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Pakistan: A Very Short Introduction [#689]
Pakistan: A Very Short Introduction [#689]
  • Considers Pakistan both as a young nation state, created at the end of the British Empire in South Asia, and also as a region with a 4,000 year old history and heritage
  • Discusses the roles of religion and society, state and the miliatry, in modern-day Pakistan
  • Looks to the future of Pakistan, and the challenges it faces in the twenty first century
  • Brings a focus on everyday socio-cultural aspects of people's lives in Pakistan
  • Includes a discussion of gender and diaspora within Pakistan

What is Pakistan? The name refers to a seventy-year-old post-colonial product of the bloodiest partition of territory and population that accompanied the end of British empire in South Asia. But the region of the Indus Valley has a four-thousand-year-old history, and was the site of one of the earliest and greatest riverine civilisations in the world. Although the modern nation of Pakistan as we know it was created as a homeland for the Muslims of British India, it is impossible to understand the complex tapestry of linguistic, ethnic, and cultural identities and tensions of the region without tracing its deep past.
This Very Short Introduction looks at Pakistan as one of the two nation-states of the Indian sub-continent that emerged in 1947. Pippa Virdee reaches into the ancient past to demonstrate the influence of trajectories of human settlement and civilisation on Pakistan's contemporary political arena, and shows how the longer continuities between the land and its peoples are as important as the short-term changes in the political landscape. She considers Pakistan's religion and society, the state and the military, everyday life, popular culture, languages and literature, as well as Pakistan's relationship with the rest of the world. Virdee also looks to the challenges of the 21st century and the future of Pakistan.


1. Progress of a dream
2: The ancient in the modern
3: Towards the idea of Pakistan
4: Consolidation and fragmentation
5: Building the land of the pure
6: Visualising the land of the pure
7: The world outside
8: Looking backwards, going forward?
Timeline and key moments
Further Reading

About the author: 

Pippa Virdee, Reader in Modern South Asian History, De Montfort University

Dr. Pippa Virdee is a reader in Modern South Asian History at De Montfort University. Virdee is the author of From the Ashes of 1947: Reimagining Punjab (CUP, 2017), and Coming to Coventry, Stories from the South Asian Pioneers (Herbert Gallery, 2006), and is co-editor of Refugees and the End of Empire: Imperial Collapse and Forced Migration in the Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), with P. Panayi.

Product details

ISBN : 9780198847076

Pippa Virdee
168 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Nov 2021
Very Short Introductions
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Pakistan: A Very Short Introduction [#689]

Pakistan: A Very Short Introduction [#689]

Pakistan: A Very Short Introduction [#689]