Ayesha Siddiqa

The writer, an Islamabad-based independent political and defence analyst, is author, most recently, of ‘Military Inc: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy’.

Articles By Ayesha Siddiqa

Cut in Pakistan’s defence budget is desirable, but not easy

While one remains unsure of how much reduction will actually be brought about, the fact remains that cutting excess fat in the government, especially the defence sector, is possible.

Why Imran Khan bats for Narendra Modi

For Islamabad, a non-secular India is easier to contest

Pakistan believes that post-Pulwama situation has worked to its advantage, or is at least a stalemate

Like all wars, the current hostility between the two countries has also strengthened right-wing and status-quo oriented political forces. It has boosted the popularity of Imran Khan and his generals. Like India, the crisis has brought the nation together.

Geopolitics makes it difficult for India to isolate Pakistan diplomatically

With the two neighbours standing eyeball-to-eyeball, the choice is now between de-escalation for talks and escalation for war.

Possibilities of a verdict

Despite its limitations, Pakistan Supreme Court ruling against the military gives its civil society more room.

Neighbour’s duty

Today, war and peace are more complicated. For India-Pakistan, talking is even more essential

The risk in Imran Khan’s Pakistan

His ambition to establish an Islamic welfare state might get muddled , and produce more religious agenda than welfare

Patronage and punishment

Nawaz Sharif’s conviction is not about corruption. It has to do with his questioning of the military

Book of spies

There is little that is revelatory in Dulat-Durrani conversation. Track II’s task is to find a way for Delhi to talk with Rawalpindi, not just Islamabad

The tightrope walker

Islamabad’s vulnerability increases if it does not listen to US President’s warning, or if it listens too much

Message from Pakistan

Hafiz Saeed will be dealt with when the Pakistani state wants, not when Washington or Delhi get annoyed

Carrot to stick

Trump administration has upped the ante with Pakistan. For South Asia’s sake, the two need to start a conversation

Ordering a turmoil

The court verdict against Nawaz Sharif could be the beginning of a period of political instability in Pakistan

Bilateral silence

Hype around war gets a new life in India, Pakistan, increasing public support for the armed forces

Cyril Almeida’s story points to old fault lines and new strains in Pakistan army-govt relationship

The media in Pakistan and outside was abuzz for some 48 hours over a story published by the English newspaper Dawn, regarding a meeting between heads of the civil government and the military.

Over to the real Sharif

In Pakistan, the old equation of ‘Army, America and Allah’ is said to have been replaced by ‘China, COAS and Cashmere’. The Uri aftermath reflects the new power alignment

Watching Nawaz Sharif

From nuclear decision-making to foreign relations, Pakistan’s prime minister seems to be gasping for breath.

Paris attack: The terror within

‘Charlie Hebdo’ incident must make Muslim societies re-examine blasphemy laws.

Strategic assets no longer maintainable

I once asked a senior military commander if the army had a button to ensure that those who joined the good Taliban would not turn bad later.

Courting confusion as usual

Last week’s Supreme Court verdict holding military men responsible for rigging elections in 1990 is unlikely to discourage the armed forces from interfering in Pakistan’s politics