The struggle lunched by all Indian Muslims under the inspiring leadership of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for a separate homeland in South Asia was crowned with success. But unfortunately, Pakistan began its life in extremely adverse circumstances and had to struggle hard for its survival. [i] National building remains a difficult process in Pakistan.
It was the opinion of the Muslims of sub continent that this piece of land would be fulfilled their dreams, but unfortunately the structure of this country a bifurcated state with its two wings separated by 1,600 Km couldn’t draw out their expected result. The country also faced the influx of refugees from India in its initial days. The new state also faced the problems of administrative personnel and material assets along with economic crises which lead un-sustainability to the government. The death of Quaid was another severed blow to the nation. From its inception Pakistan has passed through many political-economic and constitutional problems. The phenomena of Islamic constitution with the needs of modern state, ethnic and provincial tensions, political rivalries and security considerations affecting national development in Pakistan in its early stage. Consequently a civil war started in the country result the loss of East Pakistan in 1971. [ii]
Pakistan has also failed in the establishing of stable effective political system or institutions. During 65 years Pakistan has been governed under 5 constitutions one inherited from the British and its own formations run by various political systems, 4 Martial laws and one civil Martial. [iii]
This continuous political instability led to the catastrophe of disintegration of Pakistan. The terrible result was Bangladish and now it is directed towards other parts of the country. In the past it aggravated the feelings of secessionism and provincialism in Pakistan and till today we are facing a grave problem of national integration. But the real roots of political instability and disintegration lie elsewhere which are to be probed deeply. In this regard we argue that roots of the problem of the national integration in Pakistan lay leadership, consequent policies and the resulting injustice. Every government in Pakistan was under the influence of the three institutional bodies i.e. Constituent Assembly, the Civil Service and the Army. There were other forces such as the landed gentry and several sections of the people in general. [iv]
The Political parties have suffered from regionalism, factionalism and lack of vision. The shifting of power from political to civil military establishment and regional and ethnic forces have threatened national unity. However the struggle for national building was continued and in 1988 the restoration of democracy and peaceful transfer of power to civil government in 1990 and 1993 showed Pakistan interest for political stability. [v]
Pakistan from the very beginning has been confronted with identity crisis. Successive Pakistani regimes never came to a reasonable understanding with the five major ethno-linguistic groups i.e. Bangalis, Sindhis, Baluchis, Punjabs and Pakhtoons. Ethnic and linguistic differences arose in the very beginning of the emergence of Pakistan. [vi] It cannot create ethnic or national homogeneity throughout the country. It only means to establish a common socio-political system, common state, common citizenship and the sense of identity of belonging together. It means building unity on top of the accessible uniformity and not substituting an imitation new identity for the old ones. Due to the regular failure of national building and national integration it was/ is very difficult to convert the masses into one single citizenship. [vii]
The processes of disintegration started in Pakistan first by the question of language. This was one of the major problem that not only became ultimately the decisive cause of disintegration but also gave birth to other problems. The major factors responsible for these severe problems were the attitude of the army and the bureaucracy, who are the direct descendents of the British and were unable to provide an independent nation and democratic government. It was bureaucracy both civil and military, which does not belong to any nationality and any region of Pakistan but it is a supera-nationality and supra regional class. [viii]
My assignment is concerned with the causes of failure of National Integration in Pakistan. The concentration of the entire work is bringing forth only the internal causes of disintegration and to put forward suggestions for integration. Different websites, books articles and research works have been reviewed. Interviews from different stakeholders have been conducted.
Causes of Failure of National Integration in Pakistan
There were/are so many factors which became the causes of failure of national integration in Pakistan. Some of the important factors are as under:
The dynamic process of national integration, generated by the enthusiasm of a separate homeland, was disrupted by the language controversy only after three months of independence. The enthusiasm and the emotions which were shown by the freedom fighters during Pakistan movements cooled down gradually and slowly. In this condition tolerance, patience was very necessary for the country. The lacked of a stable constitution and considering political stability danger for the growth of democracy by the political leaders for their self interest created the feelings of disparity among the masses. The issue started from Educational Conference, held at Karachi on November 1947. Fazlur Rehman, Bengali Minister of Education introduced reforms in educational system, which would dropped Bengalis from all government stationeries, including money order forms, envelopes and postcards, which would be printed only in Urdu and English. Urdu was declared the national language of Pakistan. Tamaddun Majlish and other Bengalis in the conference opposed this decision. [ix] The imposition of Urdu as national language resulted one of the major causes for the loss of East Pakistan.
