By Nadeem F. Paracha
16 August 2016
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
Pakistan nationalism is the direct outcome
of Muslim nationalism, which emerged in India in the 19th century. Its
intellectual pioneer was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
Belonging to a family which had roots in
the old Muslim nobility, Sir Syed’s prolific authorship on the Muslim condition
in India (during British rule) and his activism in the field of education,
helped formulate nationalist ideas in the Muslims of the region.
These ideas went on to impact and influence
a plethora of Muslim intellectuals, scholars, politicians, poets, writers and
journalists who then helped evolve Syed’s concept of Muslim nationalism into
becoming the ideological doctrine and soul of the very idea of Pakistan.
Syed’s influence also rang loudly in the
early formation of Pakistan nationalism.
However, his influence in this context
began to recede from the mid-1970s when certain drastic internal, as well as
external economic events; and a calamitous war with India in 1971, severely
polarised the Pakistan society.
With the absence of an established form of
democracy, this polarisation began to be expressed through the airing of
radical alternatives such as neo-Pan-Islamism.
The Pan-Islamic alternative managed to
elicit a popular response from a new generation of urban bourgeoisie and
petty-bourgeoisie. Its proliferation was also bankrolled by oil-rich Arab
monarchies which had always conceived modernist Muslim nationalism as an
As a reaction, the Pakistan state changed
tact and tried to retain the wavering status quo by rapidly co-opting various
aspects of pan-Islamism; even to the extent of sacrificing many of the state’s
original nationalist notions.
The gradual erosion of the original
nationalist narrative created wide open spaces. These spaces were rapidly
occupied, and then dominated by ideas which had been initially rejected by the
Pakistani state and nationalist intelligentsia.
Here is from where Sir Syed’s presence
begins to evaporate from the pages of textbooks and the nationalist narrative.
Muslim Nationalism: A Theological
Muslim nationalism in South Asia did not
exist till the end of Muslim rule here. The decline of the Mughal Empire, rise
of British Colonialism, and the political reassertion of Hindus in India,
provided the materials with which Muslim nationalism would first begin to shape
Dr. Mubarak Ali has insightfully noted one
very important (but often ignored) factor which helped create a sense of
nationhood among sections of Muslims in India: i.e. the manner in which Urdu
began to replace Persian as the preferred language of Muslims in India.
As Muslim rule receded, immigrants from
Persia and Central Asia stopped travelling and settling in India because now
there were little or no opportunities left for them to bag important posts in
the courts of Muslim regimes.
The importance and frequency of Persian
ebbed, gradually replaced by Urdu – a language which began to form in India from
the 14th century CE.
Largely spoken by local Muslims (most of
whom were converts); by the early 19th century, Urdu had already begun to make
its way into the homes of the Muslim elite as well. This helped the local
Muslims to climb their way up the social ladder and begin to fill posts and
positions which were once the exclusive domain of Persian and Central Asian
This initiated the early formation of a new
Muslim grouping, mostly made-up of local Muslims who were now enjoying social
But all this was happening when the Muslim
empire was rapidly receding and the British were enhancing their presence in
India. This also facilitated the process which saw the Hindus reasserting
themselves socially and politically after remaining subdued for hundreds of
With no powerful and overwhelming Muslim
monarch or elite now shielding the interests of the Muslims in the region, the
emerging community of local Muslims became fearful of the fact that its
newly-found enhanced status might be swept aside by the expansion of British
rule and Hindu reassertion.
Though many local Muslims had managed to
make their way up the social ladder, the ladder now led to a place which did
not have a powerful Muslim ruler. Thus, the new community was politically weak.
It felt vulnerable and many of its members began accusing the later-day Mughals
of squandering an empire due to their decadence.
Even some famous Muslim rulers of yore were
criticised for putting too much faith in pragmatic politics and in inclusive
policies, and not doing enough to use their powers to prompt wide-scale
During the heights of Muslim rule in India,
the Ulema had only been allowed to play a nominal role in the workings of the
state. But as this rule receded, the Ulema took it upon themselves to air the
ambitions and fears of the new Muslim community.
