Role of the Military in Politics in Pakistan

Armughan Javaid, LUMS B.Sc.(Hons) Class of '98

in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the course History of Pakistan and South Asia


This paper attempts to explain why the military has played a key role in politics in Pakistan and examines the institutions that helped engender military rule. The prime reason has been the military itself, specifically the Pakistan Army and within it the officers corps; three coup d'etats created instability in the relationships between various institutions of the state. The military could not have ruled by itself; it needed the civil bureaucracy's help in day-to-day administration of the country. Also, the judiciary, media and to some extent, the United States were instrumental in fostering the continued presence of the military in Pakistan's politics.

We have divided the paper into five sections (in addition to the introductory and concluding sections). We end with a review of the prevalent political situation in Pakistan. This has always been a very topical subject but it has become all the more current because of the recent 13th amendment in the Constitution. We would like to acknowledge the course instructor, Dr Naveed Hasan, for helping us with research material and reviewing the complete first draft of the paper. It is our intention to make this paper publicly available on the Internet via the World Wide Web.

Armughan Javaid
and Noor Zahra Irfan

24 April, 1997

* Addendum for the Web version: as mentioned above, I have finally gotten around to converting the Word doc to html, footnotes and all. But some of the content reflects the political situation as on 24 April, 1997. Comments/criticism is welcome via email.

Armughan Javaid, 21st August 1997


                  C-in-C      Commander-in-Chief
                  CDNS        Council for Defence and National Security
                  COAS        Chief of the Army Staff
                  CMLA        Chief Martial Law Administrator
                  Col         Colonel
                  Gen         General
                  GHQ         General Headquarters
                  GOC         General Officer Commanding
                  FSF         Federal Security Force
                  IB          Intelligence Bureau
                  IJI         Islami Jamhoori Ittehad
                  ISI         Inter Services Intelligence
                  ISPR        Inter Services Public Relations
                  JAG         Judge Advocate General
                  JCSC        Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
                  Lt          Lieutenant
                  MI          Military Intelligence
                  POW         Prisoner of War
                  PPP         Pakistan People's Party
                  PR          Public Relations
                  VCOAS       Vice Chief of the Army Staff

1. Introduction

August 14, 1997 will mark the 50th anniversary of Pakistan's creation [now this should be read as ' has marked' - authors]. Sixteen of these fifty years were spent under direct martial law regimes and democracy could not flourish.1 India, which gained independence from the British at the same time, has always been recognised as the world's largest democracy; with military coups unthinkable2, it can boast of a strong parliament, free press and an independent judiciary. In Pakistan these institutions did not, or were not allowed to strengthen and this remains one of the biggest reasons why the military intervened, directly or indirectly, in politics and state affairs throughout Pakistan's half century of history.

This paper looks into the history of Pakistan in relation to the role played by the military3 in it. It discusses the ambitious generals' psyche, their arrogance and a smug belief in their ability to do things better than civilians. They took it upon themselves to 'sort out' the mess created by politicians and become the nation's 'saviours'. It is divided into sections roughly corresponding to military eras in chronological order - how an image-building process took place and from the small but fully-disciplined elite of the colonial era, the military emerged as a 'sacred cow' answerable to none. It also looks into the various institutions that helped entrench military rule and concludes with a review of the present situation in light of the 13th amendment in the Constitution and its implications.

2. Rise of the Military's Image

The segregation of the British Indian Army

Imran Ali argues that under the British, the military was a primary recipient of land in canal colonies and this enhanced the stature of the Army and hence laid a foundation for future dominance in politics in Pakistan. 4 While this may be a reason for the involvement of the military in Pakistan's politics, but it is certainly not the only one since the Indian Army arose from the same stock too -- the British Indian Army. Hence we have to search for other reasons.

