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Islamism and Travails of Democracy in Pakistan

Oleg V. Pleshov (Author)
Synopsis The book highlights the peculiarities of Pakistan's development since its inception in 1947 against the backdrop of historical evolution of Islam on the South Asian subcontinent. Pakistan's insistence on Islam taking precedence over every aspect of national life has made it easy for the army to seize power on a regular basis. This has resulted in impaired development, on the one hand, and in the growth of radical Islam, on the other. The growth of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan radically changed the correlation of forces, gave a green signal to militants' penetration in Kashmir across LoC with the aims of committing terrorist acts generally made the future of Pakistan itself uncertain. The author argues that the 'Ideology of Pakistan' is nothing but a negation of M.A. Jinnah's idea of Muslim nationalism. The creators of the former--the fundamentalists--have substituted the concept of 'Muslim state' (meant by Jinnah as a secular state) with the concept of 'Islamic state', which is opposite in content since it rejects both secularism and democracy. The author brings out the paradox of Pakistan's model of social development, which represents, on the one hand, the desire of the ulema to instill in society the idealistic moral code through increasingly more aggressive means, and amazing pragmatism of the electorate, on the other. Analysing the dynamics of this process, the author wonders whether the dormant tendency to democratize Pakistan is strong enough and whether the Pakistanis really know what they want for themselves.
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About the author

Oleg V. Pleshov

Oleg V. Pleshov (2Mar. 1934 – 7 Dec. 2003) was one of the top Soviet/Russian analysts of South Asian politics and society. Graduating from the Moscow State University in 1962, he completed his Doctorate in 1971. A high-ranking Soviet journalists, he served as a representative of TASS (Soviet News Agency) as its correspondent in India and Nepal (1963-66), Ceylon (1966-67) and Pakistan (1972-75). Joining the Soviet Embassy in New Delhi in 1976 as a political counselor, he worked there till 1982. On returning to Russia in 1982, Pleshov worked for three and a half years in the International Department of the Central Committee of CPSU before joining in 1986 the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences where he worked till his death in Dec. 2003. Author of several books, including two on Pakistan, published in Russian – Islam and Democracy: The experience of Pakistan (Moscow, 1996) and Islam, Islamism and Nominal Democracy in Pakistan (Moscow, 2003), besides a host of journalistic and academic articles on South Asian developments, Pleshov during the last years of his life also published a few perspective articles on political culture of Pakistan, on Mohammad Ali Jinnah, on Pakistan’s Army and its role in political developments. The present work is a revised updated and expanded version of his earlier works on Pakistan published in Russia.

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Bibliographic information

Title Islamism and Travails of Democracy in Pakistan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8189126008
length 279p., Tables; Notes; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.