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Is Pakistan a Failed State? An Assessment of Islamist Ideals, Nationalist Articulation and Ground Realities

Like most Muslim nation-states, Islamic ideals inspired Indian Muslims during their struggle against colonialism and potential prejudiced Hindu domination. These Islamic ideals entailed recognition of individual dignity and rights, equality and justice for all citizens in an independent nation. After independence, Pakistan deviated from those ideals and an independent Bangladesh emerged. Although Pakistan survived, jihad movements in Afghanistan and Kashmir gave rise to extremism in the name of Islam which has led to ethnic and sectarian clashes challenging the very existence of the country. This paper examines the significance of Islamic ideas in contemporary Pakistan.

Is Pakistan a Failed State An Assessment of Islamist Ideals


The Times of India noted in an article published in February 2005 entitled “Pak Will Be Failed State by 2015” that: 

Forecasting a “Yugoslavia-like fate” for Pakistan, the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in a jointly prepared Global Futures Assessment Report have said “by year 2015 Pakistan would be a failed state, ripe with civil war, bloodshed, inter-provincial rivalries and a struggle for control of its nuclear weapons and complete Talibanisation.”1

The chorus of Pakistan being a failed state was followed by many “experts.”2 But the view has been challenged by others.3 In this essay we examine Pakistan’s historical foundation and its state of affairs today.

Pakistan today stands at a crossroads of history. Prior to the British rule in India, Islam was spread by means of Arab merchants and Sufi teachers and many Muslims came with invading armies from the West and Central Asia. Muslims established political domination in India and during over thousand years of Muslim rule not only Muslims flourished in India, the majority Hindu community too participated and benefitted from the economic growth of the country. However, a distinct Muslim identify consciousness began to take root during the European colonial rule of the Indian sub-continent which began around the middle of the 18th century. This awareness emerged partially in response to the Orientalist/Christian missionary attack on Islam and partially due to the high probability of domination of Hindu Brahmanism in an independent Hindu-majority united India. The Muslim leadership anticipated a threat to their identity and dignity within a post-colonial India, one which contained a Hindu majority. The raison d’être of the Pakistani nation, according to the founders of Pakistan, involved preserving and upholding humanism and Islamic universalism as opposed to narrow nationalism in India.4 In this essay we will examine the growth of Muslim nationalist aspirations and their consequences. We discuss the growth of Muslim identity sensitivity under the British rule, the Islamic state controversy in independent Pakistan, educational developments, impacts of the rise of linguistic nationalism, the Kashmir dispute and the probable role of external forces in political developments in Pakistan. 

The Muslim perception of a distinctive identity in India began to appear in the 1860s through the question of language, which has generally been known as the Hindi-Urdu controversy



Growth of Muslim Identity Consciousness under the British Rule

The Muslim perception of a distinctive identity in India began to appear in the 1860s through the question of language, which has generally been known as the Hindi-Urdu controversy. This controversy originated when Muslim modernist scholar-activist Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) established a translation society with the intention of translating books from European languages into an Indian language for the benefit and growth of the Indian youth. For Khan, the suitable Indian language was Urdu, but some Hindus opposed his idea insisting on translating materials into the Hindi language.5 For Khan, the argument for Urdu was logical and simple: Muslims had abandoned the Persian language, which was the official language under the Muslim rule, in favor of Urdu for the sake of all Indians. Some Hindus, he thought, were only interested in wiping out the Muslim characteristics from India by imposing Hindi,6 which was not a very developed language at the time and was not used by any community in India.

Kashmir Muslims shout pro-freedom slogans during a funeral procession for Abid Ahmed who was killed during a brief gunfight with Indian government forces, in August 5, 2017.  | AFP / GETTY IMAGES / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA

Sayyid Ahmad Khan continued with his efforts of establishing educational institutions: he first founded a Scientific Society to translate European books into Urdu and then established the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental School at Aligarh, UP, which was then turned into a college (1877) and a university (1920). When in 1885 the Indian National Congress (INC) was founded by an Englishman with the aim of promoting Indian nationalism, Khan discouraged Muslims from participating in such activities. 

Another such scholar was Sayyid Amir Ali (1849-1928). His involvement lies mainly in the area of the intellectual growth of the community. His first contribution to scholarship was A Critical Examination of the Life and Teachings of Mohammad (1873) which he later developed as his masterpiece The Spirit of Islam (1922). This and his other major work, A Short Story of Saracens (1891), were written in refutation of Christian missionary assaults on Islamic ideas and the person of the Prophet. The primary focus of Ali’s writings was to demonstrate the similarities between Islamic values and those of nineteenth-century liberal Europe so as to establish the foundation for reforming the society.

Iqbal believed that the Muslim community (Ummah) had the potential to be a model for humanity, and he wanted Pakistan to take the initiative to revive the Ummah with the spirit of humanism

Both Khan and Ali were proud of the place of reason given in Islamic philosophy. Ali persuasively argued that the Prophet of Islam never traveled out of the province of reason.7 This was necessary for Khan and Ali because the nineteenth-century European liberal thought was based solely on scientific theories which were closely identified with the human faculty of reason. Therefore, the main thrust of their argument was to demonstrate every aspect of Muslim belief in the light of those scientific discoveries. 

Their interpretation of Islamic teachings created a sense of self-reliance, pride and confidence among the English-educated young Muslims in India. This was a developed stage for Indian Muslims. Most Western-educated Indian Muslims like Khan and Ali came into contact with the English environment in their personal capacity. However because of their privileged place in the former political and economic settings under the British rule they became victims of an inferiority complex. Although they admired Western civilization and the scientific advancement of Europe, psychologically and rationally they neither abandoned their conformist faith nor did they accept the hatred of Muslims by some colonial officials and the Christian missionary propaganda against Islam.8 Ahmad Khan’s activities acquainted them with Western civilization and scientific tradition, but could not provide them with a sense of pride. On the contrary, his apologetic works on Islam seemed to have increased their sense of inferiority. While European-educated Indian Muslims were in this frame of mind, Ali appeared armed not only with a defensive, but an offensive attitude. Ali’s aggressive intellectual approach along with his high official position in the British Indian government,9provided this generation with a new self-assurance. It encouraged Indian Muslims to be liberal in the manner of a Victorian Englishman, and at the same time to be proud of their Muslim identity. They seemed to have been prepared for some form of reform of their society.

