This study offers a detailed analysis of the problems which have beset Pakistan's nation-building enterprise since its birth in 1947. It explores why authoritarianism has prevailed over attempts to establish democracy and how foundational flaws and socio-political obstacles continue to obstruct the path to representative politics and national integration. In his close reading of government strategies from 1947 to the present, Ian Talbot explores the "second partition" of 1971 (the establishment of Bangladesh), the intricacies Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's fall from power, the Islamic dictatorship of General Zia ul-Haq and the collapse of Benazir Bhutto's two governments, underlining their implications for the country's future and pointing to the key issues which need to be addressed if stability is to be achieved.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The historical inheritance: Pakistan - land society and economy; colonial rule, authoritarianism and regional history in North-West India; the Pakistan Movement - its dynamics and legacies; picking up the pieces - Pakistan 1947-49. Part 2 The destruction of Pakistan's democracy and unity: the destruction of democracy in Pakistan; Solon amongst the subalterns; things fall apart. Part 3 From Bhutto to Zia: people's power - hopes and impediments; Islam changes everything?. Part 4 Ever decreasing circles - Pakistan politics 1988-97: democracy restored?; Pakistan politics 1988-93; democracy in crisis - Pakistan politics 1993-7.
Ian Talbot isProfessor of History at Southampton University, one of Europe's leading historians of South Asia, and the author of many books on the sub-continent.