The Muslims of South Asia are the descendents of conquerors. This is the essential legacy of Islam in the subcontinent. It colours the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in the region, and fixes in Muslim minds notions of superiority and still greater achievement to come. Muslim conquest is an intrinsic article of faith, a faith in Allah and the conviction that what is perpetrated is God’s will. Muslims do not recognize a division between the spiritual and the secular, righteousness and the profane. Religious experience cannot be separated from social, economic or political events. Islam is a total way of life and the obligations imposed on its devotees are explicit and beyond challenge or questioning. 1 Islam is not unique in weaving together military performance with holy purpose, but it is different from other contemporary orders in its reluctance to yield to the realities of a world seized and pressured by competing beliefs, philosophies and ideologies. In this regard, Muslims display difficulty in transcending their surroundings: the abstraction that grips them limits empathy with the larger world. In part, hard-pressed by non-Muslims and especially Christian forces over the last several centuries, Muslims perceive themselves in an unrelenting struggle against hostile elements. The general reaction has predictably led to the re-establishment and expansion of Muslim armies with stress on the advancement of military science and overall performance. This is true in virtually every Muslim country in this latter segment of the twentieth century; it is no less true in Pakistan 20where the military institution has been a centrepiece from the first moments after independence. 2