AbstractPakistan is a striving nation-stateand it is struggling to attain national identity. It is not a failed state and itis transforming to achieve development and growth. This paper is a quantitativeresearch paper so with the assistance of the primary source this studyinspects, why Pakistan is a struggling nation-state, the political system ofPakistan and strategies to become a stable nation-state. Since independencePakistan has faced many serious problems. The interference of the military inpolitics, corrupt political leaders, wars and conflicts with India has putPakistan in a bad situation.
There is great need of legitimate leaders andnational pride in the country.Keywords: Nation-state, Pakistan, Struggling,Transforming, Stable nation-state, Political system. IntroductionThe nation-state is a system oforganization in which people with a collective identity live inside a countrywith firm borders and a single government. To protect the rights of Muslims inthe subcontinent Pakistan was created as a result.
Since its inception, Pakistanhas faced many problems like losing east Pakistan, facing corrupt politicians,a hegemonic armed force, a wiped out ?nancial framework. These all problemspushed Pakistan into extreme poverty and Islamist extremism. Pakistan has beenstruggling to attain a steady political system. This work describes thatPakistan is a developing state and asserts against the idea of Pakistan being afailed state. Moreover, Pakistan is a struggling nation-state, a state strivingto attain national identity and it is transforming to achieve development andgrowth. Many other researchers have also worked on the topic of Nation-statelike Farah Jan’s research paper “Pakistan:A Struggling Nation-State” which focuses on the struggles Pakistan isfacing since its independence. Anarticle by Jochen Hippler “Problems ofDemocracy and Nation-Building in Pakistan” tells us about the problems ofnation-building in Pakistan. An article by Nate Barton “How the French Revolution affected the development of nation states” describeshow countries in the past achieved the status of a nation-state with the helpof nationalism.
The article of Sidra Jamil Bajwa “Democracy that Pakistan struggles for” tells us the problems in thepolitical system of Pakistan. And Anthony C. Pick’s research paper “The Nation State” describes the conceptof nation-state and recommendations for the development of a nation-state. Sothe main objective of this paper is to focus on the different aspects ofPakistan’s struggles and describe its recent gains. The scope of this paper isthat it will put a further light on the issues Pakistan is facing or had facedand help people to balance it.
The following are the research questions of thispaper.· WhyPakistan is a struggling nation-state?· Isthe political system of Pakistan good enough to maintain a stable nation-state?· Whatare the recommendations for Pakistan to function as a stable nation-state? Literature ReviewThe political history of Pakistan isan evidence for its struggles. Since its independence Pakistan has gone througha struggling process of nation-building and Pakistan is still struggling tocontrol and nourish its political and economic institutions. The politicalhistory includes four military regimes, three and half decades of dictatorshipand three major wars with India. In the beginning citizens were not allowed to interferein public policy making instead regular military interventions in politics wasat peak. For the Pakistani nationmilitary became an alternative.
Then the army never gave up the right offorcing martial law whenever it wished. But then since 2007 the politicalsphere of Pakistan shifted towards a positive direction. Such as the 2008elections, this led to the creation of a coalition government. “Many liberal democracies of today have gonethrough a period of fragility and vulnerability in their course of becomingdemocratic” (Jan, Pakistan: A StrugglingNation-State, p 247).The process of democratization takes a lot of time.For example countries like United States and United Kingdom faced manydifficulties while achieving democratization. So Pakistan has barely existedfor sixty five years, its nation is still transforming and it will take time tobecome a stable nation-state.
“Another quandary of Pakistan is the nationitself, which is fond of experimentation” (Bajwa, Democracy that Pakistan strugglesfor, P1).Time and again the people of Pakistan or nation always trust newpoliticians and hope for a revolution. There is evidence from the past that howbadly the nation has been taken lead of and utilized for the means of corruptPolitical leaders in the name of revolution. When the founder of PakistanMuhammad Ai Jinnah introduced the Two-Nation-Theory.
“As a result, whenPakistan came into existence, it consisted of a wide variety of “ethnic” andlinguistic groups and subgroups, which had very little in common besides beingMuslim” (Hippler, Problems of Democracyand Nation-Building in Pakistan, P1). Having no common traits in a nationcan never help in maintaining a stable nation-state. A nation should alwaysshare cultural traits such as, religion, language, history and traditions.
Theproblem of Pakistan is that there are many languages and cultures with littlecommon traits. Due to which many conflicts and problems arise. This is a bigreason that Pakistan is a striving nation-state and has been not able to attainpeace and prosperity.Strong military establishment incountries with the working of democracy overtime reduced the powers of themilitary establishment from authoritarian rule. The future of Pakistan’sdemocracy union lies in the procedure itself. “The main challenge for thecurrent government is to assert its authority over the army, while avoidingdirect confrontation with the military establishment” (Jan, Pakistan: AStruggling Nation-State, p 250).It is important for Pakistan to establish apolitical system in which it should maintain and declare its power over themilitary establishments and should keep away from any kind of conflict or clashwith the military establishments to maintain a stable nation-state.
