New Age Islam
Mon Sep 21 2020, 09:55 PM

Islam and Politics ( 26 May 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Voices of Political Islam in Pakistan


By Alexander Willox

When answering the question of who speaks for Islam within Pakistan, we are often misled by the notion of Islam itself. Pakistan was established as a home for a global Islamic community, a role the nation has pursued with vigour. However, to assign monolithic attributes to Islam, and particularly the Islam practiced in Pakistan, would be extremely misleading. As such, the question is not so much who speaks for Islam in Pakistan, but rather, who does not. Pakistan is home to 193 million people, ninety-six per cent of whom identify as Muslims. Pakistan represents the third most populous Muslim nation on the planet, yet we must understand that Islam is a multi-faceted religion without a clear hierarchical structure, and not some monolithic entity.

 There is a clear divide between Sunni and Shia followers, yet in Pakistan, this is convoluted with both forms being divided up many times into various sects, traditions and practices, with considerable animosity between them. Thus, there is no clear leader of Islam within Pakistan, although many leaders have tried to establish a clear direction and a monolithic Pakistani version of Islam; they have failed in the face of sectarian opposition and tribal allegiances that have plagued Pakistan since its foundation. The other question at the heart of this essay regards how Islam, and its various voices, have challenged Pakistani nationalism. I define nationalism as devotion or loyalty to one’s own country and as a sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population together. Pakistan is found to be lacking on this definition. The reality is that Pakistani nationalism is based purely upon Islam. It is the ideological force that binds the nation together, for without it, a different, more ethnic and tribal group of nations would exist in its place.

The concept of religion as nationalism is unusual in modern sovereign states, and Pakistan is one of very few nations that truly rely on theology as a nation-building tool. Pakistan’s various forms of Islam are constantly in flux as they battle for ideological dominion. The Barelvis, Deobandis, and Wahhabis, all from the Sunni tradition, “have serious theological, ideological and educational conflict [amongst] themselves”[1] and remain seemingly incapable of unity. All the while the Shia communities are simply attempting to survive in the face of overwhelming antipathy from the broader Sunni community, and they themselves are divided into two separate groups.

 All of these points to a complex situation in which innumerable voices clamour to be heard as they all attempt to define what it means to be a Muslim, and by extension, what it means to be a Pakistani in the era of the modern state. In this essay the role of the elite Pir families, the Sajjada -Nashin, in Pakistan and their effect on Islam and the nation will be scrutinized, where they seemingly speak for Islam from a position of political and economic self-interest. I will also examine the ways in which the Jamaat-e-Islami political party has attempted to co-opt Deobandi traditions to democratically establish a nation based upon the Sharia. Finally, this essay will investigate the role the Taliban play in the theological and physical battleground of Pakistani nationalism.

Shaky Foundations

Pakistan was founded almost entirely upon the determination of one man, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah was the leader of the Muslim League during the last years of the British Raj, and an avowed secularist. Jinnah felt the establishment of a home for India’s Muslims was needed after witnessing increasing “democratization and Indianisation of the government of India in the face of the peculiar geographic distribution of the Muslim population”[2] which would have left the Muslim communities within India facing constant Hindu domination. For Jinnah and many other Muslim elites, this was unacceptable, and so a mantra of “Islamic government, Islamic state, and Islamic constitution” was chanted on the streets, yet “no one was quite sure what that meant.”[3] Jinnah was a secularist, and “he himself had no thought of an Islamic state”[4] and instead used the concept as a way of gathering momentum. Jinnah, along with many of India’s Muslims believed that Islam “would overcome ethnic barriers at home and ensure military victory abroad.”[5] As such, the Muslim League was heavily dependent on Muslim street power, and “this street power was largely mobilized using the rhetoric of Islam (with strong Jihadi overtones harking back to the Khilafat movement [6]) and communal fear.”[7] Jinnah and the Muslim League utilised this fear of Hindu domination with a cry of “Islam in danger”[8] in a relatively successful attempt to unify an ethnically and geographically diverse Muslim public.

