Gallup Survey Showed 75% of Pakistanis Welcomed 1999 Coup

On October 12, 1999, Pakistani military toppled democratically elected Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif. This action followed the Prime Minister's sudden decision to sack Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf and the Prime Minister's simultaneous orders to deny landing permission to the Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-200 that was bringing the Army Chief back to Karachi from Colombo, Sri Lanka. Polls conducted immediately after the coup showed broad public support for it. 

October 1999 Gallup Survey:

A Gallup poll conducted immediately after the coup showed that 75% of respondents supported the military takeover, while less than 10% supported restoring Mr. Nawaz Sharif's government. 

Gallup Pakistan Survey Report October 13, 1999. Source: Bilal Gilani


Benazir Bhutto's Reaction:

It was not just the ordinary Pakistanis who welcomed the coup that toppled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government. Here's how Pakistan's first woman prime minister late Benazir Bhutto reacted to it in 1999: 

"Here, a coup has taken place against an unpopular despot (Nawaz Sharif) who was hounding the press, the judiciary, the opposition, the foreign investors. And when he decided to divide the army, the last institution left, the army reacted. Without going into the justifications of who is worse and the frying pan or the fire, I would like to say 'let's move forward'. This is a very dangerous period for a country which has physical bankruptcy and I would like to urge the western community to stay away from Nawaz Sharif, he is not liked by the Pakistani people"    

Public Opinion Surveys:

There were frequent public opinion surveys conducted by multiple professional pollsters in Pakistan in the decade that followed the 1999 coup. One such credible survey was done regularly by Pew Global Research.  It showed that the majority of the people believed the country was headed in the right direction in Musharraf years. It also showed that people's satisfaction with Pakistan's direction has been in rapid decline. It fell sharply during the governments headed by the Pakistan People's Party. 

Source: Pew Research in Pakistan


Another survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan  in August 2013 showed that 59% of Pakistanis have a positive view of President Muaharraf (31%  say they hold a favorable opinion of him and another 28% say he was satisfactory). 34% had an unfavorable opinion of the former ruler. 

Pakistani Military's Popularity:

Multiple polls conducted over many years in Pakistan have consistently shown that the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis have high confidence in the Pakistani military. This is in sharp contrast to significantly lower levels of confidence they have shown in the country's politicians and bureaucrats. These results appear to reflect the Pakistanis' fear of chaos...the chaos which has hurt them more than any other threat since the country's inception in 1947. Indian Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has described this situation in the following words: "Despite numerous dire forecasts of imminently proving to be a "failed state" Pakistan has survived, bouncing back every now and then as a recognizable democracy with a popularly elected civilian government, the military in the wings but politics very much centre-stage .....the Government of Pakistan remaining in charge, and the military stepping in to rescue the nation from chaos every time Pakistan appeared on the knife's edge". Pakistanis are not alone in their fear of chaos. Chinese, too, fear chaos. "In Chinese political culture, the biggest fear is of chaos", writes Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani in his recent book entitled "Has China Won".   

PILDAT Survey 2015


2015 poll conducted by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development (PILDAT) found that 75% of respondents trust the country's military, a much higher percentage than any other institution. Only 36% have confidence in Pakistan's political parties.  


Gallup Poll Findings in Pakistan. Source: Gallup International

Here's a 2014 snapshot of how Pakistanis see various other institutions, according to Gallup International

1. Institutions - Less than one-third of Pakistanis have confidence in the national government, local police, and honesty of elections, and the ratings for those institutions have declined over the last six years. Pakistan's military is the one institution that has retained the confidence of an overwhelming majority (roughly 80%) of people in the country. 

2. Corruption - Eighty-one percent of Pakistanis see their government as rife with corruption. This is an increase of 13 percentage points over the last six years. 

3. Leadership - Approximately one in three Pakistanis approve of the leaders in the city or area where they live. Their approval of national leaders is lower - approximately one in five Pakistanis approve of them.

Why is Pakistani Military Popular?

