178 SOUTH ASIAAll this led to the eventual emergence of a powerful civil-militarybureaucracy which was able to usurp state power in October 1958, and whichremains the real force in Pakistani politics to this day.
While it is importantto recognise that 'an interplay of domestic, regional and international factors'in the post 1947 period had allowed the bureaucracy and the military todominate 'the evolving structure of the Pakistani state'
, it can be suggestedthat the rise of a Punjabi controlled military-bureaucratic oligarchy, whichwas organised and powerful enough to wrest control of, and dominate, thepost independent state of Pakistan, preceded the birth of the country. Thisessay argues that the groundwork for this 'organic collaboration' between aPunjabi-dominated bureaucracy and army and Punjabi landed families hadbeen worked out and perfected in the past, in colonial pre-partition Punjab. Itexamines how developments in colonial Punjab during the first half of thetwentieth century, especially related to its position as the principal recruitingground of the Indian army, saw the rise of a well-entrenched and all-pervasive civil-military regime dominated by powerful landlords. Thisformation not only survived the disruptions and upheaval caused by thepartition of the Punjab, but very significantly went on to form the formidablebastion of the new state of Pakistan.
Punjab and the Indian Army
By the end of the nineteenth century, the Punjab had became the majorrecruiting ground for the Indian army, supplying roughly half of all thesoldiers recruited from India. The dominance of the Punjabis in the respectivearms of the army was significant: just before the First World War Punjabisaccounted for sixty-six per cent of all cavalrymen in the Indian army; eighty-seven per cent of the artillery; and forty-five per cent of the infantry.
Thesefigures indicate the highest rate of military participation from a particularprovince ever experienced in colonial India. Yet paradoxically, whilePunjabis dominated the Indian army, the military labour market in the Punjabwas an extremely limited one. As British recruitment policies in India cameto be informed by the 'martial races' doctrine, only a select group from thePunjab, mainly Sikhs, Muslims and, to a lesser extent, Dogras and Hindu Jats,were eligible for recruitment, while all other groups of Punjabis notconsidered of sufficient 'martial' qualities were automatically excluded. Intheir selection of recruits, the military invariably limited its choices to
* On these issues, see Omar Noman,
Political and Economic History of Pakistan since 1947
(Oxford,1989); Hassan Gardezi and Jamil Rashid (eds),
Pakistan: the Roots of Dictatorship. The PoliticalEconomy of a Praetorian State
(Delhi, 1983), and Tariq Ali,
Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of aState
(Penguin Books, 1983); Ayesha Jalal,
The State of Martial Rule: the origins of Pakistan'spolitical economy of defence
(Cambridge, 1991).* This argument is most convincingly developed in Jalal,
The State of Martial Rule.
' Annual caste returns compiled by Army Headquarters in India indicate that by 1900, Punjabisaccounted for over fifty per cent of all native soldiers recruited from India. See 'Annual Caste Returnsof the Native Army, 1800-1910', India Office Library and Records [henceforth: IOL], L/MIL/14/221-226.
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