The Muslim League’s movement became largely utopian as the street movements began to idealise the notion of a Muslim state. To the street, it would be a nation where India’s Muslims may live in accordance with Islam. However, the Ulema, or Islamic legal scholars, were opposed to the idea of an Islamic state and struggled to find theological justifications for its establishment. Some even argued vehemently against such a state because it was seen as “nationalistic and la Deen (irreligious).”[9] The westernised leaders of the Muslim league, such as Jinnah, fought for an independent Muslim homeland, for which they had “in mind some mutation of European nationalist theory”, but the Ulema were “incapable of reconciling nationalism and Islam.”[10] Their eventual acceptance was predicated more upon a vision of Islamic revival and less on national identity.

They saw global Islam’s decline in power and prestige as a direct result of Muslims not being true to Islam. Pakistan was seen as the answer to this problem. The nation was brought into existence by a largely secular and western educated Indian middle class, who used Islam as a uniting ideology without having given much thought to what this Islamic state might look like. It was this middle class that said Pakistan would be an Islamic state and not an ethnic one. Despite this idea running “contrary to the generally accepted concept of nationality,”[11] it was they who claimed that the Muslims of India were a nation, when this was obviously not the case. This lack of clear direction led Pakistan into nationhood, where hundreds of voices claimed to speak for the true Islam. It is Jinnah’s duplicity during his attempts to gather support for his movement that “is partly responsible for the ideological confusion that has plagued the nation ever-since.”[12] Pakistan today is more confused than ever about the direction the nation should take. There is a crisis of national identity amongst the many varied religious and ethnic groups that make up the modern Pakistan.

The Pir, Sajjada-Nashin, and Modern Religious Feudalism

The descendants of the Pir, or Sufi saints, are commonly referred to as the Sajjada -Nashin, and they are the traditional community leaders in Pakistan. Their claims to power and land are linked directly to their ancestor’s religious piety and to their supposed ability act as spiritual arbiters. The Sajjada-Nashin structure has proven particularly resistant to change and development in the modern era. The traditional meaning of Pir has given them “almost magical power”[13] and has allowed for them to collect the allegiance of large numbers of Murids, or blind devotees, to their shrines and place them under their influence. The Sajjada-Nashin are not seen as mere caretakers of shrines, but also as “possessors and dispensers of blessing”[14] and hence they wield immense spiritual power over their devotees. The ways in which the Sajjada-Nashin they influence their followers have profound consequences for nationalism in Pakistan.

From the perspective of their followers, “failure to follow the wishes of the Sajjada-Nashin in any sphere of activity was thought to have serious consequences.”[15] This sort of power held in the hands of one man has proven to be hard to eliminate. The Muslim rulers of the sub-continent before British domination realised the potential political importance of the saints and “tried to bring Sajjada-Nashins under their control by granting them large properties and contributing to the building of the shrines.”[16]This proved to be the first step towards creating what the British termed ‘landed gentry’, and it was the Sajjada-Nashins that the British placed on top of the hierarchy in the Punjab and Sindh.

The British granted them still more land and power because they were regarded with such veneration by many of the leading chiefs and “such influence had to be taken into account because this influence might be put to political purposes.”[17] These men, in already elevated positions of power, were fundamental to the formation of Pakistan. Hamza Alavi argues that without them and the threat posed to their land and power by the Indian National Congress, there would have been no Pakistan at all: “Many Pirs in Pujab and Sindh were among the great landed magnates who opted for Pakistan. At their behest their Murids celebrated the idea of Pakistan with gusto”.[18] Thus the Murids were not celebrating the notion of an Islamic democracy, but rather they were celebrating “the joy of their Pir, when he joined the league and thereby averted the threat of Congress land reform.”[19]

The Pir, like the majority of Sunni Pakistanis, belong to the Sufi-influenced Barelvi tradition. The saints in Sufism are innumerable, because “any Muslim can claim to be a saint, on the basis of a vision, or the appearance of another saint in a dream”. [20] As there is almost no way to verify some people’s claims to saintliness, the power and the prestige are generally a direct result of force of will and Quranic knowledge. However, while there are some saints alive today within Pakistan, those with the most influence are mostly objects of history whose descendants have inherited their power and the land attached to their shrines. The prime responsibility of the saint is to act as a mediator between their followers and God, essentially acting as a vessel for God and transmitting God’s messages to their Murids. The descendants – the Sajjada-Nashin– have inherited this responsibility because at the death of a saint his tomb becomes a source of blessing, but the saint is personally “hidden” and “is relatively inaccessible to the common man, who must contact him through his living representative, the Sajjada-Nashin.”[21]This has created a hereditary sainthood structure that is open to unlimited exploitation and abuse.

