The Rural Roots of Pakistani Militarism

  • Clive Dewey
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series (CAMCOM)

Abstract

Political scientists have never provided particularly satisfactory explanations of the army’s domination of politics in Pakistan, because they have always regarded military rule as a distasteful exception to the much more attractive civilian norm. Their initial reaction to each coup — Ayub’s, Yahya’s, even Zia’s — was to hope that it was a temporary affair. The army only intervened in times of crisis, after the politicians failed to reconcile conflicting classes and regions; and it only intervened to pave the way for the reintroduction of civilian rule. Once order was restored, the soldiers ‘went back to barracks’. This device — stressing the ephemeral nature of military rule — fell foul of the generals’ longevity. Ayub and Zia clung to power for more than a decade, so their regimes had to be explained away. The 1962 constitution was one pretext. With its provisions for ‘guided democracy’ it turned Ayub into an ‘essentially civilian’ ruler. He wasn’t really a field marshal dependent on the backing of the army; he was the leader of a political party with a positive programme — a programme of modernisation. He co-opted all sorts of élites — bureaucratic, landowning, professional, business — and won a presidential election with their assistance. Zia was engaged in a similar ‘search for legitimation’ through ‘the articulation of powerful elements in Pakistan into the institutional structure’ when he fell out of the sky.

Keywords

Income Stratification Defend Folk Ethos 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    For the ‘official’ vindications of the first coup, see Iskander Mirza’s Proclamation, 7 October 1958, and Muhammad Ayub Khan’s ‘First Broadcast to the Nation’, 8 October 1958, reprinted in H. A. Rizvi, The Military and Politics in Pakistan, 2nd edn (Lahore, 1976) appendices B and C, pp. 308–17. Ayub’s autobiography, Friends Not Masters (London, 1967) repeats the mixture as before, pp. 58, 68, 77.Google Scholar
  2. The official version is regurgitated in G. W. Choudhury, Democracy in Pakistan (Dacca, 1963) passim;Google Scholar
  3. H. Feldman, Revolution in Pakistan (London, 1967) pp. vi, 35–7, 108, 209–10;Google Scholar
  4. H. A. Rizvi, The Military and Politics in Pakistan rev. edn (Lahore, 1976) pp. 63ff, 196ff;Google Scholar
  5. K. B. Sayeed, The Political System of Pakistan (Boston, 1967) passim;Google Scholar
  6. I. Stephens, Pakistan (London, 1967) pp. 248ff;Google Scholar
  7. H. Tinker, India and Pakistan rev. edn (London, 1967) pp. 73ff;Google Scholar
  8. K. Von Vorys, Political Development in Pakistan (Princeton, 1965) pp. 143ff;Google Scholar
  9. R. Weekes, Pakistan: Birth and Growth of a Muslim Nation (Princeton, 1966) passim;Google Scholar
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  11. L. R. F. Williams, The State of Pakistan, rev. edn (London, 1966) pp. 183ff.Google Scholar
  12. L. Ziring, ‘Perennial Militarism: an Interpretation of Political Underdevelopment — Pakistan under General Yahya Khan, 1969–71’, in Pakistan in Transition (Islamabad, 1975) pp. 198–232,Google Scholar
  13. and H. Alavi, ‘The Army and the Bureaucracy in Pakistan’, International Socialist Journal, 3 (1966) pp. 149–181, address the crucial issue of military dominance head-on. Alavi’s ‘Class and State’, in Pakistan: The Roots of Dictatorship, ed. H. Gardezi and J. Rashid (London, 1983) pp. 40–93, sets the issue in a broader context; B. Hasmi, ‘Dragon Seed: Military in the State’, ibid., pp. 148–172, is pedestrian.Google Scholar
  14. 4.
    For Bhutto’s rise to power and his handling of the army, see G. W. Choudhury, The Last Days of United Pakistan (London, 1974) pp. 20–1, 103–4, 122ff, 147;Google Scholar
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  17. 8.
    Clive Dewey, ‘Some Consequences of Military Expenditure in British India: the Case of the Upper Sind Sagar Doab, 1849–1947’, in Clive Dewey (ed.), Arrested Development in India (Delhi and Riverdale, 1988) pp. 93–169; R. O. Christensen, Tribesmen, Government and Political Economy on the North-West Frontier’, in ibid., pp. 170–87;Google Scholar
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  19. 9.
    Dewey, ‘Some Consequences of Military Expenditure’, in Arrested Development’, R. A. Moore, Nation Building and the Pakistan Army, 1947–1969 (Karachi, 1979).Google Scholar
  20. 11.
    See Mirza’s proclamation and Ayub’s broadcast, cited in note 2; Cohen, Pakistan Army, pp. 113–17; Choudhury, Last Days; H. Feldman, The End and the Beginning: Pakistan 1969–1971 (London, 1975).Google Scholar
  21. 12.
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  22. 13.
    Cohen, Pakistan Army, chs 4 and 5; A. Hussain, Elite Politics in an Ideological State (London, 1979) ch. 5; H. N. Gardezi, ‘The Resurgence of Islam and Encounters with Imperialism’, in Pakistan: The Roots of Dictatorship, pp. 353–66; Z. Haque, ‘Pakistan and Islamic Ideology’, in ibid., pp. 367–83.Google Scholar
  23. 19.
    Dewey, ‘Some Consequences’, Arrested Development; R. A. Moore, Nation Building and the Pakistan Army, 1947–1969 (Karachi, 1979).Google Scholar
  24. 20.
    Clive Dewey, ‘The Rise of the Martial Castes: Changes in the Composition of the Indian Army, 1878–1914’, unpublished seminar paper; Philip Mason, A Matter of Honour (London, 1974).Google Scholar
  25. 21.
    Hugh Tinker, Ballot Box and Bayonet (London, 1964). There is a large anthropological literature on amoral familism.Google Scholar
  26. Two classic papers are: G. M. Foster, ‘Peasant Society and the Image of Limited Good’, in Peasant Society, ed. J. M. Potter et al. (Boston, 1967) pp. 300–23;Google Scholar
  27. and S. F. Silverman, ‘Agricultural Organisation, Social Structure and Values in Italy: Amoral Familism Reconsidered’, American Anthropologist, 70 (1968) pp. 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. A. Low 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clive Dewey

There are no affiliations available

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