Bengali was the mother tongue of 54 percent of the people of all Pakistan and 98 percent of East Pakistan. According to the principle of democracy Bengali should have been the first choice as the state language of Pakistan. But the political Elite in Pakistan made all efforts to made Urdu, the mother tongue and a spoken language of only 4 percent of the people of Pakistan, as the only state language. Naturally, the Bengalis reacted very sharply and strongly opposed this decision. [x] The situation became worsted that Quaid visited Dacca and control the situation. But after his death, once again the students of Dacca University as well as Bangali leaguers demanded to declare Bengali as the national Language. Syed Sulaiman Nadvi and Khwaja Nazim ud Din favored Urdu and their statement had fueled the fire. The campaign reached from bad to worse and ultimately the constituent Assembly, discussed a constitutional draft to declared Urdu and Benagli as the official language of the country. The bill was passed by the Assembly in May 1953. [xi]
This decision of the assembly gave courage to other ethnic groups who started agitation for their own concerned and thus in 1970 Sindhis also riots on language issues and was argued that learning of Urdu is simply for national communicational requirements under Urdu-dominated system of the country. [xii]
National language is supposed to unite a country but in Pakistan, national language became the sources of failure of national integration and due it regionalism phenomena up their heads in the country.
There is a direct relationship between bureaucracy and National Integration of Pakistan. Pakistan had inherited its bureaucrat setup from British. After independence people of this country struggling for achieving their objectives, but the bureaucracy in its pursuit of power has contrived to keep the people divided. [xiii]
In Pakistan whatever it was during the military regimes of Ayyub and Yahya or the civilian governments of pre-1958 and Bhutto’s government, the main instrument of formulating and implementing the nation-building policies was the bureaucracy. [xiv]
In Pakistan bureaucracy forced the various regions of the country to stay under the umbrella of one nation but failed to create a sense of nationhood in the society. While they tired their level best for centralize administration and communication in order to maintain the unity of the state but failed. People all over the country feel this deprivation. However the people responded differently in different areas. While attitude of people in different provinces were different toward the bureaucratic setup of the country. The people of Punjab accepted it while in the region like Baluchistan and Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa was critic. The policies of the bureaucracy has helped to build the state but failed to promote national building process. [xv]
Pakistan is one of the bureaucratic states and it’s the most powerful institution in the country. The political parties and weak press have always been under the controlled by bureaucracy and therefore ineffective. Only judiciary has some independence but during Zia regime it was also reduced to the status of a loyal and obedient servant. [xvi]
Democracy is the basic element for national integration unfortunately in Pakistan it always depended on bureaucracy for guidance and help. This dependence would ultimately lead to the rule of bureaucracy. Thus it became the solo power of the country and destroyed constitutional and democratic process. The bureaucrats remain aloof from the masses, and consider them their subjects. All the policy makers whether it was in Ayub khan Government or his Martial Law of the dictatorship of Yahya Khan or in the Bhutto,s civil martial law or the other governments, were bureaucratic in nature. It was because the politicians were incapable to from a policy and to implement it. That’s why bureaucracy has to control the whole nation. It also abrogated the constitution of 1956-62 and also ended the rule of Bhutto, these all were the causes which led the country towards disintegration. [xvii]
There are many causes of the segregation of East Pakistan but the bureaucracy’s role is very important. After 1970 election when bureaucracy interfered in postponed the date of National Assembly meeting rift the national integration.
The bureaucracy in Pakistan has been referred to as a self-sustaining group which is supra regional in character, and thus their nature is in obstacle in the way of national building.
