In Search of Lost Glory: Sindhi Nationalism in Pakistan by Asma Faiz
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.