In politics, Indian Muslims founded the All-India Muslim League (AIML) in December 1906 with a stated goal of safeguarding their civil and economic rights. In 1909 the British Indian government recognized minority demands and introduced a separate electorate system under which the existence of different communities was recognized and only the members of respective communities could vote for their representatives to the Legislative Council. The ideological foundation for the demand of an independent and sovereign nation-state for Muslims in India came much later from the poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal (1873-1938).10 A Universalist Iqbal was already disturbed with the growth of nationalism in Europe but the INC-led Indian nationalism appeared even more fanatic to him. He seemed to have become worried about Muslims losing their dignity under the caste-ridden Hindu leadership. Therefore he suggested dividing India by creating a Muslim nation-state where they could practice Islamic universal values such as human dignity, universal equality and justice. He proposed the formation of a state constituting the Muslim majority areas of India. He argued:

It is not the unity of language or country or the identity of economic interests that constitutes the basic principle of our nationality. It is because we all believe in a certain view of the universe…that we are members of the society founded by the Prophet of Islam. Islam abhors all material limitations, and bases its nationality on purely abstract ideas objectified in a potential expansive group of personalities.11

Keeping in view the background of Iqbal and his time, it may be suggested that his main concern was to establish the legitimacy of the demand for a separate nation for Indian Muslims vis-à-vis Indian nationalism. In doing so, however, Iqbal encountered a new problem, i.e. the problem of the relation between this new nationality and other Islamic nationalities.12 Iqbal resolved this question by saying:

For the present, every Muslim nation must sink into her deeper self; temporarily focus her vision on herself alone, until all are strong and powerful to form a living family of republics. A true and living unity, according to the nationalist thinkers, is not so easy as to be achieved by a merely symbolical overlordship. It is truly manifested in a multiplicity of free, independent units whose racial rivalries are adjusted and harmonized by the unifying bond of a common spiritual inspiration. It seems to me that Islam is neither Nationalism nor Imperialism but a League of Nations which recognized artificial boundaries and racial distinctions for facility of reference only, and not for restricting the social horizon of its members.13

One must note here a unique characteristic of Iqbal’s view of nationalism: While Europe during this period, under the impact of Social Darwinism, was moving toward totalitarianism, Iqbal’s perception of nationalism was humanitarian and universal which recognized natural divisions within the human family. Iqbal wanted to achieve unity of the Muslim Ummah through the Pakistani nation. In fact, in his thought one may find a sound response to the crisis of European thought highlighted by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). He believed that Islam could provide solutions to Europe’s crises and as one author has pointed out that he “found no opposition between reason and revelation or science and religion,” and he “developed a creative synthesis of the East and the West.”14 He had witnessed the growth of fanatic nationalism in Europe and advanced a universal Islamic solution to Europe’s crisis. Iqbal believed that the Muslim community (Ummah) had the potential to be a model for humanity, and he wanted Pakistan to take the initiative to revive the Ummah with the spirit of humanism. 

Following in the footsteps of Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) who began his political career as a member of the INC, but became a strong supporter of the Pakistan movement, argued that although Hindus and Muslims lived together in the historical and geographical unit of India, they belonged to two separate nationalities. He said:

The (Hindus and Muslims) are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither intermarry, nor interdine together and, indeed they belong to two different civilizations. Mussalmans are a nation according to any definitions of a nation and they must have their homelands, their territory and their state.15

This clearly suggests that his main concern was to establish the legitimacy of the demand for a Muslim-majority nation in the Indian sub-continent. One Pakistani historian later warranted this claim saying that, “without a separate existence, its creative genius [of the community] was likely to wither away.”16 The opportunity for experiments and applying the “creative genius” in independent Pakistan came soon and this involved debates and discussions about the potential role of Islamic ideals and their implications in independent Pakistan. One fundamental issue that Pakistan encountered at this time was the proposal of an Islamic state.



The Islamic State Controversy

The first challenge that Pakistan encountered as a sovereign nation-state was the framing of a constitution which would ensure universal values of human dignity and equality as opposed to a narrow nationalistic approach. Jinnah, who was elected president of the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, took oath under the chairmanship of Jogendra Nath Mandal (1904-1968), a low-caste Hindu politician who became Pakistan’s first Minister of Law and Minister of Labor. Yet one question that emerged in formulating the constitution of the newly independent Pakistan was that of the status of non-Muslims in the proposed nation. In the 1947 debates of the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Jinnah argued:

… (Every Pakistani is) a citizen of this state with equal rights privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make … we are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens to one state. ..I think we should keep that in front as our ideal, and you will find that in the course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense citizens of the state.17

This statement convinced some to believe that Jinnah was secular.18 But others argued that Jinnah’s statements on the Qur’an and the Prophet’s life being the main sources of guidance for Pakistan’s future outweigh any suggestion that he was secular. Jinnah had once emphatically rejected a suggestion by Lord Mountbatten, the last British viceroy to India, that Pakistan should follow the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s approach to religion. Jinnah had said that Pakistan would follow the Prophetic example rather than that of Akbar.19 

With the establishment of the British rule, the traditional system of education as well as the role of Muslim religious teachers was decisively challenged

Debate on the framework of the constitution continued both inside and outside the Constituent Assembly, which existed from 1947 to 1954. In 1949, an “Objective Resolution” was adopted by all religious and secular groups declaring that the future constitution would be modeled on European constitutions following Islamic guidelines.20 A Pakistani historian of constitutional development describes the situation following the creation of the state as follows: “the phrase ‘Islamic State’ had been on the lips of almost all intelligentsia of Pakistan, and had produced an immense volume of talk and enthusiasm; yet the term had not been precisely defined.”21 Islamic clauses were incorporated into the proposed constitution, but the constitution “did not give any special privilege or exclusive power to the Ulema (religious scholars),” because it was believed that “such a clause might prove to be an excellent tool in the hands of reactionary ulema.”22 By intelligentsia, the author means Pakistanis educated along the lines of European liberal educational and generally, that would mean with no training in the Islamic tradition. The intelligentsia, therefore, could hardly contribute to the formulation of an understanding of political theories of an Islamic state beyond what could be described as ‘lip service.’ A U.S. Embassy report of 1948 observed that: “‘an Islamic State’ [became] a political motto to be used by the Muslim League to continue indefinitely their predominant position in Pakistan politics.”23 

