Pakistan Army: Institution that Matters

Ashish Shukla

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Ashish Shukla is a Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi. Prior to joining ICWA, he was associated with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. He received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the Centre for South Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. His area of interest and expertise lies in studies related to South Asia with special emphasis on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. .

All countries have an army. In Pakistan, the army has a country. The army sets the diplomatic and security agenda, especially on relations with key countries-most notably, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States. It retains primary control of the nuclear arsenal. It manipulates the religious discourse and political agendas. It participates significantly in virtually every sphere of business and industry, including banking, agriculture, construction and even the allocation of lands.

Ashish Shukla addresses these issues clearly, concisely and in an interesting manner.

— Amb. G. Parthasarathy, Veteran Indian Diplomat

Dr Shukla’s book on the Pakistan Army will be a welcome addition to the existing literature on the subject. It will provide moreover an Indian perspective on the evolution of this complex institution particularly in areas such as the Pakistan’s army’s regional perspectives and its relations with key external powers such as the United States and China. Given Dr Shukla’s close monitoring and knowledge of internal developments in Pakistan and in particular of different dimensions of its civil military interface his latest work would be of great interest to policy makers, analysts and also to those following developments in our neighbourhood.”

— Amb. T.C.A. Raghavan, Former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan

Dr. Shukla’s “Pakistan Army: Institution that matters” combines incisive analysis, extensive study and rare field work to provide Interesting Indian perspectives, making it a must read on this very important subject.

— Rana Banerji, Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS)

Ashish Shukla’s book is a must read, as it is a perspective from India, that is not propaganda or overtly biased. It is more interesting as it gives a balanced view of Pakistan Army’s role in its politics.

— Prof. Ijaz Khan, University of Peshawar, Pakistan

Pakistan Army is the most organised, powerful and influential institution in the country. It proclaims to protect not only the territorial frontiers of the state but the very ideology of the nation as well. The institution, through various means and mechanisms, controls Grand National Narrative (GNN) in Pakistan and strongly resists any attempt on part of other stakeholders to introduce changes having potential to weaken its hold in the system. It has fairly penetrated almost all sectors of Pakistani society and institutions of any significance including mass-media and academia. Its linkages with various indigenous extremist/terrorist groups is well-known and documented. Despite a severe blowback at home in the form of deadly terror strikes, the army refuses to discontinue its policy of using terror outfits as strategic assets to achieve foreign policy objectives. Against this background, the study traces the evolution of army, from scratch to the most potent force, and critically analyses the institution and its role in the country.





List of Tables and Diagrams

1. Introduction
2. The Pakistan Army: Basic Structure and Composition
3. Islam in the Garrison
4. Army’s Institutional and Corporate Interests
5. Institutionalisation of Army’s Role in Decision-Making
6. Involvement of External Entities
7. Conclusion

Ashish Shukla



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