Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan

Its Character and Prospects

by Graham Fuller

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This report, one of a series of four analyzing Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, examines the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan: its origins, historical basis, and relationship to the political, economic, and social institutions. It also considers the likely character of fundamentalist policies if Islamic radicals were to come to power. The role of Iranian influence in Pakistan is also examined. Finally, the study examines the implications for U.S. policy and the possible options the United States has in shaping its relations with Pakistan in the future. The author concludes that, given Pakistan's political culture, the United States ought to tread cautiously in extending its own political, cultural, and military presence there. Even though the fundamentalists are unlikely to come to power and wage a vendetta against the United States, they constitute a basic reservoir of latent hostility that must be kept in mind as a factor limiting U.S. influence in Pakistan.

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