rule: the origins of Pakistan’s political economy of defence / Ayesha Jalal Jalal, Ayesha The state of martial rule, to the present: towards a conceptual. In The State of Martial Rule Ayesha Jalal analyses the dialectic between state construction and political processes in Pakistan in the first decade of the country . Ayesha Jalal, The State of Martial Rule: The Origins of Pakistan’s Political Economy of Defence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ). Pp.
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South Asia scholars are an increasingly extinct breed in the West with declining interest in the region and funding for research.
The void is being filled by a growing band of analysts of South Asian origin: Ayesha Jalal, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a familiar name from this group. That is why her book, the result of nearly a tue research, has been awaited with some excitement among South Asian analysts and policymakers. It is difficult to fathom why Jalal chose such a complicated title.
It possibly reflects the confusion that continues throughout the book. You would expect a book like this to answer some basic questions.
What led to the army’s usurping a dominant role in Pakistan’s power structure? What exactly are the dynamics of politics and society that make it so difficult for a real democracy to strike root there? Is there indeed such an entity as the “Establishment”, the all powerful military-bureaucratic complex routinely blamed by analysts for all of Pakistan’s problems?
The book provides no answers. Some of the detail is fascinating.
No answers – Society & The Arts News – Issue Date: Jun 30,
Jalal is the first Pakistani analyst of stature to establish the fact that the tribal raids over Kashmir were planned and aided by Pakistani army regulars. But the same candour and detail vanishes as she moves into subsequent decades and the book degenerates into a chronology.
Optimists may wait another 20 years until Jalal has access to declassified western documents for this vital period. August 23, Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app.
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