Military Review

Army and state in Pakistan. Part of 2. Armed forces become allies of fundamentalists

The political and socio-economic crisis in Pakistan at the end of 1960-s led to the fact that the president (Field Marshal Ayub Khan) in 1969 was forced under pressure from the military elite to transfer power to the Chief of Army Staff General Yahya Khan. Aga Mohammed Yahya Khan Kyzylbash (1917-1980) was of Kyzylbash origin (the Turkic Kyzylbash tribes were resettled to the lands of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 18th century from Iranian Azerbaijan, here they assimilated and merged with the local population, having lost their language). After graduating from the University of Punjab, Yahya Khan received military education at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and in 1938 he began his service in the forces of British India.

He served in the Pashtun-populated North-West Frontier Province, and during World War II he fought as a part of British troops in North Africa, the Middle East and Italy. When British India was divided into India and Pakistan in 1947, the Muslim Yahya Khan transferred to Pakistani armed forces, where he made an impressive military career. During the Indo-Pakistani war 1965 of the year, he commanded an infantry division, and a year later, in 1966, he was appointed chief of staff of the Pakistan Army.

The representative of the military elite, Yahya Khan decided to act as tough as possible in order to stabilize the political situation in Pakistan. He imposed martial law in the country, abolished the Constitution, dismissed the deputies of the National and Provincial Assembly. 31 March 1969, Yahya Khan was proclaimed the new president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. But as ruler Yahya Khan was not very competent, and he didn’t really want to lead the country. Already in 1970, he analyzed various options for transferring power to another person. In December 1970, the first general election took place in Pakistan. Their results were very negative for the central authorities. The fact is that 160 from 162 places allocated to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) was obtained by Awami League under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This political organization fought for the maximum autonomy of East Pakistan, which was extremely dissatisfied with the central leadership. In the Western Pakistan, first of all in Punjab and Sindh, the Pakistan People’s Party, led by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who spoke from the positions of Islamic socialism, won. In East Pakistan, performances of the local population began, leading to an uprising and intervention by the army.
The army units transferred to East Pakistan, which were led by General Tikka Khan, acted extremely harshly against the local population. No wonder Tikka Khana (in the photo) was given the nickname "The Butcher of Bengal". However, in response to the tough actions of the Pakistani army, armed detachments of Bengal insurgents stepped up resistance. India was fully supported by the Bengalis, who in the winter of 1971 entered the war with Pakistan.

General Yahya Khan, in this difficult situation, went to the dissolution of the government and the dismissal of all the governors, whom he replaced by military commanders. Decrees were issued to ban any political activity and to impose censorship of the press. Indian air forces bombed Rawalpindi and a full-scale war began. World powers openly demonstrated who they support. So, the Soviet Union supported India, and the United States and China - Pakistan. The geographical remoteness of East Pakistan from West has done its job. Pakistani troops in Bengal were surrounded in the Dhaka area and surrendered. Over 75 thousands of Pakistani soldiers were captured in India. 17 December 1971, the Indo-Pakistani war is over. A new state formation has appeared on the map of South Asia - the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

The collapse of the country dealt a severe blow to the political authority of General Yahya Khan. Mass demonstrations began in Western Pakistan demanding the resignation of the country's president. In the current situation, the president did not have any options to keep his post - after all, his criticism was made by almost the entire political and military establishment of Pakistan. 20 December 1971, Yahya Khan resigned as President of the country. So ended his short stay in this position, and in Pakistan history the general entered as the most unfortunate president. Later, Yahya Khana was blamed not only for defeat in the war with India and the collapse of the country, but also for the abuse of alcoholic beverages, excessive interest in women, that is, they shaped his image as a person completely unsuitable for the leadership position of the president of the country. After Yahya Khan’s departure from the presidency of the country, for the first time after the three first presidents — Generals Iskander Mirza, Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan — the civilian - popular politician Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became the new head of state. He, however, had the determination to place the disgraced former president Yahya Khan under house arrest.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979) came from a very rich Muslim family, a representative of the Indo-Muslim political elite. Received an excellent education in the US and the UK - at the University of California and Oxford, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a diplomat for a long time, served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, and in 1967, he founded the Pakistan People’s Party. Its ideology was reduced to the theses "Islam is our religion, democracy is our form of government, socialism is our economic system." Zulfikar Ali Bhutto embarked on economic reforms, and in the field of foreign policy he focused more on cooperation with Islamic countries of the Arab East. In domestic politics, Bhutto headed for the Islamization of the country, banning alcohol, casinos and nightclubs.

In 1973, a new constitution was adopted in Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took the post of prime minister, retaining full power in his hands, and Fazal Ilahi Chowdhury (1904-1982), an authoritative Pakistani politician and veteran of the Muslim League, became president of the country. But the presidency was now representative, so Chowdhury actually had no opportunity to influence the policies pursued by Prime Minister Bhutto.

