- Shaheen Airport Services
- Shaheen Knitwear
- Shaheen Complex, Karachi
- Shaheen Complex, Lahore
- Shaheen Medical Services
- Hawk Advertising
- Fazaia Welfare Education School System
- SAPS Aviation College
- Air Eagle Aviation Academy
- Shaheen Welfare Housing Scheme,
The Fauji foundation, the largest of the lot, is estimated to be worth several billion pounds. It operates a security force
(allowing serving army personnel to double in their spare time as private security agents), an oil terminal and a phosphate joint venture with the Moroccan government. Elsewhere, the Army Welfare Trust — a foundation set up in 1971 to identify potentially
profitable ventures for the military — runs one of the country’s largest lenders, Askari Commercial Bank, along with an airline, a travel agency and even a stud farm. Then there is the National Logistic Cell, Pakistan’s largest shipper and
freight transporter (and the country’s largest corporation), which builds roads, constructs bridges and stores vast quantities of the country’s wheat reserves.
In short, the military’s presence is all-pervasive. Bread is supplied by military-owned bakeries, fronted by civilians. Army-controlled banks take deposits and disburse loans. Up to one third of all heavy manufacturing and
7 per cent of private assets are reckoned to be in army hands. As for prime real estate, a major-general can expect to receive on retirement a present of 240 acres of prime farmland.
Financial autonomy has also engendered in the military a dangerous sense of entitlement. The “Culture of Entitlement” in the Pakistan military started during General Ayub’s time when he commenced the
tradition of awarding land to army officers (the size of allotment depending upon the rank of the officer) in the border regions of Punjab and in the newly irrigated colonies of Sindh.
General Zia also created a novel way of involving serving officers in commercial ventures by placing military lands and cantonments and the provisioning of logistics to the regional corps commanders. Thus, many senior
army officers availed opportunities to acquire multiple plots in various cantonments for themselves at highly subsidized rates. These prime properties soon sparked nepotism in allotment and corruption among both the military and civil bureaucracies.
Fauji Foundation, Shaheen Foundation, Bahria Foundation are examples of so-called self-sustaining welfare projects which are most certainly golden egg
laying geese for Pakistan Army. For years, these money minting projects have loaded the uninformed and corroded the taxpayers. A normal scenario in Pakistan.
Land is being requisitioned left, right and centre across the country. In the financial centre of Karachi, the
army has built eight petrol stations on land appropriated from the state. Absolute power, of course, corrupts absolutely. It also erodes the sense of vulnerability — that the wielder of the power can get away with anything. The military has also begun
to act in the manner of a feudal landlord. This certainly seems to be the case in Pakistan. It’s hard to imagine anyone managing to circumscribe the economic power of Pakistan’s army. The military’s financial security reinforces its desire
to retain control of the state. If full democracy were permitted in Pakistan, it would constitute a threat to the army’s throttling power. And since political power in turn creates greater economic opportunities, it’s in the interest of the military
fraternity to perpetuate it. More political power leads to greater profit, and vice versa. It is only matter of time that the impoverished and subjugated populace who have been tortured at the hands of the mighty Army can tolerate all the abuse before it rises
up in protest.
05 Jul 20/Sunday Written By: Saima