Military Inc.: Banned in Pakistan

Military Inc by Ayesha SiddiqaThe latest book Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy, written by Ayesha Siddiqa is a tell all narration of the highly profitable company called The Pakistan Army.

The book estimates the militarys share of the economy at over 200 billion rupees, besides owning 11.58 percent of all state land. Military Inc. was due to go on sale today across the book shelves of Karachi, but early morning orders from the top bureaucracy has forced all book sellers to pull this book off the shelves even before anyone could get their hands on it. Credit for this investigative news story goes to Khalid Omar writes on his blog

Someone high up to must have read in todays [DAWN] paper about the book launch,and ordered it removed from the shelves today in the morning. Liberty Books, the only major bookstore chain in Pakistan pulled the books from the shelves without selling a copy, while OUP, the publishers in Pakistan sold a few copies in the morning before closing sales

So it appears this may go to prove that the military is guilty of something after all and don’t want the masses to read it, unlike the blatant propaganda promotion of Musharraf’s own book a few months back when he even used the national exchequer to take a book tour across the United States [apologies – I had to say it]

A few articles reviewing the book online

  • Uneasy lies the head – Hindustan Times
  • Book shines light on Pakistan military ‘£10bn empire’ – Guardian Unlimited
  • Military Inc. it’s big business in Pakistan – The Hindu
  • Pakistan: the army as the state – Open Democracy

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    31 responses to “Military Inc.: Banned in Pakistan”

    1. Lucovich Pat Avatar
      Lucovich Pat

      I was waiting for them to ban it. Another own goal for the army, or is it?

    2. Stratfor Avatar

      Pakistan: Shah To Be Fired

      Retired Brig. Ijaz Shah, the current director-general of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau, will soon be fired, Pakistani sources said June 1. Shah was allegedly working as a mole and is accused of consistently working to undermine the government of Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. In addition to coordinating efforts with Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry even before the legal crisis erupted over his suspension, he was responsible for issuing orders to raid TV stations and tarnish the government’s image. This information has not yet been confirmed.


    3. hehehe Avatar


      good way to spread rumors…

    4. Huma Avatar

      this is sick sick of this govt ..sick of musharraf cheap tricks ..but its too late really …the silent revolution is no more silent

    5. Pappu Avatar

      You can expect this kind of stuff from Napak Army……..these army walas are the same people who dismembered our Country 36 years ago by killing our bengali brother and raping our bengali sisters! Did anyone of you expect anything less than this?eh?

    6. asa Avatar

      only bengali ,they killed sindhis @ zia era,balochis r constantly killed,operation of wana,sui & massacre of 5/12 is blessing of bloody Mushy …Dude u just cant imagine how corrupt & shameful our Napak Army .

    7. Omar R. Quraishi Avatar
      Omar R. Quraishi

      it was taken off yesterday

    8. Syed M Raza Avatar
      Syed M Raza

      Hey asa you said following

      “only bengali ,they killed sindhis @ zia era,balochis r constantly killed,operation of wana,sui & massacre of 5/12 is blessing of bloody Mushy Dude u just cant imagine how corrupt & shameful our Napak Army”

      You totally forgot about Army operation cleanup in which they killed 17,000 Mohajirs in Karachi (19, June 1992). We do not need anyone sympathy because we are strong enough to handle our matters but it makes my heart bleeds that you guys have become so blind in hating MQM/Mohajirs that removed the historical oppression by army on Karachi and its people from the history. So pathetic!! So pathetic!! So many families in Karachi suffer during 7 years of army/state oppression against people of Karachi.

    9. Shawn Avatar

      This is the best example of might is right. And pak army generals are always in control with there hidden goals and benifits.

    10. Rabayl Avatar

      The military does not own 11.58 ‘percent’ of land but according to the article in The Hindu in the 5th last paragraph:

      “Of the 11.58 ‘million acres’ of land under its control”

    11. Asad Avatar

      Dr. sahib.. I request that you remove Hindustan Times and The Hindu as resources for this book. I don’t trust them, neither should any sensible Pakistani trust them.

