A major challenge Pakistan has been confronted with since it came into existence is the self-assertion of various ethnic groups, which have actively contested the legitimacy of the state structure. However, despite the seriousness of this ethnic challenge, there exists no detailed study of these movements, Politics of Identity fills this vacuum.
Ethnic nationalism, the author argues, is a political issue and is essentially a struggle for power between dominant and non-dominant groups. Highlighting the role the state plays in the lives of individuals, the book:
– studies both the pre-colonial and colonial state system in India and the changes it effected until India’s independence and the creation of Pakistan;
– assesses the state in Pakistan and explains its role in giving rise to ethnic discontent;
– studies four ethnic movements – Pukhtun, Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir – demonstrating how their proximity to or distance from state power have influenced their politics.
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