Pakistani military issues defensive statement after Corps Commanders meeting

Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations directorate, the public affairs branch for the military, issued an unusually long and highly defensive statement today that summarized the latest Corps Commanders Conference. The rambling statement by the ISPR addressed the bin Laden raid, criticisms of the Army, the relationship with the US and US aid, operations in the tribal areas, and other issues. The statement is peppered with long sections that are in bold.

In one section, the ISPR said that the corps commanders are upset over parliament’s criticism of the Army in the wake of the May 2 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and issued a thinly veiled threat that the commanders would no long tolerate such statements [emphasis in original]:

Any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the Country is not in our national interest. The participants agreed that all of us should take cognizance of this unfortunate trend and put an end to it.

There is also a fairly lengthy exposition of the Army’s views on the rumored imminent operation in North Waziristan. According to the ISPR, General Kayani, the Chief of Army Staff (and defacto ruler of Pakistan) “informed the participants that the Army was following a well thought out campaign plan and is under no pressure to carry out operations at a particular time.”

The full text of the statement is reproduced below in case this bizarre document is removed from the ISPR website [emphasis in original]:

139th Corps Commanders Conference was held at the GHQ on 9th June 2011. COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired the meeting. The participants were given a comprehensive briefing with special reference to internal security, terrorism, role of the media, the society, and all organs of the state to comprehensively address the ongoing challenges that the Country faces, and military to military relationship with the US. COAS also apprised the Forum about his interaction with various foreign visitors, military as well as civilian, who met him after the Abbotabad incident.

While reviewing the internal security situation, the participants voiced their concern on the blowback of the Abbottabad incident which has resulted in the upsurge in terrorism and consequent loss of innocent lives. It was concluded that all law enforcement agencies, though trying their best to cope with the situation, need to be more focused and proactive and Army will be there to extend all possible support. The participants noted with regret that despite briefing the Joint Session of the Parliament and deferring the ultimate findings to the Commission appointed by the Government, some quarters, because of their perceptual biases, were trying to deliberately run down the Armed Forces and Army in particular. This is an effort to drive a wedge between the Army, different organs of the State and more seriously, the people of Pakistan whose support the Army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists. COAS noted that in order to confront the present challenges, it is critical to stand united as a Nation. Any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the Country is not in our national interest. The participants agreed that all of us should take cognizance of this unfortunate trend and put an end to it.

The Forum was informed by the COAS that military to military relationship with the US has to be viewed within the larger ambit of bilateral relations between the two countries. It had to be assessed afresh in the backdrop of 2nd May incident as well as the dictates of the Joint Parliamentary Resolution passed on 14th May 2011. In this regard, aspirations of the people of Pakistan also need to be taken into account. In line with the demands of these important factors, Army has drastically cut down the strength of US troops stationed in Pakistan. It needs to be clarified that Army had never accepted any training assistance from the US except for training on the newly inducted weapons and some training assistance for the Frontier Corps only. Even that has ceased now. The Forum was informed by the COAS that economic rather than military aid was more essential for Pakistan. In line with the position taken in Pak-US strategic dialogue in Mar 2010, it is being recommended to the Government that the US funds meant for military assistance to Army, be diverted towards economic aid to Pakistan which can be used for reducing the burden on the common man. Paying tributes to the resilience and sacrifices of valiant people of Pakistan, the participants assured the Nation that Army will do its utmost and continue to sacrifice for the security and well being of the people.

The participants were also informed about the extent of intelligence cooperation with the US. It has been decided to share intelligence strictly on the basis of reciprocity and complete transparency. It has been clearly put across to US intelligence officials that no intelligence agency can be allowed to carry out independent operation on our soil.

News about military operations in NWA also came under discussion. COAS informed the participants that the Army was following a well thought out campaign plan and is under no pressure to carry out operations at a particular time. Future operations, as and when undertaken, will be with political consensus. He, however, called upon the brave people of NWA to evict all foreigners from their soil and take charge of their land and destiny once again. He emphasised that it was wrong, in principle, to allow others to use our land for fighting their battles. This must not be allowed. Army in NWA is committed to supporting the people of NWA in this effort. As far as drone attacks are concerned, Army has repeatedly conveyed to all concerned that these are not acceptable under any circumstances. There is no room for ambiguity in this regard. Government is making necessary efforts in this direction.

COAS also informed the forum that the often quoted figure of US $ 13-15 Billion utilised by the Army in last ten years is misplaced. Under the head of Coalition Support Fund (CSF), against a total sum of US $ 13 Billion expected from the US, only US $ 8.6 Billion have been received by the Government of Pakistan. The Government has further made available only US $ 1.4 Billion to the Army over last ten years. A relatively smaller amount has gone to Navy and PAF as well. The rest i.e. approximately US $ 6 Billion, have been utilised by the Government of Pakistan for budgetary support which ultimately means the people of Pakistan (The figures quoted here have been reconciled with the Ministry of Finance).

Participants of the Conference voiced extreme respect and appreciation for the sacrifices rendered by the troops for the security of the Country. They are putting their life at stake for the noble cause of defending their Motherland. Nothing should distract them from the job at hand. Their reward lay in the hands of Almighty Allah and in the prayers of people of Pakistan. The participants paid special tributes to the Shuhada, their families and the children. They reiterated their resolve to complete their mission and secure future of Pakistan, which undoubtedly lies in an Islamic Republic with a tolerant society in the true spirit of Islam, having no room for terrorism.