The Pakistan Army's participation in rescue of migrants from India and in the rehabilitation of refugees followed by the Kashmir operations 5 created its image as a saviour and its officers, being quickly promoted to fill the void created by the segregation started considering themselves as guardians of the nation. The first two C-in-Cs of the Pakistan Army were British: Generals Frank Messervy and Douglas Gracey. 6 Right after partition, General Frank Messervy told Major General (then Brigadier) Sher Ali, a senior Pakistani officer, that it is of the utmost importance that correct selection and promotion of officers be done at that time so that the right man would be selected for the top slot when the British left -- therefore people free from political ambitions should head the Army. 7 But when the time came, Ayub Khan, who had risen from the rank of Lt Col to General in 4 years, was appointed C-in-C. Sher Ali maintains that the history of Pakistan would have been different had the other person in consideration -Lt General Iftikhar Khan- become C-in-C because he would never have allowed the Army to be used for political purposes and he would never have used his position as C-in-C as a doorway to political power. 8 Hence this initial choice of the commander-in-chief and the precedents he set can be judged as one of the reasons why the military went on to play such a major role in politics in Pakistan.

The British had developed a procedure called "aid to the civil power" in which authority was passed to a local military commander for the duration of the law and order disturbance in an area. 9 Such practices were continued after the creation of Pakistan; it was not realized that if the army was called out on regular basis, either the population will conclude that the government was incompetent or the army itself will rebel against the government. The Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case10 showed that there were officers in the Pakistan Army who wanted to overthrow the government due to their differences with it. Some officers in the GHQ would just hang around having discussions about their roles as 'Guardians of the Country'.

Lahore martial law

In March 1953, riots against the Ahmadi sect erupted in Lahore demanding their declaration as a non-muslim majority. The GOC Lahore, Major General Azam Khan, recommended to the GHQ imposition of martial law in the city. This incident perhaps is the turning point in the history of military-politics relations in Pakistan. For the first time the Army found itself in direct control of civil affairs. A PR exercise was initiated with full force through the ISPR. 11 Surprisingly, the army did not go back to barracks after restoring law and order - but launched a "cleaner Lahore campaign" and improved the streets, health and sanitation facilities. 12 The message it was sending to the people was clear: we are better rulers than the civilians.

So while the military's image continued to improve, politically the country was in a mess. A long delay in formulation of the first constitution followed by quick changes of government paved way for the army. Major General Fazl Muqeem writes that in the annual division commanders meeting at the GHQ in April 1957, several general officers demanded that Ayub Khan take over the affairs of the country. 13 Ayub Khan himself writes that politicians kept coming to him and saying that he could save the situation. 14

3. Ayub, Yahya and Bhutto Regimes

Iskandar Mirza (who was the President from 1956-58) had a military background and had good relations with General Ayub. But massive political unrest and public demonstrations led Ayub Khan to ask Iskandar Mirza to abrogate the constitution and declare martial law on October 7, 1958. 15 Iskandar Mirza was asked to tender his resignation by the army high command. Throughout his tenure, Ayub Khan relied heavily on PR and image build-up to ensure the continuation of his rule. He got himself elevated to the rank of Field Marshal and appointed General Musa as the C-in-C. His PR was not limited to projecting the President on media alone but culminated in the formation of the Pakistan Writer's Guild and curtailing freedom of speech of the press by the 'Press and Publications Ordinance'. One ploy used by Ayub Khan to entrench his rule was to give state largesse to businesses and hence obtain their favours: a give and take relationship. 16 His son Gohar Ayub (presently the Foreign Minister of Pakistan) was helped by the Dawood group to start an automobile plant; Ahmad Dawood was elected to the National Assembly in 1964. 17 The Basic Democracy system18 prevented the emergence of political parties and a democratic political culture, hence strengthening Ayub Khan's rule.

