Exhorting Pakistani troops to fight the jehadis

Three idea picks for senior Pakistan army officers.

Listen to the whispers and you won’t have to hear the screams. ~Cherokee saying

Some formations of the Pakistan army, along with the poorly-paid and ill-equipped Frontier Corps, are engaged in counterinsurgency and counter-terrorist operations in northern areas of Pakistan. In a conversation with The Acorn, an intriguing idea came about. How would a Pakistani brigade commander or division commander exhort his junior officers or soldiers to fight the Taliban? Here are three options as to what a senior Pakistani commander’s rationalisation for such action to his officers and soldiers could be.

Option #1 — These jehadis have nothing to do with Islam. They are a part of the Christian-Hindu-Zionist conspiracy and a front for the enemies of Pakistan: India, US and Israel. So, don’t look at them as your religious brethren but only as an extension and mirror image of our arch-enemies. Thus, act against the jehadis as if you attacking an Indian from across the border.

Option #2 – We are a poor country– due to certain geographical and historical circumstances — as we have been victimised by the world for a long time. We need economic help from the West, especially the US, and thus we need to show that we are acting against the jehadis. We have nothing against the jehadis but we have to depict some action anyhow. So, you will have to portray some hard action against the jehadis.

Option #3 — There is a contradiction between the idea of Pakistan and the belief of the jehadis. The idea of Pakistan as a homeland for Muslims of South Asia is being threatened by the conception of a medieval Islamic empire that these jehadis aspire for. If we have to save the idea of Pakistan from being strangulated and destroyed by these jehadis, we must take them on with all our might — military and ideological — and eradicate them for ever.

The US wants the Pakistan military commanders to use the third option to effect a turn around in this war against the jehadis. But realistically the best course that the US can hope for is the first option. However, the soldiers would soon see through the false premise expounded by their commanders once they come across jehadis  — attired in a traditional way and ostensibly living as per the hardcore version of Islam — that have nothing to do with India or Israel. Thus, some of the commanders might have already moved across to exercising the second option and those who are on the first option would also have to eventually move over to the second option.

This conclusively points to only one thing. Eventually, there is a single entity that the US (and India) have to confront in Pakistan: the military-intelligence-jehadi complex.


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16 Responses to Exhorting Pakistani troops to fight the jehadis

  1. Mangusta May 5, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    The men are likely to be asleep (with their eyes open!) by the time the brigade commander is halfway through any of the options. And I’d give my right arm to know what they think of the divisional commander’s diction!
    Instead, how about ‘rule of law’, ‘writ of the state’, to name a few simple straight forward ones.

    This is going to be a long war (best case scenario) in which leading from the front by regimental officers will matter rather than pep talk. People, in a CI campaign, are the factor. They invariably go for the side that is winning. So, psyops should come only after destroying the organised fighting capability of TTP.

    You are giving to much credence to religion. Once the battalions get on their grids and the real shooting starts, the campaign is likely to take a life of its own. What the PA requires is to get a Vareingte of their own. Fast.

    BTW, what is Mullen using to motivate his pongos in Afganistan?

    “This conclusively points to only one thing”…… that the US is the big bully that we need to match up to.

  2. k_ram May 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    Pakistani leaders need to introspect as to the causative conditions that have brought this nation to the present impasse. Unless the soul searching is done, what we are likely to see is that the slow poisoning that has been happening since the Zia days will be taken to the logical conclusion i.e. Pakistan emerging as a rogue nation and being the epicentre of instability for the entire South and Central Asian region. India will of course continue to suffer but the Chinese mentors should also start worrying.