The Sajjada-Nashin are regularly approached by politicians for their blessing and support because of the spiritual and religious influence they have over their Murids.  In other Muslim societies, such as Turkey or Saudi Arabia, the governments have viewed the devotion to the Pirs, their descendants, and “the conceptual and organizational structure of the shrines as incompatible with their political and religious goals.”[22] It was seen to be hampering “their efforts to control the political and social organization of the country,”[23] primarily because of the large donations they received and the loyalty their Murids paid them before the state. The solution in both Turkey and Saudi Arabia was to suppress the shrines.

However, this has proven impossible in Pakistan, where the religious devotion shown to the Pir and their shrines are intrinsically connected with the political process, and so the Pir and Sajjada-Nashin have endured government attempts to both exploit and undermine their influence. Firstly under Prime Minister Ayub Khan, the government attempted to enhance the shrines and their Sufi origins “for the glorification of Pakistan”[24] while simultaneously attempting to strip the Pirs of their traditional political functions through land reform in the 1959 West Pakistan Waqf Properties Ordinance, and the 1976 Auqaf (Federal Control) Act. Both pieces of legislation were popular with the majority of Pakistanis because they amounted essentially to land redistribution, but they had limited success in curtailing the religious and political power of the Sajjada-Nashin. They were “not effective in seriously altering the position of landlords”[25] because “as long as they retained the role of religious mediator”[26] the power of the Pir as political mediators was difficult to eliminate. Conversely, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, himself a member of the Pir class, undercut his own policies of land reform in order to accommodate his allies. He allowed many of the Sajjada-Nashin to evade the legal ceilings on land ownership, because he did not want to lose their political support, illustrating the pervasive influence of the Sajjada-Nashin.

The position of the Sajjada-Nashin has been abused and exploited by some families to gain political power on a national level. It is “not unheard of for some of these Pir families to use their spiritual influence to gain election to the national and provincial legislatures.”[27] The Sajjada-Nashin maintains immense political importance with or without official government positions, and regularly direct the conversation on Islam in Pakistan to suit their own agenda. The Pakistani government nationalised the shrine system in the 1950s in an attempt to undermine the power of the Sajjada-Nashin, but have largely failed, as “shrine management, organization of religious activities and the dispensation of spiritual favours continue under the guidance of the original Sajjada-Nashins.” This situation persists because the Murids continue to delegate spiritual and religious matters to the Sajjada-Nashin regardless of the government’s competence in running the shrines.

The government has interests in both destroying and maintaining the Sajjada-Nashin system. Its continued existence restricts national development, yet so many of the top politicians in the country are members of the Pir structure that any change in the system could see them undermine their own power base. The Pakistani Peoples Party (PPP) for example, has many Pir amongst its top ranking members, such as former Prime Minister Raza Gilani, former Deputy Prime Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, former Foreign Minister Syed Mahmood Qureshi and former Minister for Religion Syed Ahmed Qazmi. Some estimates suggest that Pir politicians command ten per cent of the vote. [28] It is within their interests to maintain this system, as any genuine attempts at modernisation, particularly in the countryside, would undermine their power. Advancing local education or local democracy “would strike directly at the cultural and social bases of their own power.”[29] Within this context it is difficult to see a future for Pakistan where there is any true nationalist sentiment.

