Hybrid orders and the case of Pakistan

This book proposes some key elements for a middle-range theory of civil-military relations in hybrid and insecure orders, with limited institutional capacity. It does so by employing a longitudinal single-unit research design (Gerring 2004: 343), using Pakistan as a case study, as well as numerous examples from other cases. The analysed timeframe is from 2002 to 2017, which encompasses the military regime of General Pervez Musharraf (2002-2008, tt) and the post-Musharraf (democratic) transition period (2008-2017, t2). This was complemented by numerous examples capturing the developments post- 2017. I now move on to justify why Pakistan was chosen as a case study.

Justification for the case selection

Pakistan was selected as a case for analysis because of its status as a fragile and insecure state in transition - a key unit for the population of hybrid orders. Despite strong military influence in governance processes on one side and support from international agencies on the other side (via government agencies, the military and CSOs), the security environment in Pakistan continues to remain unstable.

Pakistan is applied as a case of a hybrid order. One feature of hybridity is the presence of civilian and military forces, with seemingly antagonistic visions, co-existing in an evolving environment of power struggles and contestation. Two further key features of the case study under investigation in this book are insecurity and fragility, which are also central to the characteristic of hybrid order. These two attributes are summarised in Table 5.2 and discussed below.

The complexity of Pakistan’s strategic environment and constellation of internal and external threats qualifies it for the label of highly insecure state. Being a highly insecure state, Pakistan is a crucial case for this research, as multiple sources of insecurity and violence require a strong security and defence apparatus, which can thus be expected to perpetuate the military’s primacy and importance in country’s affairs, making the process of civilian oversight and control even more vulnerable. Pakistan is profoundly insecure due to a coincidence of complex security threats and instabilities. The South Asian country was among the five worst terrorism-affected countries in the world between 2006 and 2018 (Institute for Economics and Peace 2019: 18), with attacks having increased in frequency and intensity after 2007. The

58 Methodology and research design

Table 5.2 Pakistan as an Insecure and Fragile State

Pakistan as an Insecure State

Pakistan as a Fragile State

Strategic environment - constellation of internal and external security threats; complex sources of insecurity and violence; Pakistan was among the five worst terrorism- affected countries in the world between 2006 and 2018 (Institute for Economics and Peace 2019: 18).

Among the 14 most fragile states in the world between 2006 and 2016 and continues to be on alert (see the Fragile State Index 2020). Fragility refers to the performance and capacity of the state institutions to provide basic needs to the people and to defend them from risks, insecurities and vulnerabilities.

South Asia Terrorism Portal estimates the total number of fatalities in terrorism-related incidents in Pakistan between 2000 and 2019 to 63,000. Some of the deadliest attacks were perpetrated by the Pakistani Taliban, the Khorasan Group (affiliated to the Islamic State) or Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. “Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was responsible for 233 deaths and 56 attacks in Pakistan in 2017, demonstrating a Taliban-related presence outside of Afghanistan”, writes the Institute for Economic and Peace (Institute for Economics and Peace 2018: 16). The TTP attack on the Peshawar military school in 2013 that resulted in over 135 deaths was one of the deadliest attacks in the Pakistani history. Pakistan is home to high levels of sectarian violence. Terror attacks are often directed against religious minorities, as it was the case of the suicide bombing on the Lai Shahbaz Qalandar Sufi Shrine in Sehwan, Sindh (90 deaths, 2017), Easter bombing on Christians in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Lahore (75 deaths, 2017) or the bus shooting on people from the Ismaili community in Safoora Goth, Karachi (46 deaths, 2015). Apart from the internal sources of violence in the form of terrorism and sectarian violence, there are also strong perceptions of external threat from Afghanistan and India. The porous border to Afghanistan is an immense channel of arms smuggling and other illegal activities associated with violence. Along the India-Pakistan disputed border (Line of Control), the number of ceasefire violations increased dramatically, with approximately 880-1,140 incidents happening in 2017 alone (Jaffrelot 2018). I now move on to discuss the fragility aspect pertaining to the working definition of hybrid order.

Pakistan was constantly among the 14 (of 178) most fragile states in the world between 2006 and 2016 and continues to be on alert, despite some improvements, according to the Fragile States Index - formerly known as the Failed States Index. Fragility refers to the performance and capacity of state institutions to provide basic needs to the people and defend them from risks and vulnerabilities. The Fragility Index triangulates quantitative and qualitative data and applies a methodology compiling economic, political, social and cohesion indicators such as economic development, public services, the rule of law, demographic pressures, ethnic fractionalisation or security (The Fund for Peace 2020). In substantive terms, this set of empirical determinants is argued to capture the issues related to poverty, conflict and governance (Marshall and Cole 2008). Fragile statehood is sometimes also called ‘limited statehood’ (Risse et al. 2018) and is linked not only to the poverty and high vulnerability of domestic societies but also to global terrorism (Carment et al. 2008). Building state and societal resilience is a major objective of the EU Global Strategy. Social and political development and state formation in the context of fragile statehood is particularly prone to the emergence of hybrid political orders (Boege et al. 2008). These hybrid environments can be key to the processes of democratic change and transformation, as they constitute platforms of interaction and decision-making between the representatives of heterogeneous, often conflicting, orders. It is thus immensely important to understand how the processes of transfer of power can be effectively and sustainably advanced in insecure states that require strong defence agencies, located in complex geopolitical contexts.

