1. How do you Coup-Proof an Army?
In his book, Army and Nation: The Military and Indian Democracy Since Independence, Steven Wilkinson credits the Nehru-era for ‘coup-proofing’ the Indian Army through a series of budget cuts, replacing the office of commander-in-chief with separate army, navy and airforce chiefs, placing officers below civil servants, disallowing them from making speeches and keeping senior officers under surveillance. By the 1970s, the process of subordinating the Indian armed forces to civilian authority was complete.
Compare this to Pakistan. By 1977, Pakistan had already witnessed two military coups and five more were in the offing.
In fact, for nearly half of its 69 years of independence, Pakistan has been ruled by its powerful military. Each democratic splutter has been followed by an extended period of military rule. In 2013, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, one democratic government completed its term and transferred power to another elected government.