The Pakistani case is unique in many ways, but two in particular must behighlighted at the outset. First, Pakistani nationalism conforms to the thesisof a transition from developmental to cultural nationalism only weakly,especially when compared with India, largely because the issue of religiousidentity already predominated at independence, even though Pakistaninationalism was also a response to imperialism. While the Muslim nationalistmovement which gathered pace in the 1940s was predicated to a large degreeon the assumption that the development—economic and social—of IndianMuslims could proceed neither under colonialism nor under ‘Hindudomination’, it would be fair to say that issues of development and povertywere nowhere as central to the nationalist agenda of the Muslim League asthey were to that of Congress. Jinnah himself did not show much interest indiscussing or devising an economic programme; nor did he seem particularlyexercised by the overwhelming question of Muslim poverty or unemploy-ment.
This may explain why clear developmental concerns took so long toemerge in Pakistan, as they ﬁnally did under the military administration of General Ayub Khan (1958–69). Even then, it is worth noting that the‘cultural’ question that has remained at the heart of Pakistani nationalism— that is, the relationship between ‘being Muslim’ and ‘being Pakistani’—wasnever completely overshadowed by Ayub’s brand of ‘developmental’nationalism.Second, quite apart from the weakness of Pakistan’s developmentalism, itscultural nationalism went through two distinct phases. While the ﬁrst,Islamisation, was a state-directed phenomenon and, like cultural national-isms elsewhere, focused inwards in search of the putative ‘core’ of ‘nationalculture’, strengthening the state, the second, shariatisation, focused out-wards and articulated an international, indeed global, discourse—that of political Islam. This transition is rooted in a profound irony: despite thecentrality of cultural and religious identity to Pakistani nationalism,Pakistan’s national cultural identity was weak from the outset. This meantthat cultural resources of legitimacy tended to be drawn from necessarilyglobal Islamic discourses rather than from any national cultural resource,even during the struggle for independence and in the early years of independence. And, of course, this tendency has been the stronger sincethe 1980s as cultural nationalism came into its own. For most of Pakistan’shistory discourses of Islamic identity remained nationalist. However, whennew groups dedicated to the enforcement of the
(Islamic law) emergedto transform the debate about Pakistan’s Muslim identity by invoking a newtransnational or international or global version of Islam that appeared toshow little or no regard for the territorial boundaries of the nation-state,
they added a novel element, making its classiﬁcation as a ‘culturalnationalism’ paradoxical, if not impossible. Pakistani cultural nationalismseemed to be making a transition into a globalism. This course of development of Pakistan’s cultural nationalism was intimately connectedwith its international role: in the USA’s anti-Soviet operations in Afghani-stan, which increased the presence of Wahhabi Islam in Pakistan; in the re-orientation of the Pakistani economy and its ‘political economy of defence’
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