The conflict between two groups of intellectuals characterized the constitutional development of Pakistan. The President of Pakistan, Iskandar Ali Khan Mirza, warned the ‘ulema to “keep religion out of politics.”24 G. W. Choudhury, an academic who participated in the constitution-making process, describes the situation as follows: “The Pakistani intelligentsia are elaborating a new twentieth-century and authoritative interpretation of Islam, and when they wish to see Pakistan become Islamic, their picture of an Islamic State is altogether different from that of the ulema, and it is not greatly dissimilar from that of a modem democratic state.”25 Interestingly, not only the first Minister of Law, a Hindu, endorsed the Objective Resolution, Justice Cornelius, a practicing Catholic and the 4thChief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan who served as Secretary of Law to the first Minister of Law minister and the first Prime Minister, endorsed the 1956 constitution and worked hard to put the constitution into practice.26Also Muhammad Asad (1900-1992), an Austrian convert to Islam who was involved in advising the Government of Pakistan, made significant recommendations to the constitution making process at that time.27 

A compromise in the constitution-making process was reached after nine years, and a constitution was promulgated in 1956, declaring Pakistan an Islamic Republic with a parliamentary form of government. During the discussion period, the first Prime Minister was assassinated, the ruling political party, the Muslim League, disintegrated into provinces and the political situation became chaotic.28 The British trained bureaucracy seemed to have become frustrated with civilian politicians. President Mirza asked the Chief of the Armed Forces, General Ayub Khan, for assistance in governing the country. Martial law was declared, the constitution abrogated and political parties were banned. Justice Munir came up with the term “doctrine of necessity” to justify the declaration of martial law. Within weeks, Ayub Khan replaced Iskandar Mirza and took control of the country.29 Under the constitution the general election was due in less than two years but now in the absence of political parties, the military together with the civil bureaucracy established an oligarchic rule.30 The military government promulgated another constitution in 1962 introducing what it called “basic democracy” under which the president, chief executive of the country, would be elected not directly by the people, but by their representatives.31 Within years, however, the government was faced with protests from various quarters of the country because of manipulations in politics. Consequently, in 1969 the military government, which had become a self-proclaimed civilian government, resigned handing over power to another military ruler. 



Education and Nation Building 

Like their co-religionists in other parts of the world, Indian Muslims could lay claim to a rich cultural tradition based on Islamic learning.32 With the establishment of the British rule, the traditional system of education as well as the role of Muslim religious teachers was decisively challenged. The British Administration allowed the traditional educational system to continue, but products of this system would not find employment outside the mosque. On the other hand, the British introduced a different educational system in India which was formulated by the British liberal philosopher, T.B. Macaulay commonly known as Lord Macaulay (1800-1859), an official of the East India Company in Bengal, in order “to form a class of persons, Indian in blood and color, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”33 The job market demanded all Indians to be educated under the newly introduced system.

The failure of the education policy led the Pakistani society into a severe identity crisis. Pakistan was created on the basis of the Muslim identity in India, but the Pakistani leadership failed to formulate their constitution and their education policy by incorporating Islamic ideas and values

In keeping with its ideological commitments, attempts were made to reformulate the educational policy in Pakistan.34A meeting was convened in 1946 to discuss the future education system. Discussion continued after the creation of Pakistan under the leadership of the first Minister of Education, Fazlur Rahman (1905-1966), who emphasized the necessity for an Islamic ideological foundation for an education policy.35 The Ministry of Education organized a conference of leading experts and a number of recommendations were made, but none of these were implemented because of the reluctance of the Ministry of Finance, whose bureaucrats were not convinced that the newly born Pakistan should spend funds on education.36 Academic institutions continued to operate under the previous (British colonial) system of education formulated by Lord Macaulay. Pakistani leaders continued to provide lip service to Islamic ideology for public consumption. Without guidelines, the education system was, as Qureshi put it, aimless.37The historian complains that the need for creating Pakistani personality through education was ignored by the government. He continues:

It was the Pakistan Movement that weaned most (Muslim youth) from Indian nationalism and some from Marxist materialism. The enthusiasm for Pakistan created the feeling that all was well with the Muslim youth. Even earlier that was the general sentiment. A generation that had pursued the aim of economic welfare through the acquisition of the new education and had remained Muslim in sentiment because of tradition and the influence of its parents and homes thought that what had happened to it would happen to its children as well, forgetting that the Islamic influence grew more and more diluted because of the ever increasing impact of new influences percolating through literature and amoral and religiously neutral education. The nature of the education was such that the potentially positive influence that could have been exerted in favour of the Islamic code of morals and beliefs was eliminated, and the subtle European suggestions conveyed through literature and textbooks were permitted to play their role unhindered.38

Qureshi became Minister of Education for a short period and held the highest position at a major university in Pakistan for more than a decade. He articulated the failure of Pakistan’s education policy till his death in 1979. He blamed public policy for its failure to develop a national identity based on Islamic ideas.39 This failure, he suggested, led to the growth of Bengali nationalism in East Pakistan, a growth which eventually culminated in the creation of Bangladesh.40 Responsibility for this failure, the author maintained, squarely belonged to the bureaucrats who ran the country.41 

With the rise of extremist groups in association with the wars in Afghanistan the controversy on the idea of Islamic state re-emerged in Pakistan



The Challenge of Linguistic Identity and the New Pakistan 

The failure of the education policy led the Pakistani society into a severe identity crisis. Pakistan was created on the basis of the Muslim identity in India, but the Pakistani leadership failed to formulate their constitution and their education policy by incorporating Islamic ideas and values. This created an enormous uncertainty in the country.42Frequently it is referred to as a failed state by the media and think tank institutions. Summarizing Pakistan’s identity crisis and discontent one author says: 

Conflict with India from the start, lack of sincere and honest leadership, corrupt politicians, slow growth of the democratic institutions, excessive power in the hands of civil and military authorities, widespread poverty and unemployment, breakdown of law and order, human rights violations, excessive influence and interference of the Western powers have all contributed to the current discontent.43

The creation of Bangladesh, on the basis of the linguistic identity of East Pakistanis, is the most striking example of the failure of the Pakistani identity.44

Under the civil-military oligarchic rule, the economic gap between the two geographically separated territories45 –a gap which had existed during the British period– was further widened. Bengali-speaking Eastern Pakistanis suffered from economic disparity and were deprived of their proper share in the civil-military bureaucracy of government administration.46 Almost nothing had been done to minimize the linguistic differences between the two parts of Pakistan: Islam remained the only connection. Little was done to cultivate brotherhood between the peoples of the two wings on the basis of Islamic values. Gradually, anti-West Pakistani sentiments developed in East Pakistan and within 25 years of the creation of Pakistan another nation-state, Bangladesh, emerged challenging the foundational ideology of the country.

