Monday, November 12, 2007

History of the Pakistani Army

1947 - 1958

The Pakistani Army was created on June 30, 1947 with the division of the British Indian Armyartillery and eight infantry regiments compared to the forty armoured, forty artillery and twenty one infantry regiments that went to India.[15]Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. Regular army units joined the invasion later on but were pushed back by the Indians but not before occupying the northwestern part of Kashmir (roughly 40% of Kashmir). During the 1950s, the Pakistani Army received large amounts of economic and military aid from United States and Great Britain after signing two Mutual Defense Treaties, Central Treaty Organization, (Cento) also known as the Baghdad Pact and SEATO, (South East Asian Treaty Organization) in 1954. This aid greatly expanded the Army from its modest beginnings. and Pakistan received six armoured, eight Fearing that India would take over the disputed region of Kashmir, the newly created Pakistani Army sent in irregulars and tribal groups in 1947 which lead to the

1958 - 1969

Pakistani soldiers at the Indian town of Khemkaran in the 1965 Indo-Pak War.
Pakistani soldiers at the Indian town of Khemkaran in the 1965 Indo-Pak War.

The Army seized control of Pakistan for the first time when General Ayub Khan came to power through a bloodless coup in 1958. Tensions with India continued in the 1960s and a brief border skirmish was fought near the Rann of Kutch area during April 1965, when the Indian Army was caught unprepared.

Ayub khan wanted to divert attention of population from the internal troubles so planned to liberate kashmir from India. He expected people of kashmir would join and revolt against Indian rule. The army attacked Indian positions along the border in kasmir to which India responded by airstrikes and counter attacks. In the end the war proved a waste of time and resources as nothing was achieved. India asked for a cease fire and Pakistan accepted under international pressure.

Popular uprising against General Ayub Khan, during 1968 and 1969 resulted in Ayub Khan relinquishing his office as President and Chief of Pakistan Army in favor of General Yahya Khan who assumed power in 1969.

1969 - 1977

During the rule of General Yahya Khan, the Bengalis protested their poor conditions and civil unrest broke out in East Pakistan amidst widespread human rights abuses carried out by the Pakistani Army. The civil unrest led to what is known as Pakistani Civil War by Pakistanis and "Muktijuddho" or Bangladesh Liberation War. India joined the war on the side of Bangladesh and within a fortnight of fighting between India and Pakistan, on the 16th of December, 1971, over 90,000 Pakistani Soldiers and Officers surrendered and Bangladesh became a republic. Consequently, Pakistan army was modernized at a faster pace than ever before. After the war, General Yahya Khan resigned and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took over the reins.

1977 - 1999

In 1977 the Pakistan Army took over the government of Pakistan after a coup by General Zia ul-Haq, which saw the end of another democratically elected government leading to the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, after he was tried and found guilty of conspiracy of murdering a politician named Kasuri. General Zia ul-Haq ruled as a military dictator until his mysterious explosion aircraft death in 1988.

Pakistani army also helped the Saudi Arabian Government in regaining the control of the Kaaba with the help of French Commandos. Pakistani and French security forces retook the shrine in a battle which left approximately 250 dead, and 600 wounded. Pakistani and French troops reportedly entered the Grand Mosque and flooded it with water; applied electricity to it; and electrocuted most of the rebels. Other reports said that paralysing gas was used. Still others say the highly trained French GIGN counter-terrorist commandos led the assault. The Pakistanis and French were called in after poor results from assaults by the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG). 127 were reported to have been killed.

In the mid-1970s the Pakistani Army was involved in fighting a popular uprising in Baluchistan. Various Baluchi factions, some with the oblique support of the USSR, wanted independence or at least greater provincial rights. The rebellion was put down but the Army suffered heavy casualties. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the United States began to provide large scale military and economic aid to Pakistan to modernize its conventional military capability and, ostensibly at least, prevent any Soviet attacks on it. This aid was also intended as an incentive for Pakistan to aid guerrilla forces in Afghanistan. The SSG created a unit called the Black Storks in which SSG commandos were dressed up as Afghan Mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan war. They were then flown into Afghanistan and provided the Mujahideen with support. The United States allocated about 40% of its assistance package to non-reimbursable credits for military purchases, the fourth largest program after Israel,Egypt, and Turkey. The remainder of the aid program was devoted to economic assistance.

After the Soviets withdrew by 1989 and the Pakistani Nuclear weapons program nearing maturity, Pakistan was placed under sanctions by USA in 1990. Various weapon systems ordered by Pakistan such as F-16 Jets were not delivered but various amendments have authorized return of spare parts and end items already paid for by Pakistan. There was a period of international sanctions due to Pakistan's nuclear tests. During 1999 the Pakistan Army for the fourth time overthrew a democratically elected government which resulted in additional sanctions being placed against Pakistan

The Army fought a brief but bloody border skirmish with India in Kargil 1999.

1999 - Present

In October 1999 the Pakistan Army for the fourth time overthrew a democratically elected government which resulted in additional sanctions being placed against Pakistan, resulting in the current President, General Pervez Musharraf, coming to power in a bloodless coup. Musharraf had initially pledged to step down as Army chief in 2005, however, he changed his mind, indicating that he may step down as Army chief in 2007 and hold democratic elections.

In October 2007, General Musharraf ran for president in a controversial election, in uniform. A case was brought before the Supreme Court of Pakistan questioning the ability of the serving Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army taking part in politics and being able to run for president. While the case was still pending with the Supreme Court, General Musharraf fearing a decision against him, suspended the constitution and proclaimed a Martial Law under the guise of emergency. This was followed by widespread arrests of lawyers, political workers, teachers and members of civil society in general.

Since the 9/11 incident, Pakistan unrecognized Taliban and has become a key ally of USA in the fight against terrorism. As part of United States war on terrorism, the army has moved over 80,000 troops to the Pakistan-Afghan border to patrol against extreme elements cross border infiltration. The Army has started new operations in Waziristan and Swat in late 2007, which have resulted in over 600 militants killed.

The Pakistan Army commenced counter insurgency operations in Baluchistan from 2004. With some of the heaviest fighting taking place in 2006 resulting in the killing of the leader of the Nawab Akbar Bugti and the supression of the Baluchistan Liberation Army.

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