intehaa k Jangli Janwer hon, Jo kaha jaey wo ker guzrein… unn mei JOSH ho….. Jazbaati hoon……… mar jaeiyn yaa maar dein…..

    #2= Think Tank group aisay logon ko choose kerta hai jo Intellectual, disciplined hon…. Visionary hon….. Jazbaat naam ki koi cheez naa ho…. Koi bhi Situation ho…. HOSH naa Khoyein……….. (Intellectual aur Barbarians kisi bhi feild se choose kiye jaa saktay hein, aur inn mei ARMY SE BOHOT LOG AATAY HEIN)

    Abb ye THINK TANK ………… HUM JESAY MULKON ko kesay control kiye huwaey hai aap dekh lo….. binaa Foj k Gora hum pe hukumat ker raha hai……………. Inn logon ne FOJ ka kaam THINK TANKS se liya huwa hai……

    JabKay hamaray mulk mei tou THINK TANKS hai hee nahi…..
    Ager le de ke aik Think Tank hai tou ARMY mei hai……
    Hamari Army think tanks mei 2 tout tou USA ka kaam ker rahay hotay hein….
    aur Hamari ARMY MashAllah se Jawan to CHEIF saaray JAZBAATI/ JOSHEELAY/ GUSEELAY……

    Aap duniya ki koi TOP fouj dekho wahaan aapko Junior level mei koi Jangli herkat kerta Foji tu mil jaey ga but…. koi colonel aur uss se ooper k level ka NAHI….. kiun ??? kiun ki EUROPE USA apnay Think Tanks pe chal rahay hein……….

    Hamaray haan…… NUML type walay Incidents Aapko sunn-nay ko miltay rehtay hein…. ager MEDIA FULL AZAAD ho tou shaiyed daily 4/5 incidents sunn-nay ko milein….

    INDIAN GENERAL ne last month Pakistan China k Anti statement diyaa……….. aur mei ne apko msg ker k kaha thaa k SAAIN DEKHNAA…….. CHINA koi Reaction nahi karay ga……… but PINDI se koi na koi zaruur bolay ga…. or 2 din baed General Tariq Majeed ne Statement de diyaa………… (http://www.defence.pk/forums/writers-board/43175-pakistans-general-tariq-majid-response-india.html )

    BUT CHINA SILENT raha……… aakhir kiun?? kiun k china achi tarah samjhata hai….ki…… AGER INDIAN GENERAL JOSH mei hai tou HAMEIN HOSH nahi khona chahiyee…..

    WEST ko achi tarah pata hai PAK FOJ JOSHEELI hai………. lehaza wo hamein SAHI ka use (abuse) kertay hein……(or muu bund kerne ke liye phir DOLLAR bhi ) …

    aap hamari foj ko dekho……… Marnay (to die) aur maarnay (to kill) ke siwaa koi kaam hee nahi aata en ko……… her time Laraee ka bhoooot sawaar rehta hai inn ke sir per…. FOJ apne dushman ko darranay k liye hoti hai NAA k larnay k liyee…. yahi toh Fundamental Philosophy hai. Agar aap ka dushman aap ki fouj/country pe attack kerde toh it means ki aap ke fouj rekhne ki LOGIC hee fail hogai kiunki apka dushman toh aapse darta hee nahi hy jabhi toh us ne attack kia hai apko weak samjh ke. Fouj aik aisa Pistol hoti hai jo sirf saath rakhni hai taki apka dushman aapse dara rahey

    Mush ke chumchey Colonel Shaid ne Lt. general Zameer aur aik Brig. pe Gun taan li thi……….
    Rashid Qureshi TV pe aakay Gaaliyan deytaa hai……..
    aik Brig. NUML K TEACHER ko maarta hai…………. ye hai total sum . . . . hamari “mard e momin” Mentality.. ka….. Mashallah se WTF . . . PMA KAKUL mei ye konse “manners” sikhai jaatay hain enko . . . ki GENERAL bun ke “kutttun” waali harkatain start kerdete hain ye log

    JOSH JOSH & JOSH ……………….. ZERO HOSH………..

    Churchill kehtaa thaa ,,,, Mai ne Hosh-mand aur Josh-mund logon ko PROPER USE ker k jang jeeti………

    hamare mulk mei sirf aik dhung ka insititue hai PAK ARMY ……………. or uski TOP leadership ka itna ghatia standard hai . . . baqiun ka khud andaza laga lo . . .


