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Pakistan or Punjabistan: Crisis of NationalIdentity

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Hooria Saboor

on 17 November 2014

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Transcript of Pakistan or Punjabistan: Crisis of NationalIdentity

Pakistan or Punjabistan: Crisis of National Identity
Yunas Samad
is a British social scientist.
He published several books on the topic of Pakistani nationalism and ethnicity.
 is a belief, creed or political ideology that involves an individual identifying with, or becoming attached to, one's nation.

could be referred to as being associated with ethnic traits, background or allegiance.
Examples of Ethnic groups are: Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi, Kashmiri etc.
The Post-1947 Scenario
Sikander Hayat did not want Pakistan
This was Punjabi regionalism not Muslim nationalism
Regionalism was absorbing nationalism
Suhrawardy rejected Two Nation Theory-> Independent Bengal
Opposed to any center whether controlled by League or Congress
No clear articulation of nationalism
Wanted restricted power for the center

Sheikh Abdullah was loyal towards Congress

Lay outside the British controlled Balochistan so did not have much of a say in the matters

The Pre-1947 Scenario
Muslim nationalism was Janus-faced i.e. it would shape shift to either Islamic ideology or to regionalism given the situational context
The Muslim League had garnered support from Muslims all over India who possessed discreet modes of nationalism
fear and distrust of Congress

Pre-Bangladesh: Divorce of Ethnicity and Nationalism
High degree dissimilarities between Bengalis and Punjabis
Imposition of Urdu as the national language.

Elections called by Yahya Khan:
West Pakistan politicians failed to homogenize the West.
Victory of Eastern Party.
A six point formula proposed to weaken the federal structure.

The military-bureaucratic oligarchy had a lot of influence on the politics of the pre-1947 era.
This trend continued in the post-1947 era.
80% of the military and 55% of the federal bureaucracy constituted of individuals with Punjabi roots.
The oligarchy played an interventionist role in Pakistan’s affairs.
The oligarchy was not ethnically neutral in the co-option of its allies.
Representatives of other ethnic classes politicized their ethnic identities in an attempt to legitimize rebellion against the pro-Punjabi government.

Bhutto: A nationalist
After the separation of East Pakistan, and the failure of the army in the Indo-Pak war. Bhutto came into power. He was a nationalist and a socialist. Even though he was a Sindhi, he was a proponent of central control and against India which made him acceptable to the Military-Bureaucracy.
He introduced many policies which made the country strong economically and in international security matters.
Aftermath of Bengali Victory
Fears of West Pakistan:
Weakening of Federal Structure.
Domination of Eastern officials in National Affairs.
Tikka Khan unleashed army action in East upon Yahya Khan’s orders.
Mass migration to India.- 90% emigrants were Hindus.
1971 war broke out.
RESULT: Bangladesh gained Independence.

Group 9
Ijlal Haider
Lala Rukh
Jehanzeb Mufti
Izza Adnan
Hiba Shakil
Hamza Ahsan
Habiba Rehman
Hooria Saboor
How Punjabi hegemony of the state has perpetuated correlation between Punjab’s and Pakistan’s interests.
How nationalism and ethnicity actually came to co-exist in the first place
Processes that reactivated ethic identification at the expense of nationalism; 1947 till current date.
Reasons for distrust:
Congress attitude towards Muslims in inter war years (1939-1945)
Inadequate constitutional safeguards for Muslims provided by Congress
Present Scenario
Muslim nationalism was not a homogenous phenomenon
Punjabis and Muhajirs initially advocated a highly centralized state
Ayub Khan, Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto & Zia-ul-Haq changed policies with each passing regime
Balochis always ignored
M.Q.M: Muhajir nationalism
separation of East Pakistan
: 33.5% of civil service officers were Muhajirs
Bhutto implemented
Quota system
Lost their influence in center
Zia and Bhutto both policies served to decrease the Muhajir's power in the center.
Altaf Husaain
: a student of Karachi university formed an organization APMSO.
Formation of Mutahida Qaumi Mahaz.
Benazir reign
: A threat to military influence on centre so the military is said to have supported the Muhajir and Sindi conflict.
Party/Government Stance (you decide)

Strengthen Federation, remove Inter-Provincial disharmony and restore National cohesion
Neglected Balochis and Pashtuns, continuous power war between Sindh and Punjab
Decentralized government with Punjab being favoured the most, developments seen only in one province

This was the first time when a civilian politician was gaining such power in the centre and popularity and it was taken as a threat to their influence over country’s politics by the military and the bureaucracy who had been the ones controlling the center. He provided political access to Sindhis.
The recognition of the Sindhi language in 1972 and the quota imposed on Muhajirs entering the civil service led to the deflation of the Sindhi identity and subsumed them in the official Pakistani National identity.
His main opponents were the Balochis and the NWFP
In 1977 Zia ul Haq over threw Bhutto’s government very eagerly and later on Bhutto was hanged to death.

9,000 lives were lost in the Balochi uprisings in attempts to crush the opposition.
Bhutto’s regime also threatened the Military-Bureaucracy and the creation of FSF displaced the army’s role in internal security and lateral entry of political nominees into the bureaucracy antagonized the oligarchy.
When the Pakistan National Movement against PPP mobilised urban groups against electoral misconduct in the 1977 elections, it paved way for the Military-Bureaucracy led by Gen. Zia Ul Haq to take over.
Muslim Nationalism used before the partition was a
phenomenon with all of its parts subsumed by the Pakistan Movement.
The tension between nationalism and ethnicity was the basis of all opposition to the center which hardened the ethnic fault lines.
The Military-Bureaucracy were key preserves of the Punjabis and their allies of which they vigorously defended the necessity for a highly centralized state.
Bhutto’s regime reformulated the power at the center and co-opted Sindhis at the expense of Muhajirs.
Zia’s expulsion of Sindhis led to uprisings from Sindh, however, as a result of the soviet invasion, the western provinces had to be neutralized.
However, not all Punjabis benefited from this domination, Zia’s regime alienated some Punjabis and introduction of Islamic Law politicised women.
His regime was also opposed by Saraiki areas, the Mirpur population and Azad Kashmir.
Domination by the Punjabi elite was the primary cause for the ethnic conflicts that convulsed the nation’s history and challenge the Punjabi hegemony!
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