The Ulema insisted on explaining the
decline of the Mughal Empire as a symptom of the deterioration of ‘true Islam’
in the region — due to the inclusive policies of the Mughals which strengthen
the Hindus and extended patronage to Sufi saints and orders, and which, in
turn, encouraged ‘alien ideas’ to seep into the beliefs and rituals of the
Such a disposition saw a number of Ulema
and clerics from the emerging Muslim community become drawn towards a radical
puritan movement which had mushroomed 2000 miles away in Arabia (present-day
Saudi Arabia) in the 18th century.
It was led by one Muhammad Al-Wahhab, a
celebrant in the Nejd area of central Arabia who preached the expulsion and
rejection of various practices and rituals from Islam which he claimed were
distortions and heretical innovations.
A Muslim scholar from the Bengal in India,
Haji Shariatullah, who was the son of an impoverished farmer, became smitten by
Wahhab’s movement when he travelled to and stayed in Arabia in 1799.
On his return to India, he was extremely
dismissive of the conduct of the last remnants of the Mughal Empire and
conjectured that the Muslims of India had been declining as a community mainly
due to the fact that they were practicing an inaccurate strain of Islam, which
was adulterated by rituals borrowed from Hinduism.
Shariatullah was equally harsh on rituals
he believed were a concoction of the centuries-old fusion of Sufism and Hinduism
in the subcontinent.
Another figure in this regard was Syed
Ahmad Barelvi who, though, an ardent follower of Sufism, believed that Sufism
in India, too, was in need of reform, and that this could only be achieved by
reintroducing the importance of following Sharia laws, something which one did
not expect from the historically heterogeneous Sufi orders in India.
Sufism in the region had, in fact, largely
opposed religious orthodoxy and was comfortable with the rituals and beliefs
which had grown around it, especially among the local Muslims.
Syed Ahmad theorised that the Muslim
condition was in decline because the beliefs of the common Muslims of India
repulsed the idea of gaining political power through force. He suggested that
this could only be achieved through the practice of the Islamic concept of holy
war which was missing in the make-up of Islam in the subcontinent.
Syed Ahmad gathered a following from among
common Muslims and set up a movement in the present-day Pakistan province of
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The area at the time was under the rule of the Sikhs
who had risen to power at the end of the Aurangzeb regime.
Barelvi had gathered over 1000 followers
and most of them belonged to various Pakhtun tribes. He implored them to shun
their tribal customs and strive to fight a holy war against the ‘infidels’
(Sikhs and British) in the area and help him set up a state run on Sharia laws.
After offering stiff resistance to the
Sikhs, Barelvi managed to establish a strong base in the region. He began to impose
laws grounded in his idea of the Sharia. The move backfired when leaders of the
tribes accused him of undermining their established tribal customs.
Many of these tribes which had initially
helped him fight a guerrilla war against the Sikhs, rose up against him and
pushed his movement deep into the rocky hills near Charsaada. In the town of
Balakot, Syed Ahmad was surrounded by the Sikh army and killed in 1831.
The idea of ‘purifying’ Islam and Muslims
in India (through vigorous preaching and holy war) formulated by men like
Shariatullah and Syed Ahmad were expressions of the fears haunting the local
These fears were also triggered by the
mushrooming of aggressive Hindu reformist movements and also by the arrival of
Christian missionaries from Britain.
The missionaries enjoyed a good response
from lower-caste Hindus and from some local Muslims as well; and men such as
Shariatullah and Syed Ahmad believed that the nature of Muslim beliefs in India
(especially among common Muslims) was such, that it could be easily moulded by
the missionaries and the Hindu reformists.
To them, only a strict adherence to Islamic
laws and rituals could save the Muslim community from being completely absorbed
by the changing political and social currents and events.
The movements formed by Shariatullah and
Syed Ahmad made the mosques and madrasas the cornerstones of the idea of
nationhood among the local Muslims.
Indeed, these movements constitute one
dimension of the formation of Muslim nationalism in South Asia.
But they collapsed when the British began
to assert their authority. The movements elicited a surge of passion among many
Indian Muslims, but these passions put the community on a course leading to
further alienation and social and political deterioration, especially after the
1857 Sepoys Mutiny against the British.
The mutiny — remembered as a War of
Liberation in present-day India and Pakistan — involved an uprising within
sections of Hindus and Muslims in the British Army; but most of its civilian
leaders were Muslims from the local Muslim community, and remnants of the old
After the bloody commotion was brought
under control, the last vestiges of Mughal rule were eradicated.