The popularity of the military among Pakistanis' appears to reflect their fear of chaos. Pakistani military has helped the nation defy the most dire predictions of Pakistan's demise. Political, military, religious, ethnic, sectarian, secular, conservative and liberal forces are constantly pushing and pulling to destabilize it but Pakistan remains resilient with its strong nationalism that has evolved after 1971. 

A recent example is Pakistan Army's efforts to defend the state by its anti-terror operations Zarb e Azb and Radd ul Fasad that dramatically reduced the level of violence and significantly improved security in the country. It resulted in increased confidence of businesses, investors and consumers in the economy.  Another recent example is the military's active role in Pakistan's success against  pandemic caused by the deadly coronavirus

Terror Stats in Pakistan. Source: satp.org



Here's how India's ex cabinet minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has described Pakistani military's role in defending national integrity:  

"Despite numerous dire forecasts of imminently proving to be a "failed state" Pakistan has survived, bouncing back every now and then as a recognizable democracy with a popularly elected civilian government, the military in the wings but politics very much centre-stage, linguistic and regional groups pulling and pushing, sectarian factions murdering each other, but the Government of Pakistan remaining in charge, and the military stepping in to rescue the nation from chaos every time Pakistan appeared on the knife's edge." 

Pakistanis are not alone in their fear of chaos as being their biggest enemy. Chinese too fear chaos, as described by former Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani in his recent book "Has China Won":

"In Chinese political culture, the biggest fear is of chaos. The Chinese have a word for it: luàn. Given these many long periods of suffering from chaos—including one as recent as the century of humiliation from the Opium War of 1842 to the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949—when the Chinese people are given a choice between strong central control and the chaos of political competition, they have a reflexive tendency to choose strong central control". 

Summary: 

Pakistani military remains the most popular institution in the country, according to multiple polls conducted over several decades. In October 1999, the military coup against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was widely welcomed in Pakistan. A Gallup poll conducted immediately after the coup showed that 75% of the people supported the military action. Only 10% of the respondents in the poll supported restoring Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government. These results appear to reflect the Pakistanis' fear of chaos...the chaos which has hurt them more than any other threat since the country's inception in 1947.  Indian Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has described this situation in the following words: "Despite numerous dire forecasts of imminently proving to be a "failed state" Pakistan has survived, bouncing back every now and then as a recognizable democracy with a popularly elected civilian government, the military in the wings but politics very much centre-stage .....the Government of Pakistan remaining in charge, and the military stepping in to rescue the nation from chaos every time Pakistan appeared on the knife's edge". Pakistanis are not alone in their fear of chaos. Chinese, too, fear chaos. "In Chinese political culture, the biggest fear is of chaos", writes Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani in his recent book entitled "Has China Won". 





Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Benazir Bhutto in 1999: "Here, a coup has taken place against an unpopular despot (Nawaz Sharif) who was hounding the press, the judiciary, the opposition, the foreign investors. And when he decided to divide the army, the last institution left, the army reacted. Without going into the justifications of who is worse and the frying pan or the fire, I would like to say 'let's move forward'. This is a very dangerous period for a country which has physical bankruptcy and I would like to urge the western community to stay away from Nawaz Sharif, he is not liked by the Pakistani people".

https://youtu.be/paOPw8jCsLQ
Rashid A. said…
Here is the Text Book Definition of Deep State:

https://twitter.com/aadiiroy/status/1315761270306545669?s=21

The term Deep State is coined for ...
Riaz Haq said…
Rashid: "Here is the Text Book Definition of Deep State"

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/312605-schumer-trump-being-really-dumb-by-going-after-intelligence-community

Also watch this ex CIA guy talk about ISI: https://youtu.be/-ncg9ks-MQE

Put the two and two together to figure out what it all means
Riaz Haq said…
Breaking an old taboo, Pakistan begins to reckon with its powerful military


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-military-criticism/2020/10/21/fb2afbf2-1246-11eb-a258-614acf2b906d_story.html

Sharif shocked the country by denouncing the army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, at the first rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement. In a stunning departure from Pakistani norms, the three-time premier accused Bajwa of backing his removal from office on corruption charges in 2017 and rigging the 2018 elections. It was the first time an establishment politician had ever made such accusations.