The most massive PR exercise during the Ayub Khan regime was the 1965 Indo-Pak war. Contrary to what is taught in school text books, Pakistan did not win the war; neither was it India who started it. 19 The 23-day war can at best be called a stalemate (Pakistan can, however, claim to have won the air battle) but it was projected as a major victory. In fact, the Tashkent agreement marked the start of the downfall of Ayub Khan as the people believed what the army had won on the battleground, Ayub lost on the negotiations table. Nevertheless, the image of the military reigned supreme on 6 September 1966 which was declared a national holiday; no one knew that 5 years later it would hit its lowest ebb under another military dictator.

With the rapid decline in the popularity of Ayub Khan's rule, General Yahya, who had become the C-in-C in September 1966, declared martial law on March 25, 1969. 20 After the December 7, 1970 elections, which are regarded as free and fair, East Pakistan was embroiled in political unrest. General Yahya saw no political solution to the problem and a military action was launched in East Pakistan. Severe press censorship was introduced and the public were fed incorrect information. India overtly started helping the uprising and went into war with Pakistan. The "defence of East Pakistan lies in West Pakistan" doctrine failed and East Pakistan became Bangladesh. The morale of the nation was at an all-time low. The army and the generals were being openly criticized. Yahya had no choice but to relinquish control to Mr Z A Bhutto. Ironically, Bhutto initially took over as a civilian CMLA.

Bhutto saw this as the perfect opportunity to curtail the powers of the military: several senior officers were retired from the three services. Lt Gen Gul Hassan was made the C-in-C, in the same rank. However he soon fell out with Bhutto. 21 The result was that Bhutto virtually forced him and the Air Chief to tender their resignations. Perhaps this was the only time in the history of Pakistan when the civilian government imposed its authority over the military so completely. It would not have been possible had it not been for the '71 war debacle which had embarrassed the Army - with some 90,000 men as POWs in India. With General Tikka Khan as the COAS 22, Bhutto continued to enjoy tremendous control over the army. In 1976, he promoted Lt Gen Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq over several senior officers and made him the COAS.

4. 11 Years of Zia-ul-Haq

Bhutto's elections of March 1977 were alleged to be rigged by his political opponents. 23 The Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) comprising nine political parties took to the streets. Law and order situation was deteriorating rapidly. Politicians themselves were demanding martial law - Air Marshal Asghar Khan (Ret.), one of the prominent opposition politicians, wrote to the services chiefs and asked them to intervene. 24 On July 5, 1977, the third direct martial law was imposed in the country under the code-name Operation Fairplay. 25 General Zia took over as CMLA and suspended the constitution and thus began what was to become the country's longest military rule.

General Zia for the first time introduced the element of Islamic ideology in the army: as was evident by its new motto of 'iman, taqwa, jihad fi sabilillah'. 26 This ideology of 'Islamisation' helped General Zia to elicit the support of the Islamic ethos among Pakistan's clergy and the middle class. Bhutto was hanged and the elections postponed. To legitimize his rule, he conducted a referendum in 1984 which has been labeled as a farce. A Judge of the Supreme Court received the doctored results of the referendum from Joint Staff Headquarters and ratified them. 27 One instrument that was used by General Zia to maintain hold over the military, his so-called 'constituency', and hence over the administrative machinery of the state was extensions in service and pre-mature retirements. His close associates were granted promotions and extensions beyond the retirement age. 28 On retirement they were given plum posts in the military's numerous business concerns such as the Fauji Fertilizers, etc. 29 On the other hand, decorated professional officers whom he considered a threat to his rule either resigned themselves or were side-lined in promotion boards. 30

In 1985, General Zia lifted Martial law albeit after introducing the infamous 8th amendment in the '73 constitution that gave him the power to dismiss governments. Prime Minister Junejo tried unsuccessfully to exert some control over the military. For example, he wanted General Akhtar Abdur Rehman and Lt Gen Hamid Gul to resign in relation to the Ojhri Camp debacle. 31 Zia did not allow this and subsequently dissolved the National Assembly in the first ever use of the 8th amendment in May 1988.

