> Monitor on Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan | September 2017
October 13, 2017
This monitor is meant to identify key developments during the month on
Civil Military Relations in Pakistan with selected high-profile international
developments included occasionally.
In this Issue:
- In Aid of Civil Power
- No More Do More, or Not?
- Corps Commanders' Conference
- Pakistan Army's New Ventures
- Prime Minister participates in Air Force training
- Census termed 'compromised' by UN body
- PM increases civilian share in ISI's hierarchy
- Members of the Senate and National Assembly
Defence Committees meet the COAS
- PAF Chief urges Private Sector to explore Aviation
- Civil Military leadership review Muharram
- President AJK meets Chairman JCS Committee
- Continuing Role of COAS in Foreign Affairs
- Meeting of National Security Committee
- PM-COAS Interactions
- Thai Ex-PM Yingluck gets five years
- Anti-Communist parade in Indonesia revives
- Turkey continues to arrest alleged coup conspirators
In aid of Civil Power
Armed Forces installing equipment to drain rainwater in Karachi
When Karachi began to drown in torrential rain, Pakistan Army
came forward in aid of civil power to clear out water from the flooded areas
of different parts of the city. According to Inter-Services Public Relations
(ISPR) Press Release on September 01, 2017, Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers
Sindh worked round-the-clock to assist civilian administration to drain water
from different areas in Karachi. 
Army Personnel deployed at NA-120 by-poll
Similarly, Army troops were deployed in every polling station
in the NA-120 by-poll on September 17, 2017, as directed by the Election Commission
of Pakistan (ECP). During the
polls, some media reports accused the Army of not allowing media personnel to
enter the polling stations. The ECP took notice of the situation, 
after which ISPR released a statement saying, 'Media having ECP accreditation
card is visiting polling stations. No restrictions imposed by Army.' 
No More Do More, or Not?
COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, while giving his speech on Defence Day at
the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi
Celebrating Pakistan's 52nd Defence Day in a ceremony
held at GHQ on September 06, 2017, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar
Bajwa, said that the World must do more as Pakistan has done more than most.
Speaking at the occasion and alluding to US call for Pakistan to 'do more,'
General said that "if Pakistan has not done enough in this war, then no country
in the world has done anything." He also said that "Only Pakistan has seen this
level of success with such limited resources. From OperationSher Dil
to Rah-i-Rast, Rah-i-Nijat, Zarb-e-Azb and now Raddul
Fasad, we have paid for each inch [of gains] with our blood."
The COAS also said that: "We have tried to help Afghanistan
beyond our capabilities, but Afghanistan's war cannot be fought in Pakistan.
We have made well-intentioned efforts for talks and peace in Afghanistan. However,
Afghanistan is a self-sufficient country that is free to make its own decisions.
If even today they veer towards war, then we cannot be a part of this war."
He also highlighted issues in Kashmir and Balochistan in his speech, and said
"We are keeping a close watch on the designs of our enemies."
There seemed to be some divergence of opinions both within
the Federal Government and between the stance maintained by the COAS and that
of the Foreign Minister. On the same night, while speaking to an anchor on a
private news channel, Foreign Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, acknowledged
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, Indian, China and South Africa) nations' concern over
the alleged base of militant groups in Pakistan. He acknowledged the existence
of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) within Pakistan.
The Foreign Minister further called on Pakistan to reflect on its policies and
called for a stronger stance against banned outfits. He said "We should
impose some restrictions on the activities of elements like LeT and JeM so that
we can show the global community that we have put our house in order." 
On September 5, 2017, Defence Minister, Engr. Khurram Dastgir
Khan, said that "there are no terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan… Terrorist
safe havens are found in Afghanistan; Pakistan does not fear any external aggression
as its Army, Navy and Air Force are keeping a strict eye on the situation."
He also said on September 10, 2017 that work was in progress to eliminate the
remnants of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Haqqani network. 
The newly appointed Foreign Minister also relayed this sentiment
of self-reflection while being interviewed during his trip to the United States.
Reportedly, there was criticism of the statement by the Foreign Minister by
some members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi endorsed the Foreign Minister's statement
in an interview with a private T.V. channel reported on September 18, 2017 and
said that he too was of the same view of improving our house. 
Despite these apparently divergent views from civil and military
leadership on the issue, Prime Minister Abbasi has reportedly maintained that
"there's no difference between the civilian and military establishments on key
The PM also said, "No more do more. We did not hear it anywhere," when asked
if the Americans were still asking Pakistan to do more. 