“General Qamar Javed Bajwa, you packed up our government and put the nation at the altar of your wishes,” Sharif said in Urdu. “You rejected the people’s choice in the elections and installed an inefficient and incapable group of people,” leading to an economic catastrophe. “General Bajwa, you will have to answer for inflated electricity bills, shortage of medicines and poor people suffering.”

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There are also signs that some alliance members are not comfortable with Sharif’s anti-military diatribe. On Saturday, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and son of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, called the military establishment “part of history” and said it was “regrettable” that Sharif had mentioned any of its generals by name.

“We do not want their morale to go down,” he said of the armed forces. “We want a real and complete democracy, but we do not look to the umpire’s finger, we look to the people’s signal.”

Even Sharif’s outspoken daughter, Maryam, who lives in Pakistan and whose husband was arrested briefly Monday after the rally in Karachi, has stressed that she is not “anti-military.”

Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst in Lahore, predicted that while the current confrontation could weaken Khan politically, it might actually increase the military’s influence.

“Traditionally, Pakistan has been a security state whose survival was the foremost concern,” Rizvi said. He noted that even today, “inefficient” civilian rulers continue to rely on the army for emergency and humanitarian interventions.

“The political forces were always weak and divided,” he said. “Now this division is getting wider, which will harm democratic institutions, too.”

Riaz Haq said…
Kishore Mahbubani, author of "Has China Won?":

US media is insular

Major American newspapers and TV channels reinforce each other in US distortions about the world

Last 200 years of western domination is an aberration in terms of the long human history of the world. It is coming to an end.

Many American intellectuals and policymakers don't seen to understand that China does not do this.

https://youtu.be/E_CwYCIqEgg

When it comes to analyzing political systems, American analysts tend to veer toward a black-and-white view of the world: open or closed society, democratic or totalitarian society, liberal or authoritarian. Yet, even as we move away from an aberrant two-hundred-year period of Western domination of world history, we are also moving away from a black-and-white world. Societies in different parts of the world, including in China and Islamic societies, are going to work toward a different balance between liberty and order, between freedom and control, between discord and harmony. The Chinese thinkers were also once convinced that the only way to succeed was for China to replicate Western societies. This is why, at the moment of greatest despair for Chinese society, in the 1920s, many Chinese intellectuals said (like the Japanese reformers in the Meiji Restoration) that the only path ahead for China was to copy the West in all dimensions. The Chinese historian Chow Tse-tsung documents: “Lu [Xun] declared that the Chinese should live for themselves instead of for their ancestors. To learn modern science and Western knowledge was more important than to recite the Confucian classics. […] Rather than worship Confucius and Kuan Kung one should worship Darwin and Ibsen. Rather than sacrifice to the God of Pestilence and the Five Classes of Spirits, one should worship Apollo. […] Lu [Xun] was sincere from his realistic and utilitarian point of view; if the new was more useful than the old, he asked, in effect, why should one bother whether it was Chinese or foreign?”* One hundred years later, China no longer lies prostrate. It has stood up and become self-confident. After all the recent travails in both Europe and America, few in China believe that China’s destiny in the twenty-first century is to mimic the West. Instead, they believe China should follow its own road.


Mahbubani, Kishore. Has China Won? (pp. 164-165). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpts of "Has the West Lost It?" by Kishore Mahbubani

This is also why many Asian countries, including hitherto troubled countries like Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines, are progressing slowly and steadily. In each of these four countries, various forms of dictatorship have been replaced by leaders who believe that they are accountable to their populations. Many of their troubles continue, but poverty has diminished significantly, the middle classes are growing and modern education is spreading. There are no perfect democracies in Asia (and, as we have learned after Trump and Brexit, democracies in the West are deficient, too).

