Kerry Lugar Bill and Pakistan Army

Former President National Students Federation

Former President National Students Federation

The Pakistani parliament is debating a controversial American bill, the Kerry Luger bill, which would provide Pakistan with US$ 1.5 billion per year over the next five years for democratic, economic and social development programmes. There are several conditions in the bill about military aid to check the involvement of state intelligence agencies in Islamic militancy and monitoring of nuclear proliferation through US mechanisms. The Bill was passed by the US Senate and Congress as well and now it is lying before the president for signature.

The Kerry Lugar bill was made public more than two months ago and opposition political parties and allied parties of the government of Pakistan were not happy with the conditions of the bill. The media was also very critical. There was a healthy debate in the media and other forums on the bill. However, when the bill was presented before President Obama for his final approval a statement from the sources in the Pakistan military circles aired on a television channel revealed that the army has reservations about the bill and was not happy with conditions pertaining to its intelligence agencies and non proliferation of nuclear technology.

The mood of the debate, which had been healthy, changed and voices began to malign the government, saying that it had sold out the sovereignty of the country. 160 million of the Pakistani nation clearly knows that it has always been Pakistan Army, in picture or behind the seen , who signed the pacts and Ordinances that sold the sovereignty of the country. Or the Kerry Lugar Bill itself is aginst the ceonomic integrity of Pakistan. No ecomomist in Pakistan and even USA can consider it a Trade MOU between Pakistan and the US. However, on the same day when the national assembly started their debate on the bill, which was a request by the leader of the opposition, the corps commanders of the Pakistan Army issued a statement showing its dismay about the Bill. The Pakistan Army, through a carefully drafted press statement, expressed their ‘serious concerns’ on some of the clauses of the bill that they believed would affect ‘national security’.

This statement was a clear message to the political forces that the army will not accept the Lugar bill in any shape or form. The statement has seriously dampened the debate and the army has once again shown its ability and willingness to interfere in the political issues of the country.

This issue has again put the people think that whether Pakistan is a State of National Seciruty or a Welfare State????

Prior to the army’s intervention, the debate on the proposed bill had been lively as the people themselves were voicing their opinions, which were mainly opposed to the Bill. But after the army’s statement the debate stopped abruptly and the people are now scared of hindrance in the development of the democratic way of dialogue and debate.

 According to the Constitution and the latest decisions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan the military has no right to usurp the constitutional rights of the people. It is nothing new for the army to poke its nose in the political and democratic affairs of the country. In the country’s history Pakistan has been under direct military dictatorship for 32 years and rest in an disguised form. Whenever political governments came in through free and fair elections the army chiefs never allowed the civilian governments to complete their constitutional terms.

The statement from the army generals, that if the parliament does not adjust itself to the army’s point of view the whole system will be dismantled, is alarming.

As this time, people are not going too accept another Martial Law and the movement can be violant as I foresee it after 2 year long Lawyer’s movment for the Rule of Law and Supremecy of the constitution. It is the time for the democratic and political forces to protect the country from the interference of the army in their affairs and take action against the army leadership, particularly corps commanders, for interfering in political issues so as to disallow elected representatives from performing their constitutional responsibilities.

This is the defining moment for leadership to decide if Pakistan is a State of National Security as dreamt by the Army Generals or a Welfare State as dreamt by Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah?

The Pakistan army should be contained through parliament to present their reactions through democratic and constitutional institutions and committees, not through their public statements.

We urge the parliament and government of Pakistan to constitute a high powered judicial commission to probe the interference of the army generals in the politics of the country and take the generals to task for using extra constitutional rather the right word will be the unconstitutonal methods to undermine and humiliate the democratic functioning of civilian rule. If the generals of the Pakistan army are not checked this time then there is the very real possibility of the derailment of the democratic way of governance.

I am voicing this concern that the people are already being resiliant by force, not by choice. There living standard has already made them fearless of everything and if this time, the people come of their houses, no phone call from a general to the political leadership, no container arrangement or no gun power will be able to stop them from reaching the capital and recontruct the state that has some connection with the people of Pakistan.


