Pakistan Military: Sustaining Hegemony and Constructing Democracy?

This article examines the changes in the nature and direction of civil-military relations over the past two decades, particularly since 2007 to 2017. I make three sets of arguments. First, despite a transition to democracy and a considerably improved level of trust between the civil and military elites, the military remains a hegemon in Pakistani politics and policymaking. Second, in the past two decades the composition, outlook and orientation of military elites has undergone significant change and their interaction with the civilian leadership has gained greater frequency and that is likely to impact how the military responds to the challenge of sustaining democracy in Pakistan. Third, the political leadership has also become niftier in dealing with the military but has done little effort to understand how the military works as an organization.