    12. Qasim Yaqub Avatar

      I have read somes critical analysis over hottest “book” Military Inc. But it should be critisied that why Govt. has banned this book.Either there is any fear,it is a point to ponder for our Militry a militry Journal bacome a is only for (Army)why not these “fecilities” for Air cheif and Navel Offocers.they should take serious steps toward this Direction.
      Because it is free style resling.
      EDITOR:”NIQAAT” literary serial

    13. hassan Avatar

      My Dear Aysha …
      I m surprised to see how u hav thrown MUD on the prestigious instituion of Pakistan.u dont have the proper resources for attaining ligitimate information about army matters,things are much different thr.
      Gen. Pervez Musharraf is one hack of a person who has got the mission and the vission. He is the one who can change the future of our nation. It is vry easy to critisize on anyone.but we should know as well as face de realities . there is plenty of support for this Govt. and it is due to Gen. Musharaf. there is no match between Armed forces of Pakistan and other institutions. we should love our Armed Forces coz they are the back bone of our country. Time will prove this
      we should not say things which we dont know exactly . i dont trust what u hav said .
      but one thing i must appreciate tht
      u have selected a hot topic in order to get max. attention… WELL DONE

    14. Ubaid Avatar

      if any of you people are interested in reading the book and cant find it to buy….its available to be downloaded as a pdf file online at

    15. Javaid Avatar

      Dr. Shaiba,
      I m surperised,astonished and feel pitty on ur dirty n baised feelings n views towards the prestigious institution responsiable for the external as well as internal threats(posed by people like ur mentality) to the sovernity and security of our mother`land . Can you reply me who is the one who remains awaked and works round the clock like a mechine ignoring own pesonal as well as family comforts when u are having a sound sleep in ur bedroom at night. I ask you to send ur young son to siachin’ only for three days and lets c u not crying which is impossible , look at the young sons of those mothers who r serving the nation in such a dangerous n deathful vally, where merely survival is dream. i have no doubt that you r anything less a Pakistani.

      1. shazi gul Avatar

        I am well paid and given all the facilities they enjoy and the plots and benefits after retirement and the job after job and then pension again , if all this is given to me like other offices do enjoy… I will be more than happy to serve anywhere anytime…

        and mind it, When they go to siachin they get additional bonuses in their salaries and Travelling allowances…

        and even when they go to special duties like flood relief or other disaster duties… they get additional bonuses along with regular salaries… which ultimately tax payers of Pakistan and general public have to pay….

        Pick anyone in from the nation offer all that and you will see there are more than you required….

    16. ali raza Avatar
      ali raza

      Thanx for exposing the army. Please right one book on our parliamentarians. Certainly both democracy and dictatorship have proven to be a system for the rich. its time for a revoloution in pak

    17. wajiha Avatar

      Military Inc. is banned? Its available everywhere in islamabad….well it is in the 3 book shops i happened to go to yesterday

    18. Waseem Avatar

      Am totally agree with u. Ayesha has tried to gain the fame through the common weakness of the nation i.e., finding conspiracies in everything. In fact this our national dilema that we have three most weak areas. Firstly, we find conspiracies in everything, secondly we want legitimacy all around except ourself, and thirdly we are in habit of throwing blames to others.
      By writing such a book Ayesha has done what good to the nation other than creating frustration amongst the minds without true facts. It would have been much better if she would have proposed more profitable and superior ideas to the army instead of just criticising.
      A famous saying is that “defeated minds find problem amongst apportunities and successful minds find apportunities amongst problems.” I believe Ayesha’s book will be well received as max brethern of ours think like Ayesha. Its my sincere advise to Ayesha is that she must understand that Devil (Iblees) has the max Knowledge in the world as he was the leader of angles. Only thing which differentiate his Knowledge from the Knowledge of God is the attitude. he has distructive attitude and God orders for PEACE. So Ayesha must spread knowledge which advocates the love, affection, progress, improvement, sincerety and NOT the distruction, ambiguity, hatred, illusion, dissatisfaction etc.

