Old Habits, New Challenges to Pakistani Establishment

Bose offered strategic reasons for his calm. "The Pakistani military regime is preoccupied with what's happening in Afghanistan and it doesn't want an escalation on its eastern border. While India has been trying to make Musharraf's life more difficult than it already is, the Indian leadership basically does not want an escalation either. They want the U.S. to see the Kashmir issue on Indian terms."

Certainly the old guard of the Pakistani military establishment does not want to see a conflict on the eastern front.

"We share so many similarities," said Hamid, referring to the common colonial traditions that the Indian and Pakistani armies have shared. "I'm a part of the India Pakistan Soldiers Peace Initiative and when we're not in conflict or when we're part of joint peacekeeping initiatives out of the region, it's amazing the goodwill our soldiers share."

Hamid is, of course, referring to the old Sandhurst tradition that still binds the upper echelons of the two armies, but with the situation on the ground rapidly deteriorating, it's questionable how effectively and quickly old habits can die.

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