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Pakistan is one of the most troubled countries in the world. Virtually no one sees Pakistan as a symbol of hope. Yet, despite being thrust into the frontlines by George W. Bush after 9/11 in 2001 and forced to join the battle against the Taliban, ‘Pakistan experienced a “staggering fall” in poverty from 2002 to 2014, according to the World Bank, halving to 29.5 per cent of the population.’25 In the same period, the middle-class population soared.

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When countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan have begun marching steadily towards middle-class status for a significant part of their populations, the world has turned a corner. Indeed, the statistics for the growth of middle classes globally are staggering. From a base of 1.8 billion in 2009, the number will hit 3.2 billion by 2020. By 2030, the number will hit 4.9 billion,27 which means that more than half the world’s population will enjoy middle-class living standards by then.

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No other region can show such a sharp contrast between its dysfunctional past and its functional future, but Southeast Asia is not an exception. South Asia, another strife-ridden area, now probably has only one dysfunctional government, Nepal. As documented earlier, even Pakistan and Bangladesh are progressing slowly and steadily. In the neighbouring Gulf region, the news focuses on the conflict in Yemen. Yet, next door to Yemen, another nation, Oman, has been gradually making progress for decades. Oman’s per capita GDP has increased from US $9,907 in 1980 to US $15,965 in 2015.33

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Take the Islamic world, for example. They feel that the West has become trigger-happy since the end of the Cold War, and they resent it. Even worse, most of the countries recently bombed by the West have been Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This is why many of the 1.5 billion Muslims believe that Muslim lives don’t matter to the West. As indicated earlier, the West needs to pose to itself a delicate and potentially explosive question: is there any correlation between the rise of Western bombing of Islamic societies and the rise of terrorist incidents in the West? It would be foolish to suggest an answer from both extremes: that there is an absolute correlation or zero correlation. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. If so, isn’t it wiser for the West to reduce its entanglements in the Islamic world? Some of these entanglements have been very unwise. During the Cold War, the CIA instigated the creation of Al-Qaeda to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The same organization bit the hand that fed it by attacking the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001. Sadly, America didn’t learn the lesson from this mistake. In an effort to remove Assad in Syria, the Obama administration transported ISIS fighters from Afghanistan to Syria to fight Assad.58 To ensure that the ISIS fighters had enough funding, America didn’t bomb the oil exports from ISIS-controlled zones in Syria to Turkey. Through all this, America declared that it was opposed to ISIS. In fact, some American agencies were supporting them, directly or indirectly.59

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Riaz Haq said…
Riaz Haq has left a new comment on your post "Can Pakistan Effectively Respond to Coronavirus Pa...":

Full Q&A: ‘Rule Makers, Rule Breakers’ author Michele Gelfand on Recode Decode
Gelfand studies why some cultures desire rules, why others avoid them and what gets the best results.

https://www.vox.com/2018/11/28/18115426/michele-gelfand-rule-makers-breakers-book-recode-decode-kara-swisher-podcast

A distinguished professor at the University of Maryland, Gelfand studies why different cultures (in families, in different countries and within companies) accept different levels of rule-making. On the corporate level, she said an overly strict rule-abiding culture can lead to PR disasters like United Airlines dragging a paying passenger off one of its planes. But that doesn’t mean the inverse is the right way to go, either.



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I started seeing some of these contrasts, so I wanted to try to actually assess it with surveys first, in this case it was across 30 nations, try to put countries on a continuum. Even though all cultures have tight and loose elements, their rule makers and rule breakers, some cultures — in our data, Japan, Germany, Austria, Pakistan — had much stronger rules. And other cultures — like New Zealand, Netherlands, the United States in general, Brazil, Greece — they were much more permissive.

