Congress this fall will begin reviewing a new six-year US aid package to Pakistan totaling more than $4 billion. Crucial to the outcome is Pakistan’s military role in the Gulf. Pakistan’s military missions in 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa make it the largest exporter of military manpower in the Third World. Its role in the Gulf has a direct bearing on Washington’s strategy in the region, on the future security role of the Gulf Cooperation Council and on Pakistan’s own internal political dynamic.

Pakistan has consistently placed among the top five recipients of US military and economic aid over the past three decades. This request, for funds beginning in FY 1988, would exceed the $3.2 billion the country has received from the US over the past five years. Half of the new package is for military aid. Pakistan is also hoping to have interest charges reduced from the current 11 to 14 percent, with a seven year repayment period, to a more manageable 3 to 6 percent interest, with a 30 year repayment period.

Congress will not be particularly receptive to the request because of Pakistan’s nuclear program, the strength of the pro-Israeli lobby and the expected protests from India. Diplomats and Pakistani officials predict that Washington will actually offer about the same as the current package, but with no five-year commitment. Washington will give a private undertaking to Islamabad that aid will be disbursed, but Pakistan will have to make an annual sales pitch.

Officials in Islamabad point out that even more important than economic and military aid are firmer guarantees from Washington that it will come to Pakistan’s aid if its security is threatened. Relations with Afghanistan and the Soviet Union are at a low ebb, and the situation in Iran remains unstable; India is still considered the greatest threat. Officials here would like to see the 1959 Executive Agreement with Washington upgraded into a full-fledged treaty. The US has consistently shied away from giving such commitments to Pakistan, even at such high crisis points as the Bangladesh war in 1971.

Washington is now in a much stronger position to squeeze Pakistan than it was in 1981, when the $3.2 billion package was hastily put together following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. President Zia ul-Haq is no longer the leader who could dismiss President Carter’s offer of $300 million in aid in 1980 as “peanuts.” The reasons for Pakistan’s susceptibility vis-à-vis the US are plentiful. Both President Zia and US diplomats have stated that the Soviets do not pose a threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty. There is no real fear of the Soviets wanting to dismember Pakistan. Washington’s need for a Pakistani regime that will give it access to the Afghan border regions to arm Afghani rebels is no longer in any doubt as it was in 1981. The CIA is now directly supplying the rebels with some $480 million worth of sophisticated armaments each year. (There are reports here in Pakistan that Stinger antiaircraft missiles have now reached the hands of the mujahidin, but rebel leaders meeting with President Reagan in Washington in late June denied this.)

Continuing political and social instability in Pakistan and tense relations with its neighbors make the military even more dependent on Washington’s good will. Washington has strongly endorsed President Zia’s lifting of the eight year old martial law and his experiment with a controlled form of democracy. But the army still maintains a powerful political role in the face of a growing opposition movement, and the regime continues to face a crisis of legitimacy.

Washington’s future aid commitment will depend on the following factors:

