Pakistan's Army Has a New General: Policy Implications
27 Pages Posted: 10 May 2017
Date Written: May 8, 2017
In this essay, I take on the circulating wisdom that Bajwa will somehow be a positive change for the institution he runs and the major policy levers he will control. I first assess the issue of the balance of power between civilian politicians and the army. Here, I argue that the army’s views of these issues are pre-eminent and will remain so for the policy-relevant future. While there may be some light between the inclinations of the army and the civilian government on some of these issues, ultimately the army’s preferences dominate. It is difficult to parse what — if any — role Pakistan’s citizens play in shaping these policies, in large part because the army has an inordinate role in shaping Pakistanis’ beliefs about critical national security affairs. The result of the army’s perduring and tenacious efforts to shape public opinion is that Pakistanis generally accede to the assessment of the army and tend to support the army in its various activities.
Keywords: Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Indo-Pakistan Relations, Civil-Military Relations, Kashmir, Balochistan
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