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JSPES, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Fall 2015)
pp. 231–262

Pakistan's Ethnic Entanglement

Sanchita Bhattacharya

Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi

This article reviews the immense complexity of Pakistan, which is a multi-ethnic country wherein each Province is associated with a distinctive ethnic group. As is well-known, with the withdrawal of British rule in 1947, the Indian subcontinent was partitioned on a religious basis. In the course of that, Pakistan has been caught up in a whirlpool of divergent cultures, ethnicities and belief systems. All of this is entwined with the confused Federal identity of the country. We will make a detailed review of Pakistan’s main regions, which comprise Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan, along with Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan. We will see that the goal of a secular, moderate and democratic Pakistan (as perceived by its founder-Muhammad Ali Jinnah) is under severe attack from ethnic groups and religious extremists.