I was really interested in, why did this evolve? It has to have some functionality. So, I started measuring, as I was collecting this data across 30 countries, 7,000 people, the history of these nations. How many times has the place been invaded in the last 100 years? Japan has had a lot of conflict. Germany’s had a lot of conflict. United States, we’ve had our conflicts, but we haven’t been worried about Mexico or Canada invading us for centuries.

I also measured population density. How many people per square mile? Places like Singapore have 20,000 people per square mile. Places like New Zealand have 50 people per square mile, more sheep per capita than people. Even as far back as 1500, like, how many people were living in these places?

And I measured natural disasters, mother nature’s fury. How many times have you had to deal with disasters that other places don’t have to succumb to?

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I’ll just give an example. We did this very simple technique where we collected daily diaries from people in the United States and people in Pakistan. And they have really extreme stereotypes of each other. Pakistanis think Americans are half naked all the time. They don’t just think we’re loose, they think we’re exceedingly loose. Americans think Pakistanis ...

If they think of Pakistanis at all.

Yeah, if they know where it is.

And if they think of it in any way, whatsoever.

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right, because we’re really ...

“Aren’t they Indians?” You know ...

I mean, there was the question of like, “Where is that?”

Ugh, they don’t know where it is.

They don’t think about Pakistanis as playing sports or reading poetry. They think about them as excessively tight. So what we did was a very simple intervention to get them out of those echo chambers, because they just meet in the media. They don’t see each other for their daily lives. We randomly assigned people in Pakistan ...

They “meet in the media” is a really good point.

Yeah, they, I mean, we can easily within a week ...

“The media!”

They’re bad. Big bad wolf. We basically gave them, for a week’s time, in Pakistan, daily diaries of Americans. They were not edited, so people were still waking up with their girlfriends and still drinking more. Americans saw daily diaries of Pakistanis. They were still in the mosques more, but they saw so much broader range of situations that they were in.

By the end of the study, the cultural distance that they perceived between each other was dramatically reduced. The stereotypes that they had of each other was dramatically reduced, and they said things ...
Riaz Haq said…
مہینوں طوفان اٹھا رکھا تھا فوج نے 2018 کے الیکشن میں دھاندلی کروا دی. لندن بیٹھے میاں صاحب عرف چے گویرا ثانی فوج کی سیاست میں مداخلت کے خلاف جنگ لڑ رہے تھے، جیسے ہی NA 249 میں دھاندلی کا سامنا ہوا نواز لیگ نے بیلٹ پیپرز فوج کی تحویل میں دینے کا مطالبہ کر دیا. اللہ یقیناً الحق ہے

https://twitter.com/Asad_Umar/status/1389084615101517827?s=20

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#NawazSharif’s #PMLN promotes civilian supremacy but demands that NA249 ballots be given by #Pakistan’s Chief Elections Commissioner to #PakistanArmy’s custody

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dawn.com/news/amp/1621692


The Pakis­tan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday continued their war of words over the outcome of recently-held by-election on a National Assembly seat (NA-249) in Karachi as the latter submitted an application to the chief election commissioner (CEC) asking him to place election material, including ballot papers, under the supervision of the Army or Rangers.

The application was submitted by Miftah Ismail, the PML-N candidate in the constituency, after the PPP “welcomed” the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to stay announcement of official results for a recount, and asked the PML-N not to accuse the party of winning the seat with the support of the “establishment”.

The leaders of the two parties, in their statements, however, continued to attack each other with the allegations of having a covert support of the “establishment”.

PPP candidate Qadir Mandokhail had won the NA-249 by-election in Karachi by a small margin after securing 16,156 votes, while Dr Ismail had secured second position with 15,473 votes, according to provisional results released on Friday. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and PML-N had cried foul and subsequently rejected the results.
Riaz Haq said…
Meanwhile, the country’s military – always a key player in Pakistan’s politics – receives stunningly high ratings. Fully 87% say the military is having a good influence on the nation, up from an already high 79% in 2013.

https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2014/08/27/a-less-gloomy-mood-in-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Kishore Mahbubani makes several points in his interviews:

1. The United States with about 240-year history likes to pass judgement on China which has over 2,400 year history. What makes the US think China would listen to the American advice?