  • Pakistan must desist from testing a nuclear weapon, although Washington is not averse to Pakistan continuing its nuclear program. US officials have told Islamabad that they cannot press an aid package through Congress if Pakistani businessmen continue to be arrested for buying nuclear weapons technology in the United States.
  • Islamabad must continue to improve its relations with India, so that US support for Pakistan does not compromise Washington’s now-friendly relations with New Delhi. Washington will be much more cautious on what arms it sells to the Pakistani military, because of the adverse impact such sales would have on Indo-US relations.
  • The US will continue to be given full access to the Afghan border regions in order to arm the Afghan rebels. Last year, a task force of a dozen US senators and congresspeople criticized the gross mismanagement and corruption in the CIA arms pipeline. According to Senator Gordon Humphrey, up to 80 percent of the aid was being siphoned off before it reached the rebels. [1] He blamed Pakistani officials, the Afghan guerrilla leaders and the CIA itself. Sources claim that the CIA intends to tighten up the pipeline by insisting on an even greater direct role in the distribution of arms and money to the rebels. The role of Pakistan’s intelligence services will be reduced, but new weapons systems the CIA introduces will still have to be vetted by Islamabad.
  • The US is keen to have greater access to Iranian border regions. Reliable sources claim that at present Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, and Erzerum in eastern Turkey have become the major listening posts and operational bases for US intelligence on Iran. Washington is trying to rebuild its intelligence and information gathering network in Iran before Ayatollah Khomeini dies.
  • The US is also stepping up the recruitment of Afghans in Pakistan for use in undercover operations in Afghanistan, Iran and the Gulf. In 1984, the American media reported that over 100 Afghans had undergone intelligence training in the US to handle the clandestine arms pipeline. [2] The majority are stationed in Pakistan, where they handle the arms inflow, and recruit and train more Afghans. Others have been moved to the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Iran. They are Muslims, they speak Persian and Pashto, and many speak English and Urdu as well. They elicit political sympathy because of the Soviet invasion of their country. This makes them a natural resource base for US intelligence.
  • Washington would like to enhance the agreement it has with Islamabad for full access to all new Soviet weapons captured by the rebels in Afghanistan. In July 1985, two Soviet Hind MI-24 helicopter gunships flown to Quetta by defecting Afghan pilots were handed over to the US military for inspection as part of a secret agreement with Islamabad. [3] (Diplomatic sources confirm this; Islamabad has neither denied nor confirmed it.)
  • The US would like to encourage Zia ul-Haq’s program of gradual “democratization” progress, as long as it does not alter the country’s foreign policy and the army retains overall control. The Reagan Administration is apprehensive about the demand by Pakistan’s 11 major opposition parties, united in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD), for direct talks with Kabul and a political settlement in Afghanistan. US Ambassador Deane Hinton created a storm of criticism last year when he claimed to be baffled by the thought processes of those opposition MRD leaders who demand direct negotiations with the Kabul regime. With the lifting of martial law at the beginning of this year, a country-wide protest movement has erupted against President Zia’s Afghan policy, demanding a settlement, the return of secret agreement with Islamabad. [4] (Diplomatic sources confirm this; Islamabad has neither denied nor confirmed it.)
  • The US would like to encourage Zia ul-Haq’s program of gradual role in the US Central Command (formerly the Rapid Deployment Force) strategy in the Gulf.


Military Links

The US has had close ties with Pakistan since the state’s inception in 1947. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles promoted the notion of “the two strong points of Turkey and Pakistan to contain communism.” [5] President Richard Nixon later included Iran as one of the “anchors of stability in West Asia.” President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a strategy of “four pillars,” which included Egypt. President Reagan’s spokesmen have said that “a stable Pakistan can serve as an anchor for the entire region.” [6] Yet relations have always deteriorated after Indo-Pakistan wars, which led to the US arms embargoes on Pakistan. Pakistan’s military links with the Middle East began with US sponsorship. As a member of the Dulles-era military pacts—SEATO (Southeast Asian Treaty Organization) and CENTO (Central Treaty Organization)—Pakistan received lavish US military aid and forged links in the region. In the 1960s, President Ayub Khan exported over-ambitious or disgruntled officers to help build up the emerging armed forces in the Gulf states. Many of these officers subsequently retired from the Pakistan Army and now work as permanent staff of the Gulf armies. In 1967, Ayub concluded a formal agreement on cooperation in military training with Saudi Arabia.

After the loss of Bangladesh in 1971, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto sought to distance himself from the subcontinent and projected Pakistan as a Middle Eastern power, cementing financial, economic and military ties with the now oil-rich Gulf countries. Thousands of Pakistani military personnel, especially technicians, pilots and officers, filled the gaps in the Gulf armed forces. In return, Arab wealth helped rebuild the shattered Pakistan army. Arabs financed Pakistan’s major arms purchases during the arms embargo imposed by the US and the West. Most of these deals remained secret, but it is known that Libya gave Pakistan $200 million to buy arms in 1975-76 in return for pilots for the Libyan air force. Abu Dhabi funded the purchase of 32 Mirage V fighters at a cost of $330 million and contracted Pakistani crews to fly 24 for its own air force. [7] President Zia continued this policy. In 1981, Saudi Arabia financed the $800 million purchase of 40 F-16s from the US for the Pakistan Air Force. In return, Pakistan agreed to station troops and technicians in Saudi Arabia. [8]