Pakistan is the country with multi ethnic diversity. Different diameter such as religion, language, territory and caste, give birth violent conflicts among different ethnic identities of Pakistan. The issue gave birth after the linguistic movement run by East Pakistanis in 1948.The event which gave rebirth to ethnic identities was the attitude of Bengalis towards Objective Resolution in 1949. Than the attitude of religious leaders towards minority’s rights and especially on the issue of Ahmedies opened ways for minorities to strengthen their status and they demanded more rights for their existence. [xviii] Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflict in Pakistan Political influential of different provinces, who had lost their turfs and were too weak to reinforce their personalities after partition, projected regional sentiments. Sindh Mutthida Mahaz, Jeay Sindh, Baloch Verna, Pakhtun Zalmry and National Awami Party, these parochial parties became active in putting demands on political system of Pakistan for giving them provincial autonomy. [xix]
Central ruling authority intentionally or unintentionally adopted such policies, which widened gap between these groups particularly in East Pakistan. The economic strategies followed by the central government, kept East Pakistan under-developed. The door of the power structure (politico, administrative and military) was closed on the Bengalis on one cause or the other. For example, the Ayub Khan period especially shield an ethnic bias. 22 families controlled 2/3 of Pakistan’s industries assets 70% of insurance companies and 80% of banking most of them belong to West Pakistan. Such economic condition became a major source to create a sense of insecurity among Bengalis, Sheikh Mujeeb put forward his Six-Point Agenda, which was ethnically triggered, politically mobilized and ethnically fuelled, brought serious upheavals. The 1971 election were also failed to overcome the gap between East and West wing. In result East Pakistan became a new state in shape of Bangaladish. [xx]
These centrist identities are in turn challenged by regional/provincial and ethnic identities, that include Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi, Punjabi and since 1980s the Muhajir (refugees from India who came to Pakistan after 1947). There are other identities challenging for identification along with these. They include Saraiki, Makranis and Barohis, Chitralis, Gilgitis and Hazarawals in Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa. [xxi]
Like Bengalis Pukhtoon national movement was launched by former Congress members. They wanted to rename North West Frontier Province as Pukhtoonistan in 1948.Pukhtoon identity has also become an obstacle for Pakistani state identity since the beginning. [xxii] Thus the Pukhtoon issue has an international and regional dimension. Pakistan state in external dimension used religion as a tool of policy that explains Pakistan’s use of Muslim opposition to Soviet interference in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Pakistan’s linkages with the Pukhtoon religious forces started in the 1970s. This mind set is at least to some extent responsible for Pakistan’s support for Taliban in Afghanistan. Which to some extent effect Pukhtoon identity to Talibanization/Islamization. Due to this issue secular Pukhtoon identity that is averting Pakistan from going all out in its declared policy of adhering itself with ‘War against Terrorism’ today.
In 1971 Sindhi ethnic movement was one of the most aware and sound movement of the different identities of Sindhis. The Sindh largest areas such as Karachi and Hyderabad are occupied by non Sindhis. They have the feeling and fairs of becoming a minority in their own province. Most Urdu speaking Muhajar from India after 1947 have chosen these cities to live in. The non Sindhi population have been multiplied various large scale movement of industrial labour from all parts of the country, especially Pukhtoon and Punjabis to the urban centre’s of Sindh. Sindhi also riots in 1970s, when the government of Pakistan Peoples’ Party introduced Sindhi as compulsory language in Sindh schools. This movement was started by Altaf Hussain who added a new aspect to identity politics in Pakistan. It shows has relationship with the Pakistani establishment of both love and hate. A movement of urban middle class, challenge the feudal structure of Pakistani state and society as well as the religious right in urban centers of Sindh. This movement was rejected by Sindhi’s nationalists. [xxiii]
Baluch identity movement has been the most vocal and violent. Pakistani State has used military force on three times 1962, 1973, and 2004 to handle and controlled the violent situation over there. Balochistan got the status of a full province in 1970. So this result the issue of Baluch identity is their smaller number and a very large territory, being the biggest province of Pakistan. They have to compete with Pakistani State on one side and Pukhtoon identity on the other, as they are almost forming 50% percent of Balochistan’s population. Then they sit on enormous resources of energy, thus attracting a lot of international and regional strategic and financial interests. They are tribal and educationally far behind the rest of the ethnicities that make up Pakistan. Their essentially tribal and feudal leadership represents their national aspirations. The Pakistani state has tried to increase its influence and assimilate their identity into the unitary Pakistani identity by using modernization, education and anti-tribalism as slogans. [xxiv]
Inter -ethnic group conflict in Pakistan, has destroyed National Integration and undermine foundations of the state. The inter-tribal conflict in the tribal areas, the Sindhi and non-Sindhi violent conflict in Sindh, Shia-Sunni cruel and regressive activities have become a norm of Pakistani society.
