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Ayesha Siddiqa's MILITARY INC: A Deflective and Derogatory Book

opinion786

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JUST IN !!! A wonderful refute to Ayesha Siddiqa's lies & distortion of facts!


Ayesha Siddiqa’s MILITARY INC: A Deflective and Derogatory Book

Written By: Afreen Baig

Ayesha Siddiqa?s MILITARY INC: A Deflective and Derogatory Book Our leader - Musharraf

Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s ‘The Military Inc.’ is a book deflective of reality, highly derogatory and against the very notion of sovereignty.

Dr Ayesha Siddiqa launches the book by giving the impression that her intention is to cover the entrepreneurial activities of military worldwide. However, in depth reading reaffirms suspicions that her book massively targets the Pakistan Military and the top echelons of the Armed Forces, most of which are based upon self serving assumptions and intentional hoodwinking. A labyrinth of financial figures is presented to further obscure the ordinary reader’s intelligence.

The book sets forward four arguments. First, that MILBUS (Military Business) is military capital that perpetuates the military’s political predatory style; and is kept concealed and includes questionable transfer of resources from public sector to individuals connected with armed Forces. Second, the military’s economic greed increases in totalitarian systems. Third, Military convinces the citizens to bear additional costs for security on basis of conceived threats to the State. Fourth, the book considers the Pakistan Military the cause of all ills, social disparity and democratic fiasco.

Let’s start by setting the record straight. MILBUS in Pakistan - is the result of honest intentions and visionary policies - to raise independent resources, to self-finance the on-going national technological development, to modernize strategic assets, and most importantly, the determination to rely less on Foreign Aid. While at the same time, build facilities for retired military personnel and their families; and slowly withdrawing from National Defense budget allocation as a percentage of GDP.

MILBUS also exists in well developed countries like the USA, UK, France, China, Israel or even Turkey. The Milbus or the PMEs (Private Military Enterprises) are generally known as the Private Military Industry. Famous US PMEs include Halliburton, Black-water worldwide, Defensecurity, Titan Corporations, Kellogg Brown & Root, Air Scan, DynCorp’s, CACI International, etc. Famous UK PMEs include Black-Op’s and Aegis Defense Services. Most of these are active beneficiaries of the Iraq War. The worldwide PME industry is now worth over $100 billion a year. Thus, this is not just a Pakistan specific industry.

MILBUS in Pakistan is being criticized unnecessarily, with the sole intention to malign the Armed Forces. The Pakistan military has never intended to deliberately conceal their economic activities and they do not cause injustice by weighing heavily on civilian corporate sector or individual leaders.

The book ‘Military Inc’ is based upon a series of presumptions and false accusations. Throughout her book, the author obstinately insists that the growth of Military economy is the case of self interest and predatory acquisition by senior officers, in which it allow the Generals to seek benefit for themselves and their clients.

The author fails to provide, any concrete evidence that could confirm her allegations, that questionable transfer of wealth is made to individuals connected with armed forces. All she could give in example were the 500 sq yard official plots given to the Generals at the end of their service, as part of their benefits, and hence her assumption that a retired general is worth from Rs.150 million to Rs.400 million.

Rarely do critics mention, that nominal deduction from the pay of all military officers are made during their service, in return for a small apartment or a small housing, which is handed over at the time of their retirement. However, this facility is still not available to all retiring servicemen.

Next, the book alleges that the military’s economic greed increases in totalitarian systems, where the general public, private businessmen, civilian corporate sector and national business units are all oppressed to encourage and endorse military business units. Her book focuses largely on the four welfare projects managed by the Pakistan Military i.e. The Fauji Foundation (FF), the Army Welfare Trust (AWT), Shaheen Foundation (SF) and Bahria Foundation (BF), and in some places the Frontier Works Organization (FWO).

The author believes that “the profit earned by military is directly proportional to power and gives the armed forces a sense of being independent of the incompetent civilians” - which can only be considered as an extremely reckless comment.

There was great wisdom behind establishing these welfare projects. The visionary minds knew that “the profit earned by the military will be directly proportional to Sovereignty of the Country and the Institution”.

