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Pakistan’s military elite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Paul Staniland, Adnan Naseemullah, Ahsan Butt

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-103
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Issue number1
Early online date7 Aug 2018
Accepted/In press22 Apr 2018
E-pub ahead of print7 Aug 2018
Published2 Jan 2020


King's Authors


The Pakistan Army is a politically important organization, yet its opacity has hindered academic research. We use open sources to construct unique new data on the backgrounds, careers, and post-retirement activities of post-1971 corps commanders and directors-general of Inter-Services Intelligence. We provide evidence of bureaucratic predictability and professionalism while officers are in service. After retirement, we show little involvement in electoral politics but extensive involvement in military-linked corporations, state employment, and other positions of influence. This combination provides Pakistan’s military with an unusual blend of professional discipline internally and political power externally–even when not directly ruling.

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