According to government officials, Pakistan now has military missions in 22 countries, making it the largest exporter of military manpower in the Third World. Pakistani military personnel serve in all Middle East countries except Egypt, North and South Yemen and Israel. They also serve in many African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Maldives and Zambia. After a coup attempt in Kenya, all senior Kenyan air force officers were replaced by Pakistanis. Pakistanis also run the air forces of Zimbabwe and Somalia. The Omani army has traditionally recruited manpower from Baluchistan and hired Pakistani army officers for all middle and junior ranks. Pakistani naval personnel predominate in the fledgling navies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Pakistani naval crews are helping the French run Saudi Arabia’s new naval school in Jubail, which will train all naval officers from the GCC. Hundreds of Pakistani pilots and air crews are seconded to the air forces of the GCC.

Approximately 40,000 to 50,000 Pakistani military personnel are now serving abroad. At present, the largest commitment is to Saudi Arabia, where Pakistan has exported an entire infantry unit. It is estimated that Pakistan has one division (13,000 men), two armored and two artillery brigades (10,000 men), and numerous naval and air force personnel in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan also provides labor for Saudi military construction projects of the US Army Corps of Engineers. [9]

The military has ruled Pakistan since 1958, except for a brief spell from 1971-1977. It has benefitted enormously from this export of personnel. It now has nearly 500,000 men under arms and another 500,000 in reserve, two-thirds more than President Ayub had to fight the 1965 war with India. Since 1971, the armed forces have increased at a steady rate of 10 percent per annum, while from 1979 to 1982 the defense budget rose by 56 percent. Those abroad on deputation are rotated every one or two years, so that today some 40 percent of the armed forces have been the beneficiaries of the greatly enhanced salaries abroad. A Pakistani major serving in Saudi Arabia receives Rps. 70,000 salary compared to the Rps. 3500 he receives at home. A private gets Rps.12,000 compared to Rps. 800 at home. [10]

These conditions have led to a scramble among officers and men to go to the Gulf. On their return, officers can build houses and import luxury consumer items not previously available to them. It has fostered a new, wealthy, highly privileged military elite that has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

These policies have also brought problems for Pakistan’s relations with the Arab world. Pakistani officers in Jordan had to fight alongside King Hussein’s army against the Palestinians in the Black September war in 1970. During the last martial law, Palestinian-Pakistan relations reached their lowest ebb, despite Pakistan’s continued lip service to the Palestinian cause. When Libyan troops invaded Chad, Pakistan withdrew its military mission and relations are poor. In 1983, Riyadh insisted that Pakistan not send Shi‘i officers to serve in Saudi Arabia. Islamabad has not complied with this request, although all officers sent on deputation are carefully vetted. The trickiest situation has been the Gulf War. Pakistan has tried to maintain good relations with both Iran and Iraq, but there is always the danger that Pakistani troops could become involved if the war spreads.

Military Collaboration

There are no formal arrangements between the US and Pakistan on combined military operations in the Middle East. But Pakistan’s military presence in 22 countries, most of them close US allies, allows Washington to avoid a direct military presence and rely on Pakistani forces, especially in military-technical roles. Pakistani troops in Saudi Arabia are especially crucial in this regard. In an emergency they could act as a reliable back-up force until Central Command (CENTCOM) could mobilize US troops and supplies.

