South Asian Studies, Vol 37, No 1 (2022)

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Nation-Building Process of Pakistan: Traditional and Non-Traditional Challenges

A. Z. Hilali


“Nation-building or State-building” has been a 20th century highly complex and controversial concept which taking again center-stage in the post-Cold War era. The idea has generated much heated debate in the world as well as in the academic circles. The notion is a process of constructing or structuring a unification of the people within the state through the state power which can be politically and economically stable and viable in the long run. In the past „nation-building‟ or „state-building‟ approach emphasizes on cultural identity for the newly established „nation-states‟ which lead to self-determination. However, in the contemporary modern world, it is process whereby a diverse society with different languages, cultures and religions come together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation. In this regard, Pakistan is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious state where people have less amount of commonality of interests, goals and preferences. It is extremely unlikely that different linguistic communities will agree on the definition of „nation‟. Its complexity and fragility is the product of deep rooted political and economic factors which are the main threats to its domestic security and stability. It is also fact that religion and external threats are no more viable reason for the state and regime survival. So, the guardians of the state remain failed to succeed in „nationbuilding‟ process which is still the biggest challenge to the country‟s solidarity. Modern scholars have views that nation-building cannot complete without economic development, modernization and democratization. Thus, the state is the political regime that operates within an existing nation or nations. It is the role of the state to bring together disparate national communities into a stable political regime. Nonetheless, the model of democratization, expansion of federal structure, economic growth and stable political institutions recognize as the formula of success and this is the only way of nation-building or national integration

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