24 November, 2020

Inside The Pakistani Mind

Welcome notes on the eve of the Pakistani general's visit

Inside The Pakistani Mind
How do Pakistanis organise their defence and security? As India prepares to host the ruler of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, this is a vital question. Clearly, Messrs Atal Behari Vajpayee, Jaswant Singh and Brajesh Mishra would love to get inside the mindset of the Pakistani establishment as they prepare to negotiate with its leader. Ayesha Siddiqa-Agha’s book on Pakistani defence procurement may well come in handy.

In recent years, political scientists have tried to explain how countries make defence and security policy by recourse to notions of “strategic culture”—the shared myths, symbols, ideas and ideals that circulate amongst those who are mandated to protect us from organised violence. Strategic culture is a hard-to-define notion: it seemingly must exist, but it is also very hard to pin down.

Here is a study of Pakistan that avoids the elusive strategic culture idea and tells us a much more prosaic, nuts-and-bolts, institutional story, but one filled with interesting revelations and analyses. Siddiqa-Agha, a former...



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