Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Kamran Asdar Ali. Communism in Pakistan: Politics and ClassActivism 1947- 1972. London, U.K.: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd./PhilipWilson Publishers Ltd. 2015. 304 pages. £ 59.00.

The book is divided into two parts consisting of eightchapters, including the introductory and concluding chapters, and anepilogue. It is a 304 page book including notes and references, whichare not only interesting but are very helpful for any reader interestedin the topic. The introductory chapter sets the stage for the reader,introducing her to the diversity of nations living in the geographicalboundaries of Pakistan and points to the failure of their integration inthe state project. The author also touches upon the ethnic andnationalistic struggles played out in Pakistan throughout history andtheir relationship with the politics of the left. Furthermore, hereiterates that mainstream discourse on Pakistan’s history presents thestruggle for separate nation in unified India as a struggle of amonolith Muslim nation in the sub-continent largely ignoring the ethnic,cultural and linguistic diversity of these Muslims, thereby underminingtheir aspirations for freedom, self-determination and autonomy. TheBengali and the Baloch freedom movements have been cited as examples ofwhat he calls the “collective amnesia” of the nation and notes thatresistance, or left-leaning, movements have also been largely ignored inmainstream discourses on the history of Pakistan.

Sundus Saleemi