ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Issues Related to Pakistan

Apropos to the article “Desecularisation as an Instituted Process: National Identity and Religious Difference in Pakistan” by Sadia Saeed (EPW, 14 December 2013), I agree with the author when she writes, “Political secularism as state ideology has been virtually absent throughout Pakistan’s history”. This article provides a good insight into the problems faced by Pakistan since its independence and more so now.

From the day of its formation Pakistan did not have political stability which led the army to oust the elected representatives several times in its history. The army has often shored its power by resorting to anti-India slogans and encouraging fundamentalism, a tendency which was entrenched during Zia-ul-Haq’s rule. The author may be quoted in this regard, “Zia-ul-Haq regime (1977-88), saw the promulgation of a number of laws, such as the Blasphemy laws and the Hudood ordinances”. Even a popularly elected civilian president like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to power in 1971 following an election campaign celebrating “Islamic socia­lism” as he knew that such slogans would facilitate his electoral victory.

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