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Thread: Pakistan and Arab World: Security Cooperation

  1. #21
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Asia's quiet superpower: the Pakistan Army - two replies

    Two "lurkers", both SME, on this topic have provided comments.

    A general reply:
    The author has overstretched his imagination. If we believe the author that Pakistan is teacher of all Arab armies then utter and most humiliating defeats at the hands of Israelis does not speak well for the teaching skills of the teacher. Where did he get the information that majority of military was in favor of joining the Yemen adventure? I have interacted with a large number of officers of all ranks including many close to Raheel Sharif on this topic. They could not say it openly but privately they communicated with me that majority of officers were against it. Of course Shia officers were pretty acidic in their response. The case of soldiers is a bit different. They mainly come from the conservative, rural areas and their view is shaped by holy places in Saudi Arabia and they may see it as defending holy places.
    From the cited article above:
    ....the Pakistan army is the only non-sectarian army in the Muslim world - it has had Shia Hazara chief of staffs, Sunnis and several Christian generals.
    Riposte:
    During General Mussharraf’s time, a number of senior officers were Shia including some Corps Commanders and the GOC of the Special Service Group (SSG, a SOF unit). Many participated in operations against militants. However, since then Shia numbers have dwindled in senior ranks. Among the rank and file of the Northern Light Infantry that recruits from northern areas with significant Shia population this unit has a good number of Shia soldiers. Christians are only a handful and to my knowledge now no one with now holds a senior post. A two star Christian Major General Noel recently retired. I don’t know much about their numbers in Air Force and Navy.
    The second lurker pointed to Shashank Joshi's (also of RUSI) commentary on the Indian and Pakistani role in the Middle East:https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-in...ce-middle-east

    He notes that:
    Today, Pakistan’s presence is smaller but still includes a squadron of pilots at the UAE’s Al Ain Airbase and two brigades in Saudi Arabia.
    Curiously the current IISS 'Military Balance' does not show the two brigades. Perhaps the soldiers serve within Saudi units?

    Someone knows how to needle Pakistan in the UAE:
    ...Emirati minister immediately after Pakistan’s parliament voted against involvement (in Yemen) in 2015. Pakistan would pay a ‘heavy price’. This is perhaps one reason why, on 26 January, Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, watched the Indian military parade through New Delhi for the country’s Republic Day. Al-Nahyan, who was invited as chief guest, had been greeted at the airport, against protocol, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-07-2017 at 01:20 PM. Reason: 12,872v
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  2. #22
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Finally the General can go

    Ahmed Rashid, the author has this BBC News article that starts with:
    The appointment of Pakistan's former army chief General Raheel Sharif to head a 39-country Saudi-led military alliance of Muslim countries to combat terrorism has set off intense debate in Pakistan and in the region.

    After months of silence from Gen Sharif, Pakistan's defence ministry has now said that both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have come to an agreement on his posting.

    (He ends with) There has been longstanding criticism from politicians and the media that Pakistan has been ignoring Iran, even though it is an important neighbour. So far Gen Sharif's appointment has only increased that criticism and created considerable unease as to the future course of Pakistan's foreign policy.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-39525449

    Hamid Hussain has a longer commentary, with several intriguing parts, e.g. the Israeli-Saudi relationship, on the attachment.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-09-2017 at 11:35 AM. Reason: 15,155v
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  3. #23
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Military finesse diplomacy and confuse everyone?

    A curious update from RUSI by a Pakistani analyst: 'The Pakistani Army's Defence Diplomacy: More Action, Fewer Word' and sub-titled:
    With a renewed defence diplomatic effort in the Gulf and Afghanistan, Pakistan’s army is determined to dispel misconceptions and address allegations made by both adversaries and allies.
    Why curious? This passage helps to explain:
    Some of the key charges against the country were that Pakistan’s actions did not match its words. Islamabad, critics – including the US – claimed was not ‘coming clean’ about its policies in Afghanistan, that its relationship with the Saudis lacked transparency and that it was pursuing a hostile stance towards Iran.Bajwa, who took over in November 2016 from Sharif, has sought to dispel these claims. Since taking over, he has set his eyes firmly on strengthening Pakistan’s relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Iran, talking straight about Afghanistan to the Americans and not misleading India over false promises of conflict resolution.
    His first three foreign visits were to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and he has now announced a forthcoming visit to Tehran.
    (Finally) All told, Pakistan’s army is now moving away from its previous stance of purely working in support of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
    Link:https://rusi.org/commentary/pakistan...on-fewer-words
    This seems to be a diplomatic sequence that aims to please everyone, both Arab nations and Iran. So Pakistan is not committed to really help "when the chips are down".

    There are comments on Afghanistan, so they are posted elsewhere.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-21-2017 at 09:20 PM. Reason: 21,893v 6k views in three months
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  4. #24
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    Default We're adding 1k to those already in Saudi

    Looks like the Pakistani Senate's "nose is out of joint" over the deployment of troops to Saudi Arabia:
    Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Monday threatened Defence Minister Dastagir with 'contempt of parliament' proceedings after the minister outright refused to provide details of the ‘unilateral decision’ to send Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia for deployment.

    Disclosing the size of the deployment for the first time since the decision was announced, Dastagir said a total of 1,000 Pakistani troops are being sent to the Kingdom on a training mission. He said 1,600 Pakistani soldiers are already stationed in Saudi Arabia. The defence minister attempted to assure Senate that the troops will not be deployed outside the Kingdom's territory,
    Link:https://www.dawn.com/news/1390403/go...o-saudi-arabia
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-19-2018 at 08:58 PM. Reason: 30,467v
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  5. #25
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    Default Pakistani training and advice mission

    From a commentary:
    According to the Pakistani defence minister, the latest troops sent to Saudi Arabia have embarked on a training and advice mission, and will not be dispatched onward to Yemen. The Pakistani army has apparently developed significant expertise in mountain warfare and counter-insurgency during recent military operations in Pakistani tribal areas and the Swat Valley, and will be transferring these skills to Saudi forces. And the only mountainous region within the kingdom that’s currently a conflict zone is on the Yemeni border.
    Link:https://theconversation.com/why-pakistan-has-troops-in-saudi-arabia-and-what-it-means-for-the-middle-east-92613?

    Will there be "mission creep"?

    Then there's this, people not formations, although unclear if they are seconded, contractors or simply "tourists":
    Although the kingdom, like other Arab Gulf countries, does not make the numbers public, experts say there are as many as 70,000 Pakistanis serving across the Saudi military services at any one time.
    Link:https://www.thenational.ae/world/pak...ingdom-1.44396
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-07-2018 at 10:11 AM. Reason: 31,207v
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