The Pakistani government is too weak to compel its elites to contribute to the system, leaving the country in a near-feudal state.

Just days before Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad and news began to circulate that bin Laden had a “support network” in Pakistan, journalist Anatol Lieven stopped by The Nation‘s offices for a conversation on the country’s delicate power structure.

As the author of the recently-released book Pakistan: A Hard Country, Lieven explains that whoever is in office in Pakistan is often weak in comparison to the military. Pakistan, Lieven argues, is even too weak to “compel elites to contribute to the system,” leaving the country in a near-feudal state.

—Kevin Gosztola