Friday, May 11, 2007

Tanvir Ahmad Khan's article - Fissures within the Pakistani State

Foreign Secretary (r) Tanvir Ahmad Khan has written an article on the prevailing situation in Pakistan. The article is a wonderful summary of the state of things in Gen. Musharraf's reign. In the article he says,

Pakistan needs a new compact between army and the political class, a serious redefinition of civil-military relations. The present movement has not as yet attained a critical mass to force Musharraf to write this compact. But national interest demands that he should lead this transition rather than preside over political regression.

Secy. Tanvir Ahmad Khan is echoing the tone of what another member (now departed) of the disreputable forum stated many moons ago,

Pakistan will collapse when the Army, the Mullahs and the Drug Barons cannot reach a workable contract.

Such a situation could easily arise when the Army and the Mullahs demand revenue from drug transactions for conflicting political aims.


At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Could you expand a bit more on the following:

"Pakistan will collapse when the Army, the Mullahs and the Drug Barons cannot reach a workable contract."

The way I understand it, the Army depends upon the Mullahs to lend it its Islamic credentials. The Drug Barons depend upon the Army to provide it with security and logistics in return for a cut of the profit and the means to covertly channel money and arms around the region. It helps that a lot of the Drug Barons are in the Army or are closely related to senior officers.

What I am coming to is that I don't fully understand how dissatisfied Drug Barons can upset the equation. If push comes to shove, the Army Drug Barons can make a move to eliminate the non-Army Drug Barons and fully integrate the Drug enterprise into the Army.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger maverick said...


The money flow is complicated but yes it is as you say, the Drug lords pay the Army protection money, the Army pays of the Mullahs to get Islamic credentials.
Ultimately the Army and the Mullahs directly and indirectly tax the transit economy in narcotics.

The Army will have to pay more to retain its islamic credentials in the current environment. The Mullahs will have to charge more otherwise the Islamists on the street will turn against them. The problem of having millions of young pissed off men on their streets is something not even the Mullahs like very much.

If the Army attempts to restructure the trade, then more people will dislike them and the Mullahs will have to charge more for approvals.

A situation where the fees for a political approval from the Mullahs continously rise does not favour the Pakistan Army. The rising costs will simply cause the Drug lords to seek an alternative arrangement with the Mullahs and that means the primacy of the Pakistan Army in a key economic sector will decline precipitously.

I notice that the "emergency" term is being bandied about, to deal with the breakdown that Tanvir Ahmad Khan is talking about. This suggests that the CJP situation is proving to be a handful. I suppose this is one thing that Musharraf can't blame on the Mullahs directly. He mishandled the CJP thing all by himself without any assistance from the Mullahs. If he goes to the drug lords now and says pay me more money so that I keep the Mullahs out of my hair, they will ask him how much of the money is actually to pay off the politicians he has pissed off. I wonder what answer Musharraf will give for that question.

Tanvir Ahmad Khan's statement about the "tipping point" is curious. Tipping point to what? there is only one relevant tipping point in Pakistani politics where the military can no longer remain the sole arbiter of power in Pakistan. Is Tanvir Ahmad Khan indirectly alluding to that point having been reached? or is he deliberately trying to provoke fears that such a point might be reached?

It is difficult to read anything of value into that.


Post a Comment

<< Home