The Military established its first welfare foundation in 1954, with funds received from the British as part of Pakistan’s share of the Post War Services Reconstruction Fund. In India, those funds were distributed immediately amongst those who fought the Second World War. Unlike India, Pakistan’s wise military opted to use those funds to establish projects that would ensure the overall well-being, availability of jobs, and a decent pension for their armed forces.

The initial purpose of these welfare projects was to create employment opportunities for the honorable retired or disabled military personnel. Servicemen - whose only obligation is defending the borders of Pakistan.

This one wise decision, not only raised the morals of the serving military men, but also gave the ordinary citizens a reason to join the Armed Forces of Pakistan and serve their country. Assured that their future is protected, the servicemen live their lives in testing times on borders, remote locations and a life away from family.

The Fauji Foundation, Shaheen Foundation and Bahria Foundation were all established under the Charitable Endowments Act 1890. The Army Welfare Trust was established under the Societies Registration Act 1860.

Then all these entities are registered Tax-paying Companies. The Army Welfare Trust and the Fauji Foundation pays tax at 20% of their profits. Shaheen Foundation and Bahria Foundation pay Taxes at 30% of their profits. Fair enough!

This limited industrial base that evolved over years added to the military’s credibility and resolves to contribute towards the Nation’s socio-economic development and Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Like any ordinary successful businessmen or multi-national corporations (MNCs), the Pakistan Military utilized their available structure, nominal budget and dedicated their human resources for the welfare of the uniformed men and civilians working in those companies. While also pioneering technology, developing expertise and establishing quality control.

The book ‘Military Inc’ accuses the Pakistan Armed forces of running business (MILBUS) that are diverse in nature, ranging from small scale to large scale corporate enterprises. As examples, it quotes Schools, Banks, Insurance Company, Radio and TV, a Fertilizer company, Hospitals and Clinics, Cement plant, Universities and institutes, etc.

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa left no opportunity to magnify and exaggerate the limited and partial presence of MILBUS competing in Pakistan’s broad based expanding economy.

Let’s analyze the limited magnitude and negligible worth of these Military run ventures, compared to similar mega business entities currently present in Pakistan.

According to State Bank of Pakistan, there are total 73 Banks in Pakistan. From which, there are 24 Limited banks, 11 Foreign Banks, 8 Financial Banks, 4 Specialized Banks, 13 Investment Banks, 7 Micro-finance Banks and 6 Islamic banks. Out of these total 73 banks - Dr Ayesha Siddiqa tends to be intolerable towards ONE ‘Askari Bank’ run by Military? In 2007, Askari Bank paid a Tax of Rs. 743 million.

According to Federal Bureau of Statistics, there are 24 Cement plants in Pakistan, and only ONE owned by ‘Fauji Cement Company Ltd’. A Tax-paying company listed on the Stock Exchange.

According to State Bank of Pakistan, there are total 59 Insurance companies in Pakistan. There are 4 in the Public sector, 50 companies in the private sector and 5 are incorporated abroad. Why should anyone be narrow-minded towards ONE owned by military - ‘Askari General Insurance Ltd’, which is listed on the Stock Exchange and pays Tax?

According to the Health Division and the P.M.D.C, there are around 924 Hospitals, 12,726 Medical Institutions, 560 Rural Health Centers and 4712 Dispensaries all over Pakistan. Out of these, if 10 Hospitals and 20 Medical Centers are being run by Fauji Foundation, what’s the hue & cry about? These Medical services are offered to the military and civilians alike. Even the prestigious Aga Khan Health Services (AGHS) own 7 Hospitals and 164 Medical Centers.

According to State Bank Pakistan, there are above 10 Fertilizer Plants in Pakistan from which 6 are State owned and the rest are private. Out of these, only ONE is military owned, the ‘Fauji Fertilizer Company Ltd’, which is listed on the Stock Exchange and audited by KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co, and pays Tax annually.

According to Higher Education Commission, there are 122 Universities in Pakistan. Out of which, 65 are in the Public sector and 57 in the private sector. Foundation University and Bahria University are the only two affiliated with Armed Forces providing quality education to all citizens alike.

Foundation Schools have 90 branches all over Pakistan; compared to the City School which has more than 150 branches and the Beacon-house School which has around 130 branches. We as a Nation should triumph the quality education being promoted by the Foundation schools and the model paradigm implemented.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has 50,125 companies registered with it. From these only 9 are MILBUS projects. Why can’t Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa accept these 9 MILBUS projects out of the 50,125 projects broadmindedly?