  9. PLUS this one more from him :

    26 November Mumbai attack………….. mei HAMARI KIYA POSITION THI ??????? MUMBAI ATTACK DRAMA THAA YA REALITY issko SIDE pe rakho Aur ye yaad karo………. k hamaray Halaat iss POINT pe aa ge thaey…. k USA, UK , SAUDIA….. se hamein Bheek maangani per gayee thi……… aur Milliband , Saud-al-faisal ……. ne INDIA ka visit kiya….. milliband tou two times aaya thaa…….. 4… 5 calls Washington se DELHI ki gayeein………. CHINA …. indirectly involve huwaa ……
    tou ye Jang hotay hotay reh gayee……..

    ye kiya saabit kerta hai ????????

    INDIA HUMSE ABB DARRTA NAHI…………………… APKA DUSHMAN AAB APKAY DARRAWAY SE OUT HO GAYA HAI….. HAMARI FOJ itni hee Pappu thi……… tou USA, UK SAUDIA ko involve kiyu kiyaa????


    • MB for Indian COAS.

  10. keyani when are these drone attacks by the americans going to stop how many more people are going to die before this happens north waziristan is part of pakistan after all
    enough of your grand speeches and rhetoric ACT ON THE DRONES ISSUE and stop this slaughter of the innocent civillians in north waziristan for god sake
    nujat pakistani pakhtoon patrioc

  11. // I dont know why PKKH deletes my comment. I will paste again //

    and now my views :

    Starting from 1947 PAK ARMY used to be a highly professional ARMY once but ever since 1965 when the victory in war got onto their nerves they started spreading their wings (though it had started in 54 but not openly) and along with corrupt bureaucracy and INCOMPETENT too over power in a bloodless take-over. Their cause helped by the even more corrupt politicians whose conduct always empowered THE GENERALs with enough of justifications for the take overs. For now eve if we assume they did it to save the country every time, the “END EFFECT” is this ABSOLUTE POWER corrupted the military minds in a bad manner and they actually forgot article 6 in constitution completely and probably start considering themselves the OWNERs of this country and not servants. This became very apparent when they turned the ARMY into a “class” in parallel with the normal upper-middle-lower classes.

    The bureaucracy on its way decided to side with them too and the politicians just became puppets for the PINDI circus. This unchecked POWER swept the ARMY officers completely and by 1080s the “PROFESSIONAL PART” in young officers started dying, obviously with exceptions, and they started taking EACH AND EVERY decision w.r.t country’s foreign policy, internal gov structure, elections, politics, religion etc.

    This decline got even more worse when dollars started pouring in 80s and after 2001. While we became nuclear and equip ourselves with some long range missiles, FROM inside our ARMY was getting weak and weak, day by day. The proof of which is the heavy casualties PAK ARMY has to face in this WoT since 2001.

    Pindi looks to be the “susral” of the AMERICANs now and each day some USA UK diplomat can been seen meeting KIYANI etc. This is all because we have exposed our national dignity to the AMERICANs and they have come to know how to buy our “guardians”. Their task being made easy by our economic condition.

    The INDIANs are thinkinig in terms of WORLD POWER and look where we are standing, INDIA-CENTRIC ??

    This statement by Kiyani goes to show enough how far we have been left behind by the INDIA in each field, our only hope being some nukes and missiles ?

    No matter how much we glorify our patriotic egoz the truth remain what the writer has said i.e

    [ ” it was easy to draw some conclusions: Pakistan won’t countenance a significant role for India in Afghanistan; New Delhi’s recent military pronouncements worry Islamabad immensely; the gains from backchannel diplomacy, launched during Pervez Musharraf’s rule, need not necessarily be the starting point for Islamabad now; and Kashmir remains Pakistan’s principal focus. ” ]

    We wasted 30 years, trillions of dollars/rupees and thousand and thousand of Afghan lives and PAK men/women/children to get what ? NOTHING

    And INDIA got everything without wasting a single bullet through diplomatic means.

    Like my friend says above , our EMOTIONAL attitude vs INDIANs cool head – Thats the bottom line in NEW SOUTH ASIA


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