The Immediate Post-Zia Period

It goes to the credit of the VCOAS, General Mirza Aslam Beg, that he did not grab power after General Zia's death in the C-130 crash. However, later as COAS General Beg's role was to become controversial. Reportedly, he was successful in influencing the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the restoration of the Junejo Government. His intelligence agencies had predicted that it was likely that the Junejo Government would be restored by the Court. General Beg supposedly sent a message to the Chief Justice through the Chairman Senate Mr Wasim Sajjad that the army would not approve of such a decision. 32 In 1993, with General Beg out of uniform, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Afzal Zullah initiated contempt of court trial again General Beg which was aborted. Such remains the influence of a retired General.

Moreover, when President Ishaq dismissed the first Benazir Bhutto government, she accused the MI of masterminding the move and claimed that her dismissal order had been prepared by the JAG branch of the GHQ. 33 The PPP accused newsmen of linking with IB, MI and ISI; their newspapers paid the price next time she was in power as their advertisements were cut. 34 Ms Bhutto also claimed that she was kept in the dark as to the details of Pakistan's nuclear programme, however this was denied by General Beg. 35 Nevertheless, the fact that it was General Beg rather than Benazir Bhutto who announced the testing of Hatf I and Hatf II missiles pointed to the fact that Beg wanted to keep civilian influence over the military to a minimum. 36

5. 1990 to Present

The 1990 elections are widely believed to be rigged. The IJI party was formed by the ISI under Lt General Hameed Gul to ensure PPP's defeat in the polls. 37 Although Hamid Gul denies this claiming that the ISI's political cell, which was created by ZA Bhutto, only 'monitored' the elections. 38 Still the role of the ISI is questionable: rather than engaging in counter-intelligence, which remains its primary role, it was wasting the country's resources by monitoring the elections. Later on General Beg infuriated the foreign office and put the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in an awkward position when he made his displeasure over the government's Gulf War policy public. Openly criticizing America and supporting Saddam - he put forward his so-called doctrine of 'Strategic Defiance'. 39 Commenting on foreign policy in press meetings was not the COAS's job. This showed that the military was still very much into the game. Newspapers coined the term 'ruling troika' - comprising the COAS, President and the Prime Minister, in that order of influence over the country!

General Asif Nawaz took over from General Beg as COAS on 18 August, 1991. He was drawn into the clean-up operation in Sindh and developed differences with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. 40 General Abdul Waheed Kakar succeeded Asif Nawaz after his death. Right after General Waheed assumed command, differences between the President and the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif developed. The National Assembly was dissolved and later restored by the Supreme Court. This resulted in a political deadlock between the PM and the President. Speculations of a military take-over were widespread. But although the military did not intervene directly by taking over the country, there was shuttle diplomacy between the President, PM and the services chiefs. The military brokered a deal where both the President and the PM resigned and new elections were held in October 1993. 41

The most significant event related to the military-politics relations during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure was the abortive bloody coup by some junior officers including a Major General. 42 General Waheed was offered an extension in his tenure but he refused. There are some reports that there was a tussle between Ms Bhutto and the President Leghari over the appointment of the new COAS. However, the President used his discretionary powers to appoint a respected and professional officer General Jehangir Karamat as the COAS who is known to be politically unambitious. 43

The government of Benazir Bhutto was dismissed in November 1996 by President Leghari; this time she did not openly accuse the army of being behind the move. During the care-taker government, the President established a Council for Defence and National Security (CDNS) - a body originally envisaged by General Zia. It includes the services chiefs and can advise the government on defence and economic matters. It was seen as many people as martial-law in civilian clothes. Elections took place on February 3, 1997 and Mr Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister with an unprecedented mandate. One of his first political moves was to repeal the sections of the 8th amendment in the constitution which gave the president discretionary powers to dissolve the National Assembly, and to appoint services chiefs. 44 It is speculated that the CDNS will now be disbanded. This incident has revived the supremacy of the Parliament as laid down originally in the 1973 constitution. The military remained neutral throughout this exercise, its leadership reaffirming its faith in the Parliament.