There is already some cooperation between Central Command and the Pakistani military. The US has been in the forefront of refurbishing the Pakistan navy. It began the supply of six refitted Gearing-class destroyers (for $18 million) in 1978. Since then the US has provided Harpoon ship-to-ship missiles in 1983 and Mohawk OV-I radar planes. France has sold Pakistan 11 submarines, while the Chinese have supplied smaller patrol craft. The Pakistan navy—its helicopters armed with Exocet missiles and accompanied by reconnaissance aircraft—has been patrolling alongside the US carrier battle group in the Arabian Sea. Reports last year said that Pakistani naval ships had been providing the US battle group with supplies from Karachi, which is the largest naval and logistical port supply facility in the region. [11] US Congressional hearings also disclosed that American P-3 ASW (anti-submarine warfare) aircraft have been regularly refuelling at a Pakistani air force base near Karachi. [12] On a visit to Pakistan in January 1985, US naval commander Admiral James Watkins said that reinforcement of the Pakistan navy was essential not only to safeguard Pakistan but to strengthen regional stability. Since then there have been numerous visits by US naval personnel.

Pakistani critics of the naval buildup argue that the country does not need a large navy because any threat from its neighbors will not come from the sea. Pakistan can never hope to compete with the Indian navy (in 1971, India destroyed 40 percent of Pakistan’s navy and rendered the rest inactive). The critics argue that naval involvement in the Gulf, with or without the Americans, exposes Pakistan unnecessarily to the vicissitudes of the Gulf War.

Pakistan and the GCC

It would be naive to presume that Pakistan’ military presence in the Gulf is solely dictated by US interests. But these military links are independent only to the extent that the GCC is itself militarily independent of Washington. In two decades Pakistan has forged close, independent relations with fellow Islamic countries in the Arab world. Some 30 percent of Pakistan’s exports (mostly foodstuffs) and imports (entirely oil) involve the Middle East. So are the livelihoods of more than a million Pakistanis who work in the region. These workers in 1983 remitted $3 billion to the national treasury. Middle East economic assistance to Pakistan between 1973 and 1983 stood at $2.2 billion, not including arms purchasing assistance. Pakistan’s prominent role in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Islamic Development Bank, and support for the Arab position in the UN and other international bodies has made Pakistan one of the Arab world’s key regional allies.

Pakistani officials stress that these economic spinoffs would not have been possible without Pakistan’s military presence in the region. They speak a new strategic language—of the Gulf being “Pakistan’s backyard,” and how “Islam has historically bound Pakistan to the Gulf rather than the Indian subcontinent.” For many, this argument is fundamentally flawed because it ignores the ethnic, cultural and historical ties that Pakistan has always had with the subcontinent. More to the point, it places Pakistan in a volatile area as a surrogate for one superpower.

Economic relations with the Gulf are now showing a marked decline. Pakistan’s exports have been steadily declining because of the vagaries of world food markets. Remittances have shown a 25 percent decline in three years because of the downturn in the Arab oil economies; thousands of Pakistanis are being forced to return home. Arab investment in Pakistan has fallen far short of expectations, and is now near zero because of the political uncertainty and the Afghan crisis. In years to come, Pakistan’s military presence will be the dominant factor in its relations with the Gulf. [13]

The mere presence of so many Pakistani military personnel in the GCC indicates that Islamabad has been closely involved in the unification of GCC armed forces. Pakistan has been acquiring those weapon systems purchased by the GCC countries. It is helping the GCC to coordinate its air defense network, carry out collective air reconnaissance over the Gulf and help systemize GCC training and technical expertise. Although Pakistan denies that it takes part in GCC military maneuvers, its military personnel have in fact played a large part in such maneuvers, and Pakistan is helping to form a GCC rapid deployment force announced last year. In March 1985, a large squadron of Pakistani naval ships visited GCC ports. Pakistani help in the Jubail naval school and the large-scale manning of GCC ships by Pakistani seamen has bonded the navies together.

Officials in Islamabad are most excited about the possibility of a GCC weapons industry and ammunition manufacturing base, possibly to be set up in both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Such a plan was mooted in 1974 with Egypt, but fell through after the Camp David Agreements.


