THE MILITARY Pakistan had to carve out its military from what remained of the British Indian Army after the end of World War II In creating the British Indian Army, administrations in London and Delhi made the decision to recruit a number of ethnic battalions There was a belief that ordinary soldiers were more comfortable when they were in company with men of the same social and religious backgrounds This was the reason behind the formation of Sikh, Dogra, Maratha, and Gurkha regiments and battalions However, because of the deep involvement of the Muslim community in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the British thought it imprudent to form purely Muslim battalions Instead, they created Punjab battalions, which had recruits from all three religious communities of the provinces-Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs That notwithstanding, it was not an exceptionally difficult task to create a Pakistani army, since Muslim representation in the force was well beyond their share in the Indian population Most of the serving Muslims opted to join the Pakistan army, navy, and air force Muhammad Ali Jinnah, for want of physical space in Karachi, the capital of the new country, chose to locate the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, a British garrison town in northern Punjab The air force found a place in Peshawar, and the headquarters of the navy were in Karachi

Although Pakistan was able to attract enough soldiers to serve the military, it was short of senior officers Accordingly, the first generation of commanders of the three services was British It was only in 1951 that a Pakistani-General Muhammad Ayub Khanwas appointed to head the army Ayub Khan would not have been appointed to this job in 1951 had two senior officers not been killed in an air crash in 1950The military establishment was still in the process of settling down when Pakistan fought the First Indo-Pakistan War in 1948-1949 over the state of Kashmir The war was inconclusive, since Pakistan was not able to obtain by force what it had failed in getting by persuasion The ruler of Kashmir, after hesitating for awhile, opted to take his state into India, leaving behind a small sliver that Pakistan had occupied The first war with India left a deep impression on Pakistan’s military leadership It realized that it had to quickly equip itself with modern weapons in order to deal with the Indian threat This realization led to the development of a close relationship between the defense establishments of Pakistan and the United States Prodded by Muhammad Ayub Khan, Pakistan signed a defense agreement with Washington that provided access to American weapons and technical assistance

By allowing Muhammad Ayub Khan a great deal of autonomy, the politicians laid the groundwork for the imposition of martial law in October 1958 Muhammad Ayub Khan appointed himself martial-law administrator and president, thus inaugurating military rule of the country that, with one brief interruption, lasted for four decadesThe interruption in military rule occurred in 1971 when General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, Pakistan’s second military president, was forced out of office by his younger colleagues following the defeat of the army in East Pakistan in the Second Indo-Pakistan War Zulfikar Ali Bhutto succeeded Yahya and governed for less than six years He was removed from office in July 1977 by General Zia ul-Haq Zia was Pakistan’s third military president and ruled for a little over 11 yearsEven when the military establishment finally surrendered power to politicians in 1988, after Zia was killed in an air crash, it retained considerable influence over decision-making This was exercised through an informal arrangement that was given the name of the “troika” This arrangement was put together in December 1988, when Benazir Bhutto was invited to become prime minister, provided she consulted President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and General Aslam Beg on all important matters In January 1997, President Farooq Leghari formalized this arrangement by appointing a 10-member Council for Defense and National Security (CDNS) The military was represented by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as by the chiefs of the three forces

There was some diminution in the political influence of the military when the elections of 1997 resulted in a landslide in favor of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League Sharif became prime minister Although he did not dissolve the CDNS, he did not summon it for consultation during the first 26 months of his second tenure as prime minister The political equation might have changed following the testing of nuclear weapons by India in May 1998 and the decision taken by Pakistan to test its own nuclear weapons a few days after the explosions set off by India if Prime Minister Sharif had established full civilian control over the nuclear arsenal Instead, he disturbed the military’s senior leaders by first pushing COAS General Jehangir Karamat to resign in October 1998 and then attempting to remove General Pervez Musharraf a year later By that time, the military establishment’s patience had run out and it decided to bring Pakistan once again under its control Although General Musharraf did not declare martial law when he assumed power on 12 October 1999, he governed essentially as a military dictator Even after elections were held in October 2002 and a civilian government was formed under an elected prime minister, Musharraf continued to wield real power In December 2004, he reneged on his promise to retire from the military He decided to govern as both president and COASIn 2005, Pakistan had some 540,000 persons in uniform and spent more than 6

5 percent of its gross domestic product on the military

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