All this make Pakistan a ‘telling’ case for this book. In terms of global governance, it has been one of the major recipients of international financial and institutional support, notably from the United States, EU and China. Domestic, international, donor- or mixed-funded NGOs, operating at a policy level (Track 1.5), a middle level (Track 2) and a grassroots level (Track 3), conduct activities in the fields of security, counterterrorism, peacebuilding and to a certain extent research or advocacy in the security and defence sector.

The EU external action in Pakistan

With an average of ca. 3.75 billion USD, Pakistan was the sixth major recipient of gross official development assistance (ODA) in the world in 2015. Nearly one quarter of the assistance came from the EU institutions and European countries in 2017 (OECD 2019). Particularly in the framework of the EU Global Strategy adopted in 2016, EU engagement for political, social and security development in Pakistan has intensified. External actors aiming at making Pakistan more secure and resilient have mainly adopted multi-agency peace and security approaches, encompassing a multitude of actors, democratic civilian control and conflict prevention mechanisms.

In 2015, the EU accounted for 23% of Pakistan’s external trade, with EU imports from Pakistan almost doubling between 2006 and 2016 (European Commission 2018). Since 2014, Pakistan has been the beneficiary of the updated tariff agreement EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+), in return to which Pakistan has agreed to ratify and implement 27 international legal items aimed at strengthening development and good governance (European Commission 2018).

China emerged as another major partner for the nuclear-state Pakistan after the deterioration of US-Pakistan relations in the aftermath of the

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operation of capturing Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and multiple US Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations on Pakistani soil in the War on Terror framework. This change in relations is also reflected by the trends in arms trade. Pakistan’s arms imports from the US decreased by 81% in the period 2014-2018, compared to 2009-2013, with China being the major weapons supplier to Pakistan (SIPRI 2019).

Approximately 20% of the total EU financial assistance to Pakistan between 2007 and 2013 occurred via NGOs/INGOs. The EU recognises NGOs as important actors providing “essential social services”, which can foster development, particularly at a grassroots level (EEAS 2007: 24).

To ensure conceptual consistency, NGOs are operationalised as formal, non-profit and peaceful organisations which are registered in Pakistan under the Societies Registration Act from 1860. This legislative provision does not use the word ‘NGO’, but refers to this type of organisations as “scientific and charitable societies” (see the Societies Registration Act 1860). Estimations of the total number of NGOs in Pakistan varied drastically between 100,000 CSOs and community-based organisations operating in Pakistan in 20102 (USAID 2014: 2) to some 25,000-30,000 or more in 2018 (Soornro 2018).

While this book tends to generically use the term local actors or CSOs, this can refer to NGOs, associations, think tanks, trusts, INGOs or other civil society actors. It needs to be distinguished between research-oriented NGOs (locally called think tanks) and other type of NGOs (associations, foundations, movements, societies, trusts and others), both domestic and international, working in the areas of security, development and democracy. Foundations of political parties, “funded totally or partially by a [foreign] government or governments”, are considered to be NGOs insofar “government representatives” are excluded “from membership” (Lawry 2009: 25).

Singh and Bailey (2013: 103-4) define Pakistan’s system of governance as a “Praetorian democracy” in the sense that the “military allows multiparty elections to determine who will staff the formal machinery of government”, while simultaneously “maintain/7wg/ paramountcy over all national institutions”. Conceptually, Praetorian democracy represents a subtype of ‘illiberal democracy’ (Diamond 1999: 18; Zakaria 2003: 99), considered a ‘precursor of a consolidated democracy’ (Diamond 1999). Singh and Bailey (2013: 103) argue that the system of Praetorian democracy in Pakistan is “not a transitional phase in a democracy consolidation, but an end-state”. The name ‘Praetorian democracy’ itself involves that Pakistan has undergone a change from a fully autocratic regime (military regime) to a more democratic system after Pervez Musharraf. Inferences related to the impact of integrated, multi-track approaches of peace and security and the role of civil-military cooperation are made based on the provided evidence. The ongoing period of transition offers insights on the processes, actors, mechanisms and power relations associated with institutional change and transformation processes.

Methodology and research design 61 The evolution of civil-military relations in Pakistan

