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COLD START

Change in Guard

As his closest professional confidante, the choice of Chief of the General Staff (CGS) is usually a strong indicator of the Army Chief’s preference for a successor. Passing him over for CGS for (than) Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood. Kayani appointed Lt Gen Haroon Aslam as Chief of Logistics Services (CLS). Junior to Rashad, (than) Lt Gen Raheel Sharif was rumoured to be slotted by Kayani for the more senior (than COAS) post of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC). Not comfortable with Kayani’s recommendations and/or for reasons only in the realm of speculation, it suited the Sharifs to go with seniority instead. The PM appointed Rashad Mahmood the Chairman JCSC and Raheel Sharif the COAS.

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Why Break the Relationship? (Part 1)

The US agenda with Pakistan pre-9/11 was, in order of priority viz (1) nuclear non-proliferation (2) terrorism and (3) drugs, with the Taliban government in Afghanistan figuring prominently in the last two issues. The reason for our nuclear assets and the means to deliver them is not complicated, we live in a very tough neighbourhood and our primary threat perception originates from India. Outnumbered and outgunned four to five times in conventional forces and without any strategic depth, we needed a India-specific non-conventional deterrent. India’s other neighbours will confirm that a policy of appeasement never works. According to Churchill, “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last”. Given the will to remain independent, we cannot afford appeasement.

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