Junior army officers and Larry Pressler

A radicalised army cadre that still harps on  perceived unfair discrimination by one US senator two decades back is only living in denial.

There’s not a Pakistani junior officer that doesn’t know who former Senator Pressler is, and there’s not a junior officer in the U.S. military that knows who Senator Pressler is. ~Admiral Mike Mullen

Admiral Mullen said he was stunned in early 2008 when he was invited to speak to a group of 30 Pakistani war college students at the US embassy in Islamabad. The majority of the questions were about Pressler amendment, which was passed before most of the students were even born.

He was referring to 1985 legislation sponsored by former Senator Larry Pressler, South Dakota Republican, which banned most economic and military aid to Pakistan unless the U.S. president certified, on an annual basis, that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear explosive device. The so-called “Pressler Amendment” also required U.S. aid to be significantly reduced if Pakistan tried to attain nuclear weapons.

In October 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush could not make the certification when it became apparent that Pakistan was pursuing nuclear weapons. As a result, the United States withheld $1.2 billion worth of military equipment already purchased by Pakistan. Relations plummeted as the administration considered having Pakistan designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. More sanctions were imposed when U.S. officials asserted that Pakistan was receiving missile technology from China.[Washington Times]

Pressler amendment was surpassed by other legislations of the US senate in 1995. Pakistan became a declared nuclear weapons state in 1998. It created Taliban in the 1990s and placed them in control of Afghanistan which eventually provided strength to al Qaeda. The Islamisation of its society, rise of fundamentalism in its army, lack of a democratic tradition in its polity, a crumbling economy and institutionalised support to jehadi terrorism have made Pakistan a failing state today. To blame its failures on an ex-Senator instead is not only doltish and inordinately naive of the officer cadre, but ample proof of their state of denial.


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7 Responses to Junior army officers and Larry Pressler

  1. Sanjay January 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    The Pakistanis don’t seem to get that they benefited from the Pressler Amendment (originally called the Reagan-Bush amendment), because it removed US Congressional oversight of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons progress, and ceded it to the Whitehouse, which was more apt to turn a blind eye. None of these junior officers has any knowledge of the Symington Amendment, which shows their own myopic blinkered lack of depth.

  2. Kaps January 10, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    More than anything else, this attitude shows how the nation builders in Pakistan think. For them, it is an absolute necessity to build their society and nation on a pack of lies. Right from teaching of history in class rooms to modern diplomacy, Pakis seem to thrive on lies. I wonder if it has something to do with religion which tells you that all others are responsible for your troubles. The persecution complex seems to pervade the majority of those responsible for nation building.

  3. Maverick January 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    @ all,
    i think, we dont give the pak armed forces their due. they have done wonderfully so far, given the circumstances. they have manged to keep india engaged without war, all this time. we need a radical out of box thinking to outwit them. lets face it, they are arming themselves better and faster than us, w/o the inherent delays associsted with our system. also, w/o any scientific base, they have managed equality so far as nukes are concerned.
    its time we did the same to china as pak is doing to us.

  4. heretic January 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Failed State ? Mostly right but some anecdotal..

    About 7 years ago a Brit mfg company gave me, a small time importing biznesman, a free air, rail ticket to check out their stuff. Wouldn’t have made it to the rail stn King’s Cross in time in the QQQ ed up traffic early morning but when I, a Punjabi Indi told the taxi driver who turned out to be a Punjabi Paki that you got to do something he drove subcontinental style through the outraged stiff upper lip angrezs and got me there JUT. Last month on a similar free trip to the Germandesh met a Paki Punjabi on the factory assembly line who stalled work much to management annoyance to greet me in the Pb. lingo grand dad spoke. Looks like the failed state has not 100% succeeeded in embedding hate at least in the NRP quotas.

    The P/Mil will not let go of course of their employee P/Desh but – there is the outside chance – as one of (their) Pb ministers curiously observed – that if they do, say in 2047 — all the trains in the subcontinent will not be enough to handle the cross border traffic and trade.

  5. Agentx January 14, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Mr. Lerry served its country with best practices required at that time but if you turn the perspective and thing about Pakistani point of view, the young boys are absolutely right. This was not Pakistan who cancled the agreements even those for which payments had already been made. Pakistanis are totally right in this context.

  6. Bangash Khan February 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    The Pressler Amendment failed to stop Pakistan’s nuke program because it penalized the country for developing nukes while ignoring Pakistan’s regional compulsions. The US also ended up stealing Pakistan’s money and not delivering on the F-16′s. This all happened after Pakistan had spent the entire 1980′s assisting the US in expelling the Soviets from Afghanistan.

    Pakistanis view Pressler amendment is a huge treachery against them by so-called allies.

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