6. Role of Institutions in Military-politics Relations

From the preceding sections, the military itself with its senior leadership and their vested interests can be seen as the prime reason for its continued role in politics in Pakistan. Even without direct martial law, the military maintained its influence through its intelligence agencies (ISI's creation of IJI) and otherwise (e.g. as a mediator in the aforementioned political tussle between Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Nawaz Sharif). The role of other institutions that have helped the military with its rule emerges:

The first and foremost reason was a weak parliament. Pakistan was without a constitution of its own until 1956. This weakened the parliamentary system and democratic norms could not develop (PMs were appointed by the head of the state rather than people). Zia did not let any institution strengthen that could serve as a threat to his rule. He weakened the political parties and the 1985 elections were held on non-party basis. The freedom of expression of the Press, one of the pre-requisites of democracy, had always been curtailed during martial laws and censorship laws were enforced. This control over the press reached its limit when in 1982 three journalists were flogged by the martial law regime due to political reasons.

The judiciary was weak during martial law regimes and otherwise when dealing with generals. Several of its decisions have had political fallout. For example, the 1953 decision of Justice Munir upheld the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly 45 and thus weakened the nascent democratic process in Pakistan. After the 1977 coup, the Supreme Court validated the martial law on the basis of "doctrine of necessity". 46 Its role during the Presidential referendum and later during the hearing of the Junejo Government restoration case (decision influenced by the COAS) marred its reputation significantly. The civil bureaucracy has essentially felt comfortable with whomever is in power, provided it was given a security of service. Ayub Khan's Basic Democracy system was an instrument which made politicians redundant and gave the bureaucracy an outreach at the village level and helped ensure continuity of his regime. In the Yahya Khan marital law, the bureaucracy was given a diminished role in administration and it was fragmented with the dismissal of 303 civil servants. However, the Zia-ul-Haq martial law saw a revival of the bureaucracy's role and several bureaucrats were given key positions in governance such as Mr Agha Shahi as the Foreign Minister.

The United States, although not an institute, has been perceived as the most significant foreign player in Pakistan's politics. American aid, especially during the Ayub Khan era and as a result of the Afghan War during Zia-ul-Haq's regime, consolidated the dictators' rule. With their extensive military aid to Pakistan in the 50s and commencement of officer training in US military schools, they gave the Pakistan Army an image of a vibrant and elite force occupying important place in national affairs. Akmal Hussain47 and Mushahid Hussain48 claim that according to now-declassified US State Department reports, General Ayub Khan was recognised as the 'King-maker' in Pakistan's politics by the Americans. 49 The Cold War entered a new phase with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and Pakistan became a front-line state. For the United States, dealing with a military dictator was much easier in such times. US assistance to Pakistan was resumed in 1983 with a $3.2 billion package. Even though America was opposed to Zia's continuation of Pakistan's nuclear programme, it continued to help him because of the Afghan war and hence helped enormously in the strengthening of his rule.

7. Conclusion

Today the combined numerical strength of Pakistan's Armed Forces stands at about 560,000 50 as compared to 137,000 in 1949. 51 India managed to curtail the powers of the military right after partition while in Pakistan it was wooed by politicians from the start - six months after the creation of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan, who was the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, defended very high allocation for defence in the first budget debate in the constituent assembly. 52 Defence budget continues to devour national resources at an alarming rate. In 1994, Pakistan entered into a deal with France to acquire 3 Agosta Class Submarines at a cost of $1billion53 and the deal is suspect because of several press reports of heavy kickbacks accrued to politicians and certain naval officers. Even though the government has more than two thirds majority in the Parliament, it cannot touch the 'sacred cow' by reducing the defence budget. The military has always had the final say regarding arms procurement and retains the veto over security-related decisions. 54 This must change. The defence budget and acquisition process must be made transparent; reports of kick-backs and commissions must be investigated and the culprits put to justice, be it Mr Asif Zardari in the submarine or proposed Mirage-2000 deal or the sitting Naval Chief Admiral Mansoor-ul-Haque. 55 The initiative rests with the government: accountability must also include the military.

