Pakistan’s armed forces are among the most modern, largest and well funded in the world. Within them, the army is the largest unit and the most powerful institution in the country. In the late 1950s, it became a key political force and increasingly infiltrated the economy. Its penetration into crucial political decision-making became entrenched in the ’80s, while the greatest penetration into the economy and society took place in following decade, and has not been reversed to date. In the paper we will see how the army turned into a key player on the political scene and came to control a wide economic sector, what factors may have contributed to its “over-development” and what are its implications.
Elisa Ada Giunchi is a Professor of History and institutions of Islamic Countries at the Università degli Studi di Milano and is Senior Research Fellow at ISPI.