The problem of national integration in plural societies : a case study of Pakistan, 1947-71 /|nMuhammed A. Quddus. -- 260 St. Catharines [Ont. : s. n.],
Quddus, Muhammed A.
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Pakistan had a plural society per excellence. Its people were divided geographically between two separate regions, spoke different languages, had different cultures and economic structures. Like other plural societies elsewhere, Pakistan also faced the problem of national integration. Cleavages along the lines of traditional attachments are fundamental to any plural society, as they were in Pakistan. But their political manifestation could have been kept within managable limits if the Central Government, overwhelmingly composed of the West Pakistanis, was seriously committed to the task. All that Pakistan needed to maintain her integrated existence was deliberate, calculated and conscious efforts on the part of the Central Government to give the Bengalis, the majority linguistic and geographic group in the country, a partnership in the state of Pakistan, an effective power in the decision-making process of the country, a reasonable share from the economic resources of the country, and to show respect to their hopes and aspirations. In addition, Pakistan needed a national platform to bring her divergent linguistic and geographic groups toge~her for some common, national purpos~s. Political parties were the only institutions which could have served this purpose. Pakistan miserably failed to sustain national political parties and failed to satisfy Bengalis' demands. This failure eventually resulted in the falling apart of the political system of Pakistan in 1971.