According to the British — whose power grew
manifold after the failure of the rebellion — it were the Muslims who had
played the more active role in the rebellion. Consequently, influential British
authors such as Sir William Muir began fostering the myth of the Muslim with a
sword in one hand and the Qu’ran in the other.
Two factors influenced the creation of this
image: the first was, of course, the nature of the movements led by
Shariatullah and Syed Ahmad decades before the Mutiny; and second was the
lingering imagery in the West of Muslims authored by European Christian
perseveres during the Crusades (1095-1291).
Muslim Nationalism: The Rational Turn
It is interesting to note that in their
writings on India before the 1857 upheaval, the British had largely conceived
India to be a racial whole.
But things in this respect began to change
drastically when the British (after 1857) began to investigate the social,
political and cultural dynamics of the religious differences between the
Muslims and the Hindus in the region, and then utilised their findings to exert
more control over both the communities.
British authors were squarely criticised by
Muslim scholars in India for looking at Islamic history from a Christian point
of view and presenting the legacy of Islam as something which was destructive
One of the first Muslim scholars to offer a
detailed rebuttal did not come from the Ulema circle and neither was he a
cleric. He belonged to a family which had roots in the old Muslim nobility and
elite. His name was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
It is with him that the second (and more
dominant) dimension of Muslim nationalism emerges in India.
And it is this dimension which evolved into
becoming a movement that strived to carve out a separate Muslim-majority
country in the subcontinent, and then further evolve to become Pakistani
During the 1857 mutiny, Sir Syed had
already established himself as a member of the scholarly Muslim gentry who had
studied Sufism, mathematics, astronomy, and the works of traditional Islamic
After the Mutiny was crushed and
literature, which cast a critical eye on Muslim history began to emerge, Khan
put forward a detailed proposal which he hoped would not only contest the
perceptions of Islam being formulated by the British, but also help the
region’s Muslim community to reassess their beliefs, character and status
according to the changes taking shape around it.
Khan reminded the British that Islam was
inherently a progressive and modern religion which had inspired the creation of
some of the world’s biggest empires, which in turn had encouraged the study of
philosophy and the sciences during a period in which Europe was lurking
aimlessly in the ‘Dark Ages.’
Sir Syed also asserted that the scientific
and military prowess of the West was originally inspired and informed by the
scholarly endeavours of medieval Muslim scientists and philosophers and that
the Muslims had been left behind because this aspect of Islam stopped being
exercised by them.
Interestingly, this thesis first put
forward by the likes of Syed Ahmad Khan in the 19th century, still prevails
within large sections of Muslims around the world today.
Sir Syed then turned his attention towards
his own community. He was vehemently opposed to the militancy of men like
Shariatullah and Syed Ahmad Barelvi, and he was also critical of the 1857
uprising, suggesting that such endeavours did more harm to Islam and the
However, he refused to agree with the
assessment of the British that it were the Muslims alone who instigated the
1857 mutiny. He wrote that the mutiny had been triggered by reckless British
actions based on their ill-informed conceptions about Indian society.
According to noted historian, Ayesha Jalal,
the concept of both Muslim and Hindu nationalism was largely the result of
British social engineering which they began as a project after the 1857 Mutiny.
The project began when the British
introduced the whole idea of conducting a consensus. A lot of emphasis was
stressed upon the individual’s faith; and the results of the consensus were
then segmented more on the bases of religion than on economic or social status.
The outcome was the rather abstract
formation of communities based on faith, constructed through an overwhelmingly
suggestive consensus, undertaken, not only to comprehend the complex nature of
Indian society, but to also devise a structural way to better control it.
Sir Syed was quick to grasp this, and also
the fact that the Hindu majority was in a better position to shape itself into
a holistic community because of its size and better relations with the British
after the 1857 Mutiny.
Sir Syed’s thesis correctly theorised that
the Muslims needed to express themselves as a holistic community too,
especially one which was positively responsive to the changes the British were
implementing in the social, judicial and political spheres of India.
This constituted a break from the early
dimensions of Muslim nationalism conjectured by the likes of Shariatullah and
Syed Khan who had tried to express the idea of forming a Muslim community in
India as a purely religious endeavour. The endeavour was to construct a
homogenous Muslim whole in India which followed a standardised pattern of
Muslim rituals and beliefs.
