Pakistan’s government admits it has no control over military, ISI

The Pakistani government has admitted to the country’s highest court of law that it has no control over its own military, thus telling us what we’ve already known. From Dawn:

In a late night development on Wednesday which added yet another twist to the memo scandal, the federal government, through the Ministry of Defence, conceded before the Supreme Court that it had no operational control over the armed forces as well as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

A one-page reply by the defence ministry said it was not in a position to submit any reply on behalf of the armed forces and the ISI.

Earlier on Dec 15, the government had submitted its reply on behalf of the ministries of interior and foreign affairs. It requested the court to dismiss the petitions over memo scandal.

The filing of the reply by the defence ministry has heightened apprehensions, with many interpreting it as a telltale sign of friction between the civilian arm of the government and the military over the memo matter.

By the way, this helps explain why Ahmad Mukhtar is never mentioned when issues of Pakistan’s national security are discussed. Nor do US officials court Mukhtar when attempting to influence policy in Pakistan. Mukhtar is Pakistan’s Minister of Defense. Since the civilian ministry has zero influence over its own military, he is an afterthought. If you want to try to influence policy in Pakistan, you go to the real power brokers: General Arshaf Kayani, the Chief of Army Staff, or Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. Even Prime Minister Gilani and President Zardari are just window dressing for the Pakistani military.

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

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  • Ravi Shastry says:

    Lack of control over the defense establishment had been known to everybody except to the US policy makers, who in the past have strengthened the hands of thuggish Generals against the civilian administration by pouring billions to the Pakistani Defense establishment. Pakistan is owned by the defense establishment and civilian administration is used as whipping boy whenever things go south in that country.

  • mike merlo says:

    re:R Shastry
    US policy ‘makers’ have ALWAYS been aware of who & what controls Pakistan. It’s well documented.

  • Charu says:

    Duh!!! Everyone knows that Kayani and Pasha are the Dons who are really in charge of Pakistan. Everyone else is purely window dressing with just enough plausibility for the US to pretend otherwise. And nothing that the ISI does is not first cleared by the family. This includes the decision to shelter OBL at Abbottabad, as well as the choice to arm and aid the Taliban attacking our troops, the terrorist attack on Mumbai, the murder of Saleem Shahzad, and the nuclear proliferation WalMart that was pinned on AQ Khan, to mention just a few. Even Benazir Bhutto’s assassination may be linked to the family (when Don Musharraf was heading it). The current manufactured outrage over the killing of 24 soldiers, and the disruption of NATO supplies that followed is also orchestrated by this Mafia family.
    And just like the Mafia was taken down here, the US needs to take down this rogue family by going after its ill-gotten assets by every possible means; their accounts and properties in the Gulf states and the West, their family members in the West who are laundering this money, their access to IMF and World Bank funds, their ability to travel freely abroad, etc. We should even consider monitoring and blockading ships going to or leaving their ports, just as we do for the North Korean mob.
    And no apologies for the border incident! They shot first at NATO, and so they suffered the consequences.

  • Muhammad Imran says:

    Didnt these thuggish Generals were used to be sanctioned/approved from US before being promoted to higher ranks !?!

  • flloyd says:

    so we are in a secret war with iran for 30 some odd years and now we have been in a secret war with pakistan for about 10 years now why dont the political leaders in the US just tell the people the truth about this fact and then we can go at these enemys full tilt.

  • Last Man says:

    Most of the Generals can be housebroken, they are in their peak earning years after all and know how to look out for number one, themselves. The Islamized Colonels, Majors and Captains are the sticky wicket. The only leverage over this sizable block of pious middle ranking officers is violent coercion by terrorist acts of war criminality or put another way we adopt the methods and take on the warrior ethos of the World War Two Greatest Generation. A shock and awe campaign of bombed officer housing to maximize officer family casualties begins to address the problem. Hey if these officers are the wellspring from which morning newspaper page one pictures of bombed and bloodied Afghan Hazara infants flow and their comrades in arms Al Qaeda proclaim the same fate for our infants then why not theirs? Happy Holidays.

  • GR says:

    As stated the American government essentially works with whoever controls Pakistan…wouldn’t go so far to say it’s a government.
    Unless Pakistan gains control of the military it is more likely than not Pakistan will at some point become the central focus on the war with radical Islam…


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram