Pakistan Army and its business empire apparatus

Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa with top brass of Pakistan Army. (File Photo: ISPR)
Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa with top brass of Pakistan Army. (File Photo: ISPR)

Pakistan Army is the only army in the world which has its separate economic and business empire within Pakistan that eats up more than half of country’s budget. Anyone who speaks up against this wrongdoing is court-martialed.

4 parts of Pakistan Army’s economic empire
1.  Army Welfare Trust
2.  Military Foundation
3.  Shaheen Foundation
4.  Bahria Foundation
Pakistan Army engages in business activities under these four names. All these businesses are done under the ambit of Ministry of Defense. These businesses are further divided into three parts.

National Logistics Cell (NLC Transport)
It is the largest transport company in Pakistan. It has a caravan of more than 1,698 vehicles and employs a total of 7,279 people, of whom 2,549 are serving soldiers and the rest are retired soldiers.

Frontier Works Organization (FWO)
It is the largest contractor in Pakistan and at present all major construction tenders of the government like roads etc. are under its charge. It also collects toll tax on several highways. Importantly, the FWO also has the right to charge for billboards on highways.

This agency has been assigned to communicate in Jammu and Kashmir, FATA and Northern Areas of Pakistan.

The Musharraf government had placed close to five thousand Pak Army officers to important positions in various institutions after their retirement and according to a report there are currently 56,000 civilian officers in the Pakistan, including 1,600 in corporations.

Pakistan Rangers is also increasingly participating in the business, which has access to 1,800 km of maritime lakes on the coasts of Sindh and Balochistan. Rangers currently control 20 lakes in Sindh. Their companies have petrol pumps and major hotels.

A report was tabled in the Senate on February 15, 2005. According to which many military institutions are not even registered in the stock exchange and their investment is in no way different from global investment. The following list gives an idea of ​​how Pakistani forces are engaged in these investments.

Army Welfare Trust Projects
1. Army Welfare Nizampur Cement Project
2. Army Welfare Pharmaceutical
3. Askari Cement Limited
4. Military Commercial Bank
5. Askari General Insurance Company Limited
6. Askari Leasing Limited
7. Askari Lubricants Limited
8. Army Sugar Mills Badin
9. Army Welfare Show Project
10. Army Welfare Woolen Mills Lahore
11. Army Welfare Hosiery Project
12. Army Welfare Rice Lahore
13. Army Stand Farm Probation
14. Army Stand Farm Bile Ganj
15. Army Farm Rakbaikanth
16. Army Farm Khoski Badin
17. Real Estate Lahore
18. Real Estate Rawalpindi
19. Real Estate Karachi
20. Real Estate Peshawar
21. Army Welfare Trust Plaza Rawalpindi
22. Al Ghazi Travels
23. Services Travels Rawalpindi
24. Liaison Office Karachi
25. Liaison Office Lahore
26. Army Welfare Trust Commercial Market Project
27. Military Information Service

Military Foundation Projects
1. Military Sugar Mills Tando Muhammad Khan
2. Military Sugar Mills Badin
3. Military Sugar Mills Sanglahal
4. Fuji Sugar Mills Ken Andes Farm
5. Military serials
6. Fuji corn flakes
7. Military polypropylene products
8. Foundation Gas Company
9. Military Fertilizer Company Sadiqabad Daharki
10. Military Fertilizer Institute
11. National Identity Card Project
12. Foundation Medical College
13. Fuji Kabirwala Power Company
14. Military Garden Fertilizer Ghaghar Gate Karachi
15. Military Security Company Limited

Shaheen Foundation Projects
1. Shaheen International
2. Shaheen Cargo
3. Shaheen Airport Services
4. Shaheen Airways
5. Shaheen Complex
6. Shaheen PTV
7. Shaheen Information and Technology System 