6 Responses to “Kerry Lugar Bill and Pakistan Army”

  1. mary Says:

    bravo Aami bhai. So good to see your blog. Looking forward to many, many more enlightening posts from your end.
    It is great to finally find an objective analysis of the notorious Kerry-Lugar without any mention of cliches like “ghairat ka sauda” etc. I agree that much of the hue and cry owes itself to the army’s attempts to undermine a civilian leadership much as they have done over the past 62 years. No such cries were raised when Zia and Musharraf received billions of dollars worth of aid nor have people any idea of the extent of money minted by the army higher ups during that era. And when someone like Ayesha Siddiqa tried to analyze Pakistan’s military economy (not instances of individual corruption mind you) you know how that story eventually unfolded.
    And if this is all about izzat, baigharati, let us not forget how our army has failed in every war they have made with the enemies. Other than our text books, pick any book on history and you’ll be told that we have lost all our wars with India. The only successful wars our army has waged have been against its own people and anyone with even a remote knowledge of history knows how our army has the distinction of perpetrating massive genocide of its own people in East Pakistan in 1971. Yet time and again a general will come up and have the audacity to tell us that we are not a people worthy of democracy. Then again what can you expect of a person who is trained to make his move through shooting and killing.
    I say bring on the bill. Why should we expect Zardari to suddenly harbour pious thoughts of ‘khudmukhtari”, he is merely following the legacy of his military predecessors.

  2. aambia Says:

    Very good analysis Mariam!!!

    Peeping into the history, we see some very interesting situations. Like in 1954 when Ayub Khan was not even in power goes to America and signs a military Aid Pact. Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan is killed even before that. Rawalpindi Conspiracy case is revealed in the same year. So, just think of an unseen power (at that time) who engineered Ayub Khan’s Martial Law. And a very important question is that why they (Americans) wanted a Martial Law? Against whom did they want to use the gun power and their dollars??

    Now see, if Rawalpindi Conspiracy was planned as it is told by their own controlllde media, just imagine how powerful the left could be that they had to use military against them. Hassan Nasir was captured in the same era and all the jails were filled with workers of the Communist Party. This brought DSF on the face and after another nationwide military operation, DSF was banned. But people like Dr. M. Sarwar and others kept the movment alive and so NSF had to come on the screen.
    Unfortunately, Communist Party’s leader Meraj Muhammad Khan joined hands with a person, who was first the minister of commerce in Ayub’s government and then the Foreign Minister in the same! So, a major part of NSF went with Z.A. Bhutto, who also had signed an NRO with America.

    In 1973 the constitution of Pakistan was officially declared Pakistan as an Islamic Republic. State tau Islamic ban gayei, magar log kafir hi rahey. Bhutto labeled the Communists as aethiest. He ordered Dilshad Najam Ud Din a Christian DIG to “shoot the bastrads” gathered around the Governor House, Lahore. But he refused and another Islam Loving Colonal did shoot the bastards and got 60 acres land.

    But, we the bastards didn’t give up. They had to put a ban on Student Unions, Worker Unions and Kissan Committies (Peasant Unions). Bhutto had to consider them a power and then Through America, General Zia took a strict action and fetched Mr. Bhutto to gallows. This might be another interesting information for you that when Mr. Bhutto was hanged, the Martila Law Adimistrator of the twin cities at that time was Col. Parvaiz Musharraf, who finaly became our 2nd last dictator.

    Needless to mention that the generals were being gratified in a big amounts. Zia made a lot of money to crush Northen Alliance in Afghanistan ad Communists in Pakistan. As a matter of fact, we failed and they remained suucessful in keeping the people away from political process. Till, Musharraf was caught by the lawyers in March, 2007 and people started thinking again about their role in the State!