Corps Commanders' Conference
204th Corps Commanders' Conference on September 08, 2017
A Corps Commander's Conference was convened at the General Headquarters in
Rawalpindi on September 8, 2017. The COAS chaired the 204th
Corps Commanders' Conference, and as per the official press release, 'the
forum discussed internal and external security situation of the country and
progress of operation Raddul Fasad.' 
Pakistan Army's New Ventures
The Pakistan Army has established a museum in Lahore
which opened for general public on September 10, 2017 and was inaugurated
by the COAS. The Museum, established in the Lahore Garrison, has different
exhibits, including Shuhada Corner; Nishan-e-Haider Gallery; Life at highest
battlefield Siachin, Kashmir Corner, etc. There is also a 'tribute to sacrifices
of Minorities, titled White of the Flag.' 
Army Museum Lahore opens to general public on Sep 10, 2017
On September 14, 2017, the Pakistan Army also inaugurated
an advanced level dental facility 'Maxillofacial Centre' at Institute of
Dentistry CMH Lahore Medical College. The facility will cater for all the
dental treatments/surgeries including facial deformities and aesthetics.
It is also equipped to deal with dental problems of uncooperative patients
and disabled paediatric patients. 
The Army Chief also visited Swat and inaugurated an Army
Public School and College at Kanju Garrison, Swat Cantt. The school has
the capacity to educate 3600 students, and is equipped with state-of-the-art
computer and science labs, auditorium and sports stadium.
According to ISPR, the school is a 'gift from Pakistan Army for resilient
people of Swat in recognition of their contributions and sacrifices in defeating
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, while interacting with students at
Army Public School and College (APS&C), Kanju Garrison
On September 27, 2017, the COAS inaugurated Road Ghallanai
- Mohmand Gat, including 751 M of Nahakki tunnel, Mohmand Agency in FATA.
The completed project will not only facilitate inter-agency travel but will
also serve as a potential trade route with Afghanistan. The project is being
undertaken by the FWO. 
Speaking at the occasion the COAS 'thanked local tribesmen for their great
support to Army in getting rid of terrorists. He said the development projects
are the actual prong towards achieving enduring peace and stability.' 
"Cricket in NWA. Pak XI plays UK Media XI on September 21, 2017. Live telecast
from Miramshah. Peace & prosperity is our destiny," tweeted by DG ISPR
The ISPR organized an international cricketing event
in Miramshah, where a UK Media team played against Pakistan XI on September
21, 2017. Although the game was organised on short notice, crowds of thousands
of tribesmen and schoolboys managed to gather to watch their favourite players.
A few years ago, such a match in North Waziristan would feature beheadings.
However, the match exhibited how much the security situation has improved,
as the Pak Army feels confident to organise an international event in Waziristan.
The team played 10
games in Lahore, Muzzafarabad and Chitral Valley. Although UK team lost
the match, DG ISPR was confident that peace had won. He tweeted, "Peace
wins at NWA. COAS thx PCB, PscZalmi, teams, media, admns & brave Pakistanis
of NWA/FATA for successful conduct of historic event." 
Pakistan Army also organized a 2-day boot camp on September
22, 2017 in Quetta Garrison. 200 students from different educational institutions
in Balochistan were invited to witness and experience 'the challenges faced
by officers and soldiers in the field.' The students resided in the army
camp and witnessed various training activities in testing field environments.
According to ISPR, the boot camp was designed to create awareness about
activities and challenges faced by the military while protecting the country.
On September 28, 2017, the COAS met a group of 173 students
and faculty from different institutions in Balochistan at the ISPR Directorate.
While interacting with the students and faculty members, the COAS highlighted
the importance of Balochistan to Pakistan. 
"Pakistan cannot progress without peace, stability and progress of Balochistan,"
he said. As reported earlier as well, students brought together, from across
the nation for ISPR's 'Annual' Internship Program, also met Army Chief Qamar
Javed Bajwa, who shared his views with them as well. There seems to be an
increase in interaction with civilians, especially students, in the Army
Prime Minister participates in
Air Force training mission
Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi sitting in the rear cockpit of
F-16 aircraft in full flying gear on September 09, 2017
During a visit to the newly established 'Airpower Centre of
Excellence' at an operational airbase of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Sargodha
on September 9, 2017, Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took part in exercise
training mission aboard an F-16 aircraft. The PM sat in the rear cockpit of
the fighter jet in full flying gear. Prime Minister Abbasi is the first Prime
Minister to take part in an air force training mission. 