Nevertheless, this scheme was largely a
failure because within the Muslim communities of the region were stark
sectarian, sub-sectarian, class, ethnic and cultural divisions. And as was seen
during Syed Ahmad Barelvi’s uprising in KP, once he began to implement his
standardised ideas of the Sharia, he faced a fateful rebellion by his erstwhile
supporters who accused him of trying to usurp their tribal influence and
Sir Syed was conscious of these divisions
and decided to address it by localising the European concept of nationalism.
So when the British began to club together
economically, ethnically and culturally diverse groups into abstract Muslim,
Hindu and Sikh communities, reformers from within these communities leveraged
the idea of European nationalism to overcome the contradictions inherent in the
whole idea of community-formation by the British.
But this was easier said than done.
Nationalism was a modern European idea which required a particular way of
understanding history, society and politics for a people to come together as a
This idea was absent in India before the
arrival of the British. As Muslim rule began to ebb, men such as Shariatullah
and Syed Khan attempted to club the Muslims of India as a community which
shared theological commonalities with Muslim communities elsewhere in the
world, and especially those present in Arabia.
During the last days of Muslim rule,
clerics in Indian mosques had begun to replace the names of Mughal kings in
their sermons (Khutba) with those of the rulers of the Ottoman Empire, as if to
suggest that the interests of the Muslims of India were inherently rooted
Indeed, the Ulema had begun to conceive the
Muslims of India as a unified whole, but this whole was not explained as a
nation in the modern context, but as part of a larger Muslim Ummah.
Sir Syed saw a problem in this approach. He
decried that such an approach went against the changing tides of history.
He was perturbed by three main attitudinal
negatives which he believed had crept into the psyche of the Muslims and were
stemming their intellectual growth, and, consequently, causing their economic
and political decline.
They were: decadence; worship of the past;
Khan wrote that after reaching the heights
of imperial power, Muslims had become decadent and lazy. When this led to them
losing political power, they became overtly nostalgic about past glories which,
in turn, solidified their inferiority complex (prompted by their current
apathetical state in the face of the rise of the West). This caused a hardening
of views in them against modernity and change and the emergence of a dogmatic
To Syed, the Muslims of India stood still,
unmoving, and, in fact, refusing to move because they believed a great
conspiracy had been hatched against them. He suggested that the Muslims (of
India) had lost political power because ‘they had lost their ability to rule.’
He castigated the Ulema for forcing the
Muslims to reject science (because it was ‘Western’); he warned that such a
view towards the sciences will keep Muslims buried under the weight of
superstition on the one hand, and dogma on the other.
When the Ulema responded by accusing him of
creating divisions in a community which they were trying to unite, he wrote
that since he was a reformist, his job was not to unite but to jolt members of
his community by questioning established (but corrosive) social, intellectual
and political norms.
He asked the Ulema: The Greeks learned from
the Egyptians; the Muslims from the Greeks; the Europeans from the Muslims … so
what calamity will befall the Muslims if they learned from the British?
But, of course, he was using an
evolutionary model of history to understand how knowledge flows between
civilizations; whereas to most of his orthodox critics, history was a set of
traditions passed on by one Muslim scholar to another and disseminated among
the masses by the ulema and the clerics.
Syed’s initial work was largely analytical
and pedagogic. He did not have the kind of platform which his detractors had
(i.e. the mosques and madrasas). But this did not seem to worry him. He
believed that the changing reality (under the British) will impact the Muslims
in such a manner that many of them would eventually come to understand his
point of view.
He wanted them to overcome their cultural
and theological inertias and embrace what was on offer: Modern education.
There was to be no meeting point between
the ulema and him, simply because both where viewing the Muslim condition in
India from different lenses.
However, Syed did try to meet them by
dissecting their theological critiques of modernity. He wrote that a man’s
spiritual and moral life cannot improve without the flourishing of his material
Writing in a literary journal which he
launched in 1870, he reminded his critics that not only were Muslims once
enthusiastic patrons of science (between the 9th and 13th centuries), but the
Qu’ran too, urged its readers to ‘research the universe’ which was one of God’s
To further his argument that Islam was
inherently a progressive religion, and, in essence, timeless (in the sense that
it was easily adaptable to ever-changing zeitgeists), Khan authored a
meticulously researched and detailed commentary on the Qu’ran.
