Royal Holloway University of London Department of History
and The University of Leeds School of History
Event Date: 9 and 10 September 2010
Royal Asiatic Society 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1
Ali Usman Qasmi – Imagining Pakistan: The Debates About Islam, Identity and Citizenship
Debates about the role of Islam as a marker of national identity and guiding principle for the working of the state has remained central throughout the history of Pakistan. In the present paper, an attempt is made to trace the symbolic, discursive, and material processes through which a religiously-informed citizenry has been conceived, established and consolidated in Pakistan. For this purpose, this paper looks in detail at the writings of important ideologues, intellectuals and historians during the early years of Pakistan’s existence. In addition, it highlights some institutional set ups and policy measures which were central to supporting the idea of Islam as a marker of identity in the newly-created state of Pakistan.