Ayesha Siddiqa, one of the best known experts on the functioning of Pakistan Army and author of ‘Military Inc: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy’ says Pakistan Army doesn’t know how to respond to India in the aftermath of India scrapping the article 370 which guaranteed special status to Jammu & Kashmir. She adds there’s a general perception in the country that Pakistan Army doesn’t have the capacity needed to wage a war against India.

In Conversation with Pervaiz Alam, Ms. Siddiqa discusses various options available to Pakistan before it could formulate its response to India on Kashmir. As the RSS and its affiliates have dictated a national narrative in India, Pak army has always tried to control the narrative in Pakistan – that only it could protect the idea of Pakistan and its two-nation theory, opines Ayesha Siddiqa. Now, the politicians may ask the Pak Army to walk the talk, Ayesha says. And, in that scenario, Pakistan doesn’t seem to have an answer.

She fears repression will increase in Pakistan to suppress the voices of dissent.

The interview with Ayesha Siddiqa was recorded in London on 12 August, 2019.

A Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London, Ayesha Siddiqa has written two books, ‘Military Inc. : Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy’ (2nd Edition Pluto Press, London, Nov 2016) and ‘Pakistan’s Arms Procurement and Military Build-up’.

She has expertise in Pakistan’s military decision-making, defence economics, civil-military relations and militancy and extremism in South Asia and the Middle East.

She has also authored 12 book chapters and published over 300 articles in academic journals and opinion pieces in leading national & international outlets including The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, The Indian Express, The Hindu, The Dawn, Jane’s Defence Weekly, Kafila, Le Monde Diplomatique, The News, Tehelka, Himal, expertise in military decision-making, defence economics, civil-military relations and militancy and extremism in South Asia and the Middle East. OpenDemocracy, Outlook India, Dawn, The Friday Times, Newsline and others.

She was the only woman and civilian to have worked with Pakistan Navy as Director of Naval Research. She has worked as an Advisor to the Chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) – Pakistan’s Anti-Corruption Watchdog. She has been associated with the Department of the Auditor General of Pakistan for 10 years as part of Pakistan’s prestigious Civil Service.

Ayesha Siddiqa is regularly invited to lecture at leading educational institutes and think-tanks including Johns Hopkins, University of California – Berkeley, George Washington University, Columbia University, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Tufts University, Oxford University, Heritage Foundation, Durham, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Chatham House, Kings College, Lund University, Sorbonne University and Royal Danish Defence College among others.

She is the recipient of several prestigious fellowships and research grants including Charles Wallace Fellowship (Oxford), Woodrow Wilson Pakistan Fellowship, Ford Fellowship, University of New Mexico, SDPI Fellow, Mehboob-ul-Haq Award, Heinrich Boll Foundation Grant, Center for Strategic Research and Analysis Grant, and Kodikara Award.

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