Pakistan’s internal situation is the most important factor and it cannot be relegated in priority. Army leadership reaffirmed its resolve to continue supporting the democratic system without any preference to any particular political party. It is also determined to lead the fight on terror in partnership with other law enforcement agencies and in line with the Constitution.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags:

11 Comments

  • gerald says:

    Got to hand it to the Founding Fathers for nipping this scenario in the bud.

  • Keith says:

    COAS? Sure its not CAOS?

  • Charu says:

    More self-serving veiled threats that show how nervous Kayani et al are at being challenged, however weakly, by their civilians.
    The fact is that the Pakistani military cannot take on the Taliban, not just because many in the ranks sympathize with them, but also because they are an incompetent fighting force. The army can intimidate its unarmed civilian society, but its Taliban Frankensteins will keep testing and probing its will to fight and they will eventually overrun the bases of these conniving fat-cat dictators who pose as professional army corps commanders. When this happens, the US, India and the rest of the world better be prepared to move in to eliminate their nuclear stockpiles.

  • villiger says:

    PakMil statement:
    “He, however, called upon the brave people of NWA to evict all foreigners from their soil and take charge of their land and destiny once again. He emphasised that it was wrong, in principle, to allow others to use our land for fighting their battles.”
    “Foreigners”!? Does that include Haqqani?
    Love that ‘brave people’ comment…. Its really like saying ‘good doggy, now don’t bite me’.
    What about the ‘brave’ Pak Army? Why doesn’t it feel the presssure, when it is calling upon the brave locals to do their job!
    These guys really think they are the cats’ whiskers, don’t they? Except that the world can see through their disguise of dyed hair and whiskers–all of them . What hope is there for Pakistan?
    Classic case of ‘too smart by half’, marching in locked-embrace (with your student terrorists) to self-destruction.

  • James says:

    As was said about Mussolini/Viche with similar dismay and disgust, with a ‘friend’ like Pakistan, who needs an enemy?
    TIME IS CRITICAL NOW.
    TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.
    As I’ve emphasized before what is needed now is some kind of an ‘Operation Valkyrie’ like back-up plan between US and India on what to do to Pakistan if worse comes to worse there.

  • naresh c. says:

    //www.dawn.com/2011/06/10/youths-murder-half-hearted-efforts-to-bring-killers-to-justice.html
    Have people seen how Pakistani military shot unarmed Sarfaraz Shah in Karachi yesterday? Pakistani military shot him point blank because he entered a residential area where military officers live. He kept asking for help after being shot.
    Were the men shooting the unarmed Muslim man RAW agents?
    Did they belong to Blackwater or CIA? Was it a fourth generation war? Or did all the men shown in the video belong to the patriotic Pakistani military?
    Search on youtube for ‘Young Man killed in Karachi by Rangers’. Be warned as this is not for the faint of heart. Viewer discretion is
    advised. The video shows the real face of Pakistani military. Any Pakistani who speaks out will be branded unpatriotic by the Ghairat Brigade and an Indian agent. I predict that the cameraman who shot the video will be killed by the patriotic Pakistani military soon, like Syed Saleem Shahzad. It isn’t an isolated shooting by a few rogue rangers. The culprits will not be brought to justice despite clinching video evidence because the military establishment will protect them.
    What will PR do for Pakistani military when they are killing innocent and unarmed Balochis, Mohajirs and Pakhtuns point blank? The same military that kills its own people hides foreign terrorists in Abbottabad.

  • Vienna,10-06-2011
    It is an non professional public relations effort by the army,
    not all the three services to get public support internally. It
    does not help improve matters. Only that should help Pakistan
    today is the armed forces return to barracks.Let the civilian
    government and law enforcement agencies do
    to the best
    of abilities establish law and order.
    For us non Pakistanis
    message is clear, Pakistani sovereignty
    deposited in the
    hands of gawd has been sunk in the Arabian
    Sea on weighted
    bag long before O/Usama Bin Laden

  • TDJ says:

    The Pakistanis need to learn that paragraphs are our friends. Fast!
    -Theo

  • Charles says:

    The Washington Post reports this morning that as part of confidence building efforts the US has provided the Pakistani’s with intel to grab AQ/Taliban munitions factories. Every time however, the Pakistanis show up at the factories–somehow the bad guys have abandoned the place.
    Its almost like — you know –they were tipped off.
    //www.washingtonpost.com/world/karzai-arrives-in-pakistan-for-reconciliation-talks/2011/06/10/AGzsWPOH_story.html?hpid=z1
    One can only hope that whatever intel the US gave the Pakistanis–it wasn’t so important that it couldn’t be thrown away. Because this would be no surprise.

  • kp says:

    @Charles: “One can only hope that whatever intel the US gave the Pakistanis–it wasn’t so important that it couldn’t be thrown away. Because this would be no surprise.”

    From the WP story: “both sites were considered poor drone targets because of the high potential for civilian casualties”

    As the story points out both IED factories were located so that drone strikes had a high probability of causing civilian casualties. So we couldn’t strike them.

    This looks like an interesting test with intel that we couldn’t action anyway. It’s also interesting that this has been “leaked” to the press to put pressure on Pakistan.

  • Charu says:

    According to Time magazine, Panetta showed Messrs Kayani & Pasha a time lapse satellite video of the camps being evacuated 24 hours after the Pakistanis were told. Unbelievable! This IS the definition of insanity!

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis