THE STATE, INJUSTICE AND CONFLICT IN PAKISTAN

Rubina Saigol

In this paper, the main concept discussed is that conflicts and narratives of justice tend to interpenetrate.  Conflict appears to be an inherent characteristic of modern states, especially ones that predicate their ideas of ‘the nation’ on one religion, and one ethnic or sectarian group.  Conflict affects the capacity of states to mediate between the competing claims of religious, ethnic, sectarian and gender groups.  The kinds of resolution of conflict affected can in turn produce further conflict demanding new varieties of resolution.  This process seems to inhere within the roots of the nation state idea.
The case of Pakistan is examined with a view toward understanding the relationship between a specific articulation of nationalism, the conflicts engendered by such articulation and the state’s responses in generating further conflict.  The impact of these processes upon citizenship and state formation are explored with regard to three systematic forms of exclusion – non-Muslims, women and ethnic minorities. These exclusions appear to be the manifestations of injustice arising from dominant state ideologies and imperatives.