Tafsir Qu’ran was published in 1880 and for
its time, was a rather original and even bold interpretation of Islam’s holiest
book because it tried to construe the book’s contents in the light of the 19th
Khan insisted that decrees passed by
ancient Ulema were time-bound and could not be imposed in a much-changed
scenario of what was taking place here and now. He wrote that the Muslims were
in need of a ‘new theology of Islam’ which was rational and rejected all
doctrinal notions that were in disagreement with common sense, reason and with
the essence of the Qu’ran.
First issue of a literary journal which Sir Syed launched in 1870.
He wrote that the ‘codes of belief’ and
spirituality were the main concerns of religion and that cultural habits
(pertaining to eating, dressing, etc.) are mundane matters for which Islam
provides only moral guidance because they change with time and place.
He believed that if faith is not practiced
through reason and wisdom, it can never be followed with any real conviction.
He wrote that ancient scholars of Islam
were not infallible. He insisted that the Ulema were devising their world view
and that of Islam by uncritically borrowing from the thoughts of ancient Ulema.
This, to him, had made them dogmatic in
their thinking and hostile towards even the most positive aspects of the
changes taking shape around them.
Another modernist tendency which had been
introduced among the Muslims of India in the 19th century was pan-Islamism. One
of its earliest advocates was Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani — a bright young Afghan ideologist
who arrived in India in 1855.
Afghani passionately supported the 1857
Mutiny and was exasperated when it failed. Unlike the orthodox Ulema, Afghani
did not see any good in turning inwards and radically rejecting the modernity
associated with British rule.
He acknowledged the supremacy of ‘Western
education’ but emphasised that Muslims should embrace it to improve their lot
and then turn the tables against Western imperialism by overthrowing it and
establishing a global Islamic caliphate.
Unlike the Muslim modernism pioneered by
the likes of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Afghani, and, subsequently, pan-Islamism,
viewed Western modernity (especially in the field of education), as an elixir
to regenerate the Muslims — not as a way to help them excel and find a place
within colonial settings, but to fully understand and then eradicate
Sir Syed’s Muslim modernism, however, was
largely interested in the intellectual, social and political fate of the Muslim
community of India. So he thought that Afghani’s idea of radically confronting
the British would produce the same demoralising results (for the Muslims) as
did the failure of the 1857 Mutiny.
Afghani censured Sir Syed for harming the
global Muslim cause by speaking only about India’s Muslims, as if they were
separate from the Muslim communities elsewhere.
Afghani was vocal in his denunciations of
the orthodox Ulema who were rejecting modern education; however, quite like the
Ulema, Afghani too, saw the Muslims as a global community (Ummah).
Pan-Islamism Was Thus Inherently
Unlike later-day pan-Islamists, Afghani was
rather progressive and modernistic in his thinking. More than seeing Islam as a
theistic route to a political revolution, he, instead, saw it as a slogan to
rally Muslims around the world against European imperialism.
The pan-Islamist thought which he pioneered
valued the importance of reforming the Muslim mindset through modern
intellectual means, and then using the reformed as a weapons against the
political supremacy of Western colonialism. But in the next century, only the
edifice of what he first conceived would remain in the evolving realms of
For example, 20th century pan-Islamist
notions were not so much inspired by Afghani, as much as they were by how the
Islamic orthodoxy began to perceive pan-Islamism i.e. as an ideology which
attempts to erect a global caliphate, not through a faith strengthened by
progressive reform, but by a largely mythical understanding of the faith’s
bygone militaristic and moralistic splendour.
Most probably Sir Syed opposed the idea of
pan-Islamism because he understood that it was bound to evolve in this manner?
In 1879 one of Sir Syed’s staunchest
supporters, the poet and intellectual, Altaf Hussain Hali, wrote a long poem
which passionately forwarded Syed’s ideas of reform and modernity. But the most
protuberant aspect of the poem was when Hali declared the Muslims of India as a
separate cultural entity, distinct from other communities in India, especially
compared to the Hindu majority.
But Hali explained that this distinction
was not based on any hostility towards the non Muslims of the region; but on
the notion (which Hali believed was a fact) that the Muslims of India were
descendants of foreigners who came and settled here during Muslim rule.