    At the cost of being impolitic, IMHO that the debate of Pakistan would ultimately be extended to the main root of the problem –
    What is the place of Islam in the 21st century?
    Will this question be debated seriously by the Muslim intelligentsia?
    The all or nothing position of Islam and by extension everything else that came into being at the birth of this religion makes it impossible for a practising muslim to look at his religion critically.
    Judasim and Christianity went through violent convulsions before attaining stability. Stability, in essence, came with the division of thought between a majority of moderates and a minority of extremists with the moderates winning over. The ‘Book’ was also reinterpreted and adapted to allow for modernity.
    Till such time the centrality of the thought that the ‘Book’ is not open to liberal interpretation and the clergy is not to be questioned by the laity, medieval justice will continue to prevail and the world will be all the worse for it. The problems of AF-PAK and of the balance of the Islamic world will keep till this renaissance happens!

  3. Kannan May 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Pakistan army Taliban are one and the same thing..
    Today it is one strike corps hitting against another..
    So its a difficult thing to sell to paki soldiers..assuming
    pak officers are “willing or able” to do that..

    To my mind..Pak Army’s fight with Taliban is a martial dance..to impress Americans..until they lose their guts and run from Afghanistan..

  4. Amit May 6, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    Pakistan is a failed state !!
    On a more sombre note , With the Pathans accounting for almost 30 % of Pakistan Army ,many commanders on the field being of the same ethnic stock as the insurgents , a propensity to use religion ,namely Islam , as a motivating force for their troops as a result of skewed pakistani policy of making Islam the state religion !! and what have you ? A disaster in the making or a full blown disaster ?
    Will Pakistan win is not the big question , but how long will pakistan survive is the more relevant one.

  5. Living Martyr Lt Col Veteran May 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi rejoice, for those who are fed on the nourishment of ferment of religious fever. Please read my comment some time back on this blog on the break up of Pakistan Army being the weakest link in this complete muddle. A muddle created by design by the Paki establihment to have a dream of strategic depth of security against us(INDIA) in the form of acquiring Afghanistan.Lets us be very clear TALIBAN is not an American creation, it was created after the American withdrawi in early nineties to fill up the vacuum in the area of interest not only by ISI but both by PAK ARMY assited by MULLAHAS and PAKI GOVT from the fertile grounds around Bhawalpur and Multan.

    Before I proceed read my earlier comment somewhere else on this blog

    4.Living Martyr Lt Col Veteran
    March 10th, 2009 at 11:11 pm War for survival for Pakistan is a matter of time now. No doses of adrenal is going to ward off the demise and Balkanisation of the region encompassing Pakistan and Pakhtunistan,it is already under way. How and when may not be discerned at this stage but the weakest link in this compendium,at this stage to be ,unbelievable, is Pakistan Army. The foundations of destruction of Pakistan Army were laid ,even before it was evolved into existence. The reasons for this is the very concept on which the state of Pakistan was created. The imponderable issue of crisis in Pakistan Army to day is to find a delicate balance between religion and nationalism. It is for certain now that regional , tribal loyalties mired by religious shroud of TALIBS have over taken the apolitical national spirit of the armed forces, specially at the mid & PBOR level . SWAT is the test case, others will follow to make safe sanctuaries for further talibisation and balkanisation


  6. Dr K Prabhakar Rao May 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    Dear Living Martyr

    Wishful thinking indeed.

    Dr K Prabhakar Rao

  7. Dr K Prabhakar Rao May 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm #


    Pakistan is a real failed nation
    It is burning like a fire grate
    It is awaiting the tragic day
    While it was founded on the grounds of hate

    It is now at the mercy of Taliban
    Who are reday to hijack the nation
    They want to take back to medieval days
    Jihad is their motto and wa and fashion

    Soon Pakistan would break up
    And sure to fade away into dark pages
    All would play the music of joy
    While what would remain is only few images

    Dr K Prabhakar Rao

  8. Ranter May 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    Pakistan’s military oligarchy can’t afford to discredit the militant concept of jihad just yet; mobilizing the masses through the call for jihad remains the final card to be played in the contest with India. Calling the Taliban Jews is both unbelievably silly, boneheaded, yet revealing. This is the level of mentality that exists among senior Pakistani army officers. Expect the PAKs to quickly disavow this propaganda. I’m afraid America is failing to perceive the average Pakistani need as much protection from the Army as they do the Taliban.


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