A new constitution was formulated in Pakistan as the western part of the country came to be known in 1973. It reasserted (standardized) Pakistan’s commitment to an Islamic moral standard (Part II, Article 2b). The new Pakistani leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979) also declared Islamic socialism as his motto for governance, but he served interests only of the landed aristocracy of the country. He served Islam by replacing Sunday with Friday as the weekly holiday, banning public consumption of alcohol, and declaring the Ahmadi, also known as Qadiani,47community a non-Muslim minority. He did little to ensure social, political, and economic justice for the common people. This government eventually collapsed in 1977. 

Pakistanis chant slogans during a protest against U.S. President Trump’s derogatory statements about their country. | AA PHOTO / SABİR MAZHAR

During the seven-year rule, the popularly elected movement got engaged in a series of repressions. In 1977, a mass movement erupted throughout the country against the ruling party, which had rigged the elections on a massive scale.48 It is interesting to note that this movement was launched in the name of Islam.49 As a result, the military again intervened in politics. Although initially declaring that political power would be transferred to civilians, the leader of the military coupGeneral Zia-ul Haq, managed to remain in power for 11 years. He successfully used Islamic slogans during his tenure partially due to the anti-Bhutto pro-Islamic mass movement that culminated in bringing him to power and partially due to Soviet invasion and occupation of neighboring Afghanistan (1979-1989) where a jihad was launched by many Afghans together with many foreign fighters. This period, however, planted the seed for the growth of militancy in Pakistan mostly in the name of Islam.50 This was followed by a decade of democratic government, but these democratically elected leaders were accused of huge corruption scandals. Pakistan again saw a military intervention in 1999 which lasted almost 9 years. The military ruler General Parvez Musharraf was forced out of power due to both internal and external pressure, and Pakistan again returned to so-called democratic rule in 2008. However, with the rise of extremist groups in association with the wars in Afghanistan the controversy on the idea of Islamic state re-emerged in Pakistan. 



Rise in Inconsistency between Ideals and Realities

Inconsistency in Pakistan’s ideals and realities became intensified with the abolition of the 1956 constitution. During the decade-long rule of the first military dictator grounds were prepared for the disintegration of the country. Then Zulfiqar Bhutto’s “democratic rule” ended in a popular mass agitation in 1977. The new military government adopted a policy of what the military leader called a “process of Islamization.” Islamist political thinker activist Maududi’s ideas seemed to have had attracted the attention of not only the new military ruler, but also a significant number of modern educated intellectuals. General Ziaul Haq is quoted to have said: 

The basis of Pakistan was Islam. The basis of Pakistan was that the Muslims of the sub-continent are a separate culture. It was on the two-nation theory that this part was carved out of the sub-continent as Pakistan. And in the last 30 years in general... there has been a complete erosion of moral values of this society. …These are the Islamic values and we are trying to bring these values back.51

He also explicitly declared his loyalty to the Islamic concept of Ummah and said:

Islam does not recognize any geographical limits dividing of its followers. Muslims are Muslims, regardless of whether they are also Ajami (foreigner) Arab, Pakistani or Russian. Nationality is irrelevant within the Ummah, within the universal brotherhood of Islam or the commonwealth of Muslim nations. But Islam does recognize separate communities and nations, separate countries within their own geographical frontiers.52

These statements are indicative of Maududi’s sway on Zia-ul Haq. The military leader seems to have reaped the popular anti-Bhutto sentiment prevailed in Pakistan at this time. By then, Maududi had retired from practical politics. Jama’at-i-Islami (Islamic Party) initially had enthusiastically collaborated in what President Zia-ul Haq called a process of Islamization which seemed an imposition of certain ideas from the top. Soon however they disagreed on the methodology of implementation of their ideas. Maududi had already passed away and the Jama’at-i-Islami and the Zia regime opposed each other in their vision of what they considered a process of Islamization. While Jama’at-i-Islami demanded a democratic election (although most of the times they didn’t perform well in the elections), Zia-ul Haq, like his predecessor Ayub Khan, wanted to ensure his own leadership through some form of ‘democratic’ glaze. Increasingly Jama’at-i-Islami intensified its campaign against the government which resulted in increased repression and banning of all student unions which were largely dominated by the student supporters of the party. This confrontation ended when the military ruler died in a plane crash in 1988.

In spite of the differences between General Zia’s and Jama’at-i-Islami’s vision of Islam, during the military ruler’s eleven years tenure Pakistan saw some form of political stability and the role of Islam seemed to be further fortified in Pakistani politics

In spite of the differences between General Zia’s and Jama’at-i-Islami’s vision of Islam, during the military ruler’s eleven years tenure Pakistan saw some form of political stability and the role of Islam seemed to be further fortified in Pakistani politics. However, hardly any attention was paid to how Islamic ideas could contribute to good governance. Qur’anic ideas such as amanah (trust), shura (consultation), ukhuwah (brotherhood), ‘adalah (justice) were frequently repeated in political rhetoric, but were rarely translated to governing features of the country. The Soviet invasion of neighboring Afghanistan and the subsequent jihad strengthened and internationalized the role of Islam. Thousands of Pakistani youth, mostly unguided, enthusiastically joined the jihad in Afghanistan along with many Afghan and foreign fighters. With the blessings from Western powers such as the United States and Muslim powers such as Saudi Arabia, jihadi fighters succeeded in bringing down the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan. However, interestingly during this process many Pakistani fighters began to contemplate liberating neighboring Kashmir through the same process.