The key to Pakistan’s involvement with US and GCC security interest in the Gulf is the southern province of Baluchistan. It is the largest province—134,000 square miles or half the size of Texas. Its deserts and rugged mountain ranges are inhabited by 4.2 million people, most of them linked through a semi-nomadic tribal system. The Baluch tribes, led by nationalist elements seeking autonomy, have rebelled four times against the central government. The last insurgency (1973-78) was the fiercest. According to official figures, 3,300 Pakistani troops and 5,200 Baluch combatants were killed, along with thousands of civilians. Many Baluch took refuge in Afghanistan. Although some returned after the 1978 amnesty offered by President Zia, a hard core remain in Afghanistan. This group constitutes a potential “Baluch card” for the Soviet Union, a prospect which continues to worry US strategists.

Securing Baluchistan became a principal policy concern for the Zia regime and the US after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution. Its long border with Iran is linked to the capital, Quetta, by only a single track railway line and no direct access from Karachi. The province’s northern border with Afghanistan has become, after Peshawar, the second most important staging area for Afghan guerrilla attacks into Afghanistan. Most crucial of all is the province’s 400 mile coastline on the northern shores of the Arabian Sea.

The small fishing ports that dot the Makran coastline offer excellent potential naval harbors but there is no infrastructure of roads, airfields or electricity. In his 1980 Rand Corporation report, Francis Fukuyama recommended that the US assist in building an entirely new force armed with mountain warfare equipment and based on the Afghan border in Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). “An alternative strategy was for US economic aid to build up the infrastructure of the NWFP and Baluchistan,” Fukuyama wrote. “This type of assistance would be politically less provocative because while it would have a clear-cut military utility, it could be disguised as economic aid.” [14]

The US opted for Fukuyama’s second alternative. The Zia regime initiated a three-phase development strategy to win Baluch “hearts and minds” and create a military infrastructure on the Afghan and Iranian borders. The annual evelopment budget for Baluch Province was doubled, compared to the Bhutto era. The country’s Sixth Five Year Plan (1983-88) allocated an unprecedented Rps. 4.7 billion ($400 million) in 1983 to development projects. The plan’s “growth point strategy"” chose six regions for advanced development activity. These included Makran and Hub, an industrial area on the Makran coast just outside Karachi. The plan outlaid funds for eight major road systems, totaling 2,200 kilometers. The entire Makran coastline would also be provided with electricity. [15]

The third and most audacious scheme was the Special Development Plan for Baluchistan. Drawn up in 1980 by US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Pentagon, the World Bank and Pakistan, it envisaged a $2 billion plan to be entirely financed by those countries with a stake in the Gulfs security.

To potential foreign investors, the Special Plan portrayed Baluchistan as vulnerable to a possible Soviet thrust southward to the Gulf, and warned of the dangers of an untamed Baluch tribal nationalism spreading to Iran and the Gulf. The Zia regime circulated a worst case scenario in Western capitals which had the Soviets thrust southward to the Gulf, cut off Baluchistan from Pakistan and install a puppet Baluch regime in Quetta much like Babrak Karmal in Kabul. [16]

World Bank teams visited the province throughout 1980 and 1981, including former Bank president Robert McNamara. In 1981, senior officials from the Pentagon, USAID and US Senators all visited the province. USAID Administrator Peter Macpherson said during one of his many visits to Quetta that aid requirements to Baluchistan “were essential because they were important to Pakistan’s overall strength.” [17] The arrival of Undersecretary of State James Buckley coincided with the hanging of a prominent Baluch nationalist, Hamid Baluch. As Pakistan negotiated with the US, the military hanged another six Baluch students to emphasize that the regime controlled Baluchistan effectively. [18] President of the World Bank A.W. Clausen came to Quetta in January 1982 to sign the first loan of $300 million for the SDP. By then the Zia regime had also received the $3.2 billion aid package from the Reagan administration. Out of the $1.6 billion allocated to economic aid, $30 million was to be spent in Makran alone.