It would be premature to say whether the 13th amendment has truly strengthened democracy in Pakistan for all times to come. However, with the cold war having ended, a free press and a judiciary separate from the executive and a strong government in Pakistan, any general will have to think a hundred times before following in the footsteps of his ambitious predecessors. And whether the vested interests in the military like it or not, the government must hold meaningful talks with India and resolve the disputes: starting with Siachin and eventually Kashmir. Because otherwise both the countries will keep trying to match each other tank for tank and plane for plane until both collapse of sheer exhaustion. Especially prone to this is Pakistan with its economy in dire straits; the debt-retirement scheme is just a stop-gap measure, the real solution to the crisis is to reduce the defence budget (bilaterally with India) and divert resources to developmental and social sectors.


1. Pakistan was ruled under martial law from 1958-62, 1969-71 and 1977-85.

2. See General S.F. Rodrigues's interview to The Pioneer in Lucknow, reprinted in The Friday Times, April 1, 1992. Even though Indian armed forces have been used in counter insurgency operations (in Kashmir, for example) but they have always remained under strict civilian control. In this interview General Rodrigues, the then Indian COAS, states his apprehensions about internal duties saying that domestic policing in Assam, Kashmir and Punjab was not the job of his forces.

3. It should be noted that the term military is not synonymous with Army - it is a general term used for all the three (or more as in the case of the United States with its Marine Corps) Armed Services of a country: the Army, Navy and the Air Force. Although when people talk of military's role in politics in Pakistan, they are generally referring to the Army since the other services have never initiated a coup; their officers were given martial law administration duties but they have remained somewhat in the background.

4. See Imran Ali, Punjab under Imperialism, 1987, pp. 109-115

5. For details of the Kashmir Operations, see Major General Fazal Muqeem Khan, The Story of Pakistan Army, 1963, p.75

6. There was greater shortage of Pakistani commissioned officers in the Pakistan Army than was the case in the Indian Army. Hence the Pakistan Army took a longer time to be 'nationalized' than the Indian Army; see Hassan Askari Rizvi, The Military and Politics in Pakistan: 1947 - 86, 1986, p.36

7. Major General Sher Ali Khan, The Story of Soldiering and Politics in India and Pakistan, 1978, p.116

8. Ibid., p.126

9. See Stephen P. Cohen, The Pakistan Army, 1984, p.49

10. In 1951 several senior army officers including Major Generals Akbar Khan, Nazir Ahmad, Brigadier Sadiq Khan,etc. and Mr Faiz Ahmed Faiz (who was the editor of a newspaper) were arrested on charges of planning to overthrow the state. For details see Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Pakistan's Defence Policy: 1947-58, 1990, pp.116-118

11. See Birgadier A R Siddiqi, The Military in Pakistan: Image and Reality, 1996, pp. 25-29

12. Hassan Askari Rizvi, The Military and Politics in Pakistan: 1947 - 86, 1986, p.61

13. Major General Fazal Muqeem Khan, The Story of Pakistan Army, 1963, p.190

14. FM Ayub Khan, Friends not Masters, 1967, p.58

15. See Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistan: The Continuing Search for Nationhood, 1991, p.48

16. See Naveed Hasan, Management Practices and Business Development in Pakistan: 1947-88, p.75

17. Ibid.

18. Ayub Khan established a Basic Democracy system under which the President was elected indirectly through an electoral college of individuals who were in turn elected by local bodies.