With an active manpower of 653,800 active military personnel and 550,000 reserve personnel, and expenditures of 11,376 billion US dollar (4% of the GDP) (IISS 2018), Pakistan had the sixth largest army in the world in 2017. Comparatively, India has an active manpower of 1.4 million (1.15 million reserve) (second largest army in the world) and a defence budget of 66.5 billion US dollars (2.4% of the GDP). Due to its geostrategic position and continuous territorial threat (particularly from the Russian Empire), a strong defence was a necessary condition in the region already since it was under British colonial rule and an integral part of the East India Company. The emergence of Pakistan as an independent state can be linked to the end of the Mughal Empire, which brought Muslims in South Asia in a weaker and “politically vulnerable” (Schofield 2011: 35) position. To address this vulnerability and create an environment in which the Muslim identity could flourish, the Pakistan state was created by Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1947 through the process of so-called ‘Partition’ (based on religion) in the Indian Subcontinent. Due to the danger of invasion and annexation from the north (Russian threat), the area of today’s Pakistan was strongly militarised and the armed forces played a pivotal position in guarding and defending the territory since the emergence of the South Asian state. To cope with these extreme security risks, the British rulers started to train indigenous population to serve for the defence of the British Empire in the Indian Subcontinent. They established military cantonments and training centres already since 1912. The new state of Pakistan derived “only about 20 per cent of the military assets” of the British India, as Britain was genuinely opposing the creation of a weak state in a strategically important region (Schofield 2011: 43). Thus, the military in Pakistan was relatively weak at the beginning but grew quickly, also thanks to US military aid and investments during the ^950s (Alavi 1990: 35; see also Mitra 1990).

The predominant role of the military in governance right after the independence was favoured by shortages of civilian leadership after Jinnah’s death and genuinely weak civilian institutional structures. Due to the late integration of West Pakistan into the British Empire (Sindh in 1843, Punjab and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 1849, while some parts, such as FATA, were never brought under full control) civilian structures did not have time to develop properly (Schofield 2011: 35, 43). This vacuum was filled by the army, which became much stronger due to high security and defence demands. Shortly after 1947, due to little political opposition and weak civilian structures, the military became perhaps the most important institution of the newly created state - the guarantor of territorial defence and self-determination. From this privileged position, the Pakistani military was able to develop control over large parts of the economy. It also had the capacity and will to stage numerous military coups d’etat (the first one already in 1951, just four years after the Partition - which was nonetheless unsuccessful) and be in power for decades. The army’s secret intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), played a significant role in growing the importance and power of the Pakistan military, particularly after the beginning of the Soviet War in Afghanistan in 1979 (Kiessling 2016). The country’s foundation on religion and inadequate institutional design to reflect ethnic-linguistic diversity, along with the proliferation of terrorist organisations, in the development of which the ISI and the military were also blamed, have been the main flaws since Pakistan’s creation and a continuous source of insecurity and instability in the region (Ayaz 2013).

Search for legitimacy was one key concern of the military bureaucracy since the creation of the state of Pakistan (Alavi 1990: 20; Azfar 2013: 56). This was because of the thin base of representative democracy at the moment of creation of Pakistan, given the lack of political authority beside Jinnah, who died, soon after the Partition, and the absence of political parties. This power and institutional vacuum, complemented by a difficult strategic environment and high security threats, opened the way for the Pakistan military to establish a solid basis of “bureaucratic domination” (Alavi 1990: 42) in Pakistan since the start. Pursuing a doctrine of “power and responsibility” (Alavi 1990: 51), the Pakistan military has been able to be in government for several decades (General Ayub Khan 1958-1969; General Yahya Khan 1969-1971; General Zia-ul-Haq 1977-1988 and General Pervez Musharraf 1999-2008). This long history of military rule has allowed the military to penetrate state institutions, be in possession of major industries (important sources of revenues) and establish itself in the collective memory of the society as the unique ‘guardian’ and guarantor of Pakistan, but also as an actor that can resort to undemocratic and even oppressive practices to deal with its opponents, if it wants so.


The utility of an in-depth case study design consists in the possibility to generate propositions with high construct validity, which can allow for partial generalisation towards other cases in the population of hybrid orders. The utility of an in-depth case study when examining civil-military relations is clearly emphasised in the specialised literature (Desch 1999: 19). Particularly when studying the countries in transition, “context is crucial” (Cawthra and Luck- ham 2003: 306); therefore a methodology allowing us to capture the context is crucial for this research. Also, a case study is more suitable for studying NGOs and civil society than a cross-sectional design, given the variation in definitions across countries and regions (Centeno 1994: 126;Salamon 1997: 11).

In hybrid orders, non-linear types of relationships, i.e. continuous negotiation of the status quo (Williams 2015: 25), are anticipated to be influenced by a multitude of factors. A case-oriented design is particularly useful in examining relationships, processes, intervening factors and changing power dynamics.

The multi-method approach encompassing content analysis and process tracing as well as different data types (survey responses and in-depth interviews) ensures greater robustness and thus generalisability of the results. The value added of epistemological pluralism for the data analysis is increased validity, in particular construct validity, of the findings. Construct validity is understood as ‘concept validity’ (Gerring 2012: 95) and means the extent to which a concept “measures what it claims, or purports, to be measuring” (Brown 1996: 231). The triangulation of data sources allows for better prospects of validity of the studied dynamics, processes and conditions. High levels of construct validity are tremendously important for theory-building, conceptualisation and generalisation.

In sum, the robust examination of systemic-, actor- and agency-level dynamics and intervening factors pertaining to one ‘telling’ case can enable the generation of middle-range theoretical propositions with regard to civil-military relations and military change, as well as international actors’ impact on democratic security governance. The focus on theory generation allows the accumulation (Kuhn 2012) of knowledge pertaining to the population of hybrid orders.

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