Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, A growing number of Pakistanis are becoming aware that the army has become a hybrid regime. Corruption and the illegal purchase of (overseas) assets is rife among Government officials and ruling elites.
But it is also rampant among the Pakistani Generals. A recent report by Asian Lite shows how a retired three-star General became a billionaire through state largesse.
1. General Asim Bajwa
Pakistan’s top military leadership has a well-known reputation for being corrupt and unaccountable. In a country that was directly ruled by the military for 35 years after its independence, the army’s senior ranks have exploited, abused and even killed people in their pursuit of power and wealth both at home and abroad. It’s also a powerful institution that wields great influence in national politics and rakes in huge sums of money by running private businesses and controlling illegal border trade.
It’s also a very effective tool for toppling governments through coups and manipulating the country’s political system. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, the military’s preponderant presence in virtually all facets of national life has also made it an attractive business partner for firms in Pakistan, who hire retired generals on fat salaries to get work done, obtain clearances, and browbeat rivals and clients.
Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, this is hardly new, but it’s getting worse as the rot sets in. In 2020, a website called Fact-Focus published inputs about the assets of Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, who was then the DG of Pakistan’s public relations and chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPEC). According to the inputs, the retired general had over 100 Papa John’s franchises in the US and UAE as well as high-end properties in Pakistan and elsewhere.
He was also allegedly directing the CPEC project from Dubai and facilitating a slew of illegal deals for his family. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, the revelations were so severe that he had to step down from his posts.
The army’s top brass threw their weight behind his replacement, Munir Ahmad Khan. He is a former head of Military Intelligence and has commanded several brigades in the northwest, including one on operations with the Taliban. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, he has also run the espionage agency ISI, which keeps tabs on threats to the country’s security.
His appointment signals the army’s thumbs-down at both Imran Khan and the PDM leadership. It’s a move that could have serious implications for the country and its future. Ahead of the upcoming elections, the army needs to send a message that corruption and impunity will not be tolerated.
2. General Fazle Haq
A daylight murder of a religious leader, heroin trafficking, a suicide mission by a pilot, a coup plot hatched by politicians and the machinations of a superpower – all these are rumours twirling around retired Lieutenant General Fazle Haq. Haq was a corps commander, governor and chief minister of the North-West Frontier Province, and a member of the military dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq.
He is suspected of amassing an unexplained fortune not commensurate with his known sources of income, and he has been accused of illegally acquiring property worth Rs 1.6 billion in Karachi. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, he was also accused of smuggling drugs and arms from the Taliban to Afghanistan, and of funding terrorist activities.
The allegations against him are so grave that he had been referred to the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Supreme Court. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, he was arrested in March this year and is facing several charges, including corruption. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, he is currently in Peshawar jail on remand.
During the 1980s, when the Pakistani army was engaged in its jihad against the erstwhile Soviet Union, heroin smuggling and gun running were booming business in the tribal belt along the Afghan border. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, as corps commander and later governor of NWFP, Haq was one of the lynchpins of this business.
Successive governments and courts have conspicuously avoided trying cases of corruption against former top army officers who, in part through national security claims, have used the armed forces to loot the country. Long periods of martial law have given army officers the opportunity to syphon off public funds from a variety of institutions that are considered sacred cows and above the law.
The army presents itself as the champion of middle-class values in opposition to a dynastic political class that stands for feudal values. It uses its proclaimed fight against corruption to delegitimize political actors and conceal predatory, kleptocratic behavior. Its propaganda machine runs a major media empire and a squad of social media operators to malign critics and uphold its reputation. The army also employs an array of tactics to undermine the country’s democratic institutions, including by manipulating electoral processes. It has been successful in weakening Pakistan’s traditional two-party system and toppling elected prime ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.
3. General Asad Durrani
With his latest book, Honour Among Spies, Durrani aims to expose the deep corruption in Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. Durrani was a three-star general who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) before retiring in 2010. He served during a time when Pakistan faced several challenges: shifting regional and international alliances; negotiating with India over Kashmir; and dealing with domestic economic recovery.
Durrani’s book follows a fictionalised story of a Pakistani lieutenant general who faces repercussions after co-authoring a spy novel with a former chief spy from India. While there are no secrets revealed, Durrani does expose the “blind adherence to tribal affiliations” that he says is pervasive in Pakistan’s intelligence services.
The army is a self-serving institution that uses its institutional power to manipulate political processes and delegitimize political actors. Its anti-corruption rhetoric is often used to justify its removal of several governments from office over the years. But it’s also a cloak for the corrupt exploitation of national resources by military elites.
Over the years, serving and retired generals have been involved in financial bungling, extortion, bribery, and influence peddling for personal gain. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, he list of scandals is endless. It includes taking handouts from foreign potentates, leasing government properties at low prices, running protection rackets in the disturbed areas of Balochistan, and even taking commissions on defence deals.
Pakistan Army Generals
Many of these scandals have been uncovered by leaked documents. But the standard defence put forward by the army is that it’s all part of a RAW conspiracy.
Despite the corruption, the army is still the most powerful force in the country. It is able to control the political discourse, and influence public opinion through its deep network of cronies in the media. In addition, the army cultivates a narrative that depicts traditional politicians from the PMLN and PPP as corrupt and unpatriotic. This narrative has won support from a large section of the youth and urban middle class. This gives the army an incentive to continue its machinations. Its main goal is to keep itself on top of the power game by using its size, money and geopolitical positioning.
4. General Ashfaq Kiyani
The emergence of Pakistan as a frontline ally in the US war on terror was accompanied by a dark period in the country’s history, one marked by enforced disappearances of civilian dissidents and an unchecked military-led takeover of government institutions. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, the military also received substantial financial backing from the US, allowing it to pursue adventures abroad for which it was completely unaccountable.
In the ensuing decades, Pakistan’s army-dominated political system was marked by mismanagement and corruption. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, the country became a safe haven for Osama Bin Laden, and the military’s control over foreign policy led to the establishment of military-backed terrorist factions such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. At home, the military ignored fundamental economic problems and corrupt officials were a common sight in government ministries.
This endemic malaise reached the very top of the government when General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani took office in 2007. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, the former four-star general has earned a reputation for being an opportunistic leader who favoured political allies and used military power to manipulate the country’s resources. During his tenure, he removed the government three times and re-instituted military control of security and foreign policy.
But Kayani’s most infamous actions may be his attempt to use monetary incentives and favouritism to cultivate political allies and extract influence from the country’s fractious elite. He is accused of approving expansive shopping lists of American military hardware that were more suitable for a conventional war with India than for fighting tribal militants in Pakistan. Pakistan Corrupted Army Generals, he also oversaw the expansion of the country’s nuclear weapons program.
Rights campaigners say that while corruption in the armed forces is widespread, high-ranking generals and officers are rarely prosecuted for their crimes. This impunity is rooted in the perception that the military is an institution that is above criticism or accountability. The leaking of the Pandora Papers has exposed the extent to which the Pakistani military is corrupt, with reports suggesting that many officers have secret Swiss bank accounts. In a country where politicians are dragged through the mud for even the slightest wrongdoing, it’s not surprising that the same applies to the military.