The author also alleges that Military’s Internal Economy is hampering the growth of Pakistan’s free market economy - which of course is not true. For her information, under this same system and era, and under the leadership of General Musharraf, Pakistan’s free market economy boomed from $75 billion in 1999 to become $160 billion in 2007.

In the last 6 years, the free market economy of Pakistan expanded by $85 billion. The expansion and growth the Civilian Corporate sector, National Business Units and Multi-National Corporations witnessed in these last 6 years remain unprecedented in Pakistan’s Economic History. Hence proven, that Military’s Internal Economy did not hamper Pakistan’s free market economy!

According to Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s book, the worth of Fauji Foundation is $169m, the worth of Army Welfare trust is $862m, the worth of Shaheen Foundation is $34.4m and the worth of Bahria Foundation is $69m. Total worth of MILBUS entities in Pakistan arise to ONLY $1.135 billion.

Hence, the presence of MILBUS companies, in Pakistan’s free economy of $160 billion, amongst these other sectors and enterprises arises to a negligible maximum 0.8%.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) Market Capitalization in January 2008 stood at $75 billion. MILBUS worth as compared to KSE again arises to only 1.5%.

It’s amusing to note that Dr Ayesha Siddiqa wrote a whole book, to malign a system (MILBUS) whose worth does not exceed 0.8% of Pakistan’s free market economy


READ FULL ARTICLE - A wonderful refute to the lies & distortion presented by Dr Ayesha Siddiqa - BELOW!!

READ FULL ARTICLE: Our leader - Musharraf

Ayesha Siddiqa?s MILITARY INC: A Deflective and Derogatory Book Our leader - Musharraf

Your comments & views will be welcome!
 

asaad-ul-islam

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yep... Ayesha Siddiqa is definitely a british MI6 agent, almost every article she writes is maligns the military and disgraces it too.

military enterprise is a very good idea for Pakistan, it can serve as backup in case there are some problems with the defense budget. more importantly, this is how the military financially supports its black projects, through private means with no strings attached.

besides, i really don't see the problem here, these large enterprises are the largest taxpayers. They are probably the only 'Pakistani-owned' businesses in our country, everything else is state-owned and corrupt-to-the-core.

I just hope they leave this land-owning business of theirs, like DHA plots. I don't know why a billion dollar enterprise would engage in land-owning, third world, feudal business. Seriously, they should focus on investment, minerals, oil and gas like Haliburton.
 

Ali.009

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I hope someone would write an atricle about where Dr Ayesha Siddiqa the 'traitor' got funding for publications of her book against Pakistan Army. And why she is always on foreign tours? Who funded the promotion of her useless book?
 

third eye

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Is it acceptable for the Army to run commercial enterprises ? Where does the army get the money to run this ? Who audits the profits made ?
 

opinion786

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Is it acceptable for the Army to run commercial enterprises ? Where does the army get the money to run this ? Who audits the profits made ?
The army does not directly handle or run commercial enterprises, as they do not have the time to do so. They are run by mostly retired army personnel, but army for monitoring purposes keeps 2-3 serving army personnel in administration or few for logistics support. And, they hire mostly civilians.

If you'll read the whole article, you'll understand.....

The PAK Military established its first welfare foundation in 1954, with funds received from the British as part of Pakistan’s share of the Post War Services Reconstruction Fund. In India, those funds were distributed immediately amongst those who fought the Second World War.

Since then they've been evolving the base entirely on its own merits and profits.

Every single entity is audited by Chartered Accountant firms e.g Fauji Fertilizer is audited by K.P.M.G Taseer Hadi and they all PAY TAX and have contributed to pakistan's GDP.

Regards
 
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opinion786

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Also, pls keep in mind and I quote the article:


........ that Dr Ayesha Siddiqa wrote a whole book, to malign a system (MILBUS) whose worth does not exceed 0.8% of Pakistan’s free market economy.
 

AgNoStiC MuSliM

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Is it acceptable for the Army to run commercial enterprises ? Where does the army get the money to run this ? Who audits the profits made ?
I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing, provided active military personnel involvement is limited.