“Pakistan’sproblem is that its politics is a puppet of the upper class” (Bajwa, Democracy that Pakistan struggles for, P1).Inthe political hierarchy of Pakistan not even a single politician belongs to themiddle class. Most of the politicians are feudal lords and big businesstycoons. The political elites of Pakistan only struggle for democracy to savetheir own houses. This kind of politics keeps the country away from maintaininga stable nation-state.
“The first requirement of any societyis peace and order, and the only way to bring that about is to possess a rulerwho is generally accepted as legitimate” (Pick, The Nation State, P37). A Legitimate and true leader can settlecontroversies and validate laws by which controversies or problems can besettled without any judgment. So it is important for a nation to have a trueleader who struggles and fights for the rights or means of the nation. It isalso important to promote nationalism in the country. Because many countries inthe world attained the status of nation-state with the help of nationalism.”The spread of nation states was directly impacted by the spread of popularnationalism” (Barton, How the FrenchRevolution affected the development of nation state, P1). National pride of people allowed states tostart to function with increased unity and strength at the time of the Frenchrevolution. To maintain a better nation-state the military establishment shouldnot interfere in the politics of the country because this will lead toconflicts and wars.
Many geographers explain that for a country to work orfunction as a Nation-state It must have defensible borders and the masses ofthe country must have common few foundational values, attitudes and beliefs. MethodologyThe nature of this research paper isquantitative. Questionnaires were distributed among the students of FormanChristian College, Lahore. The contentof the questionnaire was focused on finding out student’s views, opinion andknowledge about Pakistan as a striving nation-state.
The inquiries asked in thesurvey specifically address the research questions of this paper. Result & FindingsThe results of the carried out surveyto look into student’s perceptions of Pakistan as a striving nation-sate issummarized. Closed-Ended questions were asked in the questionnaire and therewere a total of 10 questions in the questionnaire.
The survey was carried outfrom 10 students. 6 out of 10 students thought that Pakistan can become astable nation-state in the future. 3 out of 10 students agreed that themilitary should interfere in the politics of Pakistan. 2 students agreed thatthere is complete national pride and nationalism in the people of Pakistan. 5students thought that the political system of Pakistan is good enough tomaintain a stable nation-state.
6 out of 10 students agreed that there arelegitimate leaders in Pakistan. 5 students agreed that there are commonfoundational values, attitudes and beliefs among the people of Pakistan. 7 outof 10 students thought that Pakistan has defensible borders. 8 students agreedthat the wars and conflicts with India effected Pakistan’s status of being anation-state. 6 out of 10 students thought that the people of Pakistan shouldtrust new political leaders in the name of revolution. None of the studentsthought that Pakistan is a failed state.
DiscussionAll questions of the questionnaireexamine students about their opinion on Pakistan a striving nation-state. Somestudents thought that Pakistan can become a stable nation-state in the futurebecause they thought that Pakistan is a state striving to attain nationalidentity and it is transforming and working hard to achieve development andgrowth. Many students thought that the military should not interfere in thepolitics of Pakistan because history is evidence that whenever the militaryestablishments tried to interfere in politics many conflicts and problems cameinto existence which pushed Pakistan in a bad condition. Many students disagreed that there is complete national pride or nationalism among the people ofPakistan because they thought that the many people in Pakistan are involved infreedom movements like in Balochistan. And many people are not happy with thebad situations of the country and political leaders involved in malpractices.Five students did not agree that the political system in Pakistan is goodenough to maintain a stable nation-state because majority of the politicians inthe country are from upper class and they always struggle for their own meannot for the nation.
True and legitimate leaders should be given chance that iswhy they were not in the favor of the political system in Pakistan. Manystudents thought that there are true and legitimate leaders in Pakistan whichcan change Pakistan in future if given chance like the Chairman of PakistanTehreek-e-Insaf Imran khan. Five students did not agree that there are commonfoundational values, attitudes and beliefs among the people of Pakistan becausethere are many different languages and cultures in Pakistan.
Few studentsbelieved that Pakistan has defensible borders. A large number of studentsagreed that the wars and conflicts with India effected Pakistan’s status ofbeing a nation-state because they believed that wars and conflicts result inmany serious problems. Some students thought that the people of Pakistan shouldnot trust new political leaders in the name of revolution because in the pastwhenever people selected new leaders they did nothing in the future.
All thestudents agreed that Pakistan is not a failed state but it is transforming andimproving to become a nation-state. The conducted survey tells us that thestudents believed that Pakistan is facing many problems since its independencebut it is a striving nation-state and it is transforming to become a stablenation-state in the future. ConclusionSince independence Pakistan has facedmany problems and it is a state striving to attain national identity and it is transformingto achieve development and growth. It is a struggling nation-state but not afailed state. Military establishment’s interference in politics and corruptpolitical leaders has pushed Pakistan into a bad position. A variety of ethnicand subgroups, which have very little in common besides being Muslim is also amain problem for Pakistan to become a stable nation-state. There is need ofnationalism and national pride in the people of Pakistan.
And there is alsoneed of legitimate leaders in the country to work for the betterment of thepeople. Pakistan is a struggling nation-state and its nation is stilltransforming and it will take time to become a stable nation-state.