By 1983, a dozen countries and lending institutions had committed themselves to the SDP. These included—apart from the US—Kuwait, Japan, West Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the EEC, World Bank, the IDA and UNICEF. Countries picked up entire projects with a minimum investment by the Pakistan government. The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development invested for the first time outside the Arab world when it picked up two irrigation and one electricity supply projects, with a total investment of $400 million. US AID committed itself to $390 million for the development of Makran, which included building the Makran highway. Three modern harbors for fishing are being built at Pasni, Ormara and Jewani, while a major naval harbor is being built at Gawadar. The Japanese, who had initially signed the Gawadar deal for a fishing port, declined after it became a naval project. Five new airports have also been complete at Pasni, Ormara, Gawadar, Jewani and Panjgur. Some are being used by Pakistan nternational Airlines; their long runways also make them suitable for military aircraft.

US awareness of the Baluchistan problem was scant before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the drive for Central Command facilities. [19] The Asian mainland bordering the Gulf was considered secure as long as the shah was in power. His overthrow and subsequent instability in Iran made Makran crucial to US strategy. The GCC, now heavily dependent on Pakistani military manpower, also favored a secure rear base in Makran.

Admiral Thomas Moorer (ret.) argued in 1980 that a full US naval base should be established at Gawadar and electronic intelligence facilities restored at Peshawar. [20] Fukuyama’s report also stressed the importance of Makran ports for the pre-positioning of Central Command’s roll-on/roll-off ships. The mystery of what is happening at Gawadar has been heightened by the government’s ban on all journalists visiting Makran. Gawadar port, just a short distance from the town, is off limits for the townspeople. The Sunday Times reported that “Gawadar is being secretly developed with US backing to take the most sophisticated American vessels.” [21] Pakistan opposition leaders, the Pathan nationalist ‘Abd al-Wali Khan and Baluch nationalist Ghaus Bux Bizengo claimed in interviews that Gawadar is already a US base. Opposition leaders assert that with the new technology of roll-on/roll-off self-contained cargo ships, Central Command does not need bases in the traditional sense, but rather anchorages where supplies can be stored and troops flown in during an emergency. [22]

Pakistan’s military regime consistently denies that the US has any bases on Pakistani soil, and former Foreign Minister Agha Shahi declared that bases were not even discussed during the signing of the 1981 aid package. [23] Some diplomats in Islamabad believe that Gawadar is a Pakistani naval base; although not a US naval base yet, it may have electronic communication facilities for use by the US fleet in the Arabian Sea. The massive infrastructural buildup in Makran does point to a possible future use of Makran’s facilities by US or GCC forces if the occasion demands. US financial commitments to Makran’s development demonstrate Washington’s interest in the area.

US Demands and the Future

Military officials of both countries have been conducting intensive negotiations. In July 1985, General K.M. Arif, Deputy Chief of Army Staff, paid a ten-day official visit to the US. In November, Richard Armitage, Under-Secretary for Defense, visited Islamabad for five days with a high-powered defense team. In December, General John Wickham, US Army Chief of Staff, spent six days in Pakistan. The Commander-in-Chief of Central Command, General George Crist, spent four days there in January 1986. There were no official statements, but diplomats believe that both sides discussed Pakistan’s future arms requirements, the Afghan situation and Pakistan’s role in Central Command. US Ambassador Deane Hinton said in January 1986 that the US was not seeking military bases in Pakistan, but only “close and cooperative relations.” Islamabad has again said that it will not allow US bases in Pakistan. However, much closer military cooperation between Pakistan and Central Command and Pakistan and the GCC cannot be ruled out. In the present aid negotiations, the US seems to be seeking a commitment from Pakistan much like the one it sought from Saudi Arabia: that in an emergency its ports and air bases could be utilized by Central Command. Washington would also like to ensure that Pakistani troops based in Saudi Arabia would come under Central Command.

