Monday, November 12, 2007



Recruitment is nationwide and the army attempts to maintain an ethnic balance but most enlisted recruits, as in British times, come from a few districts in northern Punjab Province and the adjacent Azad Kashmir and the North West Frontier Province. Pakistan's Officer Corps are also mostly from Punjab and the North West Frontier Province and of middle-class, rural backgrounds. This has caused some resentment to the other ethnic groups in Pakistan especially when the Army conducts operation in those areas where Punjabis are not a majority. The army has been criticized by the locals for lacking ethnic sensitivity. Efforts have been undertaken to recruit more ethnic groups such as Sindhis, and Balochis into the Pakistani Army.

Minorities in Pakistan are allowed to sit in all examinations, including the one conducted by Inter Services Selection Board however the proportion of religious minorities in the Pakistan army is still considerably very less. The first Sikh officer was recently inducted into the army and is expected to set the tone for future recruitment for minorities.[21] The Pakistan army also recruited a Hindu for the first time in its 60-year-old history. [22] The army sees itself as a national institution and thus many non-Muslim officers (including Qadiyanis) have achieved high ranks within the army[23].

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