Naval Foundation Projects
1. Naval University
2. Welfare Trading Agency
3. Naval Travel Agency
4. Naval Construction
5. Navy Paints
6. Navy Deep Sea Fishing
7. Naval Complex
8. Bahria Housing
9. Navy dredging
10. Navy Bakery
11. Navy Shipping
12. Naval Coastal Service
13. Naval Catering and Decorating Service
14. Navy Farming
15. Navy Holding
16. Navy Ship Breaking
17. Naval Harbor Services
18. Navy Diving and Salvage International
19. Bahria Foundation College Bahawalpur

Cantonment areas, Defense Housing Societies, Military Housing Projects and Agricultural Lands in all major cities of Pakistan are in addition to the above list. None of us are aware of the fact that military-run businesses are second to none in terms of deficit, corruption and mismanagement.

One way to reduce their deficit is to show the balance sheet better by showing equity to the loans taken at home and abroad. But even so, they are still in deficit today.

This trend continues to be repeated over the last 30 years and if every audit is not followed by a bailout package from the government or through internal and external debt, this deficit can reach billions of rupees every year. But every government is forced to give these companies a bailout package, and if it dares to not give a financial bailout then the government is toppled.

All civilian governments in Pakistan have to provide military businesses with a multimillion-dollar bailout package apart from the defense budget. Retired soldiers’ pensions are also paid from the civil budget. After paying off foreign loans and their interest, the government has roughly about 40% of the GDP left. And then a new loan is taken to cover the deficit and run the country for next year’s expenses.

It is a vicious circle in which Pakistan is slowly getting so much entangled that with each passing year it is becoming more difficult than the previous year.

Here’s a look at some of the civilian posts headed by Pakistan Army officers during the last several years
Home Minister: Brigadier Ijaz Shah
Home Secretary: Major Suleiman
Attorney General: Captain Anwar Mansoor
IG Punjab: Captain Arif Nawaz
IG Communication & Technology: Lt Gen Asif Ghafoor
Chairman CPEC Authority: General Asim Bajwa
Chairman PIA: Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood
Chairman WAPDA: Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain
Director Civil Aviation Authority: Squadron Leader Shah Rukh Nusrat
Director General Anti-Narcotics Force: Major General Arif Malik
Director Airport Security Force: Major General Zafarul Haq
Member Federal Public Service Commission: Major General Azeem
National Disaster Management Authority: Lt Gen Omar Mahmood
Prime Minister’s Housing Authority: Lt Gen Syed Anwar Ali Haider
Director SPARCO: Major Gen Qaiser Anis
Director Era Authority: Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Hayat
Director General NAB Lahore: Major Shehzad Saleem
Lt Gen (retd.) Anwar Ali Haider appointed chairman of New Pakistan Housing Scheme

After the completion of Kotri Barrage in 1955, Governor General Ghulam Muhammad started the irrigation scheme. Instead of distributing it among 400,000 locals, these people were entitled for land allotment.
1: General Ayub Khan – 500 acres
2: Colonel Ziaullah – 500 acres
3: Colonel Noorullah – 500 acres
4: Colonel Akhtar Hafeez – 500 acres
5: Captain Feroz Khan – 243 acres
6: Major Aamir – 243 acres
7: Major Ayub Ahmed – 500 acres
8: Sabah Sadiq – 400 acres

In 1962, the construction of Gudubiraj near Kashmore on the Indus River was completed. The irrigated lands at that time cost between Rs. 5,000-10,000 per acre. But the Pakistani military officials bought it for Rs. 500 per acre only.
The land of Gudubiraj was distributed like this–
1: Gen Ayub Khan – 247 acres
2: Gen Musa Khan – 250 acres
3: Gen Amrao Khan – 246 acres
4: Brigadier Syed Anwar – 246 acres
Many other officers were also showered by land allotments.