    19. samu Avatar

      well doctor sahiba wanted to demoliish the new generation’s mind by creating these rubbish publications … what we need today is unity … n i dun think dis book is banned its avaliable very easily in karachi…
      for my opinion i would say this mess is just for havin fame

    20. Raana Avatar

      i have read all the comments.Positve and negative.Few praising and few criticising the Army.Lets remember that Army as an institution has always manipulated the political scenarios.They have been playing a role of puppet in American governments hands.The history shows the facts how Army played negative roles in various eras in Pakistan.if you talk about safeguarding the borders of the country,let me tell you we lost east Pakistn,we lost 71 war,we lost Kargal too.Now our country is again at stake.war on terror started by Bush is strengthened by Mush.Islam is portryed negativly by the Army Ruler,Balochistan is weeping,north Wazeeristan is crying,No law prevails,one can take your life for a purse or a golden chain or a mobile.So my dear friends its not about the act of soldiers but the institution which has always pulled back pakistan into dark eras.

    21. Babris Avatar

      I agree with Ayesha….
      Hamud ur Rehman Commission report and martial law teniors unveil all facts. We can see Musharraf’s visit to Abu Dhabi and meeting with Ex PM. His lust or we can say Military’s Lust for government positions is visible to the whole world.
      Besides, supporting talibanization in FATA, supporting moderate Islam in rest of Pakistan, using Afghanistan card on international forum to gain financial benefits from the west and using Kashmir card on National forum to snatch everything from 160 million poor Pakistanies, etc etc etc reveal the facts of their il malice.
      May ALlah help us and all muslims. Ameen

    22. Ali Avatar

      Very well said Mr. Raana, I agree with your viewpoint. And Mr. Javaid it is not about the local soldiers who leave their home in the name of Allah and for the nation and die, its about the people who earn millions of rupees in terms of holding highest positions in Federal/Provincial institutions after retirement, the ones who are biggest land owners of Pakistan, the ones who have easy access to everything!
      our 60 years history has proved role of Army, see today we where are we standing?
      I really feel pity for those who support this Govt and Mr. Pervez Musharraf, I see most of them (who are in favor of Mr. Genral PM ) either belong to Army fraternity or to loosers like ppl of PML

    23. Careless Comet Avatar
      Careless Comet

      Latest on Dr. Ayesha Agha!

      Guess what Ayesha Agha is doing! Latest is she is abroad and her cars not one car is parked at one of the Indian nationals in ISLAMABAD. One media lady from India got her out of the country after her book was published, and arranged her stay abroad with someone called Rajesh Roshi. They say she is funded, along with her trips & living by Indians and the Wilson Center Washington DC! Indians screw their own general for writing a book against RAW but hell with Pakistani authorities who have done nothing yet. By the way any one has news heard she divorced her second husband also and is with a third one now?