The commercial enterprises appear to be high tax paying entities that provide funds for welfare services for military personnel, a burden that would otherwise have fallen on the government.

The medical and education services provided by these enterprises are in fact worth their weight in gold, given the lack of these in Pakistan. I think the benefits far outweigh the costs here.
 

Flintlock

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I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing, provided active military personnel involvement is limited.

The commercial enterprises appear to be high tax paying entities that provide funds for welfare services for military personnel, a burden that would otherwise have fallen on the government.

The medical and education services provided by these enterprises are in fact worth their weight in gold, given the lack of these in Pakistan. I think the benefits far outweigh the costs here.
The military is supposed to look to the civilian adminstration for funds and welfare. If not, it becomes a self-sustaining independent body which can take on the civilian government.

If however, you support the kind of power that the military enjoys in Pakistan, I wouldn't be surprised that you don't disapprove of "military inc."
 

AgNoStiC MuSliM

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The military is supposed to look to the civilian adminstration for funds and welfare. If not, it becomes a self-sustaining independent body which can take on the civilian government.

If however, you support the kind of power that the military enjoys in Pakistan, I wouldn't be surprised that you don't disapprove of "military inc."
The military does look to the civilians for funds - Approximately 40 billion in military pensions are met by the Civilian government, along with the entire defense budget (around 4 billion USD). These businesses are in no way capable of replacing that source of funding. So the argument of the military becoming self sustaining is incorrect, though it may use the revenue to shore up lack of government funding in some areas.

Gen. Kiyani dedicated this year as the 'Year of the Soldier', and set in place a series of polices designed to improve the life of the average soldier and their family. All of those expenses, running into several billion Rs., are being met by the Military, ostensibly through the Military enterprises, and that too in an economic situation that has led to budget cuts in several spheres. I think those are worthy investments and uses of its commercial enterprises.
 

opinion786

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The military is supposed to look to the civilian adminstration for funds and welfare. If not, it becomes a self-sustaining independent body which can take on the civilian government.

If however, you support the kind of power that the military enjoys in Pakistan, I wouldn't be surprised that you don't disapprove of "military inc."
Going by this argument ... Indian Military should take on the government... to control ALL the funds for welfare .... once & for all ... and they won't have to beg the government to pay their ex-servicemen (raising pension a huge issue in India)??

Funds have NOTHING to do with their taking on of the government. The military has MIGHT which enables it to take on anything! And, MIGHT & PATRIOTISM cannot be taken away by simply withdrawing funds. This is no argument.

The question is - should they wipe off MILBUS ?

Pakistan cannot afford to contribute more than 15% of our budget ($4.5 billion) to our defense spending - unlike our neighbours - India that contributes around $ 26.4 billion and Iran $6.3 billion to military spending.

We're a nuclear state and have to protect & upgrade our military and our strategic assets. With $4.5 billion that's NOT possible. MILBUS is justified until we reach a stage where government is able to spend as much as India spends if not less.

Look at India, where ex-servicemen are full of disapproval for their military and government for their pensions and have staged several protests. Several programs were held by Barka Dutt on NDTV. Read their views:

GIVE SOLDIERS THEIR DUE "It is highly unfair that they are treated as goats to be sacrificed in war - (retd Lt Col)" !:

www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060109/forum.htm

Lastly, MILITARY INC is disapproved by us, because it has churned out blatant lies & distortions to mislead public and not becasue it's suggesting alternatives.
 
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Javed Ali Kalhoro

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I have met with Ayesha Siddiqa once, before i read her book on Military.
I am really very much surprised after going on through the book.
Basically this nation has a small problem that it never call upon the past, if a single man takes a look at the Army coloony, which basically is very need and clean, he or she thinks as Army has more amount to pay for cleaning the coloony. Basically Army has a tool to get the work done proparly.
i think respected Ayesha Siddiqa has the same problem. what so ever is happening in America or British, the people wont say any thing openly at front of the world, as they consider their problems as the internal problems and try to solve them internally. Here i have felt, that most of the people try to get themselves displyed on Media wether they are right or wrong.
Finally, i would request every body, not to say any thing against Military, because its Military which protect you from the foreign enemies, Try to respect them instead of.................... Hope you got it.......:pakistan:
 

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