Lt Gen Gurmit Singh explains the nuances of internal development of political scenario and Pakistan Army and ISI role. He also talks about the poverty in Pakistan and how Pakistan Army has been the catalyst of where Pakistan stands today in the current dynamics and flawed policies and strategies of Pakistan which has brought it to the brink of disintegration.
Goa Chronicle: Sir, do you think the Pakistan Army even realizes the radical forces which were created by itself and have become like parasites for Pakistan?
In the whole game of Frankenstein’s plot, poisonous insects don’t look at whom they are biting.
Retd. Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh: I must relate to a conversation that I had with a Pakistani Army Officer. I had gone to Washington DC for a course, where we had two Pakistani Colonels, I was also a Colonel at that time and they too were Corps Commanders later. In the informal discussions that we used to have, one of the Pakistani officers was fond of talking about strategic space of Afghanistan, mujahedeen, jihad, and all those extremist aspects. Told him candidly, that all these poisonous insects that they were rearing in their nation would finally destroy their entire society internally, one day.
Negative and destructive perspectives can never be the anchor for nation building. As a Security Professional, one feels sorry for Pakistan that Pakistan Army, their armed forces have brought hell and destruction by creating so called non-state actors for terrorism. Pakistan Army has in fact bitten into their nation’s governance, administration, economy, religion, and into every segment of nation’s being. Immense atrocities against minorities in Pakistan has been caused by Pakistani Security Forces. Let’s be clear that fundamentalism, extremism, radicalism, proxy, lies, propaganda can never make a nation, it can only destroy a nation and that’s what has happened in front of our own eyes in Pakistan.
Goa Chronicle: Sir Recently Imran Khan wrote a letter back to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also announced that they will be starting imports from India. After the cabinet meeting, he pulled back from his decision which was obviously quite embarrassing. What made him pull back from his decision?
Retd. Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh: Firstly, it is surprising that Pakistan did this U-turn. It’s a big embarrassment to Pakistan itself, rather than to anybody else. It also indicates that there is a terrible confusion within Pakistan and they are not able to take a concerted decision, and are wavering on their plans. If you look at the statement of COAS of Pakistan Army, he says LETS BURY THE PAST AND MOVE FORWARD. Unfortunately, they are neither able to bury the past nor able to move forward, rather difficult to shrug off status quo. It is so comical that Prime Minister of Pakistan heading the commerce ministry moves a proposal and thereafter their new Finance Minister Hammad Azar, who heads economic coordination council defer the decision taken by their own Prime Minister. There are differing voices coming out of Pakistan. Their foreign minister conveys that it needs further debate and until the unilateral decision taken by India on 5th Aug 2019 is reconsidered, it would be impossible to normalize of relations with India. The contradictions between the statements of COAS, Prime Ministers, and cabinet ministers adequately exhibit their desperation, lack of clarity and indecisions. They desire normalization but they don’t know how to do it. Also, because of the divide between the deep state and government in Pakistan, their awam is suffering. Rates of consumable products are skyrocketing. China is extracting advantages out of it and Pakistani Awaam and Nation is suffering in a big way.
One thing is absolutely clear, that, it is a strategic compulsion for Pakistan to go in for a strategic reversal from the strategies they had adopted, otherwise their self-destruction is definite.
GoaChronicle.com: Why has Pro Democratic Movement (PDM) gone cold?
Retd. Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh: I think there is frustration among political parties in Pakistan of not finding space for governance and politics. Actually, Pakistan Army, ISI and the terrorist groups are playing a bigger role in the governance and administration of Pakistan. The role of Pakistani political parties in governance is absolutely little in the current dynamics. Eleven main political parties in Pakistan had joined together and had drafted a 26 point resolution for themselves. They had started with series of protests, 16 protests have been organized by them, starting from Gujranwala in Oct 2020. There is desperation in the political parties and the nation that they are being ruled by the proxy of the Army and ISI. The key point of political parties is about the conspiracy wherein 2018 elections were rigged by the Pakistan Army. In fact, PDM is headed by Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, who is the leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. Their key rallying point was resignation of Prime minister. The final protest is targeted in May 2021 at GHQ Rawalpindi. It was rather unusual for Pakistan that opposition parties had come together, and that too with differing philosophies.
Nawaz Sharif was open, bold, and direct. In fact, it was first time in Pakistan’s polity that they targeted COAS of Pakistan Army and ISI head and with corruption charges against Pakistan army generals. Pakistan hadn’t seen this kind of opposition. Pakistan armed forces had suppressed the political parties and public in a ruthless way that the political parties and Awaam didn’t have a chance to talk against the Pakistan Army. It is difficult for political parties, in current dynamics to give shape and lead the desired change. There exists friction among the political parties too, which is being exploited by Pak Army and ISI. Currently, the inflation, economy, and high cost of living is dragging Pakistan into abject poverty. But, one thing is certain that the situation in Pakistan is critical, be it in governance, administration, economy, inflation, or the health and Pakistani citizen are having a very tough time.
GoaChronicle.com: Why so much obsession with Kashmir so much so that it seems like obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Retd. Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh: I think it’s not the obsession, it’s the madness and it’s self-destructive for Pakistan. Since 22nd Oct 1947, when Pakistan had launched attack on Jammu and Kashmir with raiders and tribal, they have not been able to change the strategic track, they took for themselves. The focus on Kashmir brought in a Pakistan national environment, wherein Pakistan Army and ISI grabbed the power, having tasted it; they are not able to drop it. Kashmir card of Pakistan had been over lived and has crossed its time limit and on diminishing return and it’s further use by them would only disintegrate Pakistan itself.
If Pakistan and Pakistan Army do not d-links itself from Kashmir having outlived the Kashmir card the disintegration of Pakistan is in front of the entire world to see.
GoaChronicle.com: Recently National Intelligence Council of the United States in its global trends South Asia report has mentioned there is a possibility of a large scale war between India and Pakistan in the next 5 years with New Delhi’s resolve to punish Islamabad for carrying terrorist attacks in India and Islamabad’s determination to defend itself and any miscalculation from either side may lead to a large-scale war?
Retd. Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh: This is one of the war scenario analyses by National Intelligence Council of US. They pointed out that both India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed neighbors. There would be security vacuum once US and NATO forces are pulled out of Afghanistan. There might be problems on Pakistan’s western front. It is important for India and Pakistan both to focus on development. Pakistan is not in the state at the moment to fight the problems of its own creations. It warns India and Pakistan for conflict in next five to ten years, because of prevailing security environment. India, may respond with heavy hand on any terrorist act by Pakistan and thereafter to defend themselves, Pakistan enter into bigger conflict. It is important for South Asia to manage security environment and challenges in a way that they do not spiral out of hand.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author