    24. carelesscomet Avatar

      Check this link to know about Dr. Ayesha

    25. Zahid Bhatti Avatar
      Zahid Bhatti

      Every one gets an allotted time. This could be an individual or a nation or an institution like Pak Army. What ever Pak Army is sowing it will reap fast. The crack has started. See how they are surrendering in hoardes. Their false claim to Islam to justify their atrocities will not come to their rescue. They are userpers. They are gang of rapist and looters. They proved it in Bangladesh ex-East Pakistan and faced the Music immediately when they surrendered with a Smile. Mushrraf is a part of an institutionalized scam. May be a lot in the Army is good but in general they are screwing the whole economy. The Army is responsible for the debaccle in the country. Politicians also played their own role but for that also, Army and the agencies are responsible. They have taken all the good lands and resources of the country. Just imagine what happens in the daily life of Army generals and Jawans. Fun, games and lavish spendings. The resources of the country are sucked into their extravaganze. when ever they were needed by the nation whether it was 1965 or 1971 or the deabaccle of Siachen. They didn’t deliver. They don’t want to fight. They are a bunch of looters and they will bite the same hand that fed them. See what is happening to Dr.Qadeer. The same agencies made money by selling the nuclear secrets and now they have made a scape goat of Dr. Qadeer. Can you imagine any thing moving in the country without the knowledge of Army intelligencia. Nothing. How could it be that secrets were sold to Libya, North Korea and Iran and no one in the Army knew about it. Now their strategy is different. Fool the US as much as they can to such their dollars for the welfare and gain of the Army top notch. They are all billionaires now. Now one knows how much money they got from the US by selling the Arabs and Pakistanis they caught and handing them hover to the US and also by allowing the US to use the resources of Pakistan. It is an irony that the nation called Pakistan is being eaten up by its own organ. May God bless the poors of Pakistan. Their prayers will only save the country. But changes always come. One should never loose hope. Where is the army of the Mongols. Where is the Japanese Army. Where is the Army of Nadir shah that looted the Indian cities. They are all part of history. The more atrocities you commit the nearer is your end.

    26. PKOBSERVER Avatar

      Hail Ayesha Siddiqa.

      A NCO gets 32 Acres of Land…

      WOW, HOw great the army is.. An NCo is a Naijk or a Havaldar…Copral or Sergent.

      His basic Pay is no more then 7000-11000. An there are more then atleast 60000-70000 NCOs in Army.

      I dont wanna go in detail about others, but an NCO getting 32 acres of Land..

      What a white lie..

    27. rosilva Avatar

      BUT MQM/MOHAJIR movement is the brain child of Military. Call it Military Qaumi Movement – the killing machine’s movement.

    28. Mirza Rohail B Avatar

      The book BANNED in Pakistan is nothing BUT a LIE ! The copies are available everywhere in pakistan! Pls read the refuttal which EXPOSES HER LIES:

      LATEST : A refuttal —> “Ayesha Siddiqa’s MILITARY INC: A Deflective and Derogatory Book”

      Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s ‘The Military Inc.’ is a book deflective of reality, highly derogatory and against the very notion of sovereignty. Dr Ayesha Siddiqa launches the book by giving the impression that her intention is to cover the entrepreneurial activities of military worldwide. . The publication of Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s own book ‘Military Inc’ in 2007, in President Musharraf’s era, Dr Ayesha Siddiqa wrote a whole book, to malign a system (MILBUS) whose worth does not exceed 0.8% of Pakistan’s free market economy.


    29. Sarah Avatar

      Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s ‘The Military Inc.’ is a book deflective of reality, highly derogatory and against the very notion of sovereignty.

      Dr Ayesha Siddiqa launches the book by giving the impression that her intention is to cover the entrepreneurial activities of military worldwide. However, in depth reading reaffirms suspicions that her book massively targets the Pakistan Military and the top echelons of the Armed Forces, most of which are based upon self serving assumptions and intentional hoodwinking. A labyrinth of financial figures is presented to further obscure the ordinary reader’s intelligence.

      The book sets forward four arguments. First, that MILBUS (Military Business) is military capital that perpetuates the military’s political predatory style; and is kept concealed and includes questionable transfer of resources from public sector to individuals connected with armed Forces. Second, the military’s economic greed increases in totalitarian systems. Third, Military convinces the citizens to bear additional costs for security on basis of conceived threats to the State. Fourth, the book considers the Pakistan Military the cause of all ills, social disparity and democratic fiasco.

      Let’s start by setting the record straight. MILBUS in Pakistan – is the result of honest intentions and visionary policies – to raise independent resources, to self-finance the on-going national technological development, to modernize strategic assets, and most importantly, the determination to rely less on Foreign Aid. While at the same time, build facilities for retired military personnel and their families; and slowly withdrawing from National Defense budget allocation as a percentage of GDP.

