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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Report: Pakistan's Ideological Blowback - Shibil Siddiqi - FPIF

Nevertheless, a consensus on opposition to the Taliban and a reorientation of the state will prove difficult given a Pakistani polity that is increasingly fragmented along political, class, ethnic, sectarian, religious, and urban/rural lines. But "initiating a sustained dialogue on the political issues of who we [Pakistanis] are, where we have come from and where we want to go is crucial." 24 In the words of one Pakistani analyst, "It's a question of Pakistan's identity. Was [Pakistan] created for Islam? This kind of confusion is a threat to Pakistan's existence as a nation state."
The crisis in Pakistan is not simply political or military. It involves ideas and identity.

Shibil Siddiqi is a Gordon Global Fellow with the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation in Toronto. His research interests focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan, countries where he has lived and worked extensively. He has presented research briefs on South Asia at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Afghanistan Taskforce at Foreign Affairs in Canada. He is a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.

[thanks SR]


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