Originally Posted by AgNoStIc MuSliM
A lot depends on what is considered " stable" with ref to Pak. Lets see this :
Option 1:Democratically elected Govt with all organs of the state " doing their own job" only.
. The experiments with democracy have never been successful thus far & have invariably ended with a Mil take over which is a two - step back situation.
Option 2;Military Govt
I am possibly stiring a hornets nest,but notwithstanding what ppl on this forum may feel, I feel Military has possibly been the greatest source of embarrassment to Pak. I say this for the following ;
a) The events in '47 -48 remained inconclusive ( you may argue that it " saved J&K"), but a job left incomplete is as good as not done - militarily speaking.
b) Ayub Khan's era
.Cannot comment on what he did internally, but it formalised military interference in Civ affairs which continues today- hence the uncertainty both internally & world wide. The failure of Op Gibraltar again speaks of poor performance & avoidable escalation of bitterness which resulted in dismemberment of the nation in the next conflict. Lahore was ‘ saved” only coz the military objective of the IA of reducing pressure on Akhnoor was achieved. Militarily speaking, capturing towns & cities does not make sense. Threatening a Hi value objective is sufficient to make the enemy recoil – this was achieved.
C ) Yahya Khan's period
. Barely needs to be commented upon. The sense of bewilderment the nation must have faced when being suddenly told that the Eastern Command has surrendered & the E wing of the nation has been lost forever closely following the propaganda that the war is as good as won can be fathomed. It speaks well of the nation for not having lynched those responsible and taken it in their stride albeit with a handful of salt.
d) Bhutto's PM ship
He did on the face of it stabilise a rocking boat. But then the Simla agreement signed as it now appears only with aim of seeking return of POW's & prevent war crime trials was glossed over later which is taken as an example whenever accords are signed / thought of with pakistan - Lahore declaration too was " cold stored" even while the ink was wet. Bhutto’s hanging by the next Gen showed a very " mean" streak in national polity which again speaks on its stability.
e) Zia Ul haq's times
He played his cards well or so he then thought. Gave Pak a uninterrupted period of governance. His actions on two issues weakened Pak immeasurably - encouraging religious fundamentalism at national & military level & involvement in afghanistan. While he played the afghan card well to secure best possible payoffs for Pak, he de - stabilised the nation( Kalashnikov Culture & beyond) & the region (J&K, afghanistan). Look back & see what did the nation achieve ? Some may rightly feel it was good & necessary but when compared with other national objectives of Governance where does it stand ? Would Pak have been better off without him ? He not only hung a PM but he hung democracy & power of the ppl to decide for themselves. The cancer that spread in his times is still being treated with indifferent results.
The period that followed thereafter BB - twice, NS could not succeed simply coz nothing grows in shade & saplings need time to grow. Repeated transplantations led to a Bonsai instead of a sturdy tree.
f) BB & Nawaz
Can't say much except that politicians the world over are mostly corrupt, appear in efficient and promote their kin. Its the people who decide if they return or go- not the military. Even as the Lahore declaration was being signed, intrusions were taking place in Kargil. It does not matter if NS knew it or not. Either way it showed the world how unstable & unpredictable Pak was. More so, the sanctity of the spoken or written word was violated again. It also brought up major Q's that is asked repeatedly - who is control in Pak ? How many centers of power exist ? Whom do you deal with ?
The manner in which NS was overthrown showed that plans existed for such a contingency ( stability, intrigue ..?). In his later years he became “deal able” to an extent. He however came with the credentials of a Gen who was disloyal to his Govt (pls do not take my remark otherwise, but a Mil man has to obey first & argue later unless the nation is at war & the integrity of the nation is at stake. Even then, he must account for his actions at the 1st available opportunity). What example can a Gen set to his command who has violated the basics himself- there cannot be two sets of rules , one for the General & another for the rank & file. This I may add applied to all – Ayub onwards.
The U – turn he made post 9/11 in hind sight showed him world over as a man who could not relied upon. Here is a man who would gladly let down a fellow muslim whom he swore to stand by . That to at the behest of US ? and.. get paid for it ? If he was not “ saga’ to his own kin / religion whom will he stand by ? What if China , Russia or any other country ( hypothetically) applied greater pressure & made larger threats .. would the US also be abandoned ?
Having unsuccessfully tried Kargil( another example of a military operation not ' thought of ' till its logical end), he then stretches a hand of friendship..would you trust someone like this ? Circumstances may compel u to deal with him but trust ..no. Did the world not see this ?
Personally, I think he was the most well meaning leader of Pak ( for Pak) in recent times. He had poor advisors( sacking of Judiciary, sham elections , etc) who fed him with falsehoods as Indira Gandhi was during the emergency in 75 -77.
The recent case of the PM issuing instructions to / on the ISI which were countermanded when he was abroad lead all to wonder again .. who is in charge ? what if some thing like this were to happen to the nukes ?
Effects on the region
Ask the average afghan how he feels abt Pak ..the border issue remains unsolved, it did not even support entry of Pak to the UN way back in the late 40’s. I do not wish to fight the afghan cause here but no one like to be taken for granted. Afghanistan was / is considered a part of the ‘ strategic depth’ of Pak in an Indo – Pak conflict. How would Pak have felt if Iran felt the same of Pak in an Iraq – Iran conflict ?
There has always been an underlying current of intrigue in the Pak polity . While this is known & expected of us S Asians & politicians are expected to horse trade but when the armed forces start doing this then who is left to save the situation ?
In any case, was the army any less corrupt than the politicians ? Only the deeds of the politicians were / are visible while ‘camouflage & concealment’ comes naturally to a soldier .
Internally , there are swathes of mountanious regions which were never under anybodys control.The border on the West has been violated regularly, no one knows who lives where & in which cave.
It is possible I have digressed at times, but what I want to say is that if all what I have mentioned above were indicators of a stable Pakistan, how much worse can an unstable one be for India ?
What diff will it make to India is Pak get de stabilized ? How much worse can things get ?