Has the Pakistan Army Islamized? What the Data Suggest
36 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 12, 2011
This essay interrogates popular beliefs about Islamization of the Pakistan Army officer corps and the polity from which the army recruits. It first assembles and synthesizes the extant secondary literature on Islamization of Pakistan generally, and the army in particular. As access to the Pakistan Army diminished after 1990 when numerous U.S. sanctions on Pakistan limited defense cooperation and other forms of bilateral engagements were imposed, this secondary literature is generally truncated to 1990. To expand what is known about the Pakistan Army, this essay next presents the results of an ongoing quantitative analysis of district-level officer recruitment (and retirement data). This ecological study finds that districts that produce army officers are actually more socially liberal and urban than is commonly believed. This essay discusses the implications of the changes in the officer corps and concludes with a call for a robust research agenda on the Pakistan Army.
Keywords: Pakistan army, Islamization, Islamist militancy, US-Pakistan relations
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