Announcements :
• Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khalil has resumed the charge as Acting Director of the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad w.e.f. 25-09-2023
• The Institute has announced BS, M. Phil, and PhD admissions (Fall-2023)
National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarHamid Iqbal
Title of Dissertation The Role of Identity in Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Towards India: Analyzing Media and Political Discourses of Indo-Pakistan Wars
Issue Date2022
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

Identity, being a construct of social and historical milieus, by the establishment of the differences between self and others, affects individuals or groups who tend to identify themselves with that identity. In certain situations, identity becomes the device for specific individuals or groups to perceive their similarities to certain actors and their dissimilarities from others. Throughout the course of its history since its independence in 1947, Pakistan has confronted a constant identity crisis. Pakistan’s foreign policy was discursively constructed towards India, particularly during Indo-Pakistan Wars where India was articulated as immoral, aggressor, imperialist, and irrational, against the moral, peace-loving, and rational commitment to respect others’ freedom and defend its sovereignty. Similarly, Pakistan’s political elite represented India as evil, bad, little Hitler, Fascist and colonialist due to its attitude and incursion in Kashmir as immoral and a direct threat to the identity and security of the people of Pakistan. Indo-Pak relations based on the identity of ‘Muslim’ Pakistan and the ‘Hindu’ India since their inception can be well analyzed through the lens of Post-Structuralism’ which strongly proposes that hegemonic power(s) discursively construct our political world. The need is to disclose the discursive patterns of identity and the role of discourse as a performative tool that helps in the production of power and war relations. Language plays a dominant role in the production of identity, security, and war, and in this regard, media play a vital role through articulation and interpellation of dominant discourses.

Thus, this study investigates the multifarious ideological crises of Pakistan, beginning with the examination of the development of the Muslim cognizance of their identity in the social and cultural environment of the Subcontinent. Then moving on to examine how the issue of identity re-emerged in Pakistan in post-independence years. The research study also examines various trends, both social and political, which for years have both contributed to as well as been afflicted with the scourge of the Identity crisis in Pakistan. The policies of the state of Pakistan, its efforts in maximizing national security, the construction of state narrative through discourse to secure legitimacy, and the role of media in framing Pakistan’s identity and its foreign relations, especially towards India, also comes under critical inquiry.