19. For details of division-level military operations Gibraltor and Grandslam carried out by Pakistan before the outbreak of the '65 war, see General Mohammad Musa, My Version: India-Pakistan War 1965, p. 35

20. For details on the power transfer from Ayub Khan to Yahya Khan , see Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistan: The Continuing Search for Nationhood, 1991, p.52

21. Lt Gen Gul Hassan refused to help Mr Bhutto with the police strikes and opposed his creation of a Federal Security Force (FSF). The Air Force was asked to fly dummy runs over Faisalabad. Air Marshal Rahim Khan refused. See Lt Gen Gul Hassan, Memoirs of Lt Gen Gul Hassan, 1993; for a discussion on the FSF, see Omar Noman, Political Economy of Pakistan, p.59

22. Bhutto changed the position of C-in-C to Chief of Staff of the service and introduced the position of Chairman JCSC. However this was more of a cosmetic change only since the command of troops rested with the Chiefs and the Chairman JCSC was a staff appointment only. Gen Gul Hassan writes in his memoirs that he would have done the same thing [refused to cooperate with Bhutto] had he been the COAS instead of C-in-C.

23. For election figures, see Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistan: The Continuing Search for Nationhood, 1991, p.65;

24. Ibid., p.62;

25. For details on how the Operation was carried out, see General K. M. Arif, Working with Zia: Pakistan's Power Politics 1977-88, 1995

26. iman, tqwa, jihad fi sabilillah. Translation: Faith, Piety and War in the service of Allah

27. Akmal Hussain and Mushahid Hussain, Pakistan: Problems of Governance, 1993, p.57

28. For exmaple, General Akhtar Abdur Rahman was promoted to the rank of General even though he had no Corps Command experience, see Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf and Major Mark Adkin, The Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story, 1992

29. See "The Army's March to Profit", Asiaweek, reprinted in The Friday Times, February 13-19, 1992.

30. For example: Air Commodore Sajjad Haider told General Zia that the armed forces were suffering because of their involvement in politics and resigned from the force in 1979. Major-General Shah Rafi Alam, respected in army circles as a strictly professional man was told by General Zia that he was being superseded for further promotion because he was known to strongly oppose the army's hanging on to power. The '65 war ace: Squadron Leader M M Alam (later Air Commodore) was sidelined in the early eighties on similar grounds. For details see:

- Air Commodore Sajjad Haider (PAF, Ret.) interviewed by Anjum Niaz in Dawn Magazine, February 14, 1997

- Major General Rafi Alam (Ret.) interviewed by Moni Mohsin in The Friday Times March 31 - April 6, p.24

- Air Commodore Mohammad Mahmood Alam interviewed by Rina Saeed Khan, The Friday Times, September 15-21, 1994, p.24

31. On April 11, 1988 an ammunitions dump at Ojhri blew up spraying rockets and explosives on Rawalpindi and Islamabas. It was a store for ISI's Afghan effort; for details see Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf and Major Mark Adkin, The Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story, 1992, pp.220 - 221

32. Najam Sethi, "Unveiling Gen Beg's grand plan", The Friday Times, April 28-May 4, 1994, p.6

33. Akmal Hussain and Mushahid Hussain, Pakistan: Problems of Governance, 1993, p.99

34. Khaled Ahmed, "The quarrel with journalists", The Friday Times, August 11-17, 1994, p.9

35. General Mirza Aslam Beg, "Who will press the button ?", The News, Sept. 1993.

36. See chapter related to Pakistan in Leonard Spector, Nuclear ambitions: the spread of nuclear weapons, 1990

37. Khaled Ahmed, "The folly of ruling through spies", The Friday Times, Nov 21-27, 1996, p.9

38. See Lt Gen Hamid Gul's interview in The Herald, February 1995, p.40

39. Najam Sethi, "Unveiling Gen Beg's grand plan", The Friday Times, April 28-May 4, 1994, p.6

40. Birgadier A R Siddiqi, The Military in Pakistan: Image and Reality, 1996, p. 240

41. For details on dissolution and restoration of the Assembly and the role of the services chiefs as mediators, see national newspapers dated between April 19, 1993 and June 1993. For example, "National Assembly dissolved, Army takes over PTV, radio stations", cover story in Dawn, 19 April, 1993

42. Major General Zaheer Islam Abbasi, Brigadier Mustansar (Billa) and some other officers were arrested and Court Martialed on charges of conspiring against the government. This shows a trend that no military coup in Pakistan that was planned by junior officers has been successful (e.g. the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case). The impetus has to come from the top of the hierarchy.

