This refers to the article “God's soldiers: Pakistan army's ideology” (Oct. 7). As expected, Praveen Swami has once again written a very comprehensive piece. My compliments as this is probably the first time that someone in the media has referred to the “Pakistan Army's Green Book. This is an unclassified document readily available in the libraries of various armies. What is noteworthy and probably surprising for persons not aware of this is that very few armies permit their officers to be so open/blunt (plain-speaking) as the Pakistan Army where it concerns articles published in the Green Book. I recollect the one of 1991 when posted at ARTRAC (Army Training Command).
This particular copy had been brought by someone from the U.S. and its theme was “Year of the Commanding Officer.” It had 80 articles written by middle-rung officers, which highlighted problems faced by soldiers and their administrative and financial conditions. Some suggested that soldiers were not giving due respect to religion. In fact, the lament was that they would pay more heed to the bugler blowing the retreat rather than the call of the muezzin. In an army where the hierarchy is feudal, the conceptual and financial gap is a damper on men blindly following the path of the so-called religious righteousness as perceived by the senior hierarchy. I wonder if the Pakistan Army's ideology is more inclined to god's officers rather than god's soldiers.
Major-General Jatinder Singh (retd.),