Census termed 'compromised' by
A UNFPA report, while recognizing the need for presence of
army personnel during data collection for census 2017, has questioned parallel
data collection by the military during census and has termed it "a breach of
confidentiality of the collected data" as per international census practices
and procedures. 
The report stated that army administered a questionnaire,
side by side with the census questionnaire, with total number of household members,
and detailed nationality of the head of the household. Often, the civilian enumerator
provided the information for the army questionnaire. Sometimes, the army officers
copied information directly from the civilian enumerator's form. The army enumerator
also had a mobile phone, via which Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC)
numbers were shared with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA),
to verify the CNIC number. Sharing CNIC numbers with NADRA also breaches confidentiality
of collected data.
The UNFPA report commented that "it is of course very unusual
for soldiers to not only collect information in a population census but also
to embark upon verification of (the) respondent's demographic information. In
doing this, collected census data was shared with two other parties (the army
and NADRA), which might further compromise the data quality, and which constitutes
a breach of census data secrecy."
PM increases civilian share in
On September 15, 2017, Prime Minister Abbasi approved a proposal
to increase the number of Director Generals (Grade 21) in the ISI. DG is the
highest civilian post in the Inter-Services Intelligence. Previously, there
was only one post of DG in the ISI for civilians. The number has been increased
to 4. Additionally, 7 more posts were created for civilians. Previously there
were 8 Deputy Director Generals (Grade 20). Now there will be 15. 
According to Dawn, 'an official of the Inter-Services Public
Relations (ISPR) did not comment on the development, but said that since the
Prime Minister was the competent authority, as the ISI worked under the PM Secretariat,
it was his prerogative to increase the sanctioned posts in the agency.' Previously,
in June 2013, civilian ISI officials had petitioned the Islamabad High Court
against the slow pace of their promotions. However, the petition was dismissed,
and aggrieved officials told to approach the Federal Services Tribunal for redressal.
Members of the Senate and National
Assembly Defence Committees meet the COAS
Members of Senate and National Assembly Defence Committees meet
Members of the National Assembly and Senate Standing Committees
on Defence visited the GHQ and met the COAS on September 18, 2017. The delegation,
headed by Senator Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Abdul Qayyum, received a 'detailed briefing
on evolving security situation on the borders and Pakistan Army's efforts for
peace and stability.' 
According to National Assembly Secretariat Press Release,
both Civil and Military leadership agreed that holding such interactions is
in the highest national interest for developing policies to strengthen all institutions
in the country. According
to The News, while answering queries of public representatives, the COAS categorically
said that the military had nothing to do with the Panama Case, and he had good
terms with both the former, and the sitting Prime Ministers. He also said that
he was a government servant and he is bound to follow policies drafted by the
Parliament. He believes in civilian supremacy, and is against military interventions.
He lauded Prime Minister Abbasi for calling repeated meetings of cabinet committee
on national security for consultative policy making. 
According to ISPR 'the session concluded with a resolve to
continue our struggle against the menace of violent extremism through a synergetic,
whole-of-the-nation approach based on the principle of "collective potential
and shared responsibility".' 
PAF Chief urges Private Sector
to explore Aviation Sector
Speaking to the business community at a
dinner reception hosted by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry reported
on September 20, 2017, the PAF Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman
NI(M) urged the private sector to explore aviation sector for investment, as
it offered huge business prospect. He said that the PAF was already procuring
small parts from local industry, but wanted local industry to meet its needs
more, as that would save precious foreign exchange. 
The Chief said that the government and defence services were
at the same page to ensure economic security of the country, and CPEC offered
wonderful prospects for prosperity to Pakistan. 
Ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, and Spain were also present at the dinner along
with a number of members of the business community. 
Civil Military leadership review
On September 20, 2017, Corps Commander Multan, Lt. General
Sarfaraz Sattar, presided over a meeting of senior army and civilian officers
including the Commissioners and RPOs of Multan, Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan
divisions in order to review security arrangements for Muharram at the Corps
The Corps Commander reportedly directed the officers of army
to extend full cooperation to the civilian administration, and also reviewed
the security arrangements made by different departments as the participants
briefed the meeting on the measures adopted by their concerned departments.
