NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN PAKISTAN: VOICES FROM AJK
Keywords:National integration, political deprivation, harmony, AJ&K
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the doctrine of national integration in specific perspective of Pakistan viz-à-viz Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) with its special status in the backdrop of greater conflict of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. National integration is a complex process that unites culturally and socially discrete groups into a territorial unit. The issue of national integration is worth viewing in a state like Pakistan that is considered a much diverse country in terms of ethnicity, sectarianism, language and race. Analyses of this study are based on number of reports comprised of interviews and focus groups which depict latest voices from AJ&K. The findings show that the minimum standards of common national interests have not yet been identified or agreed upon in the State of Pakistan. Moreover, it points out that political deprivations, socio-economic under development and ethno regional nationalism in AJ&K are the key factors that can drift away the ideological and emotional attachment of people against the national integration in Pakistan. Hence, it is suggested that, addressing these issues in the existing arrangements of governance would bring a true and long-lasting harmony.
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