The History of Pakistan(Iftikhar H. Malik)

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The History of Pakistan

Iftikhar H. Malik

(Greenwood Press)


Pakistan may be a new name but Pakistanis comprise an ancient society whose ancestors lived in the historic Indus Valley and interacted with the conquerors, scholars, visitors, preachers, Sufis, and immigrants from western and central Asia. Featuring some of the tallest mountains, vast alluvial plains, and arid deserts, this predominantly Muslim country lies at the crossroads of history and shares several characteristics with its neighbours. Our study of this country begins with a lesser known Dravidian past, when the valley experienced the development of agriculture under the priest kings, until the advent of the Aryans, when Brahmanism and Hinduism evolved as two powerful religious forces. Buddhism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism flourished in ancient Pakistan, which, for a time, was an important part of the Persian Empire that Alexander was able to conquer after extensive military campaigns. The revival of Hindu empires, advent of early Christian communities in the historic city of Taxila, and a series of invasions from the northwest featured in this early history until the arrival of Islam through Sufis and invading Arab armies. Evolution of the Turkic Muslim dynasties, also known as the Delhi Sultanate, ushered in the era of a splendid Indo-Islamic culture, with Persian assuming center stage in the entire subcontinent. The Mughal Era is well known for its political, economic, and cultural contributions at a time when Europeans began to reach Indian coastal towns. Evolution of the British rule from the mid-eighteenth century coincided with the Mughal decline, and after the Rebellion of 1857, divergent responses characterized south Asian Muslim interaction in a pluralistic subcontinent. This book describes the formation of Pakistan in 1947, following a protracted political movement, and efforts to establish a consensual national ethos. It is hoped that the volume will be equally helpful to a student and a lay person in coming to grips with the realities of this rich and pluralistic historical heritage.

    Several institutions including the British Library, Bodleian Library, Bath Spa University, Wolfson College, and numerous individuals across Pakistan, the subcontinent, and North Atlantic regions have helped me form my views on this vast subject. Sustained interaction with colleagues, students, and friends in Oxford, Bath, and London kept me on the right path, and my family provided energy and humor when I needed them the most. Nighat, Sidra, Kiran, and Farooq merit special thanks; I hope that millions of capable and well-meaning Pakistanis like them will be able to take this country to its deserved place. I acknowledge the support from Greenwood Press for commissioning me to undertake this second volume after the publication of Culture and Customs of Pakistan. Special thanks are due to Kaitlin Ciarmiello for her professional camaraderie. I hope that this book will lead its readers on a more comprehensive journey across the further challenging labyrinths of south Asian history and Islam in the Indus regions.



Series Foreword ix

Frank W. Thackeray and John E. Findling

Preface xi

Acronyms xiii

Timeline of Historical Events xv

1 The Indus Heartland and Karakoram Country 1

2 The Indus Valley Civilization: Dravidians to Aryans 23

3 Islam in South Asia: The Indus and Delhi Sultanates 49

4 The Great Mughals and the Golden Era in

Indo-Islamic Civilization, 1526–1707 65

5 The British Rule and the Independence Movements 89

6 Muslims in South Asia and the Making of Pakistan 111

7 Pakistan: Establishing the State, 1947–1958 129

8 Military Takeover and the Separation of East

Pakistan, 1958–1971 143

9 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan People’s Party, and

the Military Regime of General Zia-ul-Haq, 1972–1988 159

10 Democratic Decade, 1988–1999: Benazir Bhutto and

Nawaz Sharif 175

11 General Pervez Musharraf and Pakistan in

the Twenty-First Century 195

Notable People in the History of Pakistan 211

Glossary 217

Bibliography 221

Index 229