Kayani will be sucked into playing Pakistan political game, says Military Inc. author

June 4th, 2008 - 7:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, June 4 (ANI): Pakistans Chief of Army Staff, General Asfaq Parvez Kayani may have taken some steps to pull the Pakistan Army out of the countrys seamy and uncertain political cauldron, but sooner than later, he will be sucked into the thick of politics, believes Ayesha Siddiqa, the author of Military Inc., the controversial book on the Pakistan armed forces.
In an interview with the web portal deshpardes.com here, Ayesha said that the Pakistan military continues to remain one of the key actors in the countrys politics and economy, in spite of the new government talking about reducing the defence budget.
She said that the military is spread all over the economy, which bolsters its political power, and this needs to be curtailed.
Referring specifically to General Kayani’s role in the present scenario, she expressed her doubts over whether he has really pulled the military out of politics?
The Pakistani military is a political animal. He (Kayani) will get sucked right into the thick of politics once the situation becomes unstable. Also, with Musharraf there, he would be inclined to continue playing the political game.
When asked whether there is a nexus between Kayani, Musharraf and the U.S.?, she said: There is no straight nexus. Each is playing their game. Kayani right now is more of a toothless Yahya Khan, so he is probably trying to be more assertive. An evidence is that so many things are happening internally that you cannot make any head or tail of.
She also described Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari as a secondary player, as Musharraf is keen to survive politically and has American support.
Speaking over a year after the release of her book, Ayesha said things had only changed marginally in Pakistan.
She lamented over the fact that most of the people in the military and even the larger civil society had not read or understood the book that she had written.
They just look at the juicy bits and not understand the core thesis of the book. I didnt mean to write a political thriller, but looking at what people are saying, I seem to have written a political pornography, she said.
The book tries to explain a certain kind of military capital that is predatory and exists all over and that I was trying to make an effort to understand how this capital has influenced Pakistan’s politics. The other thing which I tried to say is that this military capital is part of the larger elite economy, she added.
While accepting that her book had dwelled on an issue that in Pakistan is spoken of in hush hush tones, she said that people had appreciated the book even without reading it for what it seems to have done which is to break a taboo. The publicity it got shows what people want to say. She continues to insist that the military’s predatory role will not go away any time soon.
On moves by Islamabad to make peace in Waziristan, she said that Washington is is uncomfortable with the peace deals, and would like to finish off the operation against warring tribals and insurgents before November to show something to their credit.
She also said that President Pervez Musharraf should step down and be loyal to the country.
She said that she was presently working on her second book, the title of which was: Sinners, Saints and Soldiers of God.
It is about how different diverse worlds co-exist in Pakistan and what spaces do they take. This is an effort to understand jihadism and religiosity in the larger social context, she said.
The other project I am working on is to do socio-political mapping of Pakistans elite power. This non-fiction will help understand how the small group of the powerful operate in Pakistan, she concluded. (ANI)

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