Taj Hashmi


Pakistan has been full of surprises since its inception. Although contrary to Jawaharlal Nehru’s predictions, Pakistan did not disintegrate and merge with India “six months” after its emergence, but within twenty-five years of its existence, it lost its eastern wing (East Pakistan), which emerged as Bangladesh; and within another two decades, the country became one of the most ungovernable and dangerous places in the world. In view of its checkered history of unpleasant surprises for the country itself, its neighbors and others, one can take unpredictability as the main variable for Pakistan. The country went through thirty-two years of military rule and other thirty-odd years of authoritarian, oligarchic democracy, a democratically elected government completed its full-term and was succeeded by another in May 2013 in its history. One may assume that Pakistan will functionally remain a democracy, albeit under the waning influence of the military and “feudal” aristocracy. Whether Pakistan remains an Islamic “garrison state”, a civilian “illiberal democracy”, or transforms itself into a liberal democracy in the coming years are important questions today. However, it appears that in the coming years the Pak-US relationship will remain as awkward and unpredictable as it has been since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Pakistan’s identity crisis – “the mother of all conflicts”, to one scholar – is reflected in the state-sponsored Islamization process and the country’s hovering between civilian and military rule.


Pakistan, Islamization, Jihad, Militancy, Jamaat-i-Islami, Tehrik-E-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-E-Taiba And Mumbai Attacks

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Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
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