8/24/10

National Integration of Pakistan



National Integration in the case of Pakistan cannot mean creating ethnic or national homogeneity throughout the country. It can only mean establishing a common citizenry, common political and social structures, a common state, and an additional sense of identity of belonging together. It means building commonality on top of the existing diversity, and not substituting an artificial new identity for the old ones. This process is not impossible. However, it would take some generations. It is a slow but continuous process. According M Nazarul Islam, author of “Pakistan a Study in National Integration”, the crisis of national integration has been particularly severe and the growing divisive forces and secessionist tendencies have threatened the federal structure itself.

Due to constant failure of nation building and national integration it is very difficult to transform the masses into a citizenry. The people have been mere onlookers to politics. Sometimes they identify with specific politics or politicians, but this often was hardly more than an audience applauding a cricket team as it was to identify with someone else, not being actor oneself.

The state was captured by small band of corrupt political elite, which persistently tried to exclude any competitors. Since the ruling elite mostly consisted of feudal lords, industrialists, generals and mullahs, and their ‘people’ in the civilian and military bureaucracy. This created a sense of exclusion for the rest of Pakistanis. In contrast, the tribal leaders and rural landowners smaller belonging to smaller provinces perceived their respective exclusion in ethnic rather than political terms. This ethnic/national group has little economic power and is under-represented in the political and bureaucratic elite.

A combination of excessive corruption and pathetic under-performance of the state institutions today characterize Pakistan. Both the development of the economy and stable political conditions are being undercut by these factors. The police and the legal system, the bureaucracy, the political and religious class are shamefully corrupt, more interested in enriching themselves individually, than serving with the sense of responsibility or development of the country. Since these state structures represent the state to the citizenry, people tend to become cynical and alienated from politics and the state. This literally implies alienation from Pakistan.

The political elite (including army, politicians, feudal lords, mullahs and bureaucrats) is depending less on achievement, economic efficiency and good governance than on extracting resources from other classes by using political power or traditional, tribal or rural power structures. This class is mostly rent seeking, and perceives the state as providing security and perks.

The question still remains unresolved whether Pakistan is a collection of communities or is it a unified nation? Is Pakistan a geographic nation state or is it a Islamic polity? The sharp polarity on the issue of national integration has become the characteristics of Pakistan polity and society.

   

13 comments:

filpaki said... [Reply]

Candid!

ReeBz said... [Reply]

Well said. Thumbs up!

azfar said... [Reply]

Very analytical article actually. Just want to add that religion is no answer for national integration. There was a same religion in East and West Pakistan but this element could not prevent the disintegration.

Dia said... [Reply]

flo...
Very well written article. Good work!

Btw did u read that article i mailed u?)

floydian said... [Reply]

@ filpaki and ReeBz
Thanks for liking. Really appreciate :)

@ Azfar
Thanks man. I see you have a valid point.

@ Dia
Humbled by your gratifying comments. (Yep open your inbox...)

Asim said... [Reply]

@floydian
Very nice presentation but in order to achieve national integration and strong sense of unity it is inevitable to create at least 16 or 17 provinces in Pakistan on an urgent basis.

qasim dharamsy said... [Reply]

@Asim

your idea is totally against the unity of pakistan...we dont need further division wt we need is to get rid of corrupt people in the hierarchy.

Emaan said... [Reply]

What we need to induce in the people of this country ... top-down and bottom-up ... is trust, justice, a humble and progressive attitude. And before all this, what urgently needs to be done is to savagely strip off this thick coat of arrogance and material superiority over one another.

p.s. well-worded article.

floydian said... [Reply]

@Emaan

Spot on. Thanx for your views.

Sudheer Birodkar said... [Reply]

Well put.

Sana Tariq said... [Reply]

I agree with Emaan. We the people make Pakistan and therefore the corrupt elite class are not foreigners rather they belong to us. So first we need to change ourselves individually and then collectively. Anyhow, very fine writing floydian.

Yaldaram said... [Reply]

@Asim
I have to agree with you. In idealistic terms in a federal polity, the federating units should be equal in population as far as possible. It also include equality in area and resources so that there is no fear of anyone unit or province dominating the other.

Nadeem said... [Reply]

nice your site thanks for sharing love you all team good work keep it up

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