The Other Battlefield - Construction and Representation of the Pakistani Military ‚Self‘ in the Field of Military Autobiographical Narrative Production

Verantwortlicher Dr. des. Manuel Ueberax
Trägerschaft Institut für Islamwissenschaft und Neuere Orientalische Phililogie
Betreuung Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schulze 
Finanzierung Schweizerischer Nationalfonds
  • This study contributes to the understanding of the Pakistani military officers as social and symbolic agents by analysing autobiographical narratives published from the 1960 until the 2010 in both English and Urdu. Military autobiographical narratives are understood as products of a cultural practice by which the officers negotiate their ‘self’ and their role in history in a communicative process. Through the practice of writing historical self-narratives the officers engage as cultural producers and claim a part in the historiography of Pakistan. The analysis of the texts has shown that the officers negotiate their ‘self’ mainly in regard to the Partition of the subcontinent in 1947 and the secession of Bangladesh in 1971, commonly referred to as the Tragedy. The representation of the Pakistani military ‘self’ is connected to the identification with and negotiation of professional, religious, national, ethnical and linguistic categories and voiced most prominently through the categories Soldier, Pakistani and Muslim. The research thus explores two dimensions that are mutually interrelated: the first pertains to the self-representation of the officers in their autobiographical narrative and the second to the sort of historiography or historical interpretation the officers put forward.