In Search of Lost Glory
Sindhi Nationalism in Pakistan
Part of the Comparative Politics and International Studies Series Christophe Jaffrelot (ed.) Series
A political biography of Sindh, tracing its aspirations for greater autonomy and focusing on the PPP dynasty established by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Sindhi nationalism is one of the oldest yet least studied cases of identity politics in Pakistan. Ethnic discontent appeared in Sindh in opposition to the rule of the Bombay presidency; to the onslaught of Punjabi settlers in the wake of canal irrigation; and, most decisively, to the arrival of millions of Muhajirs (Urdu-speaking migrants) after Partition. Under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari, the Pakistan Peoples Party has upheld the Sindhi nationalist cause, even while playing the game of federalist politics. On the other side for half a century have been hardcore Sindhi nationalist groups, led by Marxists, provincial autonomists, landlord pirs and liberal intelligentsia in pursuit of ethnic outbidding.
This book narrates the story of the Bhutto dynasty, the Muhajir factor, nationalist ideologues, factional feuds amongst landed elites, and the role of violence as a maker and shaper of Sindhi nationalism. Moreover, it examines the role of the PPP as an ethnic entrepreneur through an analysis of its politics within the electoral arena and beyond. Bringing together extensive fieldwork and comparative studies of ethno-nationalism, both within and outside Pakistan, Asma Faiz uncovers the fascinating world of Sindhi nationalism.
Asma Faiz is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan. She completed her PhD at Sciences Po, Paris and works on ethnicity, nationalism and party politics. She is the editor of Making Federation Work: Federalism in Pakistan After the 18th Amendment.