2. The West is in the habit of judging everyone, including the Chinese. The Chinese have just had the best 30 years of their history. Would the Chinese listen to the American advice on "democracy" and political freedoms after they have seen what happened to Russia when the Russians decided to adopt democracy in 1990s and their economy collapsed?

3. More than 120 million Chinese tourists go to other countries freely and willingly return to China every year. Would they return freely if China was an oppressive stalinist regime? The fact is that while the political freedoms have not increased there has been an explosion of personal freedoms in China over the last 30 years.
Riaz Haq said…
Gallup Pakistan
@GallupPak
·
4h
Ninety per cent or 9 out of 10 Pakistanis believe that it is very important to respect the army in order to be a true Pakistani, according to a recent poll conducted by Gallup and Gilani Pakistan

https://twitter.com/GallupPak/status/1466356861297434627?s=20

Ninety per cent Pakistanis believe respecting army is very important

https://www.bolnews.com/latest/2021/12/ninety-per-cent-pakistanis-believe-respecting-army-is-very-important/

LAHORE. Ninety per cent or 9 out of 10 Pakistanis believe that it is very important to respect the army in order to be a true Pakistani, according to a recent poll conducted by Gallup and Gilani Pakistan.

At the opinion poll on patriotism — released on November 25 – a national representative sample of adult men and women from across the four provinces was asked as to what degree he or she believes respecting the army is necessary to be a true Pakistani.

According to Gallup Pakistan, in response to this question, 90% people said it is very important; 7% said it is somewhat important; 1% said it is of very little importance while another 1% people said it is not important at all. One percent did not know the answer or provided no response.

Interestingly, slightly more rural respondents (92%) felt that it is very important to respect the army in order to be a true Pakistani as compared to urban respondents (87%).

The study was released by Gilani Research Foundation and carried out by Gallup and Gilani Pakistan. The recent survey was conducted using a sample of 1,730 men and women in urban and rural areas of all four provinces of the country from September 23, 2021 to October 8, 2021.

According to Gallup Pakistan the error margin was estimated to be approximately ± 2-3 percent at the 95% confidence level. The methodology used for data collection was CATI.

Talking to Bol News with regard to the poll, analyst Imtiaz Gul said if it was a representative survey then it obviously reflects public sentiment and hence people at large should keep this in mind when judging the armed forces. Foul-mouthing or casting aspersions on any state institution is bad anyway.

Dr Maria Sultan, a leading defence analyst and South Asian Strategic Stability Institute University (SASSI) director general, said the armed forces are the backbone of the country’s defence and the survey reflects the fact that it is a truly representative organisation that will stand for the people.

“Hence the faith in the institution is the reflection of this expectation that the armed forces represent a commitment to the country’s and people’s interest in line with our strategic culture,” she said.

Agreeing with them, senior defence analyst Lt Gen (retd) Ghulam Mustafa said a very important thing about Pakistan which people forget is the relationship of the armed forces with its masses.

For him, firstly, one thing which cannot be denied is that every fourth or fifth Pakistani is related to the army one way or another directly or indirectly. Either his brother, sister or relative is part of the army because they are aware of what the army is doing for them, he said.

Read more: Lt Gen Nigar Johar’s appointment as AMC col commandant ‘matter of pride’, says COAS

“On the other hand, the army, about which it is said that they are spending a lot of money, also knows how they are doing gigantic tasks in such a limited budget.

“Secondly, this relationship of masses and the armed forces should be seen from another perspective as well that if one brother is a general or lieutenant general his brother could be a sepoy which speaks volumes about the merit of this institution as in the army the sons of sepoys can also reach the rank of general which is not possible in any other department or institution of this country.

“Even the masses are aware that in the army if a father is a general it is no guarantee that his son or daughter will also become a general. Due to all of these reasons the masses have a huge amount of respect for the armed forces,” he said.