    So, Putar, America believes expoilting through the Gun and Dollar both. Kerry Lugar Bill is one of them. We have listened so many statements from every body. But none of us (Civilian NRO Government, Military and Civil Itelligentia or Military Agencies) could say that “WE DON’T NEED YOUR HELP”. We need to trade with you. Open the gates of WTO for us, keep Black Water away from us.

    But we haven’t lost hopes putar! We are doing whatever we can. Now you are our energy and our hope. Our idea lives in you and so shall we we.

    Jang abhi jari hai…. dekhain kia guzre hai qatrey pe guhar honey tak!

  3. aambia Says:

    Hi friends.
    Taimur has a great contribution in the Black Coat Revoltion. Below are the commments received by Taimur Ur Rehman (Laal Band)

    Taimur Rahman 10 October at 15:10
    Here is an excellent article.

    Kerry Lugar Bill and the Conspiracy Theorists
    By Yasser Latif Hamdani

    The conspiracy-monger brigade of Pakistan is up in arms against the Kerry Lugar Bill. Hysterical shrieks are being heard from all corners against it. Those who had struggled for rule of law and democracy only a few months prior ago are now hailing the top brass of the Pakistan Army for taking a stand against this “anti-national faustian bargain”. All and sundry have denounced it as the worst compromise in Pakistan’s history.

    May I ask the gentlemen who have taken upon themselves to create this false national frenzy over this issue of immense national importance what it is in the bill that they feel “violates” national sovereignty? How can a legislative act of another country determining the terms and conditions on which they will help us be a violation of our national sovereignty? There are some points that need to be reiterated as they haven’t been mentioned enough times by those who matter:

    1. This Bill/Act to be is a US Legislation and not an agreement between Pakistan and the US.

    2. The certification clauses in the Agreement provide a way out for Pakistan whereby the US President and Secretary of State can effectively turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s failings if they please. There is no other way of looking at it.

    3. In the event that Pakistan does not fulfill any of the conditions, only military assistance may be halted, not developmental assistance.

    4. Nobody is forcing Pakistan to do anything that it doesn’t want to but let us consider what it is that is being asked of us?

    a. That there should be civilian control over the military. How is this against Pakistan’s interest or national sovereignty? Didn’t Mr. Jinnah say the same thing again and again? Don’t we as a people want the military to stay out of politics? If not what was Qazi Hussain Ahmad of Fitna Maududiat jumping about against Musharraf? Or is it that they want a military of their choice to itnervene? We have long asked the US to stop aiding military dictators. Now that they legally undertake it we are whining about it. How ironic!

    b. That Pakistan should not proliferate nuclear technology. How is that against our interest? The very concept of nuclear doctrine is based upon us having it and others not having it. How has our “national sovereignty” violated if we are asked that in order to get military assistance we ought to adhere to a code of conduct vis a vis nuclear weapons? Don’t we wish to be a responsible nuclear state?

    c. That Pakistan should not allow its soil to be used for terrorist activities against any other country. Do we not want Pakistan to be free of terrorism? Don’t we proclaim to be a peaceful member of the comity of nations? So long as we try our best, our friends in Washington will ensure presidential certification.

    Cheap and petty politics is being played on a non-issue. In the process the bogus “National Security” argument is being utilized to undermine Pakistan’s civilian democratic structure. It is therefore imperative that all civilian democratic parties realize that this false frenzy and conspiracy theory constitutes a grave threat to our existence as a democratic nation state.

    It may also be remembered that Pakistan has sought American aid from day one. Even the father of our country, Mr. Jinnah, was of the view that the Americans would gain from helping Pakistan but his vision was of collaboration of two democracies working for the peace and security of the world and in defence of democracy itself. Today the US is finally aligned with that vision because instead of helping military rulers, it has extended a hand of friendship to the people of Pakistan. Let us not shun this hand. Let us take as equals and let us refuse to be misled by rabble rousers who are making a mockery of our nation state.

  4. beenasarwar Says:

    Great to see this debate here, keep up the good work.

