SN1101E - Pakistan - Pakistan's Politics And Economics...

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Pakistan's Politics And Economics SN1101E Establishing a democracy The problems Pakistan has faced in establishing a viable democracy has its roots in military rule. Arguably, there is some historical precedent for military dominance in Pakistan, and the blame for Pakistan's problems cannot be wholly pinned on the military - some of it should also be attributed to the ideology behind Pakistan, the role of religion, as well as intervention by the international community. Eventually, though, all these latter factors relate back to the military; that they might have affected Pakistan in any way is due to dominant role of the military in Pakistani politics and economics. Historical precedent At the inception of India, there existed two competing political factions, the Indian National Congress, and the All- India Muslim League (AIML). The latter, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, espoused the two-nation theory; this viewed the Hindus and Muslims of India as two separate nations. Consequently, their co-existence within a single territory was impossible. Yet, the issue of religion was but one of the many divides in post-independence Indian society, and the subsequent Partition of India did little to resolve the problems - especially as regards establishing a common identity - arising from these divisions. If anything, Pakistan's troubled history only serves to throw this into starker relief. Ostensibly, that the two-nation theory was used as the basis for independence hints at the fact that there is no Pakistani identity, but an anti-identity. The desire for independence was not linked to past grievances, but future fears that India's Hindu majority might overwhelm its Muslim minority. Arguably they shared a common religious affiliation, but even here there was no consolidated identity; there remained countless local, tribal, and ethnic identities. The issue of unifying India, given its territorial expansiveness and heterogeneity, was equally applicable to Pakistan. In fact, given the significant geographical separation of East and West Pakistan by Indian territory, perhaps even more markedly so. In this respect, Pakistan might be said to have inherited the problem of establishing a common identity from India. More significantly, Pakistan's creation was a result of elite design, and not a product of the Muslim population. After Partition, many of the Muslims refugees who migrated to Pakistan were not native to the area, and among them were these intellectual elite. The migratory elite, or the mohajir, from the minority provinces enjoyed a relatively higher level of legitimacy than their indigenous counterparts, given their larger (. .. dominant, actually) role in the creation of Pakistan. Moreover, they - the Gujarati-speaking migrant business community, in particular - were also over-represented in the government and the bureaucracy, as well as in the cultural scene; arguably, Partition caused the sudden emergence of a national bourgeoisie composed of the mohajir. However, another crucial component of the migrants was the Punjabis, who had made up the largest part of the
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This note was uploaded on 01/11/2010 for the course SAS SN1101E taught by Professor Kripasridharan during the Fall '09 term at National University of Singapore.

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SN1101E - Pakistan - Pakistan's Politics And Economics...

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