Monday, September 17, 2007

ORF Pakistan Update: New Generals on the Block

ORF's Wilson John has a new article on likely contenders for COAS.


At 2:20 PM, Blogger maverick said...

So, it looks like Nadeem has been promoted to DG ISI.

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Could you explain why you think that Nadeem Taj's promotion will cause trouble?

What about the promotion of Mohsin Kamal to Lt Gen and his appointment as commander X Corps? Isn't that a bit unusual?

At 2:44 PM, Blogger maverick said...


Mohsin was FCNA. It is not unusual for someone from FCNA to go on to become 10 Corps Commander. Like Majid before him, Mohsin is a face known to the Americans.

My notes suggest that Nadeem has been promoted a little bit too fast in under 7 years he has made Lt. Gen. and that too on loyalty basis. There are others (look for PA numbers starting with 144) who have been promoted in a similar fashion but Nadeem is too closely identified with Musharraf.

I feel that the fast promotion cycle and the proximity to Musharraf will alienate Taj from the ISI organisation.

Kiyani's shift was expected.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


How has Musharaff pissed off the ISI so that someone too closely identified with him would be resented as its DG? Is it because that Musharaff's recent actions have caused the ISI to loose a lot of its political capital with the Islamists, the Tanzeems, and the Ulema?

Also, I should have clarified this in my previous post: The only thing that I found a bit unusual about Kamal's appointment was that a freshly promoted Lt Gen was made X Corps Commander. Nothing more, nothing less.

On the other hand, Kiyani's and Majid's shifts were not at all surprising. They seem to be on their way to becoming CJCSC/VCOAS, though I am not too sure on who will become what. I am leaning towards Kiyani as VCOAS.

On a related note, it seems that my dark horse candidate, Nadeem Ijaz, didn't get promoted to Lt Gen. So much for my family connection conjecture.

Finally, there is another bigger round of promotions, retirements, and reassignments coming up in a couple of weeks. That should provide more material.

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What do you make of the move to create three geographic commands in the PA as an intermediate layer of command between GHQ and the nine corps?

At 7:51 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Anonymous,

The ISI is not a monolith and we are seeing a lot of factional problems emerging now. I feel that an overt Musharraf loyalist is likely to be less effective at keeping an eye on things there than a covert one. If you remember what happened to Khawaja Ziauddin, you will see an illustration of my point. Then there is the Nirala episode which I am yet to grasp the implications of.

Mohsin has done a lot of work. He was in X corps during the earthquake. FCNA is larger than a division and more complicated in management terms because of adverse terrain. It is for all practical purposes a corps commander's job given the hassles involved in running it. And Mohsin is a nice clean shaven fellow who the Americans love photos of. He is a good choice for 10 Corps.

Ijaz is still DGMI.


The corps commander is supposed to manage political matters and maintain a fighting army. This is an unrealistically large workload.
A rearrangement makes sense.

May be eventually they will just create a political service inside the PA, you know like Arty, AD, Armor .. you will have a badge that says "political".

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I see your point about Ziauddin. When push came to shove he was completely ineffectual.

What is the Nirala episode? I do not recall anything off hand with that reference.

Thanks for the info on Kamal. I forgot that an FCNA is no ordinary Maj Gen.

Lastly, when did officers in the PA above the rank of Maj Gen start taking fighting a war seriously? Isn't there too much money to be made in other things to be distracted by such things?

P.S. - You should take a look at Vikram Sood's latest oped. Pretty harsh language.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Anonymous,

It seems that a relative of Nadeem Taj (s/o owner of Nirala sweets) was allegedly involved in the death of two month old child in Lahore. Some sort of cover up was carried out by local authorities and Nadeem's name got dragged into it. I am not sure I understand what happened exactly or what the implications are.

I think that fact - that no one above Maj. Gen. is serious about fighting - may be driving force behind the reorganisation.

Yes, I read Sri. Sood's paper.

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info on the Nirala incident. I did not know any of that.

How would creating an intermediate layer of command between the Corps Commanders and GHQ help in getting the focus back to actual warfare among the senior ranks? I don't see the Corps Commanders giving up their political powers in order to focus on actual warfare. Given a choice, they would do the exact opposite.

At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry about this additional post. I forgot to mention this in the last one:

One of the reasons I brought up Vikram Sood's oped is that in it he mentions an incident where the PA suffered ~100 killed in a single engagement. When did this happen? Information on a loss of such magnitude would be hard to seal completely suppress, even with ISPR doing its usual to hide casualty figures. Some sort of whispers and rumors would have come out. Have you come across anything that I may have missed?

At 7:59 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Anonymous,

The regional commanders would be responsible for military preparation and then corps commanders would be responsible for political administration.

Yes there was an incident of that nature. I have no idea what really happened there. I suspect that the protective shell of FC units around a PA Garrison was penetrated by subversion and the PA officers were killed.

I suspect that a far larger number of Zarrar company people are dead then ISPR would have us believe.


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