Interpreting Ethnic Movements in Pakistan (Communication)

Soofia Mumtaz


My difficulties with this paper relate primarily to the
methodology. Professor Christophe Jaffrelot has chosen to omit the
section on Kashmir that figured in the version first presented at the
Fourteenth Annual General Meeting, of the Pakistan Society of
Development Economists. The omission reinforces the exception I have to
the approach. In my comments therefore, I will include some
inter-related, and overlapping dimensions of the subject addressed, the
exclusion of which, to my mind, hampers an holistic analysis. I will
draw attention to the ‘role of Islam’ in Indian Muslim politics before
partition, and the question of national identity since the creation of
Pakistan. I will also highlight some of the features of the phenomenon
of ethnicity itself that help explain the dynamics of the nature,
content, and process of identity formation, and hence, an understanding
of the mechanics of the identity that became pertinent during the
Pakistan Movement. Similarly, I will comment on the ethnic expressions
(that have been defined and re-defined) within the national context
since the creation of Pakistan.

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