Is Pakistan Controllable: Relations with a Frontline State

February 1, 2008

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Ayesha Siddiqa

Pakistan has emerged as a strategic ally of the US in the 'war on terror'. It is the third largest receiver of US aid in the world. But it also serves as a breeding ground for fundamentalist groups. How long can the relationship between the US and Pakistan continue?  Siddiqa examines the role of the military within Pakistan; the Pakistan military not only defines policy - it is entrenched in the corporate sector and controls the country's largest companies. So Pakistan's economic base, its companies and its main assets, are in the hands of a tiny minority of senior army officials. This merging of the military and corporate sectors has powerful consequences. "Military Inc." analyses the internal and external dynamics of this gradual power-building and its larger impact that it is having on Pakistan's relationship with the United States and the wider world.

Ayesha Siddiqa was a civil servant in Pakistan from 1988-2001. She then turned to academia and became a military analyst. She has a PhD in war studies from King's College, London and is recognised as an international authority on Pakistan's military. She has worked on issues varying from military technology, defense decision-making, nuclear deterrence, arms procurement, arms production to civil-military relations in South Asia. She was the Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars at Washington, DC for 2004-05. Dr. Siddiqa-Agha has written for various international journals like the journal for Defence and Peace Economics, Jane's Defence Weekly and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. She has also written commissioned papers on small arms and light weapons proliferation and problems of governance.

Co-sponsored with the South Asia Language and Area Center and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies. (c) 2008 - Unversity of Chicago.  The World Beyond the Headlines series is a collaborative project of the Center for International Studies, the International House Global Voices Program, the Seminary Co-op Bookstores and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Its aim is to bring scholars and journalists together to consider major international issues and how they are covered in the media.

 

Recorded Friday, February 01, 2008 at International House.