In This Review

Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation
Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation
Edited by Christophe Jaffrelot
Zed Books, 2002, 352 pp.

These are thoughtful essays on the problems that Pakistan has had in achieving a coherent national identity and becoming a stable nation. The initial rationale for separating Pakistan from India was the presumed need to provide a homeland for the otherwise minority Muslims in an overwhelmingly Hindu India. But Muslim identity was never sufficient to make Pakistan into a well-functioning nation; Islam is central to far too many other countries to be the exclusive basis of Pakistan's sense of national identity. Over time, hostility toward India also proved inadequate as a unifying force. The inescapable fact is that Pakistanis are divided not only by different variations of Islam but also by a host of other ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and social differences.