For sixty-four years, Pakistani identity has been a thorny issue. Even without addressing the academic quarrels over Pakistan’s ideology or whether Jinnah’s Pakistan was meant to be a Muslim nation-state, a state for South Asian Muslims, an Islamic state or a state for all oppressed minorities of the Indian subcontinent, shaping dialogue on how we address ourselves as a multi-ethnic state is not easy.
At any rate, we must not lose sight of the fact that identity is plural, fluid, situational and context driven. The Pakistani identity of a Manchester United fan watching a football match between Barcelona and Manchester United is largely irrelevant. But during an India-Pakistan cricket match, it becomes much more relevant for analyzing behavior. Likewise, an individual’s Sindhi identity may not be the primary influence on his behavior or choices on Pakistan Day. Entirely different calculus may apply for Sindh Culture Day.
The bottom-line? Viewing identity as a singular and static construct is flawed.