      MILBUS also exists in well developed countries like the USA, UK, France, China, Israel or even Turkey. The Milbus or the PMEs (Private Military Enterprises) are generally known as the Private Military Industry. Famous US PMEs include Halliburton, Black-water worldwide, Defensecurity, Titan Corporations, Kellogg Brown & Root, Air Scan, DynCorp’s, CACI International, etc. Famous UK PMEs include Black-Op’s and Aegis Defense Services. Most of these are active beneficiaries of the Iraq War. The worldwide PME industry is now worth over $100 billion a year. Thus, this is not just a Pakistan specific industry.

      MILBUS in Pakistan is being criticized unnecessarily, with the sole intention to malign the Armed Forces. The Pakistan military has never intended to deliberately conceal their economic activities and they do not cause injustice by weighing heavily on civilian corporate sector or individual leaders.

      The book ‘Military Inc’ is based upon a series of presumptions and false accusations. Throughout her book, the author obstinately insists that the growth of Military economy is the case of self interest and predatory acquisition by senior officers, in which it allow the Generals to seek benefit for themselves and their clients.

      The author fails to provide, any concrete evidence that could confirm her allegations, that questionable transfer of wealth is made to individuals connected with armed forces. All she could give in example were the 500 sq yard official plots given to the Generals at the end of their service, as part of their benefits, and hence her assumption that a retired general is worth from Rs.150 million to Rs.400 million.

      Rarely do critics mention, that nominal deduction from the pay of all military officers are made during their service, in return for a small apartment or a small housing, which is handed over at the time of their retirement. However, this facility is still not available to all retiring servicemen.

      Next, the book alleges that the military’s economic greed increases in totalitarian systems, where the general public, private businessmen, civilian corporate sector and national business units are all oppressed to encourage and endorse military business units. Her book focuses largely on the four welfare projects managed by the Pakistan Military i.e. The Fauji Foundation (FF), the Army Welfare Trust (AWT), Shaheen Foundation (SF) and Bahria Foundation (BF), and in some places the Frontier Works Organization (FWO).

      The author believes that “the profit earned by military is directly proportional to power and gives the armed forces a sense of being independent of the incompetent civilians” – which can only be considered as an extremely reckless comment.

      There was great wisdom behind establishing these welfare projects. The visionary minds knew that “the profit earned by the military will be directly proportional to Sovereignty of the Country and the Institution”.

      The Military established its first welfare foundation in 1954, with funds received from the British as part of Pakistan’s share of the Post War Services Reconstruction Fund. In India, those funds were distributed immediately amongst those who fought the Second World War. Unlike India, Pakistan’s wise military opted to use those funds to establish projects that would ensure the overall well-being, availability of jobs, and a decent pension for their armed forces.

      The initial purpose of these welfare projects was to create employment opportunities for the honorable retired or disabled military personnel. Servicemen – whose only obligation is defending the borders of Pakistan.

      This one wise decision, not only raised the morals of the serving military men, but also gave the ordinary citizens a reason to join the Armed Forces of Pakistan and serve their country. Assured that their future is protected, the servicemen live their lives in testing times on borders, remote locations and a life away from family.

      The Fauji Foundation, Shaheen Foundation and Bahria Foundation were all established under the Charitable Endowments Act 1890. The Army Welfare Trust was established under the Societies Registration Act 1860.

      Then all these entities are registered Tax-paying Companies. The Army Welfare Trust and the Fauji Foundation pays tax at 20% of their profits. Shaheen Foundation and Bahria Foundation pay Taxes at 30% of their profits. Fair enough!

      This limited industrial base that evolved over years added to the military’s credibility and resolves to contribute towards the Nation’s socio-economic development and Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Like any ordinary successful businessmen or multi-national corporations (MNCs), the Pakistan Military utilized their available structure, nominal budget and dedicated their human resources for the welfare of the uniformed men and civilians working in those companies. While also pioneering technology, developing expertise and establishing quality control.

      The book ‘Military Inc’ accuses the Pakistan Armed forces of running business (MILBUS) that are diverse in nature, ranging from small scale to large scale corporate enterprises. As examples, it quotes Schools, Banks, Insurance Company, Radio and TV, a Fertilizer company, Hospitals and Clinics, Cement plant, Universities and institutes, etc.

      Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa left no opportunity to magnify and exaggerate the limited and partial presence of MILBUS competing in Pakistan’s broad based expanding economy.

      Let’s analyze the limited magnitude and negligible worth of these Military run ventures, compared to similar mega business entities currently present in Pakistan.

      According to State Bank of Pakistan, there are total 73 Banks in Pakistan. From which, there are 24 Limited banks, 11 Foreign Banks, 8 Financial Banks, 4 Specialized Banks, 13 Investment Banks, 7 Micro-finance Banks and 6 Islamic banks. Out of these total 73 banks – Dr Ayesha Siddiqa tends to be intolerable towards ONE ‘Askari Bank’ run by Military? In 2007, Askari Bank paid a Tax of Rs. 743 million.

      According to Federal Bureau of Statistics, there are 24 Cement plants in Pakistan, and only ONE owned by ‘Fauji Cement Company Ltd’. A Tax-paying company listed on the Stock Exchange.

      According to State Bank of Pakistan, there are total 59 Insurance companies in Pakistan. There are 4 in the Public sector, 50 companies in the private sector and 5 are incorporated abroad. Why should anyone be narrow-minded towards ONE owned by military – ‘Askari General Insurance Ltd’, which is listed on the Stock Exchange and pays Tax?

      According to the Health Division and the P.M.D.C, there are around 924 Hospitals, 12,726 Medical Institutions, 560 Rural Health Centers and 4712 Dispensaries all over Pakistan. Out of these, if 10 Hospitals and 20 Medical Centers are being run by Fauji Foundation, what’s the hue & cry about? These Medical services are offered to the military and civilians alike. Even the prestigious Aga Khan Health Services (AGHS) own 7 Hospitals and 164 Medical Centers.

      According to State Bank Pakistan, there are above 10 Fertilizer Plants in Pakistan from which 6 are State owned and the rest are private. Out of these, only ONE is military owned, the ‘Fauji Fertilizer Company Ltd’, which is listed on the Stock Exchange and audited by KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co, and pays Tax annually.

      According to Higher Education Commission, there are 122 Universities in Pakistan. Out of which, 65 are in the Public sector and 57 in the private sector. Foundation University and Bahria University are the only two affiliated with Armed Forces providing quality education to all citizens alike.

      Foundation Schools have 90 branches all over Pakistan; compared to the City School which has more than 150 branches and the Beacon-house School which has around 130 branches. We as a Nation should triumph the quality education being promoted by the Foundation schools and the model paradigm implemented.

      The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has 50,125 companies registered with it. From these only 9 are MILBUS projects. Why can’t Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa accept these 9 MILBUS projects out of the 50,125 projects broadmindedly?

      The author also alleges that Military’s Internal Economy is hampering the growth of Pakistan’s free market economy – which of course is not true. For her information, under this same system and era, and under the leadership of General Musharraf, Pakistan’s free market economy boomed from $75 billion in 1999 to become $160 billion in 2007.

      In the last 6 years, the free market economy of Pakistan expanded by $85 billion. The expansion and growth the Civilian Corporate sector, National Business Units and Multi-National Corporations witnessed in these last 6 years remain unprecedented in Pakistan’s Economic History. Hence proven, that Military’s Internal Economy did not hamper Pakistan’s free market economy!

      According to Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s book, the worth of Fauji Foundation is $169m, the worth of Army Welfare trust is $862m, the worth of Shaheen Foundation is $34.4m and the worth of Bahria Foundation is $69m. Total worth of MILBUS entities in Pakistan arise to ONLY $1.135 billion.

      Hence, the presence of MILBUS companies, in Pakistan’s free economy of $160 billion, amongst these other sectors and enterprises arises to a negligible maximum 0.8%.

      The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) Market Capitalization in January 2008 stood at $75 billion. MILBUS worth as compared to KSE again arises to only 1.5%.

