PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite


Pakistan's Identity Crisis

Interviewees: Ayesha Jalal
Hassan Abbas
Interviewer: Jayshree Bajoria
November 14, 2007

Though Pakistan was created as a homeland for Muslims, those who demanded the state were secular minded. And early death of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, left the question of Islam’s role in society unresolved. Pakistan’s rulers and military have frequently used religion to define state ideology and Ayesha Jalal, professor of history at Tufts University’s Fletcher School says this has led to Islam actually becoming a “divisive force in so far as it is being utilized by the state to deny people’s rights or even to deny diversity.” Research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Hassan Abbas, explains how religious extremism used by the state to counter threat perception from India has come back to haunt it and so far the state has failed to deal with it effectively.

Terms of Use: I understand that I may access this audio and/or video file solely for my personal use. Any other use of the file and its content, including display, distribution, reproduction, or alteration in any form for any purpose, whether commercial, noncommercial, educational, or promotional, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of the copyright owner, the Council on Foreign Relations. For more information, write publications@cfr.org.

More on This Topic



Author: Stephen Sestanovich

When the United States has succeeded in the world, it has done so by changing course—usually amid deep controversy and uncertainty....


Thatcher’s Legacy in Europe

Author: Charles A. Kupchan

Charles Kupchan reflects on former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's legacy in Europe.


‘There You Go Again’

Author: Elliott Abrams
National Review

Jimmy Carter is at it again, says Elliott Abrams on the former president's latest vilification of Israel in a recent Al Ahram interview.