  5. yadu Says:

    As an Indian , a friend,I consider the above lines correct,powerful people in your army feed people’s hate towards us (India)and demand a major share of your welfare money from you. Any counter check is unacceptable to them.All these years Kashmir is remembered, Bangladesh is remembered.The India as an enemy is remembered.Hate is kept alive by all means.

    You have been emotionally exploited all these years at the cost of welfare of oridinery people of pakistan.

    We in India do not want more american money to be used against us.We want to keep our money for people, not to “upgrade” our millitery only.

  6. aambia Says:

    Thank you Beena for being a source of encouragement for us.

    I endorse Mr. Yadev Mehra’s comments that our Army has successfully created a hatred for the neighboring country, only to justify a highly inflated defense budget. I would refer to Mr. Khawaja Asif’s speech when the year 2006 budget was being presented. In that budget 300 million were demanded and given to the defense and only 18 million were given to the education, which already is in the extreme rotten form. The current issue of Kerry Lugar Bill also points towards the same issue


    Unfortunately, our generations are brought up under a bogus and fraudulent propaganda that Pakistan is under a severe threat from India. I can not comment before the happenings of 1954. But after this, the idea has been injected thoroughly to counter the rising of leftist powers in Pakistan (both East and West at that time), India and Afghanistan. It has been injected in our minds that Army is the only Savior from Indian aggression. Which aggression? Army could never relate.

    At times I wonder that we are made to weep on the division of 1971, though Bangladesh has always been a different entity in terms of geography, politics and many aspects of demographical sciences. But as a whole we are stopped by two nation’s theory or Pakistan Penal Code if somebody wants to weep over the division of 1947.

    At times I wonder if a religion can be a source or a reason of federation, why are there 56 different Islamic countries.

    Bangladesh’s major export is Textile, Jute and textile finished goods and an interesting fact is that Bangladesh imports 80% of cotton from India. Bangladesh is the biggest competitor of Pakistan in free market of apparel.

    But, unfortunately we apply two nations theory with India, where we do not have any difference of customs, cultures, the development of politics and if we talk about the history, it’s the same. Adding to this we do not apply two nations theory on Afghanistan, and the excuse given is the religion. If I peep into the history I can easily see in 997 a Ghaznavi invading my land and looting 6.5 tons of Gold. But we teach our children that the said “But Shikan” i.e., idle breaker was a Muslim Hero! We never revealed that the same Ghaznavi taxed the traders of Baghdad and revolted against the Baghdad Caliph. In 1979, Zia brings heroin and Kalashnikov to Pakistan from Afghanistan and we call them Mujahidins, brother Muslims. Everyday, we die on the streets, on the roads and in our offices by the same brother Muslims yet, two nations theory is not applicable on Afghanistan.

    I am not against Afghani’s at all. Not at all, as there are so many still in Afghanistan dieing for independence. We share a brotherhood of death with those Afghanis, exactly as we share a brotherhood of exploitation with the workers of Calcutta Jute Mills. We share a brotherhood of struggle with all Latin American peasants. We share a brotherhood of blood with the Catholics being murdered in the United States of America.

    It has also been feeded in our minds that China is our best friend and India’s worst enemy. But an interesting fact is that a reasonable Sino – Indian trade pact was signed year 2000 and as a result India is getting a huge trade surplus by exporting Iron Ore to China and in 2002 Parnab Mukher Ji signed a Defense Pact with his Chinese counter part and we never reported of any human right violation from Sino – Indian border.

    And Kashmir, which has always been an independent state. One is called Indian held Kashmir, while other is Pakistan held Kashmir. In this situation, where do the people of Kashmir stand?

    These are the questions my friend that need to be replied with a louder voice. In last 4 decades, army has promoted a culture of an a-politicized society. The Army – Mullah – Imperialist trio thinks that by putting an end to main political cadre, the progressive element is a gone story. As a matter of fact they have a good analysis. But if we keep up our thought process, no gun can stop us from achieving a welfare state for our people. This hatred can be halted and this exploitation can be stopped.
    I welcome, your comments!

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