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Showing posts from January, 2017

Questioning the unquestionable.....?

by Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

First, full disclosure.

As a young subaltern in 1976 or 1977 I was a beneficiary of two plots from the DHA Karachi. One if I recall correctly was a 200 yard commercial plot and the other a 1000 yards residential plot in phase 8 for which my father paid 4 times less than the market rate (I could barely pay my mess bill and, like most subalterns, in permanent debt. Nothing much seems to have changed since :)

I sold the commercial plot a few years later to supplement my wedding expenses. And the residential plot also sold to help the family through some tough financial straits in the 80's.

But in 1976 or 77 many amongst us sold these "allotment letters" called "rights" to sharp brokers who trawled the streets of Malir.  And suddenly Malir saw a slew of bright shiny Hondas and Yamaha motorcycles and many happy young campers in uniform!

It didn't seem wrong or unfair then and perhaps not even now.

Especially for those who rose up to mo…

Ababeel....How many more?

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.

The successful testing of our latest missile, Ababeel is certainly a great engineering feat and a masterly display of our technological expertise and brilliance.

For that, our sincere felicitations to all those who contributed to its success and especially to a close friend who suggested the name for it's profound symbolism.

On the other hand, one is also torn between this sense of pride and the need and wisdom of adding another weapon of incredible destructive power to our already formidable arsenal.

From what I know, we have 150 to 200 nuclear warheads. We have over 8 different types of delivery systems to launch these nuclear weapons.  This includes one which gives us 2nd strike capability firing from a submarine.

Which basically means that once someone has flattened your land mass and killed 10's if not 100's of millions "believers", a tiny group in a submarine, deep beneath the ocean will unleash a barrage of similar nuclear destr…

On The Donald....

On The Donald.
By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.

Don't under estimate the guy!

He's the ultimate pragmatist with ZERO ethics and morality and just bordering on the legal. And the ultimate deal maker.

His mantra. Okay here's what I can do for you ....what can you do for me? And he will use this approach in his Presidency to try and get the best deal for the USA.

All his current posturing on contentious issues is to set the stage for negotiations. His two books "Art of the Deal" and "Think Big" gives us an uncanny insight into his mind. Its just pure business. Winning. Hard negotiations. Get the best deal.

For example repealing or threatening to repeal Obamacare is to get the best deal from the Healthcare Industry and also keep them happy. The Wall with Mexico, to renegotiate a better trade deal.
Threatening Iran, so that Iran buys US goods and as some say, especially change the 700 Airbus order to Boeing. Etc etc. And also keep Saudi and UAE as its largest arms buyer


Stark choices for Pakistan- CPEC Regional engagement or Saudi Military Coalition?

Stark choices for Pakistan- CPEC Regional engagement or Saudi Military Coalition?

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

With due respect to those actively advocating joining the Saudi military coalition as a golden opportunity for Muslim Unity etc and lauding Gen. Raheel's possible candidature as its head, here's my perspective

Those who haven't learned from history and current Geo political realities are doomed to repeat it. An oft repeated refrain from my dear late father  when his Geo political analysis was questioned, especially when he was fairly sure of his conclusions. When not, he would read, research, seek out the experts in that area, ask questions and patiently listen. Something I try and emulate.

Read history, he would say, understand conflict and friendship between nations, then look at the map and things will be as clear as day!

While Muslim unity is a laudable objective, it requires the two main protagonists, Saudi Arabia and Iran to hug and kiss. Unfortunately, hist…

Saudi anti terror alliance and Gen. Raheel Sharif. Pipe dream or positive reality?

Saudi Alliance - Gen. Raheel.
Pipe dream or positive reality?

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.

Our loyalties lie with the Nation and it's institutions.

The hallmark of objective perspectives is to look at decisions and actions and see beyond individuals.

Many amongst us have a deeper understanding of our institutional ethos, the sanctity of the office of the Army Chief, especially the issue of re employment of an ex Army Chief, after retirement, than others.

Gen. Musharraf's talks for which he was paid, and his paid for book, and Gen. Karamat's re employment as Ambassador, didn't go down well with the institution.

As a former Army Chief said.  The Army looks after us really well and there is no job bigger than this. Re-employment within and especially outside Pakistan is therefore, a big no.

We should play golf, and if asked, advise the government and the institution, and that too without compensation.

Because our role and the impact of our actions is so visible and always …

Gen. Raheel Sharif and the Saudi Arabian Military Advisor role!

On the news that Gen. Raheel Sharif may accept a military advisor role in the Saudi sponsored so called anti terror coalition.

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi.

I hope the news isn't true. If it is, then possibly this one of the most ill thought through decisions that Gen. Raheel has taken in his entire career.

For several reasons.

One. He must understand that he's no Guderian or Rommel or Manstein. And he was able to deliver in Pakistan as a consequence of the brilliant well oiled machine called the Pakistan Army and it's superior General Staff.

Two. While he must be credited with the decision to launch Zarb e Azb, it was the strategic and professional brilliance of Lt. Gen Ishfaq Nadeem his first CGS who masterminded and planned and executed all those brilliant successes which we lay at Raheel's feet. The Raheel of the Ishfaq Nadeem CGS period vs the Raheel of the Zubair CGS period are two very different Raheel's.

 The former in command and control with successes in th…