Shaukat Qadir Loading

Lessons of a Lifetime

This was written as a chapter for a book in which some of us, retired soldiers, were to contribute chapters on their lessons learnt over a lifetime. Apparently, none other than I contributed; so the book never materialised. I offer this here as an introduction to myself.

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Shaukat Qadir: Independent Risk and Security Threat Analyst

“There is no point in creating peace, if it cannot last; and achieving that end is only possible through limiting (since these cannot be eradicated) the two ugliest of human emotions: Greed and Hate”

Starting as a pilot in the Pakistan Air Force, PAF; where my superiors soon discovered my propensity for trouble and decided to palm me off elsewhere; I joined the army in an infantry unit. I Served in erstwhile East Pakistan in 1971, but was fortunate enough to return weeks before the surrender to rejoin my unit at Sulemanki. I also saw action during the Balochistan insurgency in the 70s and in Kashmir.

I commanded three brigades, served on the staff of a brigade, division, and corps; and have been on the faculty of the infantry school, Command and Staff College, and the War Wing at the National Defence University.

I have spent a number of years in the remote areas of the Pakistani Tribal areas as well as Balochistan. I have served alongside Mahsuds, Wazirs, Afridis, Khattaks, and members of all other Pashtun tribes. I have eaten at their homes, resided at their residences as an honored guest, and I remain in touch with many of them to date; and, being a Punjabi have a unique insight into the tribal mind, customs and traditions.

Having fooled the army for long enough to reach the rank of a brigadier, when the army finally discovered after almost thirty years what the PAF had done in three, I sought an early retirement in 1998 and, in 1999 became the founder Vice President and, for a while, President of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) – from which I again sought early retirement in 2001, before I could be sacked. However, my stint there nurtured my pretensions to being able to think occasionally.

I have been “visiting faculty” at the Fatima Jinnah University, teaching subjects as divrse as, ‘Conflict and Crisis Management’, ‘Conflict Resolution’, ‘Geopolitics’, Social Decision making’, ‘Armament and Disarmament’ ‘War, strategy, and military decision making, ‘International Institutions’ in the Economics Department, and even one on ‘Islam and Ethics’. In the past I have written a weekly column for the Daily Times Pakistan, and now write one for The National UAE, as well as other dailies, and journals domestically and internationally. I am also a consultant on security related issues.

I focus mainly on South Asia with emphasis on Terrorism, Conlict Resolution, Security, Conduct of Warfare, Guerrilla Warfare and, to a limited extent, Nuclear Stability.