According to The Nation, speaking at a meeting of the District
Peace Committee, Acting DC Mr. Allah Ditta Warraich, DPO Dr. Sardar Ghias Gul
and Chairman District Council, Mian Afzal Hussain Tarar, had said that lawlessness
would not be tolerated and called upon Ulema of different school of thoughts
to desist from uttering any word during their sermons which might injure the
sentiments of other sects. They also said that although district administration
and police have chalked out comprehensive strategy to ensure peaceful atmosphere
in the district, yet the Rangers and personnel of Pak Army would be at the beck
and call of the administration in case of any eventuality. 
It is not clear as to who is responsible according to the
standard operating procedures for such coordination at the divisional level
and whether such meetings attended by the civil administration are chaired by
the military officer as a norm or it was an exceptional development.
President AJK met Chairman
President AJK meeting Chairman JCS Committee at Joint Staff Headquarters
According to ISPR, on September 27, 2017, Mr. Muhammad Masood
Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, called on General Zubair Mahmood
Hayat, Chairman JCS Committee, at the Joint Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
During the meeting, matters related to regional security with emphasis on human
rights violations by Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir came under discussion.
 President Azad Jammu and
Kashmir praised the resolve of Pakistan Armed Forces to deter and defeat any
aggression by India against Azad Kashmir. 
Continuing Role of COAS in
The Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Bajwa, has continued
to hold exclusive interactions with diplomats and international political leadership
in September 2017. Below is an account of his interactions during the month:
- COAS briefs Australian Civil-Military leadership
COAS with Australian Foreign Minister Ms. Julie Bishop
On September 11, 2017, the COAS embarked on a two-day official
visit to Australia, on the invitation of the Australian Army Chief. The COAS
also met Australian Foreign Minister, Ms. Julie Bishop, and Defence Minister,
Ms. Marise Payne, at the Australian Parliament House. During these meetings,
COAS highlighted the regional security situation, and expressed Pakistan Army's
commitment to peace and stability in the region, but also conveyed that, "we
expect our security concerns are also addressed". 
From Left to Right: Secretary Defence, Greg Moriarty; COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa;
Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin; Naela Chohan, High Commissioner of Pakistan
COAS also met Australian Senate's Committee for
Foreign and Defence Affairs, Australian Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshall
Mark Binskin (accompanied by their Secretary Defence Mr. Greg Moriarty) and
Air Chief Air Marshal Gavin Davies. The COAS also visited Joint operations
and planning Headquarters and Force Command headquarters.
COAS also interacted at Australian Strategic Policy Institute
and the Office of National Assessment both of which advise the Australian
government on myriad policy issues. 
Australian leadership lauded Pakistan's contribution to the regional security,
and renewed commitment to improve bilateral collaboration in defence and security.
- Tripartite meeting in Kabul
On September 14, 2017, tripartite (Pak-U.S.-Afg) military
cooperation meetings were held at the Ministry of Defence in Kabul, in order
to eliminate DAESH from the region. Pakistan was represented by
a high level military delegation, led by Director General Military Operations
(DGMO) Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza. The three sides expressed commitment
to oust DAESH out of the region. 
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Dawlat Waziri was quoted by
the Afghan media as having said that the tripartite meeting took place after
a bilateral engagement between militaries of Pakistan and Afghanistan. 
There was also a bilateral meeting between Pakistan and Afghanistan, whose
agenda included issues related to cross-border fire and attacks, counterterrorism
coordinated actions on the respective side along the Pak-Afghan border and
- COAS Meetings with various Ambassadors
On September 18, 2017 the COAS met Turkish Ambassador
to Pakistan, Mr. Sadik Babur Girgin at the GHQ, Rawalpindi.
Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Omar Zakhiwal,
called on the COAS on September 20, 2017 at the GHQ. According to ISPR,
issues of mutual interest including security situation were discussed.
The gradual improvement in bilateral cooperation was also noted with
The COAS met Mr. Martin Kobler, German Ambassador
to Pakistan, on September 21, 2017, at the General Headquarters (GHQ).
According to ISPR, 'issues of mutual interest including security situation
were discussed. Ambassador said that Germany is grateful to Pakistan
for its fight against terrorism and assured of his continued efforts
in improving bilateral relations between the two countries.'
The COAS met Mr. Thomas Drew CMG, British High Commissioner
to Pakistan, on September 22, 2017 at the GHQ. According to ISPR, 'matters
of mutual interest and regional security were discussed. The visiting
dignitary acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan's continuous efforts
for peace and stability in the region.'
The COAS met Mr. Sun Weidong, Ambassador of China
to Pakistan, on September 26, 2017 at the GHQ in order to bid farewell
to the Chief at the end of his tenure in Pakistan. 