During the next eleven years of civilian rule, Pakistan held four national elections, had four national assemblies dissolved, and three Prime Ministers dismissed. Two leaders –Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto– emerged as politically influential and alternatively occupied the position of the Prime Minister of Pakistan: both demonstrated their commitment to Islam by frequently performing ‘umrah’ (lesser pilgrimage), visiting shrines, and particularly Benazir Bhutto by covering her head and rolling prayer beads in her hands. Commitment to Islam became more ritualistic than practical. Islamic teachings, such ideas as brotherhood, equality, consultation, trust and justice, were shelved. Corruption increased to a point that Transparency International (TI) listed the country among the topmost corrupted countries in the world. Corrupt practices and rhetoric on Islamic commitments did not seem to be contradictory to politicians. The country fell into a deep economic crisis to the extent that the government wouldn’t be able to pay even its own officials without an IMF or World Bank loan. More than half of its gross national income would go for debt services. In 1999 the so-called civilian democratic rule in Pakistan ended with another military coup.

For the Pakistani youth, who were motivated to fight in Afghanistan, there was hardly any difference between the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and Indian occupation of Kashmir

The new military-led government initially performed well in handling economic and financial problems; terms of debt services improved, but at a very high cost. In the Bush administration’s war on terror it sided with what U.S. President Bush called “us.” Like early military administrators, Ayub Khan and Zia-ul Haq, President Musharraf consolidated his position as the head of state but refused to give up his position as the Chief of the Armed Forces. This brought the government into direct confrontation with the conventional political parties. The General decided to align with the U.S. led “war on terror” without any public debate on the issue. Slowly the Islamists came into direct confrontation with U.S.-led activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. While General Musharraf came up with his “enlightened moderation” version of Islam, his opponents saw foreign intervention in the guise of the war on terrorism.53 This created an almost anarchic political situation in Pakistan. 

 Following the resignation of General Musharraf, Pakistan again returned to some sort of democratic rule. In 2010 political parties regained some power by amending the constitution through curtailing the power of the president and empowering the parliament and the prime minister. In the general election held in 2013 Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League came to power and former cricketer Imran Khan’s party, Tahrik-i-Insaf (PTI), emerged as a third party creating hope among the youth. This is very important: the lack of hope has made many young men and women frustrated and purposeless. As a result, external intelligence agencies have been able to recruit many poverty-stricken defenseless youth for subversive activities in the country. But unfortunately, Imran Khan adopted an approach called dharna –a sort of sit-in– to protest against election rigging and corruption in 2014. Interestingly one religious figure, who had been living overseas, flew to Pakistan to join his protest.54 Recently some other religious figures have adopted the same strategy of dharna contributing to lawlessness in Pakistan. Irrespective of the outcome of the protest, one should be concerned about the method of political change. Khan’s strategy suggests impatience on his part. If Pakistan could wait for five years to end the rule of one of its most corrupt leaders, Asif Zardari, why couldn’t they wait for Sharif’s tenure to come to an end? 

More recently in July 2017 the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office on corruption charges. Sharif stepped down and was replaced by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, another member of his party. From the events it is not clear whether the Supreme Court wanted to tackle corruption in Pakistan or just wanted to remove Sharif from power. Ideally it would have been better if the court had only dealt with the corruption charges and left the part of the Prime Minister’s removal from the office to the democratic process, waiting till the next scheduled election for the people to make the final decision. These developments reflect the inconsistencies between ideals and realities in today’s Pakistan. 



The Conflict in Kashmir and the Rise of Militancy

For the Pakistani youth, who were motivated to fight in Afghanistan, there was hardly any difference between the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and Indian occupation of Kashmir. The conflict in Kashmir began in 1947 when India invaded the territory. The UN declared the territory disputed, and on the basis of the principle of self-determination, the world body resolved to conduct a plebiscite in order for the people of Kashmir to decide the future of the territory. This resolution seeking peace, however, turned out to be just the beginning of a long and bloody conflict in the history of the UN. In fact, along with Palestine, Kashmir is the only other unresolved conflict in the world that has haunted the world body.

India has flouted most UN resolutions on the issue and refused to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice.55 Defying UN resolutions on the subject the Indian authorities went ahead to hold what they called a democratic election in 1951. It was a total sham: with blessings from Delhi, Sheikh Abdullah’s party won 73 seats out of a total of 75. All seats were won uncontested because the Election Commission refused to accept opposition candidates. According to opposition sources, since then all subsequent elections in Kashmir have been heavily rigged.56

Pakistan has been involved in the issue of Kashmir since 1947. In fact, the whole question has been viewed as a dispute between the two countries and as a result of this perception the people of Kashmir have suffered. Initially Pakistan played a positive role in Kashmir both for its own sake and for the people of Kashmir. This was reflected in Pakistan’s acceptance of UN resolutions on the subject. Pakistan, however, began to compromise on Kashmir following its defeat with India in 1971. It signed the Simla Agreement declaring the international dispute to be a bilateral one. One Indian document claims that the Pakistani Prime Minister had promised India that his country would accept the Line of Control (LOC) in the state of Jamma and Kashmir as the de facto border and would not try to destabilize (standardized) it.57 However, the Pakistani Prime Minister pleaded with the Indian Prime Minister that if such a clause were to formally enter in the agreement, it “would cause domestic problems for him.” Therefore the Indian Prime Minister “magnanimously accepted his promise and did not formalize that part of the agreement.”58 But Pakistan, as later events were to prove, never kept its part of the deal, the Indian document claimed.

The Indian document has rightly pointed out that Pakistan didn’t keep its part of the deal because all Pakistani administrations have not only expressed their rhetorical support for the people of Kashmir in international diplomacy; they are also reported to have assisted Kashmiri protesters against Indian military rule. At least that is how the Indian government and intelligence agencies have perceived the role of Pakistan in Kashmir. This diplomatic support, however, has hardly changed anything in the life of the people of Kashmir. In fact, since the Simla Agreement, Pakistan’s so-called diplomatic support has had a negative impact on the issue. This agreement made Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan: Pakistan lost its ground internationally. To complicate the matter Kashmiries burned the effigy of another “democratically elected” Pakistani leader, Asif Zardari, when he claimed that ‘terrorists’ were operating in Kashmir.59 All these contributed to the rise of frustration among the youth.