Riaz Haq said…
Excerpt of Our Man, Richard Holbrooke's biography by George Packer

Pakistan’s generals, not its politicians, defined the national interest. General Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of army staff, and General Shuja Pasha, head of the ISI, were Punjabis from the lower middle class. The military offered a path upward to hardworking Pakistanis like them, and it taught them to despise the civilian politicians as privileged, selfish, undisciplined. Kayani was a chain-smoking golfer with a strategic mind that remained stuck in the 1950s, when the existential threat to Pakistan came from India. He had studied at Fort Leavenworth and admired the U.S. armed forces. He had all the time in the world for his American counterpart, Admiral Mullen, who made twenty-seven trips to Pakistan as chairman of the Joint Chiefs and always dined alone with Kayani at his house in Rawalpindi, the cantonment city next to Islamabad, patiently trying to understand what Pakistan wanted from the United States. Kayani had less interest in seeing Holbrooke.


Packer, George. Our Man . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Riaz Haq said…
Remarks by President #Biden at Virtual Meeting on #Military Deployments Supporting Hospitals for the #COVID19 Response. #POTUS said: "We were joking earlier — no, it wasn’t really joking: When you need something done, call on the military" https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/01/13/remarks-by-president-biden-at-virtual-meeting-on-military-deployments-supporting-hospitals-for-the-covid-19-response/?utm_source=twitter via @whitehouse

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everyone. I want to begin by thanking the Secretary of Defense and our FEMA Director for joining me today. We were joking earlier — no, it wasn’t really joking: When you need something done, call on the military. (Laughs.) We’ll get FEMA — we’ll make sure it gets done.

Look, we’re about to get a COVID-19 briefing from military and medical teams on the ground in Arizona, Michigan, and New York. They’re part of a major deployment of our nation’s armed forces to help hospitals across the country manage this surge of the Omicron virus — this surge that’s having an impact on hospitals.

Like all healthcare workers, they are heroes, and I’m grateful for what they do.

But before we begin, I want to provide an update on our fight against COVID-19 and announce new steps.

First, the update. I know we’re all frustrated as we enter this new year. The Omicron variant is causing millions of cases and record hospitalizations.

I’ve been — I’ve been saying that, as we remain in this pandemic, this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And I mean by this: Right now, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are testing positive, but what happens after that could not be more different.

If vaccinated people test positive, they overwhelmingly have either no symptoms at all or they have mild symptoms.

And if they’re — if you’re unvaccinated — if they test positive — there are — you are 17 times more likely to get hospitalized.

As a result, they’re crowding our hospitals, leaving little room for anyone else who might have a heart attack or an injury in an automobile accident or any injury at all.

And yes, the unvaccinated are dying from COVID-19.

But here’s the deal: Because we’ve fully vaccinated nearly 210 million Americans, the majority of the country is safe from severe COVID-19 consequences.

That’s why, even as the number of cases among the vaccinated Americans go up, deaths are down dramatically from last winter.

For example, before its vaccination requirement, the United States — excuse me — United Airlines was averaging one employee dying a week from COVID-19. After implementing its requirement, it has led to 99 percent of its employees being vaccinated. United had 3,600 employees test positive, but zero hospitalizations, zero deaths in over 8 weeks.

But as long as we have tens of millions of people who will not get vaccinated, we’re going to have full hospitals and needless deaths.

So, the single most important thing to determine your outcome in this pandemic is getting vaccinated. If you’re not vaccinated, join the nearly 210 million American people who are vaccinated.

And if you are vaccinated, join the nearly 80 million Americans who have gotten the booster shot, with the strongest protection possible.

Vaccines are safe, they’re free, and they’re widely available. So, do it today, please, for your sake, the sake of your kids, and the sake of the country.

Now, I don’t like to, you know, outline the next steps we’re taking against — I’d like to outline the next steps we’re taking against Omi- — the Omicron variant.

Vaccinations are obviously the most important thing we are doing, but they are not the only important thing.

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