I came across another son of Salman Taseer, whom I wrote about in January. This time the son is Aatish Taseer, who was raised in India, estranged from his father the politician in Pakistan. Aatish wrote an interesting article about that nation in the Wall Street Journal recently. He describes the origins of Pakistan and why there is such violence and deception around anti-terrorism work.
I am interested in the dynamics of the region and the article gives some great insight into the trauma of its origin and the opportunity for socializing violence in a country. The Partition in 1947 created Pakistan out of India, the greater India which has been a pluralistic society for millennia. Pakistan has grown its identity mostly around being “not-India” and wearing an arabicized Islam to ensure a difference. There are many parallels between the use of religion and nationalism, seen in Pakistan, matching triumphalisms in Israel, with the Taliban, in the US, and elsewhere.
How can Pakistan move away from the posturing and violence engendered from its beginnings? I would like to see more examples of places that cherish their heritage, celebrate their spirituality, but are able to avoid hubris and patriotism. Is the nation-state incapable of peaceful pluralistic identities? Must identities always conflict? And if so, what are the ways to manage the conflicts respectfully, justly, and cooperatively? Pax pluribus unum!