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. This book is not quite comparable to India: Emerging Power.