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Shvoong Home>Law & Politics>Politics - General>Military Inc: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy Summary

Military Inc: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy

Book Summary   by:anil ekbote     Original Author: Ayesha Siddiqa
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Pakistan’s army and the other two services run commercial enterprises calling them ‘welfare measures’. Ayesha Siddiqa writes how the Pakistan army has acquired an industrial and real estate monopoly that has grown frighteningly. There are three independent Public Sector Units under the Pakistani army viz. National Logistic Cell (NLC) that has the country’s biggest trucking fleet, the Frontier Works Organisation that is akin to India’s Border Rroads and the Special Communications Organisation, which runs the telecom network in ‘Azad’ Kashmier. Besides, there are other major subsidiaries including the Army’s Fauji Foundation, which owns 35 companies, the Army Welfare Trust that holds 19 companies and the Air Force’s Shaheen Foundation, which owns 11 companies. These entities include clearing and forwarding, cement, security services, banking, harbour services, stud farms, dredging, airlines, construction, travel, universities and even shops and bakeries. If only the Pakistan army take to full fledged commercial activities surely peach would reign in India and Pakistan. But there is a rub.
The companies’ success in competition-free environment is making the army go after profits while continuing to pretend to keep India at bay. Turkey has huge interests but no monopoly and the Turkish generals intervene only in an emergency, ensure a secular government and put hold on their business ambitions. Pakistan does nothing of this. Indonesian army took over all businesses but the country was more interested in earning commissions. This gave rise to a harsher Wahabi kind of Islam. But what is wrong in military owning trucking company when facing Indian threat? Ayesha courageously argues that Military business (Milbus) ends to be clandestine and grossly under or over valued. The dependence on generals and not state suborns troops’ loyalty. Milbus converts public money into private wealth, perpetuates and glorifies military control of the state and weakens every civilian institution.
Published: July 01, 2007   
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