It has taken me forty-four years to write this book—the length of time I have been studying Pakistan (and India). My early interests
were in the role of the military, but I was unable to visit Pakistan until 1978, as an earlier application for a visa had been turned down by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. When I did visit Pakistan for the first time I was surprised to discover that my personal “idea of Pakistan” was wildly inaccurate: not better, not worse, just different. That trip led to a book, The Pakistan Army. Research for that book was made possible by General Zia ul-Haq, who promptly banned it, although he eventually told an aide to “let the professor’s book be published.” Zia’s decision was only one of the many paradoxes I encountered in studying Pakistan, and the mixture of hope and frustration reflected in The Pakistan Army is to be found here as well.