Despite the fact that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a purely civilian man, he showed such rigidity as the head of state that was not characteristic of all three generals who held presidential posts before him. Bhutto took a number of measures to neutralize possible conspiracies in the ranks of the military elite. So, he created the Federal Security Forces — autonomous paramilitary forces subordinate directly to the president. In addition, the posts of the commanders of the branches of the armed forces were abolished, and instead of them, according to the American model, the types of the armed forces were headed by the chiefs of staffs, and the armed forces as a whole - the Joint Committee of Chiefs of Staffs. Secretary of State for Defense became Zulfikar Ali Bhutto himself. However, placing the posts of senior military commanders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto made a fatal mistake. One of the most loyal generals seemed to him Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq, who in every way demonstrated his ostentatious political apathy and presented himself as an ardent opponent of any interference by the army in the political life of the country. In the end, in 1976, Bhutto appointed Zia-ul-Haq as chief of staff of the Pakistan Army.

General Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq (1924-1988), like many other high-ranking Pakistani officers, was a hereditary soldier. His father served in the army of British India, and Zia-ul-Haq, who graduated from the Indian Military Academy and participated in combat operations against the Japanese in Indonesia, Malacca and Burma during the Second World War, began his military career there. In 1955, Zia-ul-Haq graduated from the Higher Staff College in Quetta, then trained in the United States. However, until a certain point his career could not be called rapid. In the 1964 year, in the 40 years, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was sent as an instructor to headquarters in Balochistan. Only in 1966, he became commander of an armored division. In 1975, Major General Zia-ul-Haq served as commander of the 2 Army Corps stationed in Multan. Zia-ul-Haku was helped by natural cunning and a favorable political situation. Bhutto, believing his seemingly apolitical, chose the 52-year-old major-general and in 1976, made him chief of staff of the ground forces, assigning Ziya-ul-Haku the rank of lieutenant-general.

In March, the Pakistan People’s Party won the regular election 1977. The opposition did not recognize the election results and began unrest, to which Prime Minister Bhutto responded with repression. Under these conditions, General Zia-ul-Haq realized that the time had come to act. 4 July 1977, a military coup occurred in the country. All power was in the hands of the military. 5 July 1977 Ziya-ul-Haq was proclaimed Prime Minister, a year later also took the posts of Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and in September 1978 was proclaimed President of Pakistan. 4 April 1979 of the year was hanged out by ex-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was in custody. Under the leadership of Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistan became a real military dictatorship.

It was during the reign of Zia-ul-Haq that not only did the cooperation of Pakistan with the United States of America in the military sphere deepen, but also intensified Islamization began. The army, formerly an instrument of deterrence for religious fundamentalists, began to ensure the transformation of fundamentalism into the state ideology of the country. This Zia-ul-Haq sought to find support among the many conservative layers of the Pakistani population. In parallel with the Islamization of the state, manifested in the introduction of Sharia norms in the laws of the country, Islamization of the armed forces also took place. She was associated with the regular processes of personnel renewal of the Pakistani military elite. By the end of the 1970s, the officers and generals who began their service in the British colonial troops before the independence of Pakistan were declared were at least 50-55 years old. They retired in droves. Younger soldiers came to command posts, whose development and career proceeded already in the period of the existence of independent Pakistan. In contrast to the officers of the first wave, who came from families of the aristocracy and had a good British secular education, many younger officers were from well-to-do families of merchants and farmers. The ideas of religious fundamentalism reflected their own views on the structure of society, and they were brought up in more religious families than traditional aristocracy families.

Islamization of the country affected the change in the military doctrine of the Pakistani army. The concept of jihad was actively introduced, and military professionalism was tied to religiosity. Zia-ul-Haq believed that a Pakistani soldier can fully disclose his professional qualities as a soldier only if he is the most religious person. The Islamization of the army led to the further popularization of military service among religious fundamentalists. In addition, with the filing of US intelligence, the Pakistani army has become one of the most important patrons of radical fundamentalist organizations operating in Kashmir and in the territory of neighboring Afghanistan.

When, in 1979, the USSR introduced a limited contingent of troops into the territory of Afghanistan, Zia-ul-Haq turned Pakistan into a base to house the camps of Afghan Mujahideen. The Pakistani army has become a major ally of the Mujahideen, giving them full support - weapons, ammunition, instructors and advisers, material and technical base. Prisoners of war were sent to the territory of Pakistan - Soviet soldiers and officers, Afghan soldiers - NDRA supporters. Everyone knows the tragedy in the Badab camp in 1985, where the uprising of Soviet prisoners of war took place.

Army and state in Pakistan. Part of 2. Armed forces become allies of fundamentalists

Thus, we see that the Islamization vector of the Pakistani armed forces was set at the end of 1970-x - the beginning of 1980-x. General Zia-ul-Haq and led to the transformation of Pakistan into the main strategic ally of the Afghan Mujahideen. The closest ties were established with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are the main sponsors of the Islamic revival in the countries of the Middle East and Africa.