The sectarian war between Shias and Sunnis in Pakistan has deep roots with the objectives of foreign agencies e.g., RAW, KJB and Mosad. This issue has now somewhat amalgamated with all militant groups working in Pakistan in the name of jihad. Available figures indicate that, between January 1989 and May 31, 2005 a total of 1,784 Pakistanis were killed, and another 4,279 injured in 1,866 incidents of sectarian violence and terror across the country. [xxv] It was the Zaia-ul-haq who supported the jehadi and sectarian groups during Afghan war and created uncontrolled monsters, which now rise to consume their own creators. The sectarian and ethnic essentialism that came into its own in organized, militant form during the Zia period, now poses an ever more serious challenge to the state. The spirit of sectarian violence refuses to be bottled and even as President Musharraf advises the people of Pakistan to adopt ‘enlightened moderation’, the country’s tentative quest for a non-discriminatory liberal democracy continues to unravel. Pakistan continues to be caught in the trap of extremist Islamist militancy and terror. [xxvi] Thus sectarian violence is the most vital factor responsible for the poor national integration of the country.
After the emergence, Pakistan has been hostage to provincialism. One of the major demands of East Pakistan in constitutional term was full provincial autonomy in all spheres except Defense and Foreign Affairs. The Basic Principles Committee (BCP), formed in 1949 to determine the basic principles for the Constitution of Pakistan, submitted its blueprint known as the interim report of the BPC on October 7, 1950, but failed to deny adequate autonomy to the provinces. [xxvii] The demands got multiplied with the years, and took a crystalline shape in the Jugto Front’s 21-Points in1954. Interestingly, the key supporter to this point (including Fazlul Haq and Suhrawardy) would later become closely related with the Central government and became the stronger supporter of 1956 constitution in terms of provincial rights, defending that it having 98 %of provincial autonomy. But the progress in terms of national integration made during 1955-58 when the East Pakistani regional elites were accommodated in the structure of power and in decision-making came to be wiped out in the aftermath of Ayub’s ascension to power in October 1958. The imposition of the 1962 constitution, with its principles of central authoritarianism, was obviously irritating to the East Pakistani political elites, and Ayub’s “management” of 1965 elections, resulting in the defeat of Fatima Jinnah, who represented the last hope of a return to democratic politics and an East-West consensus in the middle 1960s, led East Pakistan to a point of no return. The resultant Six-Point charter of survival, set in clamorous strains, was, however, initially a bargaining counter. Even the somewhat justified grumble of the Pukhtun and Baluchi NAP leaders against the Bhutto regime in early 1970s was often cast in provincial terms; so were the grievances of G.M. Syed, Mumtaz Bhutto, Rasul Baksh Palejo, Qadir Magsi and other Sindhi nationalists against the inherently Sindhi-oriented Benazir regimes during 1988-90 and 1993-96, and the Zardari regime 2008-12. [xxviii]
The Baluchi movement for provincial autonomy was a very sever nature because they know that a zone of rich natural resources, characterized by economic backwardness, lack of development and non availability of basic facilities of life would only be achieved after achieving provincial rights. They revolted against the overdeveloped federal state structure and demanded more provincial autonomy. [xxix]
The target killing and the destruction of worse situation in baluchistan was/is out of control. Baluchistan has been an area of special interest for regional and global powers owing to its key strategic position. Every effort made at mass development in this area met with secret fighting from hostile competitors present in the region. The latest insurgency too coincided with the work on mega project of Gwadar port. And lastly, the security agencies of the country see this entire situation in security perspective. While focusing on covert activities of hostile actors in the region, the economic, political and social grievances of the people have been largely ignored. Consequently, the angry youth of Baluchistan fell an easy prey to the nefarious designs of our enemies. Thus the situation has grown complex and requires a holistic approach in order to be improved. [xxx]
Affective leaders make a nation strong, stable and well integrated. They are the real nation builders and their motto is security of a nation and state. The task of national integration is basically the job of the ruling elite. So it’s the politicians, statesmen, the artful manager, whose policies and decisions put great impact on national integration. After independence Muslims league was not the only creator of Pakistan, but also its saviour, the healing balm for the wounds of East Pakistanis and more over the symbol of integrity. But its selfish leadership discouraged Bengalis, although the Muslims League had won 96% seats of the Muslims population. The Muslims league popularity came down sharply due to the lack of development in the standard of life of the common man in East Pakistan. [xxxi]