Pakistan’s position as a front line state against the Soviets in Afghanistan, its involvement in Gulf security, and its proximity to Iran has brought it within Washington’s very close ambit. In the West’s eyes, this has legitimized the past eight years of martial politics. The armed forces have been able to buy the most sophisticated weaponry, expand its manpower and budgetary base without question, and come to dominate the economic and political life of the country. Before the lifting of martial law this year, President Zia was able to secure amendments to the constitution that made him president for the next five years as well as army chief of staff, an indemnity for all the military’s past actions, controls of political activity and a recognized political role for the armed forces.

However, the lifting of martial law has released a wave of political activity. The Movement for the Restoration of Democracy has demanded a solution to the Afghan crisis and a return of the Afghan refugees. Some politicians and Shi‘i activists object to Pakistan’s role in the Gulf. There have been country-wide anti-American demonstrations against US policies in Libya and Afghanistan. There have been demands to lift the veil of secrecy from the military’s past commitments to the US and other countries.

The return to Pakistan of Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Peoples Party, is fueling demands for fresh and free general elections on a party basis. But Bhutto is interested in taking state power, not in challenging Pakistan’s close alignment with the US. Her speeches and remarks so far have been quite conciliatory to Washington. There are no indications that she would alter Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

Neither Washington nor the Pakistani high command is likely to tolerate any opposition demands to change Pakistan's foreign policy to one of strict non-alignment. There is far too much at stake. The consequence can only be either another (fourth) martial law, or a deal between the opposition and the army to maintain Pakistan’s present foreign policy posture. Neither answer augurs well for democracy or for peace in the region.


[1] Economist, January 19, 1985.
[2] Time, June 11,1984. Lawrence Ziring argues for this in Asian Affairs (1984).
[3] Washington Post, July 31, 1985.
[4] Ibid.
[5] See M.S. Venkataramani, The American Role in Pakistan (Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1984). After visiting Pakistan in 1953, Dulles said, “they had an armed guard for my visit which is one of the finest I have ever seen in the world. Those fellows were out of this world.” On such perceptions are policies made.
[6] Howard Schaffer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, to a Senate subcommittee. Reported in Dawn, April 26, 1981.
[7] See Shirin Tahir-Kheli, The US and Pakistan: The Evolution of an Influence Relationship (New York: Praeger, 1982).
[8] International Herald Tribune, August 20, 1981.
[9] See “US Security Interests in South Asia,” staff report prepared by the Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, April 19,1984. This report has a different estimate of Pakistani troops in Saudi Arabia.
[10] Jamal Rashid, “Pakistan’s Military Links with the Gulf,” Middle East International, August 24, 1984.
[11] See Jamal Rashid, “A Role for the Navy,” Middle East International, April 5, 1985.
[12] Selig Harrison, “India, the US and the Indian Ocean,” Report of the Indo-American Task Force on the Indian Ocean, (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1985).
[13] For a fuller discussion of these issues, see Robert Wirsing, “Pakistan’s Security Predicament,” in William Dowdy and Russell Trood, eds., The Indian Ocean: Perspectives on a Strategic Area (Durham: Duke University Press, 1985).
[14] Francis Fukuyama, “The Security of Pakistan,” a Rand trip report, September 1980.
[15] Sixth Five Year Plan. Government of Pakistan.
[16] The SDP was never made public in Pakistan and the private sector was not allowed to invest in projects.
[17] Pakistan Times, September 1981.
[18] Lawrence Lifschultz, “A Fundamental Debate,” Far Eastern Economic Review, March 13, 1981.
[19] The best book on Baluchistan is Selig Harrison, In Afghanistan’s Shadow: Baluch Nationalism and Soviet Temptations (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment, 1981).
[20] Admiral Thomas Moorer, “The Search for US Bases in the Indian Ocean,” Strategic Review (Spring 1980). See also Jamal Rashid, “RDF to Get Floating Bases,” 8 Days, December 19, 1981 and “RDF Mother Ship Takes Shape,” 8 Days, December 26,1981.
[21] Sunday Times, December 13, 1981.
[22] Interviewed by the author, 1986.
[23] Interviewed by the author, 1984.

How to cite this article:

Jamal Rashid "Pakistan and the Central Command," Middle East Report 141 (July/August 1986).

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