Lahore School of Economics

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Ideological Controversies in Pakistan

Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS, Lahore

Was Pakistan meant to be a Muslim-majority national state or an Islamic state? This overarching question captures the spectrum along which different models of the state have been presented in Pakistani discussions since its inception in August 1947. Most states in the modern period, including those of Africa and Asia that emerged after WW II, are pragmatic in their orientation but Pakistan , Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, North Korea are ideological states. Ideological states invariably distinguish between the primary nation and others and adopt constitutionally differentiated citizenship as the basis for the distribution of rights.

The paper will examine the differentiated citizenship that the Pakistani state has devised historically and probe why the inclusive, democratic content of citizenship has been eclipsed by majoritarian and exclusive ones. It will also advance an argument for a secular state as reconcilable with the Muslim identity of Pakistan.

About the presenter:

Visiting Professor, LUMS, Pakistan; Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; and Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. Latest publications: Winner of the Best Non-Fiction Book award at the Karachi Literature Festival: The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed), Oxford, 2012; and, Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011), Oxford, 2013. He can be reached at:

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4/04/2014 11:30:00 AM,

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