The Role of External Powers

In Pakistan, one would commonly find references to anti-Pakistani external forces while explaining seditious political events and terrorist acts. This is mainly because most Pakistanis believe that India never accepted the creation of the country and from the very inception it has been engaged in schemes to dismember Pakistan. This popular view is supported by the fact that India refused to deliver 500 million rupees from the British Indian treasury to Pakistan during the partition.60 India also refused Pakistan’s armed forces their due share of arms and ammunition of the British-Indian administration citing the Kashmir war as the reason. This made Pakistan’s new administration dependent on serving bureaucrats and militant tribes in the mountainous regions near the Afghan borders for the war in Kashmir. This made the political establishment weak which has been reflected in the fate of the Muslim League, the political party that led the independence movement. India also secured Soviet veto in the UN Security Council on Kashmir: this brought suffering not only for the people of Kashmir, but also for all Pakistanis.61 

Interestingly although most Bangladeshis consider the 1971 war as their war of independence, most Indians and Pakistanis see it as the third war between the two nations

Many Pakistanis also blame India for the dismemberment of Pakistan. Interestingly although most Bangladeshis consider the 1971 war as their war of independence, most Indians and Pakistanis see it as the third war between the two nations. However, international observers concur that without Indian intervention it would have been impossible to create Bangladesh. Also it has now been established that India not only aided Bangladesh’s secession from united Pakistan, it also secured Soviet participation in dismembering Pakistan.62 

Although initially the United States was viewed as a friendly superpower in Pakistan, the perception has changed significantly in recent decades. The relationship began to deteriorate immediately following the Afghan war of the 1980s and it worsened following the Bush Administration’s declaration of the war on terror. Pakistani expectations rose up again when Barack Obama became president in 2009, but within years hopes were dashed once more.

At a time when the European model of the nation-state system is being challenged in many parts of the world, Pakistan has a great potential to become an alternative model for universal peace and prosperity by following Iqbal’s dream and by fulfilling Qur’anic guidance for good governance

In an interview with MSNBC, president-elect Barack Obama expressed the view that militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan could not be handled properly without addressing the problem of the Kashmir dispute. He also announced that he would appoint the former President Bill Clinton to mediate in the crisis between India and Pakistan.63 An unhappy Indian External Affairs minister immediately said, “Essentially it has been stated that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.”64 Increasingly the Obama Administration came under pressure from the pro-Indian lobby, which was supported by the pro-Israeli lobby, to drop the idea. Therefore the proposal to appoint Bill Clinton to mediate on the issue was dropped. However, immediately after taking office, President Obama appointed senior diplomat Richard Holbrooke to deal with the Afghan-Pakistan conflict. Immediately the pro-Indian lobby in Washington intervened and got Kashmir deleted out of Holbrooke’s assignment. The Foreign Policy reported that “the omission of India from his title and from Clinton’s official remarks introducing the new diplomatic push in the region was no accident –not to mention a sharp departure from Obama’s own previously stated approach of engaging India, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, in a regional dialogue.”65 However, India successfully lobbied the Obama transition team to make sure that neither India nor Kashmir was included in Holbrooke’s official brief. Under the Obama Administration drone strikes in Pakistan increased manifold. Now under the Trump Administration the anti-American sentiment in Pakistan is very high and the relationship between the two countries is now at its lowest ebb. 



Concluding Remarks

It is certain that something has gone wrong in Pakistan. But what? One needs to revisit remarks made earlier in connection with this question. Pakistan has clearly failed to fulfill Iqbal’s dream and ideals or Jinnah’s expectations. Who is responsible for this failure? While studying in Europe, Iqbal learned about the crisis of the European soul highlighted by Nietzsche and as a believer he thought the Qur’an had the potential to guide not only the Muslim Ummah to revival, it could bring soul to Europeans and the rest of mankind as well. He had dreamt Pakistan to be a model for such development in the modern world. Iqbal succeeded in convincing Indian Muslims for this noble role in world history. As long as the struggle for achieving Pakistan continued, participants of the movement had complete devotion and motivation in translating Qur’anic guidance for good governance in the modern world. 

In post-independent Pakistan, however, Pakistani nationalist leaders failed to cultivate the same spirit among the Pakistani youth. Newly independent Pakistan’s education policy turned out to be a complete failure. European nationalist views, which emerged in response to the churches’ control of society, were introduced in Pakistan. What was wrong then with Indian nationalism? Territorial integrity received priority over education; political developments were interrupted by armed forces and civil bureaucracies. Traditional landed aristocracy joined the newly industrialized bourgeoisie in governing Pakistan. In 25 years of its existence the country was split: Most Pakistanis began to believe that since the two regions were divided by more than a thousand miles of enemy territory, it was natural for the country to be divided along those lines. Unfortunately hardly any analysis or research was conducted on whether it was a mistake on the part of the founding fathers to conceive such a geographically divided nation.

Why has this happened? One French scholar explains, “you cannot understand what’s going on in the country if you don’t count in the external influences. This phenomenon is of an unprecedented magnitude. I don’t know of very many countries with 200 million people and nuclear weapons so porous to foreign influence!”66 However, we have already demonstrated in the paper that Pakistanis themselves are responsible for the country’s failure to achieve the dreams of their founding fathers; however external factors are very important for this failure. 

In an article in connection with President Trump’s New Year tweet on Pakistan a U.S. foreign policy expert has noted that, “The US should not … drop Pakistan. Bad situations can always get worse. Today, Pakistan is a weak state; tomorrow, it could become a failed one. That would be a regional and global nightmare, given the presence of nuclear weapons and terrorists.” The author also suggests that, “It might also make sense for Pakistan to become a regular part of the US-China agenda.”67 Pakistan should take advantage of this positive perception about its role in history and proceed accordingly. 

