by Meinhaj Hussain, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pakistan Navy is in disrepair. It is facing acute shortage of helicopters, SAR aircraft and modern frigates. Seen in the backdrop of the massive Indian naval buildup which is sporting a numerical and qualitatively superior fleet many times the size and capability of the Pakistan Navy, composed of nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, modern frigates and destroyers, the Pakistan Navy fleet appears in poor light.
In the increasingly unstable world and open Indian ambitions of the Indian Ocean, the demand for naval competence and capability for the Pakistan Navy becomes a vital bottleneck for Pakistan's national security and foreign policy. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Noman Basheer however, is busy filling his private coffers. With close ties and in partnership with Pakistani President Asif Zardari, a billionaire known infamously in Pakistan as Mr. 10%, CNS Noman Basheer is filling his pockets with the nation's meager treasures.
His recent purchase of four Hawker 850 XP aircraft is a case in point. With a large and extremely diverse fleet of VIP aircraft, did Pakistan really need another VIP aircraft purchase? The country’s VIP fleet includes G-IV, Cessna Citation V, Cessna Citation Excel, Learjet 35, Learjet 45 XR, Raytheon Hawker 400, Falcon 20, Cessna Conquest II, Bell 412 helicopters (3) MI-17 helicopter Airbus A310-300 and LearJet.
Insiders know that, for this deal for the Hawker 850, envelopes exchanging hands.
Nearing retirement, CNS Basheer has accelerated his efforts and this deal was apparently not enough reward for missing the boat on the French Marlin submarine deal. Noman Basheer now wants to upgrade 35 year old Agosta 70 submarines. Whether it is ethical to send seamen out to sea in such ancient boats is questionable. Submarines are not trucks. If a truck breaks down, the occupants can simply dismount and walk away. A submarine on the other hand, is a death trap. Mechanical failure can more likely than not, lead to death in the ugliest way possible - slow and steady suffocation. This deal is in the background of supposedly not having enough money to buy German or Chinese submarines. Even the lowliest modern Chinese submarine would have been many times superior to sending seamen out in the Agosta 70s. Yet, CNS - Admiral - Noman Basheer has no problems as long as his Swiss bank accounts register an upswing. Somewhat disingenuously, this deal was concluded with the same French naval company - DCNS that was contracted for the Agosta-90B retirement fund project.
You can be sure that a long line of poor flood affected Pakistanis living below the poverty line will benefit from this deal - including President Zardari and his PPP nymphs.
Much to the chagrin of the Pakistani people, the amusement does not end here - the CNS is now calling to cancel the Gwader Port contract and "hand it over to the Chinese", whatever that vague phrase means. For those who know, it means strangulating yet another strategic project for Pakistan, as if the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline deal's indefinite postponement was not treason enough.
Rumors suggest that this corrupt PN officer is slated to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. This will not be the first PN officer to disgrace the Pakistani nation - he is following the illustrious career of CNS Mansoor who made his fortune in the infamous Agosta 90B deal with France.
CNS Admiral Noman Basheer would do well to remember the Iranian revolution and what happened to the Shah's men. In the event that insh'Allah Pakistan becomes an Islamic State, those who have looted the nation are insh'Allah going to receive compensation for their services, as long as there is enough rope to hang them with, and enough trees to hang them from.