Regionalism, Ethnic Conflict and Islam in Pakistan: Impact on Foreign Policy

  • Saleem M. M. Qureshi

Abstract

The Pakistan of 1947 was the realisation of a dream and a vision. It had secured a free and independent polity for Muslim India after almost two centuries, during which Muslims had been losing power to non-Muslim Hindu and British forces. It was the harbinger of great things to come, perhaps the revival of the glory that Islam had been at one time. But within 24 years its eastern wing, containing the majority of its population, had violently, and through a bloody war, wrenched itself away from the bosom of this Muslim nation. And, as if to stick the knife deeper, separatist movements have thrived among the Sindhis and the Baluchis. The first military dictatorship of General Ayub spawned the separation of East Pakistan and the second, led by General Zia, has injected the even more insidious poison of religious sectarianism, fanaticism and bigotry, pitting sect against sect and region against region. In less than half a century Pakistan has lost more than half of its population and may yet lose its very existence in a class and regional war. Pakistan is not the only new nation to suffer this trauma, many others, such as Nigeria and Sudan, Sri Lanka and even India, have had their share but only Pakistan has suffered the loss of territory and the rejection of its conceptual raison d’être by its majority population.

Keywords

Europe Flare Assure Turkey Egypt 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

NOTES

  1. 1.
    Rafique Afzal, Selected Speeches and Statements of the Quaid-i-Azam Ali Jinnah (1911–34 and 1947–48) (Lahore: Research Society of Pakistan, University of the Punjab, 1966) p. 423.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See the author’s chapter ‘Iybal and Jinnah: Personalities, Perceptions and Politics’, in Saleem M. M. Qureshi, The Politics of Jinnah (Karachi: Royal Book Academy, 1988).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See the text in A. R. Tariy, Speeches and Statentents of Iqbal (Lahore: Sh. Ghulam Ali and Sons, 1973) pp. 3–33, particularly pp. 11–12. For a more detailed discussion of the evolution and development of Muslitn nationalism, see Hafeez Malik, Muslim Nationalism in India and Pakistan (Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press, Dec 1963).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Jamiluddin Ahmad, Speeches and Writings of Mr Jinnah, 7th edition (Lahore: Ashraf, 1968).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    A. K. S. Lambton, ‘Islamic Political Thought’, in Joseph Schacht and C. E. Bosworth, The Legacy of Islam, 2nd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1979) pp. 404–24.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Qamaruddin Khan, Al Mawardi’s Theory of the State (Lahore: Islamic Book Foundation, 1983).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    A. K. S. Lambton, State and Government in Medieval Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981, rep. 1985) p. 45.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Allatna Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam. About Iqbal and his lectures. Gibb wrote in Modern Trends in Islam (Beirut: Librairie Du Lihan, reprinted, 1975): ‘Iqbal is perhaps the most interesting figure in the whole modern Islamic cotmnunity, but also intellectually the most elusive’ (p. 59). Iqhal’s six lectures regarding the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam, ‘present the first (and so far the only) thorough going attempt to restate the theology of Islam in modern immanentist terms’ (p. 60). And ‘to the conservative Muslim’ Iyhal’s thought ‘must seem a production of breathtaking audacity; and, though it has strongly influenced the younger intellectuals of India, I cannot think it has yet had any deep effect upon Muslim thought as a whole. Indeed, had it not been for Iqbal’s prestige as a poet and leader in Indian Islam, it is doubtful whether so revolutionary and heretical work could ever have been published’ (p. 81).Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Fazlur Rahman, Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    H. A. R. Gibb, Mohammedanism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962) p. 119.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    See the author’s ‘The Politics of the Shia Minority in Pakistan: Context and Development’, in D. Vajpeyi and Y. Malik (eds), Religious and Ethnic Minority Politics in South Asia (New Delhi: Manohar, 1989) pp. 109–38.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    H. A. R. Gibb, Civilization of Islam (London: Routledge, 1962) p. 5.Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    See Ralph Braibanti’s lament on the paucity of research undertaken by the Americans on Pakistan in his ‘The Research Potential of Pakistan’s Development’, in L. Ziring, R. Braibanti and W. H. Higgins (eds), Pakistan: The Long View (Durham. NC: Duke University Press, 1977).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hafeez Malik 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saleem M. M. Qureshi

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations