Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Pakistani Caligula


It seems recently the Great One has taken it upon himself to comprehensively tick off each and every senior military officer he can possibly think of.

First Janaab has written that priceless book detailing exploits that I am too polite to say anything about. As if that was not a sufficient insult to the Pakistani Martial Mind, Huzoor has gone two steps further and openly insulted his former batchmates. Ofcourse when Mahmood Ahmad wrote his book on the 1965 war, the Mighty One ordered all copies bought immediately.

Secondly, with great foresight Baloch and Okrazai were put into their respective towns. Both could have played a serious role in keeping things under control, but now thanks to the Bugti affair and to this latest mess in Bajaur, I wonder how these two gentlemen feel about the Greatest Muslim General since Khalid Ibn Walid. The Crore commanders are apparently complaining that they don't get paid enough to take this kind of crap.

Thirdly, sone pe suhaga, the removals, the arrests, the court martials and the executions. Too numerous to count. What sort of impression will these leave in the minds of people? Under these circumstances when something happens as it might to A. Q. Khan what will people think? Will this also have to be explained?

How long will it be before everyone realises that he had told everyone the same thing? Apres Moi Le Deluge?

With pretensions of being the greatest gift to Allah since Jinnah and having told the Americans that he is Pakistan's Lincoln, I fear our neighbourhood Caesar is turning into a Caligula.

10 Comments:

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Nitin said...

What do you mean "turning"?

The only ones who should be surprised are those who convinced themselves that believing what Musharraf says will make their problems go away. That works for everyone: inside and outside Pakistan.

 
At 2:50 AM, Blogger mukunda said...

hi maverick,
mushy is not pakistan's lincoln, but pakistan's saddam hussein. Gold only know how many wars this guy will provoke.

 
At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you know the disreputable forum has uncovered that Mian Mushy is a deep cover RAW agent? Explains everything, no? :P

Jokes apart, the latest AQ strike was something like Caligula's "invasion" on Britain right? Or is it such a mess?

-A K

 
At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maverick,

It seems that Musharaff has hit upon a rather novel way of suppressing dissent and opposition to his rule in the only quarter that matters in Pakistan, i.e. the military establishement:

Not too infrequently, a "coup attempt" comes to light with very few if any details of the supposed coup attempt given out, the alleged ring leaders arrested, held incommunicado, subjected to secret military trials, and then executed. Even staff officers upto the rank of Colonel are not exempt from this sort of arbitrary arrest and detention. I wonder if the flag rank officers will find themselves on the chopping block one day.

I also wonder why Musharaff feels safe enough to go after military officers in this manner. Even by his standards, this seems too cocky a thing to do.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Nitin,

Well, you see when Musharraf came to power, it was in a "bloodless coup". Musharraf went to great limits to show that he is not like Zia who as you know muzzled dissent and shut down newspapers and then hung Bhutto by his neck.

I don't know if you recall the spin from DC in 1999, but it made Musharraf seem like a knight in shining white armour. Today we are seeing blood stains everywhere, and most of the blood is that of Pakistani Army men who oppose him.

A far cry from Kargil when they were ready to die upon his word. Now they don't have a choice, they must die whenever he wants them to.

As you probably know Zia would routinely uncover plots to kill him. All these were supposedly Soviet or Indian inspired and this was routinely fed to the American led press at the time. The most damaging one came a year or so before Zia's mysterious plane crash. Several dozen army men were accused of having plotted to kill Zia Ul Haq. You might even remember that one of the key plotters was Ayub, apparenty some kind of narcotics feloow and he later exposed the attempt on Zia's life in exchange for some pecuniary benifit and several dozen army people went to jail as a result of that. Zia accused India of doing something to encourage the event.

Musharraf is unfortunate, he cannot accuse India of trying to kill him, if he does that it will equal to admitting that he does not have the balls to use his nuclear weapons.

Mukunda,

Don't you remember him talking to Ikram Sehgal? telling him how He (Musharraf) was "Lincoln", there was some book on the mantlepiece that he was reading it had lincoln's name in it and Musharraf immediately told Ikram that Musharraf was just like Lincoln.

I wondered which moron in the US was gullible enough to believe that.

Anonymous,

I have heard many things that are untrue said on the disreputable forum. Those of us who want to keep our reputations intact do not visit such places.

Good analogy the "invasion" of Britian. The problem isn't how many soldiers that are killed in the invasion, it is perception that Caligula is willing to expend the lives of his men to keep himself in power. When one relies on a praetorian guard to keep one in power, how is this a wise move?

The world wonders.

Anonymous,

I suspect that those killed are insignificant people with no real traction within the flag officers. As I understand it, the flag officers are hand-picked by Janaab himself. He keeps them happy with all manner of payoffs so there is little interest there in anti-Musharraf activity. Their competence may be questionable but their loyalty will not be. Also every attempt is made to keep their interests clearly defined, do if anyone has a brother or an uncle that is closely involved in narcotics trafficing etc... then he is kept away from any flags.

This is the way Musharraf keeps himself secure. Occasionally he kills some non-entities here and there and lets the rumor mills tilt. This keeps any flag officers with excess ambition in check.

Ever so often a fellow like Safdar, or Alvi is put out of action. This keeps anyone else from getting too many ideas.

 
At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maverick,

While on the Roman theme and talking of praetorian guards, who exactly serves as Mushraff's praetorian guard these days?

For a long time now, I have had the suspicion that the SSG's Musa company that was equipped, funded and trained by the Americans post 9/11 ostensibly for counter terrorism operations is in reality Musharaff's private bodyguard provided for by his benefactors wanting to protect their investement.

Also, one hears of a similar sized American equipped, funded, and trained helicopter borne air assault unit within the SSG. Perhaps there is a connection between the two?

Ofcourse, there is always the 111 Inf Bde to provide an outermost ring of protection around Rawalpindi in case people start getting funny ideas about replacing Musharaff.

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Anonymous,

It will have to be someone he knows very well. I suspect that it is probably someone from his days in Kamal Company (ex 2nd bn SSG now allegedly attached to 1st bn SSG). I think the story goes that as a junior officer Musharraf was once standing in line in the mess waiting for a cup of tea. The tea was of very poor quality and he was disgusted and turned his cup over spilling the tea on to the floor. Upon seeing this act by their commander, the entire company threw their tea on to the floor. It is said this act of indiscipline almost cost Musharraf his career.

There are two units, the so-called Spider CTU, which I suspect is a screened version of Musa company and then there is the SOTF, I have no idea what its exact composition is. I suspect that both units are company size. Both units are attached to the SSG HQ and can be reconstituted at will.

Your guess is as good as mine at this point.

 
At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maverick,

Why do you think did Musharaff come up with this idea of publishing what is most likely a ghost-written memoir? Why now and why this? It makes little sense unless the purpose of the whole exercise was to go on a tour and put on a dog and pony PR show for his western (mainly American) audience. Even then, there are less laborious ways of organizing a three ring circus than pusblishing a book.

 
At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maverick,
It is good to see you back in form :).

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Anonymous,

That is a very good question. I don't have an answer to it.

He did it and that is all we know. Every Pakistani dictator is known to leave a panegyric of his time, so this is just tradition but why the elaborate farce? perhaps his fetish for looking good in the media?

Possible answers but nothing credible.

I am beginning to feel that at some level he relies on media attention to keep afloat. Postive or negative media reactions are what he needs to stay up there.

 

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