With the passage of time Muslims League lost its position and in 1954 election, the United Front won majority seats. As the United Front had no political tentacles in West Pakistan, it could not claim a national stature. The absence of political leadership with National out-look retarded the process of national integration. This led to the dismissal of the newly elected Assembly only after two month and imposition of Governor’s rule. The central government for the dismissal of provincial government gave the grounds that it was leading disintegration of the country. [xxxii]
The decision led the country to the brink of disaster. The Bengalis hatred against the Center and West Pakistan, they projected that East Pakistan had been deprived of the democratic government because of the Centered dominated by the West Pakistan bureaucrats and politicians. [xxxiii]
The political process was shaped by four interrelated developments in Pakistan. The first was the failure of the Muslims league as a national democratic party. The the second was highly centralized system. Thirdly Mahajar Punjabi elite’s control over the key posts. Finally regional tension, which is now the basic problem of the country. [xxxiv]
The establishment of one unit also fueled disintegration. The policy makers were and are making policies which favoured a few industrialists, Khans, Choudhris and Waders. Therefore we do not feel any change in the economic condition of the common people and particularly the far flung inhabitants of Baluchistan, Shind, KPK and Punjab. [xxxv]
The quick changes of political governments in Pakistan from its beginning, the changing of loyalties of political leaders for their self interest, imposition of different martial’s, and the formation of various political parties further rifted the political stability and affect the national integration of the country.
Regionalism has also brought about a great block in the way of national harmony and unity.
Last but not the least; socio-economic injustice has created regionalism in the country. The regionalism has separated our parts and divided the united masses and the classes into paltry small assets. It has developed fractions, groups, and sects working for their vested interests. JEAY SINDH and BALOUCH LIBERATION ARMY, LASHKAR-E-JUNGUI, SAPA SAHBA etc want separation from the federation. Thus, the question of national integration remains unsolved and is kept at bottom level.
Besides, there is an environment of promotion of self interests, group interests, faction’s interests, sect’s interests instead of national interests, such as personal development personal accumulation of wealth and recognition. Some talk of Sindhis, Balochis, Pakhtoons and Punjabis instead of Pakistani. Therefore, these groups and factions such JEAY SINDH, BALOUCH LIBETION ARMY, LASHKAR-E-JUNGUI, SAPA SAHBA and other nationalist parties have widened the gulf between provinces and shackles of disintegration have been strengthened forward in the country. Lack of national solidarity and unity have not only confused the values for which Pakistan was created but also spoiled the rhythm of national progress, in turn the nation has become unfilled from within in terms of national integration. [xxxvi]
We have been unable to exploit our growth potential due to distrust among the federating units of the country. By harnessing the potential of each province Pakistan could become a leading global economy in a decade. Pakistan came into existence as a nation by integration of different regions speaking different languages but united on the basis of religion. In this condition Marxist definition of nation couldn’t apply to Pakistan a nation having one language with one nationality. [xxxvii]
The provincial government did not have any control over its own economy as everything was controlled by the centre. This situation creates the feelings of economic disparity among different provinces’ particularly in the East wing of the country. As all Trading bodies and foreign missions were established in West Pakistan, and most of the foreign aid and the national development budget were allocated for the west wing. From 1947-48 and 1960-61 capital investment for development allocated for East wing was 172 corers while for West wing it was 430 corers. At the same time, the earning of East Pakistan from foreign trade, of jute was diverted to West Pakistan too .As a result, the economic gap between the two wings increased significantly over the years. Per capita income increased in West Pakistan from Rs.330 in 1949-50 to Rs.373 in 1959-60; whereas in East Pakistan it declined from Rs. 305 to Rs. 288. This economic disparity among the two wings lead rift in the national integration of Pakistan and thus in 1971 the evident of fall of Dacca happened. [xxxviii]
The four provinces of the country have different economic advantages. Baluchistan the largest province by area is bestowed with natural resources like gas, minerals and oil. These resources have not been exploited fully because of the mistrust of the local tribes against the federal government. Pakistan could become self-sufficient in energy and could export minerals if by giving the local population their due share in the natural resources. It harbors could be developed to provide the shortest sea route to the land locked states of Central Asia. [xxxix]
The Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa has the ability to produce most of hydroelectr