A Different Narrative
which pervade the international and regional media. Pakistan, some say is world’s most dangerous country while others hold that it is a failed state imploding from within. Often these descriptions omit a plain fact that there are 180 million people living in the country who lead their regular, irregular lives amid the chaos and rapid transformation that is taking place. One can argue about the trajectory that the country may take but its dynamism is hard to ignore.
Lieven is also not just another starry-eyed visitor to Pakistan and displays his relative familiarity with the country. For several years, Lieven reported on Pakistan while working for The Times. After his journalistic career, he switched to academia at the robust society, its kinship networks and ingrained means of resilience. The other reason for Pakistan’s viability is the Army, which Lieven views, in a less unfavorable light than most writers on Pakistan. A host of Pakistani intellectuals have criticized him for the ‘ romance’ with Pakistan’s armed forces.
Lieven has a right to project the military machine as he sees fit. While doing so, he does soften the overarching role of Pakistan’s security establishment and how for decades it has ( mis)governed and led the country. The meritocratic culture, efficiency and keeping-thecountry-together arguments on the Army receive more attention than what Pakistanis have been experiencing in terms of a coercive and