It is also amazingly true that Pakistan has survived for more than 70 years, and this itself is a manifestation of its success. Pakistan was without a central secretariat in its capital Karachi and yet it was able to begin its journey: People were inspired by Iqbal’s poetry and Jinnah’s rousing speeches. Remarkably Iqbal and Jinnah still inspire many people today. These include not only Pakistanis and their hundreds and thousands in the diaspora, but also Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world. At a time when the European model of the nation-state system is being challenged in many parts of the world, Pakistan has a great potential to become an alternative model for universal peace and prosperity by following Iqbal’s dream and by fulfilling Qur’anic guidance for good governance. Pakistanis should contemplate Iqbal’s call that “every Muslim nation must sink into her deeper self; temporarily focus her vision on herself alone.”68 

What is needed today in Pakistan is the creation of the scope for peaceful disagreements in the understanding of Islam that would allow the finding of ways to translate that understanding into practice

Pakistan’s “deeper self” must be sought in the basic understanding of Islam. Discrepancies between words and deeds have led many to despair. A reflection of this may be found in What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic by Shahab Ahmed, a Pakistani American who was brought up in Malaysia and attended a boarding school in England: his last work has been posthumously published by the Princeton University Press.69 One may disagree with Ahmed’s understanding of Islam, but his work demonstrates the fact that by means of disagreements throughout history many people have found guidance in Islamic teachings. What is needed today in Pakistan is the creation of the scope for peaceful disagreements in the understanding of Islam that would allow the finding of ways to translate that understanding into practice. Will all Pakistanis, the liberals and religious denominations, i.e., all political and sectarian elements be able to sink together into their “deeper self” and fulfill Iqbal’s dream? It all depends on how seriously and sincerely they would like to transform their understanding of Islam into a political and social reality.  