      It’s amusing to note that Dr Ayesha Siddiqa wrote a whole book, to malign a system (MILBUS) whose worth does not exceed 0.8% of Pakistan’s free market economy.

      Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s desire to portray the Pakistan Military as a coercive and self serving breed aiming to consolidate their economic power at the expense of Pakistan, not only erodes her neutrality into bias, but the above economic comparisons also contradict all her presumptuous and sham claims. As MILBUS in Pakistan has been competing fairly in free market and contributing to today’s knowledge-based economy. It has played an active role to generate revenue for Pakistan and in contributing to overall GDP.

      One of the greatest wisdom foreseen, behind establishing MILBUS was to liberate the Pakistan Armed Forces of international aid assistance and interference. Classified financial autonomy gives the Armed Forces a sense of self-respect and confidence of being independent of the dominating ‘International Coalition of the willing’ and their foreign aid.

      The Pakistan Army has received a total of around $17 billion from the United States for arms, equipment and compensation since 1954, the year the United States entered into defense pacts with Pakistan. Much of it was uselessly spend during the 1980’s Afghan war and the wars Pakistan fought with India. After 9/11, the famous foreign assistance of $10 billion comprises 60% reimbursement costs for expenditure incurred by the Pakistani Military while patrolling on PAK-Afghan border, recorded in the ‘Coalition Support Funds’. These worthless assistances have not helped the Pakistan Army contrary to perception propagated in media reports.

      Because, with these insignificant and worthless assistance, follows a series of humiliating articles and editorials composed in American print media. The clueless and prejudice Pakistani media ignorantly picks up the chanting and further plays an important role in distorting and altering the actual facts and figures. No relevant person is approached to clarify and set facts straight. Authors like Dr Ayesha Siddiqa bank on such distortion to further slander the admirable Pakistan Military.

      After year 2000, the $85 billion expansion of Pakistan’s economy, decreased the ratio of US aid & assistance to Pakistan’s economy by around 100%. Now the U.S aid & assistance account to only 6.25% of Pakistan’s expanding economy. Pakistan is successfully wriggling out of foreign influence. Visionary MILBUS was the right step in the right direction at the right time!

      Pakistan Military requires a proper platform utilized to clear the misperceptions being propagated against them and counter the sham allegations. In short, Pakistan military lacks the exposure to enhance their PR with the Public. Pakistani GHQ and ISPR should take up an active role similar to Pentagon and make their interactions more effective.

      Next, the book ‘Military Inc’ considers Pakistan Military the root cause of social disparity and democratic fiasco. It alleges that socio-political fragmentation would result in strengthening the army’s control over politics. Throughout her book, Dr Ayesha Siddiqa lambasts and scoffs at the concept of MILBUS accusing the military of building assets and calling them as the ‘new land barons’.

      In her desperation to smear the Army, she even fails to condemn the corruption practiced and coercive measures exercised by the inept political leaders. How these redundant leaders influence the bureaucracy, alter the constitution, plunder national institutions, stagnated the trade & exports, multiplied the foreign debts for the country, rob the country of the foreign reserves and accumulate their wealth in developed countries – is all together ignored by her conveniently.

      The truth is that the Armed forces are forced to intervene reluctantly and take control of the state to save it from the irresponsible and hopeless politicians, who drag the country towards brink of collapse, every time they come to power.

      In short, Pakistan’s external debt rose from $18 billion in 1988 to become $38 billion by end of 1999. In 1999, Pakistan’s total debt (internal & external) was almost 90% of its GDP. External debt in ratio to foreign exchange earnings were 347%. Debt servicing allocated in 1999 budget was 61% of total revenue resources. According to the World Bank, in 1999-2000 Pakistan was amongst the highly indebted countries.

      Despite the above mentioned debacle for Pakistan – the substantial expansion in the personal wealth, land and business interests of Mr. Zardari and Mr. Nawaz Sharif has earned them a place in the ‘Top 5 richest people’ of Pakistan in 2007. Not a single General or military servicemen made it to the list of ‘Top 40 Richest Pakistani’. Who should we consider a peril to Pakistan’s existence – these fraudulent politicians or the reserved military?

