In this presentation, we will not deal with the context of the independence of Pakistan in 1947. However, since Pakistan is a very young country, its creation plays a large role in the difficulties it encounters in its nation-building. The partition of India, in 1947, is the result of a long-term process and the state of Pakistan was finally established on the 14th of August, 1947, and, at this time, its territory was divided into two parts, West and East Pakistan. A civil war, in 1971 resulted in the creation of Bangladesh in East Pakistan. A Pakistani professor once said, "Pakistan, with all its weaknesses, has a state, but does it have a nation?". This is the question we will answer in this presentation.
[...] Then, we can say that the short history of Pakistan did not help it create its nation. On the one hand, the country was made up of very diverse peoples, and on the other hand, the instability of the successive regimes prevented them from enforcing a long-term process of nation building. However, we cannot deny the fact that the different regimes, although not really successful, tried to build a Pakistani nation The attempts of nation-building so far The successive governments tried to build a nation through different aspects, but they all failed because of their authoritarianism. [...]
[...] - Kashmir is a problematic region, at the heart of the divisions between Pakistan and India. The region was divided into two parts: one belongs to Pakistan, one other, the biggest and the wealthiest one, belongs to India. So, as mentioned, Pakistan is made of several people, who claim their particularities and their role in the nation building. There are no unified Pakistani people. In addition, even Islam, which was the common point between all those people in a Hindu region, is very diverse in this country. [...]
[...] And even though remaining a multi-linguistic country, Pakistan has begun to enforce a politic of “urduisation”, in order to make Urdu as its unique language. B. The paradoxical role of Islam in the nation-building process Now, I think it is essential to talk about Islam in greater detail. Indeed, we have to remember that Islam was the main justification of Pakistan's independence: the aim was to grant East-Asian Muslims their own country. Although not religious, Ali Jinnah wanted to promote Islam, considering it as a means of transcending regional divides. [...]
[...] Having grown in opposition to India, Pakistan has become an ideological state: since its independence, the ideology of a Muslim community who had countered the Indian nationalism has developed. This is why scholars encouraged xenophobia, particularly against Indian, and the glorification of military struggle. According to Zia-ul-Haq (who ruled the country between 1977 and 1988), preservation of that ideology was as important as the security of the country's geographical boundaries”. Otherwise, in 1971, an episode caused many troubles and had consequences on Pakistan's nation building process. [...]
[...] - The first one is the most important one: the Punjabis, which represent more than a half of Pakistan's population today. Punjab is the wealthiest region in Pakistan, and it is actually the foundation of its economic power. Therefore, the whole country's policy turns around this region. Thanks to its military tradition and its economic capacity, Punjab is the heart of the country, and it considers it has the political mission to defend the destiny of Pakistan. Since 1947, the Punjabis had clearly announced that Pakistan would be built around them. [...]
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