43. See Ahmad Rashid, "Pakistan: Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind", in Current History, April 1996, p.163

44. Tariq Butt and Raja Zulfikar, "Parliament renders President toothless", headline story in The News, April 2, 1997

45. For details of the case, see Akmal Hussain and Mushahid Hussain, Pakistan: Problems of Governance, 1993, p.54

46. Justice Dorab Patel, "The Historical Role of Judiciary in Pakistan", The Friday Times, Oct. 24-30, p.7

47. Dr Akmal Hussain specializes in development policy research. He has lectured at the University of California and is a member of the adjunct faculty at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.

48. Mr Mushahid Hussain is a renowned journalist and columnist and has written extensively on civil-military relations. He is the Pakistan correspondent of Jane's Defence Weekly. He is serving as an advisor in the Nawaz Sharif government.

49. Akmal Hussain and Mushahid Hussain, Pakistan: Problems of Governance, 1993, p.32

50.. Military Technology, Annual Defence Almanac, Vol. XX issue 1996

51. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Pakistan's Defence Policy: 1947-58, 1990, p.113

52. For defence budget figures under Liaqat Ali Khan, see Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, Pakistan's Defence Policy: 1947-58, 1990, p.94

53. Shakil Shaikh, "Pakistan to get three French subs", headline story in The News, December 22, 1994

54. Ayesha Jalal, "Mirage deal - changing the civil-military imbalance", The Friday Times, Aug 29-Sept 4, 1996, p. 3

55. Ardeshir Cowasjee, "The Admirals", The Friday Times, January 23-29, 1997, p.8



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Siddiqi, Birgadier A. R., The Military in Pakistan: Image and Reality (Vanguard, 1996).

Spector, Leonard S., Nuclear Ambitions: the spread of nuclear weapons (Westview

Press, 1990).

Yousaf, Brigadier Mohammad and Adkin, Major Mark, The Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story (Jang Publishers / Leo Cooper, 1992).

Journals / Magazines

Ahmed, Khaled, "The quarrel with journalists", The Friday Times, August 11-17, 1994, p.9

Ahmed, Khaled, "The folly of ruling through spies", The Friday Times, Nov 21-27, 1996, p.9

Cowasjee, Ardeshir, "The Admirals", The Friday Times, January 23-29, 1997, p.8

Gul, Lt Gen Hameed, interview in The Herald, February 1995, p.40

Jalal, Ayesha, "Mirage deal - changing the civil-military imbalance", The Friday Times, Aug 29-Sept 4

Military Technology, Annual Defence Almanac, Vol. XX issue 1996

Patel, Justice Dorab, "The Historical Role of Judiciary in Pakistan", The Friday Times, Oct. 24-30, p.7

Paul, T. V., "Influence through arms transfers", Asian Survey, reprinted in The Friday Times, July 8-14, 1993, p.23

Rashid, Ahmad, "Pakistan: Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind", in Current History, April 1996, p.163

Rodrigues, General S.F, interview to The Pioneer in Lucknow, reprinted in The Friday Times, April 1, 1992

Sethi, Najam, "Unveiling Gen Beg's grand plan", The Friday Times, April 28-May 4, 1994, p.6


Butt, Tariq and Zulfikar, Raja, "Parliament renders President toothless", The News, April 2, 1997, p.1

Shaikh, Shakil, "Pakistan to get three French subs", The News, December 22, 1994, p.1

Beg, General Mirza Aslam, "Who will press the button ?", The News, Sept, 1993.

"National Assembly dissolved, Army takes over PTV, radio stations", cover story in Dawn, 19 April, 1993