      The Raiwind complex of Nawaz Sharif, build on an area of around 2000 acre, consist of palatial residences, 300 acre farm, 500 bed hospital, a school, 200 acre dairy farm, etc – constructed at a cost of above Rs. 800 million. He personally owns Ittefaq foundries, three Sugar mills, numerous Textile mills, Steel Mills, Paper Mills, Spinning mills, Engineering companies, and numerous other business units. He owns several residential properties in Lahore and Muree. He owns vast acres of lands in Sheikhapura, Chunian, Raiwind, Multan and Bhopattian. These feudal turned politicians can easily be labeled as the ‘old Pakistani barons’.

      Dr Ayesha Siddiqa also alleges that the military convinces the citizens to bear additional costs for security on basis of conceived threats to the State. She wants the public to believe that their taxes are being exploited at the expense of the notion ‘National Security’. This statement of hers is an attempt to ignore and snub the volatile situation Pakistan faces at its borders.

      She also remains oblivious to the fact, that India allocates 5 times that of Pakistan’s defense spending.

      However, under President Musharraf, the military spending DECREASED as percentage of GDP and National budget. It now stands at 3% of GDP and 15% of National budget. It strikes out though, how Dr Ayesha Siddiqa veils and ignores the bulk of the National budget of 85% that lies at the disposal of the manipulative hands of our shady politicians. The public has the right to know, what proper utilization has been brought about with that unaccountable 85% in the 1990’s?

      This derogatory book ‘Military Inc’ intends to sow seeds of disenchantment amongst the general public against the modest and patriotic institution of the Armed forces of Pakistan, and lower its grace. Those Armed Forces of Pakistan that run to protect and deliver relief, to ordinary Pakistanis in times of calamities, natural disasters, floods, train accidents, and earthquakes. Does Pakistan have any other force or institution which is as disciplined and effective in providing speedy help immediately? Shouldn’t we strengthen this only institution that we have?

      The publication of Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s own book ‘Military Inc’ in 2007, in President Musharraf’s era, repudiates her claims to term the military rule as manipulative and suppressive. It’s evident that no subtle or coercive measures were taken against her or any arm-twisting to curb the publication of this highly controversial book! Where would she find such boundless and gracious freedom? The book ‘Military Inc’ has become a checker of the chessboard being maneuvered by the unknown and ambiguous foreign powers interested in Balkanization of Pakistan.

      The ultimate objective of the book ‘Military Inc’ is to perpetrate friction and cause dissent amongst the ranks of the disciplined Armed Forces. By deliberately triggering upheaval within the lower ranks, the intention appears to encourage internal revolt. As a consequence, the unity, discipline and allegiance of the Armed Forces of Pakistan can be destroyed.

      Thus, to protect the allegiance of the Armed Forces, the whole concept of visionary MILBUS is justified, as a set of activities for the development of Pakistan’s military might, meant to counter the rising regional threat convergence and decreasing dependence upon foreign aid – ultimately protecting the sovereignty of Pakistan and its savior Armed Forces!

      Glory and Triumph to Pakistan Armed Forces!

      Afreen Baig is an independent analyst majoring in International Relations and Economics. She can be reached at

    30. Ashraf Avatar

      I am seeing through the entire refuttal of Dr Ayesha Siddiqa. The entire refuttal is based on the following;
      a) Military has very limited presence in Banks, Schools, Insurance, Industries and in economy and diligently pays taxes
      b) The politicians are inept and corrupt so reserverd military is better.

      My question to you all is:

      a) If your airline pilot is not competent will you justify a bank clerk flying the airline? Simliarly if the politicians are corrupt and inept how does it justify military taking part in politics and economy ???

      b) Military has been ruling over more than 40-50 yrs since independence. So who is responsible for the current state of the country ??