The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan
The Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir Ethnic Movements
Routledge – 2012 – 152 pages
In order to understand the Pakistani state and government’s treatment of non-dominant ethnic groups after the failure of the military operation in East Pakistan and the independence of Bangladesh, this book looks at the ethnic movements that were subject to a military operation after 1971: the Baloch in the 1970s, the Sindhis in the 1980s and Mohajirs in the 1990s.
The book critically evaluates the literature on ethnicity and nationalism by taking nationalist ideology and the political divisions which it generates within ethnic groups as essential in estimating ethnic movements. It goes on to challenge the modernist argument that nationalism is only relevant to modern-industrialised socio-economic settings. The available evidence from Pakistan makes clear that ethnic movements emanate from three distinct socio-economic realms: tribal (Baloch), rural (Sindh) and urban (Mohajir), and the book looks at the implications that this has, as well as how further arguments could be advanced about the relevance of ethnic movements and politics in the Third World.
It provides academics and researchers with background knowledge of how the Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir ethnic conflict in Pakistan took shape in a historical context as well as probable future scenarios of the relationship between the Pakistani state and government, and ethnic groups and movements.
"[This book] provides for a stimulating discussion on ethno-nationalism and state policy towards diversity and is therefore a welcome addition to the literature on ethno-nationalism in Pakistan. Siddiqui’s work offers a coherent synthesis on three of Pakistan’s major ethnic movements and their relationship with the state…The book provides useful perspectives on an issue that has been the source of violent conflict in Pakistan" - Julien Levesque; South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 2013.
"[Siddiqi's] book is recommended to anybody interested in Pakistan’s ethnic politics." - Mehtab Ali Shah; Economic & Political Weekly, December 1, 2012 vol XLVII nos 47 & 48
"A welcome addition to the scholarly work on ethnicity in Pakistan. It has the merit of bringing the recent developments in the Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir up-to-date and will, hopefully, inspire more research on these promising areas." - Dr Tariq Rahman; The News on Sunday (June 2013)
1. Introduction 2. The State and Politics of Ethnicity: Theoretical Overview 3. The State and Politics of Ethnicity in Post-1971 Pakistan 4. Balochistan: Ethnic Politics in a Tribal Setting 5. Sindh: Ethnic Politics in a Rural Setting 6. The Mohajirs: Ethnic Politics in an Urban Setting 7. Conclusion
Farhan Hanif Siddiqi is Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations at the University of Karachi, Pakistan. He specialises in theories of nationalism and ethnicity, ethnic conflict and ethnic movements in Pakistan.