During the reign of Gen Ayub Khan, different personalities were allotted land on different barrages. Their details are as follows:
1: Malik Khuda Bakhsh Bacha
 Minister of Agriculture – 158 acres
2: Khan Ghulam Sarwar Khan,
Minister of Finance – 240 acres
3: Gen Habibullah
Home Minister – 240 acres
4: NM Aqeeli
Finance Minister – 249 acres
5: Begum Aqeeli – 251 acres
6: Akhtar Hussain
Governor West Pakistan – 150 acres
7: MM-Ahmed Economic Adviser – 150 acres
8: Syed Hassan
Deputy Chairman Planning – 150 acres
9: Noorullah Railway Engineer – 150 acres
10: NA-Qureshi
Chairman Railway Board – 150 acres
11: Amir Mohammad Khan
Secretary Health – 238 acres
12: SM-Sharif Education Secretary – 239 acres

The details of other generals who were allotted land are as follows:
1: General KM Sheikh – 150 acres
2: Major General Akbar Khan – 240 acres
3: Brigadier F.R.K. – 240 acres
4: General Gul Hassan Khan – 150 acres

Gen Habibullah Kohr Barrage Process of Gohar Ayub was allotted a plot of land. Gen Habibullah was a key figure in the Gandhara corruption scandal.

General Ayub Nejn allotted land to different judges.
1: Justice SA Rehman 150 acres
2: Justice Inamullah Khan – 240 acres
3: Justice Muhammad Dawood – 240 acres
4: Justice Faizullah Khan – 240 acres
5: Justice Muhammad Munir – 150 acres
Land was also allotted at Justice Munir Kwathara Hazari Barrage.

Gen Ayub Khan distributed lands among police officers.
1: Malik Atta Mohammad Khan DIG 150 acres
2: Najaf Khan DIG-240 acres
3: Allah Nawaz Tareen – 240 acres
Najaf Khan was the character in the Liaquat Ali murder case. He shot the killer Syed Akbar. Allah Nawaz Fatima Jinnah murder case is being investigated.

In 1982, the civilian government of Pakistan launched the Cattle Farming Scheme. The purpose of this scheme was to allot land to small farmers for raising sheep and goats. During this period, the Pakistan Army bought 2.5 million acres of land in Kotri, Sehwan, Thatta and Mukli.

In 1993, the government handed over 33,866 acre in Bahawalpur to the Pakistan Army. In June 2015, the Sindh government handed over 9,600 acre valuable forest land to the Pakistan Army.

In 2003, 2500 acres in Nawazabad area of ​​Sadiqabad Tehsil was handed over to the Pakistan Army. This land was handed over without the consent of local owners.

Similarly, Pakistan Navy acquired the land of Mubarak village in Kemari Town in the name of training camp. The case is still going on.

The Okara Farm case began in 2003. The 16,627 acres of Okara Farm was owned by the Punjab Government. It was a leasehold. The lease expired in 1947. The Punjab Government distributed it among the farmers for agricultural purposes. In 2003, the army asserted its authority. At that time, according to DG ISPR Shaukat Sultan, the Pakistan Army could acquire any land for its own needs.

The report was tabled in the Senate in 2003. According to it, the army was running 27 housing schemes in the country. During the same period, 130 plots of 16 acres were distributed among the officers.

Description of land held by Pakistan Army
Lahore – 12 thousand acres
Karachi – 12 thousand acres
Attock – 3000 acres
Taxila – 2500 acres
Peshawar – 4000 acres
Quetta – 2500 acres
It is worth Rs 300 billion. This was revealed in the National Assembly in 2009.

In Bahawalpur, the land in the border area was distributed among the generals at the rate of Rs. 380 per acre. There were a total of 100 officers from general to colonel. Some of the names are: Gen Pervez Musharraf, Gen Zubair, Gen Irshad Hussain, Gen Zarar, Gen Zulfiqar Ali, Gen Saleem Haider, Gen Khalid Maqbool, Admiral Mansoorul Haq.

According to various statistics, the Pakistan Army has 12 million acres of land, which is 12% of the total area of ​​the country. One lakh acre is being used for commercial purposes. The value of 7 million acres is around 700 billion rupees (70,000 crore rupees).

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