  1. “Pak will be Failed State by 2015: CIA,” The Times of India, (February 13, 2005), retrieved from
  2. See, Tahir Kamran, “Pakistan a Failed State?,” History Today, Vol. 67, No. 9 (September 9, 2017), retrieved from
  3. See, Christophe Jaffrelot, “Pakistan Is Not a Failed State, It’s a State under Tension,” Newsline, Vol. 187 
    (July 2016), retrieved from
  4. Ishtiaq H. Qureshi, The Muslim Community of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent (610-1947): A Brief Historical Survey, (S. Gravenhage: Mouton, 1962). The whole book contains arguments pleading the 
    case. Qureshi, The Muslim Community of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent (610-1947), pp. 234-254. 
  5. On this controversy, see Qureshi, The Muslim Community of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent (610-1947), pp246-247.
  6. Hindi and Urdu are same when they are spoken, but Hindi is written in Devanagari (an old Indian alphabet) and Urdu is written in Persian character.
  7. Amir Ali, The Spirit of Islam, reprinted from 1922 edition (Karachi: Pak Publishing Ltd., 1969), p. 72.
  8. After 1857 war of independence/mutiny many British officials simply wanted either to convert or totally eradicate Muslims from India. One article in The Times stated in early 1858 that, “The Mahommedan element in India is that which causes us most trouble and provokes the largest share of our hostility… They are unquestionably more dangerous to our rule… If we could eradicate the traditions and destroy the temples of Mahommed by one vigorous effort, it would indeed be well for the Christian faith and for the British rule’ to destroy the Muslim community in India.” See Saad R Khairi, Jinnah Reinterpreted: The Journey from Indian Nationalism to Muslim Statehood, (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 28-29.
  9. He was a high court judge and later a member of the Privy Council. He was also decorated with a knighthood.
  10. For Iqbal’s thought on nationalism, see Zafar Ishaq Ansari, “Iqbal and Nationalism,” Iqbal Review, Vol. 2, No. 1 (April 1960), pp. 51-89.
  11. See S. A. Vahid, Thoughts and Reflections of Iqbal, (Lahore: Ashraf, 1964), p. 396.
  12. On this question, see Sharif al-Mujahid, “Muslim Nationalism,” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Vol.2, No. 1 (July 1985), pp. 29-40.
  13. Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, (New Delhi: Kitab Bhaban, 1981), p. 159.
  14. Khalifah Abdul Hakim, “Renaissance in Indo-Pakistan: Iqbal,” M. M. Sharif, A History of Muslim Philosophy, (Wiesbaden, Germany: Otto Harrassowitz, 1966), pp.1614-1633. 
  15. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “Two Separate Nations in India: Jinnah’s Elucidation, 1940,” in Sharif al-Mujahid, Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah: Studies in Interpretation, (Karachi: Quaid-i-Azam Academy, 1981), pp. 492-493.
  16. Ishtiaq H. Qureshi, The Struggle for Pakistan, (Karachi: Karachi University Press, 1965), p. 16.
  17. Quoted in Golam Wahed Choudhury, Constitution Development in Pakistan, (London: Longman, 1959), pp. 63-64.
  18. See Saleena Karim, Secular Jinnah and Pakistan, (Karachi: Paramount Publishing, 2010).
  19. See, Akbar Ahmad, Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic Identity: The Search for Saladin, (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 192-194.
  20. The resolution was opposed by the reminiscent of INC which opposed to the idea of Pakistan. 
  21. Choudhury, Constitution Development in Pakistan, p. 65.
  22. Choudhury, Constitution Development in Pakistan, pp. 51-53.
  23. Quoted in Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: Jama’at-I Islami of Pakistan,(London: I. B. Tauris, 1994), p. 117.
  24. Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: Jama’at-I Islami of Pakistan, pp.174-175.
  25. Nasr, The Vanguard of the Islamic Revolution: Jama’at-I Islami of Pakistan, p. 70.
  26. On this subject, see Ralph Braibanti, “Cornelius of Pakistan: Catholic Chief Justice of a Muslim State,” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 10, No. 2 (1999).
  27. Muhammad Asad, The Principles of State and Government in Islam, (Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1980). 
  28. See Khalid B. Sayeed, Politics in Pakistan: The Nature and Direction of Change, (New York: Praeger, 1980), pp. 32-46.
  29. In Pakistan the military are blamed for the country’s political mess, but facts suggest that the military were brought into politics by the civil bureaucracy and were supported by the judiciary and then many civilian politicians ganged up with the civil and military bureaucracy to create space in future politics of the country. A good evidence for this is found in a letter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who wrote to Iskandar Ali Khan Mirza on April 1958 saying. “I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you of my imperishable and devoted loyalty to you. Exactly four months before the death of my late Father, he had advised me to remain steadfastly loyal to you; as you were ‘not an individual but an institution.’ For the greater good of my own country I feel that your services to Pakistan are indispensable. When the history of this country is written by objective historians, your name will be placed even before that of Mr. Jinnah.” 
  30. Sayeed, Politics in Pakistan: The Nature and Direction of Change, pp. 42-51.
  31. See, Muhammad Ayub Khan, Towards a New Pakistan, (Karachi: Department of Films and Publications, Government of Pakistan, 1961)
  32. Ishtiaq H. Qureshi, The Muslim Community of the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent (610-1947), pp. 83-163.
  33. Christine E. Dobbin (ed.), Basic Documents in the Development of Modern India and Pakistan 1835-1947, (London: Van Nostrand, 1970), p. 8
  34. On education in Pakistan see the personal account of the Pakistan educator Ishtiaq H. Qureshi, Education in Pakistan: An Inquiry into Objectives and Achievements, (Kirachi: Ma’ref, 1975).
  35. See his own book on the subject: Fazlur Rahman, New Education in the Making of Pakistan, (London: Cassell, 1953), p. 6.
  36. Ishtiaq H. Qureshi, Perspective of Islam and Pakistan, (Karachi: Ma’ref, 1979), pp. 47-48.
  37. Qureshi, Education in Pakistan, pp. 49-72. It must be recalled that the aim of this education system was to produce civil service officers to help the British administration in the country.
  38. Qureshi, Education in Pakistan, pp. 70-71.
  39. Qureshi, Education in Pakistan, pp. 45-62.
  40. Qureshi, Education in Pakistan, pp. 122-144.
  41. The author quotes one bureaucrat as saying to him: ‘We should first satisfy the hunger of the poor, luxuries like education will come later.’ Qureshi, Education in Pakistan, p. 218. Another bureaucrat suggested abolishing the departments of Arabic and Persian in order to overcome the university’s financial burden. See Qureshi, Education in Pakistan, p. 225.
  42. This has been highlighted well in Farzana Shaikh, Making sense of Pakistan, (London: Hurst, 2009).
  43. Ali Nawaz Memon, Pakistan: Islamic Nation in Crisis, (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 1997). 
  44. Pakistan’s disintegration was caused not due to domestic developments but there was a role of foreign powers also. For details see, Srinath Raghavan, 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh, (Cambridge, MA; Harvard University Press, 2013).
  45. Pakistan was constituted of Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Province, Western Punjab and Sind in the western part and East Bengal in eastern part of the British India.
  46. According to one report, nine years after the creation of Pakistan, only 51 top-level policy-making positions were occupied by Bengalis in the central government, out of a total 741 such positions, while 98 percent of the military officers came from Western Pakistan. See Nasir Islam, “Islam and National Identity: The Case of Pakistan and Bangladesh,” International Journal of the Middle East Studies, Vol. 13, (1981), p. 63. It is noteworthy that the Bengali-speaking Muslims of East Bengal sacrificed a number 
    of their Constituent Assembly seats to Urdu-speaking Muslims including that of Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan in the 1946 elections. On the discrepancy between the two wings of Pakistan, see a contemporary account by Raunaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration , (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972). 
  47. Followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who claimed to be a prophet. 
  48. See Sayeed, Politics in Pakistan: The Nature and Direction of Change, pp. 157-164.
  49. “The Future Still Centers on the General Zia,” Arabia, (April 1985), Vol. 17. 
  50. See, Zahid Hussain, Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam, (London: T.B. Tauris, 2007).
  51. Quoted in Tahir Amin, Ethno-National Movements of Pakistan, (Islamabad: Institute of Policy Studies, 1988), pp.171-172.
  52. Amin, Ethno-National Movements of Pakistan, pp. 171-172.
  53. Interestingly one British diplomat while analyzing this period of Pakistan’s history came up with the recommendation that Pakistan be left on Pakistanis. See Hilary Synnott, Transforming Pakistan: Ways Out of Instability, (London: IISS, 2009), p. 153. 
  54. Taher-ul-Qadri, who lives in Canada, with his organization Minhaj-l-Qur’an represents a Turkish Gülen type institution in Pakistan. For more information see, “The Back Story to Imran Khan’s Dharna,” Pakistan Today, (July 26, 2016), retrieved from 
  55. On this subject, see Alastair Lamb, Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy 1846-1990, (Hertfordshire: Roxford Books, 1991).
  56. See, “White Paper on Elections in Kashmir,” The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Sri Nagar, Kashmir, retrieved April 8, 2010 from
  57. See, “Simla Agreement,” (July 2, 1972), retrieved from
  58. See, “Simla Agreement.” 
  59. See, “Terrorists Operating in Kashmir: Zardari,” Rediff, (October 5, 2008), retrieved from
  60. See, Kazim Alam, “Post-Partition: India Still Owes Pakistan a Little Over Rs5.6b, Says State Bank,” The Express Tribune, (July 16, 2014), retrieved from 
  61. The Soviet Union has cast vetoes in 1957 and 1962 on Kashmir and in 3 vetoes in 1971 to support India’s war against Pakistan. See, Rakesh Krishnan Simha, “Veto No.100: How Russia Blocked the West on Kashmir,” Russia Beyond,(November 1, 2016), retrieved from; and Sarjana Singh, “Watch the Epic Moment When Soviet Used Veto in UN to Support India in 1971 Indo-Pak War,” Storypick, (July 23, 2015), retrieved from
  62. See, Srinath Raghavan, 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013).
  63. See, “Obama Mulls Clinton Special Envoy, Kashmir,” Now Public, retrieved September 4, 2011, from
  64. “Kashmir Is a Bilateral Issue, Says Pranab,” Hindustan Times, (November 8, 2008), retrieved from
  65. See, Laura Rozen, “India’s Stealth Lobbying against Holbrooke’s Brief,” Foreign Policy, (January 24, 2009), retrieved from 
  66. See, Christophe Jaffrelot, “Pakistan: The Interface State,” in Christophe Jaffrelot (ed.), Pakistan at the Crossroads: Domestic Dynamics and External Pressures, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016). 
  67. Richard N. Haass, “The Pakistan Conundrum,” Project Syndicate, (January 12, 2018), retrieved from
  68. See note 6. The italic emphasizes the point.
  69. Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).

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