On August 17, 1988, General Zia-ul-Haq died in aviation disaster. Together with him, the ambassador of the United States of America and the head of Pakistani intelligence were killed. From the very first days, the catastrophe was associated with the targeted elimination of Ziya-ul-Haq. The Pakistani secret services, through the media, were pushing hard the version that the KGB of the USSR had arranged for the elimination of Ziya-ul-Haq as revenge for the events in Badaber. After the death of Ziya-ul-Haq, the country was headed by Senate Chairman Gulam Ishaq Khan (1915-2006), a politician close to Zia-ul-Haq who is a chemist by profession. Gulam Ishaq Khan sought to preserve the model of political structure set by Ziya-ul-Haq, but the symbiosis of the armed forces and fundamentalists that had formed during the reign of the general was gradually weakening. Nevertheless, in the first half of the 1990s, Pakistan continued to provide support not only to the Afghan mujahideen, but also to the religious fundamentalist organizations that became active in the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia. The army and special services played a crucial role in this support.

Продолжение следует ...

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  1. Vladimirets
    Vladimirets 30 August 2016 15: 15
    "It was during the reign of Zia-ul-Haq that not only Pakistan's military cooperation with the United States of America deepened, but intensified Islamization began."

    This is about the US love of democracy and freedom around the world. Yes

    "The Pakistani special services through the media strenuously pushed the version that the liquidation of Zia-ul-Haq was set up by the KGB of the USSR - as revenge for the events in Badaber."

    This is too good to be true.
    1. avt
      avt 30 August 2016 16: 11
      The review is good, however
      On August 17, 1988, General Ziya-ul-Haq died in a plane crash. Together with him, the ambassador of the United States of America and the head of Pakistani intelligence were killed. From the very first days, the catastrophe was associated with the targeted elimination of Ziya-ul-Haq. The Pakistani secret services, through the media, were strenuously pushing the version that the KGB of the USSR had arranged for the elimination of Ziya-ul-Haq as revenge for the events in Badaber.
      The author should have noted one fact - it was the marshal then, it seems, well, maybe General Zia-ul-Khak, before, together with the chief of intelligence - the main executor in the creation of the Taliban movement, sat in the C-130 , which collapsed, offered the USSR quite a ZERO option - the USSR is withdrawing its troops, and Pakistan is tightening up the Islamists, who already then began to freak out in Pakistan itself, gaining military strength, and is not trying to overthrow the regime left in Kabul. wassat , did not make such a proposal and collapsed under its weight, burying the very possibility of the zero option.
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 30 August 2016 18: 28
      Quote: Vladimirets
      This is about the US love of democracy and freedom around the world.

      Heh heh heh ... You still remember who contributed to Ayatollah Khomeini's coming to power in Iran. How Carter pressed the Shah, demanding, under threat of sanctions, to end the persecution of the opposition.
      The Americans dreamed of a manual opposition to put pressure on the shah when distributing oil contracts. What they really did - everyone knows. smile
      1. Niccola Mack
        Niccola Mack 2 September 2016 13: 41
        For Americans, this is rather a standard situation!
        Planned puppets begin to live their own lives.
        Remember Bin-Laden (how bravely American brave American commandos shot a sick, half-blind old man without any protection - there weren’t even any thoughts to bring along and interrogate the terrorist attacks), Hussein (how he carefully closed his mouth in court and quickly hung around his neck - he was too much knew about Americans in the Middle East).
        The history of the change of figures by the Americans in South Korea and especially in Vietnam is very interesting. Who was asked for the good, who for the bad, and who (Park Chung Hee, Ngo Dinh Diem) was not asked anymore. And everywhere "patriotic officers" acted.
        American puppets in Central and South America America often began their game.
        But Manuel Noriega became a real unique. The Yusovites literally fed him with a spoon, raised him, made him virtually the president in Panama. He suffered when he methodically shot his opponents. The CIA paid him a salary.
        And he is ungrateful, not only did he send them away, but also led the Panamanian drug supply business in the United States.
        And the Americans themselves had to do (a terrible thing) the dirty work of organizing an intervention in Panama without any legitimate reason (although when it stopped them).
        It is better not to mention Africa at all - there is not enough space here even for a brief overview.
  2. certero
    certero 30 August 2016 17: 17
    Thank you for the article! Interesting information, but I would like to supplement in the form of any details about the army itself. For example, how many soldiers and officers are serving, what conditions, which military branches are considered prestigious, and the similar unknown side of the Pakistani army.
  3. The comment was deleted.
  4. timkoldun
    timkoldun 30 August 2016 21: 07
    Quote: Vladimirets
    the liquidation of Zia-ul-Haq was set up by the KGB of the USSR - as revenge for the events in Badaber. "

    shaitan general found his end
  5. mgero
    mgero 30 August 2016 23: 02
    jdem prodaljeni sps