- Telephone call to Iranian Army Chief
COAS and Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major
General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri engaged in a phone conversation to enhance
cooperation between the two countries, in order to help Rohingya Muslims.
 The two military leaders
expressed grave concern over the state of Rohingya Muslims and called for
the Muslim world to take action in order to end plight of the Muslim minority.
They also said that military and non-military organizations of Muslim countries
could mobilize their forces and facilities to speed up the dispatch of humanitarian
relief to the persecuted Muslims in Myanmar. 
Meeting of the National Security
PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chairing meeting of the National
Security Committee on September 29, 2017
One NSC meeting took place during the month on September 29,
2017. The committee reviewed Indian violations at the Line of Control and condemned
violations of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Premier and Foreign Minister's
interactions with world leaders during the UN General Assembly were also discussed
at the meeting. Developments in relations with Afghanistan were also reviewed
in the meeting. 
With the Prime Minister in Chair, the meeting was attended
by the following members of the NSC: Federaal Ministers of Finance and Foreign
Affairs, Chairman JCSC, COAS, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff. As
per the PM Office press release, Federal Ministers of Defence Interior were
not present in the meeting. In addition to the NSC members, the meeting was
also attended by some senior civil and military officials.
Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abassi and the Chief of Army Staff General
Qamar Javed Bajwa met twice during the month of September 2017.
The COAS met the PM at a meeting of the National Committee
on the Implementation of FATA Reforms chaired by the PM on September 08,
The meeting was
called in order to review progress on FATA reforms. The COAS 'briefed the
Committee on the successes achieved in extending the writ of state throughout
FATA and on the steps taken to strengthen security and border infrastructure
as well as the development efforts during the last few years.'
Other members of the Committee who attended the meeting
included Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister KP, Federal Minister
for SAFRON, Federal Minister for Law & Justice and Deputy Chairman
Planning Commission in addition to senior civil and military officials.
The PM and COAS met again during the NSC meeting held
on September 29, 2017.
Yingluck gets five years
Nine Thai Supreme Court judges voted unanimously
to find ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of mismanaging a rice subsidy scheme
that cost the country billions of dollars. Yingluck was sentenced in absentia
as she had fled from the country. A warrant has also been issued for her arrest.
Although no such official plans have been announced, media
reports suggest that Thai Junta Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is preparing
to keep the Premiership. Political activities of all parties are banned since
Prayuth's 2014 coup, but Prayuth seems to be running a campaign to garner support.
Anti-Communist parade in Indonesia
revives Civil-Military tensions
Several thousand protestors held an anti-communist
rally outside the Indonesian Parliament on September 29, 2017 led by Islamist
groups. The protest marked the 52nd anniversary of the murder of
six generals and a young lieutenant by rebel communist armed forces in 1965.
The murder made space for more than 30 years of authoritarian rule under General
Suharto, who thereafter led a communist purge in Indonesia, in which at least
500,000 alleged communists were reportedly murdered in retaliation.
The military has continued to resist attempts by rights groups and academics
to discuss the 1965 killings. 
Due to increasing ties with China, President Joko Widodo,
is reportedly often accused of having communist linkages. Tobias Basuki, an
Indonesian political analyst, believes that it seems that militant and Islamic
groups are coalescing for the 2019 elections. 
Others point the finger at the military for fermenting this 'red scare' for
political ambition. Basuki says that the country's Military Chief Gatot Nurmantyo
has 'clear political ambitions.' The General reportedly fueled 'controversy
this month, when he falsely claimed 5,000 weapons had been illegally imported
"on behalf" of President Widodo.' The general is due to retire next March.
Turkey continues to arrest
alleged coup conspirators
The Turkish government detained another
79 school employees over alleged links to last year's failed military coup.
They were suspected of using the network of Fethullah Gulen, who is accused
of orchestrating the coup attempt.
The suspects worked in private or tutoring schools many of which were suspected
of being run by supporters of Gulen. 
On September 18, 2017, 30 newspaper staffers went on trial
for links to coup attempt as well. The journalists and newspaper executives
are facing life sentences.
On September 15, 2017, Turkey also detained the main opposition
leader's lawyer for alleged links to the network accused of carrying out last
year's failed coup attempt.
 Trump backs off Afghan
withdrawal, lambastes Pakistan over terrorist 'safe havens,' DAWN, August
22, 2017, as accessed on September 28, 2017 at