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Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation?

Christophe Jaffrelot (Editor)
Synopsis Pakistan has become a key actor in the realm of international relations post 11 September 2001. Like after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, its geopolitical situation has made it the main base for military operations and the fight against Bin Laden’s Jihadist network. But the strategic position, this time round, was also due to its special links with the Taliban. Pakistan is involved in regional tensions and is itself undermined by a great deal of ethnic tensions. This book provides an up to date account of the country’s extraordinarily complicated political tapestry which throws up so many questions—the definition of identity, the intersection of religious and ethnic factors, a deeply flawed institutionalization of Democracy, control of the state, and the potentially explosive cross impacts of regional and domestic politics. While they built Pakistan on the basis of ‘Islamic Ideology’, the Mohajirs are now developing separatist tendencies. The Pashtun, the Sindhi and the Baluch nationalists are not as vocal but they still endorse centrifugal forces due to their resentment of what they call the ‘Punjabi hegemony’. Islam too has failed as a cementing force because of the increasingly violent Shia-Sunni conflict. National integration remains a remote prospect, but Pakistani nationalism exists, largely because it expresses itself against others—India, first of all. Kashmir has been for years the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan and it has helped this country to mobilize unitedly. Pakistan’s foreign policy, be it shaped by civilians or military rulers, is largely over-determined by this strategy.
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About the author

Christophe Jaffrelot

Dr. Christophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherch Scientifique) and teaches South Asian politics and history at Science Po (Paris). From 2000 to 2008, he was Director of CERI (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po. Dr Jaffrelot’s publications include The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics, 1925 to the 1990s (1996 and 1999), India’s Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India (2003), and Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste (2005). He has also edited Pakistan: Natinalism without a Nation: (2002), and co-edited, with P.Van der Veer, Patterns of Middle Class Consumption in China and India (2008) as well as, with L Gayer, Militias of South Asia (2010).

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Bibliographic information

Title Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation?
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st Ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173044074
length 352p., 23cm