By the late 19th century, many local
Muslims had begun to claim foreign ancestry (Persian, Central Asian and
Arabian) mainly because with the erosion of Muslim rule in India, Muslim
empires still existed elsewhere in the Middle East. The claim of having foreign
ancestry was also a way to express the separateness of India’s Muslims.
Another aspect in this context was the rise
of the Urdu language among the Muslims. Though having (and claiming to have)
Persian, Central Asian and Arabic ancestry was a proud attribute to flaunt;
Urdu, which had been the language of ‘lower Muslims’ of (North) India, ascended
and began to rapidly develop into a complex literary language.
The British didn’t have a problem with
this. Because since Persian had been the language of the court during Muslim
rule, its rollback symbolised the retreat of the memory and influence of Muslim
rule in India.
In 1837, the British replaced Persian with
Urdu (in the northern regions of India) as one of the officially recognised
vernacular languages of India. But in the 1860s, Urdu became a symbol of Muslim
separatism not through the efforts of the Muslims, but, ironically, due to the
way some Hindus reacted to Urdu becoming an official language.
The resultant controversy triggered by
Hindu reservations helped establish Urdu as an additional factor which
separated the Muslims from the Hindus.
Syed Ahmad Khan had managed to attract the
support and admiration of a growing number of young intellectuals, journalists,
authors and poets. But he was the target of some vicious polemical attacks as
The conservative Ulema were extremely harsh
in their criticism and one of them even went on to accuse him of being an
apostate. They blamed him for trying to tear the Muslims away from the
unchangeable tenants of their religion, and for promoting ‘Angreziat’ (Western
ethics and customs) among the believers.
Syed also received criticism from the
supporters of Afghani’s pan-Islamism. Afghani himself admonished Khan for not
only undermining the idea of global Muslim unity (by alluding to Muslim
nationalism in the context of India’s Muslims only); but he also censured him
for creating divisions between India’s Muslims and Hindus.
Afghani was of the view that Hindu-Muslim
unity was vital in India to challenge British rule in the region.
Despite the attacks — which mostly came his
way through statements, editorials and articles in the plethora of Urdu
newspapers which began to come up after the proliferation of the printing press
in India – it were his ideas which managed to dominate the most prominent
dimensions of Muslim nationalism in India.
According to Ayesha Jalal, Sir Syed’s
strategic and pragmatic alignment with the British helped his ideas to make
vital in-roads in a more organised and freer manner.
His religious detractors remained stationed
in their mosques and madrasas. And though their criticism of his ideas was
intense, it mostly appeared in rhetorical articles in newspapers.
Consequently, most of his religious
opponents could not find a place in the school that he set up in Aligarh.
This school evolved into becoming a college
and then an institution which began to produce a particular Muslim elite and
urban bourgeoisie who would go on to dominate Muslim nationalist thought in
India and decide what course it would take.
• Mubarak Ali: Pakistan in Search of
Identity (Aakar Books, 2011)
• Not a camp language: Urdu’s origins
(DAWN, July 5, 2015)
• Hans Dua: Pluricentric Languages
(Walter de Gruyter, 1992)
• Tariq Rehman: From Hindi to Urdu
(Oxford University Press, 2013)
• Simon Ross Valentine: Force and
Fanaticism (Oxford University Press, 2014)
• Razia Aktar Banu: Islam in Bangladesh
• Entry on Shariatullah by Moinuddin
Ahmad in National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (2012)
• Edward Mortimer: Faith and Power
(Random House, 1982)
• Qeyamuddin Ahmad: The Wahhabi Movement
in India (South Asia Books, 1994) p.50
• Thomas R. Metcalf: The Aftermath of
Revolt (Princeton, 1965)
• H. Hardy: Muslims of British India
(Cambridge University Press)
• Edward Said: Orientalism (Penguin
• Wilferd Smith: Modern Islam in India
• Sir Syed Ahmad Khan:
Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind (First published in 1859)
• Ayesha Jalal: Self and Sovereignty
(Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2001)
• Tahir Abbas: Islamic Radicalism and
Multicultural Politics (Taylor & Francis, 2011)
Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn
Newspaper and Dawn.com. He has also authored a book on the social history of
Pakistan called, End of the Past.