The Pir also play a positive role in bridging the lethal Sunni-Shia divide. The Pir have influence over their spiritual followers, most of whom are of the Barelvi tradition, yet many of the Pirs are themselves Shia. Many such families are publicly Sunni and privately Shia; this is true of some of the bigger and more powerful families in Pakistan, such as the Bhuttos and the Zardaris. This flexibility within the saint system means that the saints “can be either Sunni, Shia or something undefined in-between”,[30]giving the Pir families extra influence in their ability to mediate conflicts. Their political power over their local districts is assured and remains strong because of their ability to rise above ethnic or sectarian tension. However their control over religious teaching in their regions is also strong. The local mullahs are often directly employed by the Sajjada-Nashins to preach the Barelvi tradition, but also to ensure that the local community stays well and truly devoted to their regional Sajjada-Nashin. [31] The form of Islam preached is popular Islam, with a focus on traditional mysticism of the Sufi tradition. However, it is not necessarily what is preached, but the manner in which the message is delivered, that is detrimental to Pakistani nationalism. With a national identity based purely upon Islam, Pakistan is dependent upon all the sects of Islam being cooperative. Yet, with Sajjada-Nashin directing Islamic debate for such a huge proportion of the Pakistani population, they have managed to ensure that Pakistan remains largely divided as their Murids pay allegiance to them before their nation. This system has proved remarkably strong in the face of modernisation efforts, with the Sajjada-Nashin consolidating their power, and often managing to gather public support for idiosyncratic and widely divergent interests.

The Ulema, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Moderate Fundamentalism

Pakistan’s Ulema, or Islamic religious scholars, have attempted to fight the power of the Pir and their descendants in Pakistan at almost every turn. The Ulema generally belong to more traditional sects of Islam, tending to be affiliated with the Deobandi tradition. If the Barelvi are the Islamic equivalent of Catholics, then the Deobandis are the “puritans.”[32] The Deobandis are generally “urbanized middle and upper classes” [33] who, because of their social status and education, have little allegiance to the Sajjada-Nashin. Many have aligned themselves with the political party Jamaat-e-Islami, founded by anti-establishment, self-taught father of south Asian fundamentalism, Syed Abu Ala Maududi.

The Deobandis, and by extension Jamaat, are strongly opposed to the practices associated with popular Islam and Barelvi in Pakistan, such as idolatry, belief in miracles and the role of the Sajjada-Nashin. The Ulema have struggled against this conception of Islam for centuries, fighting the Pir and Sajjada-Nashin as oppressors of the population and promoters of un-Islamic ideals for personal gain. Maududi has made much of the negative role he feels the Sajjada-Nashin have played, and opposition to this rural elite has formed the basis of the policies proposed by Jamaat-e-Islami.

Unsurprisingly, the Pir have struggled to keep the Ulema out of the political process since the nation’s foundation. Maududi originally “opposed the movement for Pakistan before partition because he saw it as nationalistic and la din (irreligious)”.[34]However, following its creation, the Ulema and Maududi fought for the creation of a true Islamic state, because “The separation of religion and government in Muslim states means, in effect, the minimization of the influence” of the Ulema, something they remain unprepared to accept. The Pir, Sajjada-Nashin, and the western-educated elites resisted their direct participation, “yet they also wanted to identify their governments with Islam,” and so they were given two choices: to include the Ulema and undermine their own power, or exclude them and undermine their own religious credentials.

The Jamaat have had little success in their quest for a truly Islamic nation based upon Sharia. They currently only hold three seats in the National Assembly and capture roughly five per cent of the vote, severely limiting their influence at a national level. They have limited appeal beyond the urban middle class, primarily due to their sectarian antagonism and strict attitudes. However, although Maududi is now dead and the party takes a relatively hard line in regards to Sunni–Shia rivalries, they continue to attempt to break the bondage of the Sajjada-Nashin over their Murids, which they view as a paradigm that remains “misleading, superstitious and vulgar”[35] and to create a unified Pakistan based upon the Koran “for which they [would be] the principal spokesmen”.[36] Yet with Jamaat’s appeal being limited to the believers of a more fundamental form of Islam, the Pirs and the Sajjada-Nashin remain in a considerably better position. They can, and do, utilise their appeals to populist Islam to “present a formidable challenge to purist Islam and an obstacle to efforts of the Ulema to win the hearts and minds of the masses”.[37]

The Taliban’s Suicidal Ideology

The Taliban in Pakistan, commonly known in the country as Tehreek-e-Taliban, have been heavily influenced by radical Wahhabi ideology, utilising violence as a method of attracting attention to their extremist brand of Islam and their vision for Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban operates primarily in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA), both of which have an ethnic majority of Pashtuns. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for hundreds of attacks inside Pakistan, many of which were against ethnic or sectarian targets. However “the Pakistani Taliban remain little understood” because of the fear they elicit and the fact that scholars have generally chosen to focus on analysing the geopolitics of the region.[38] The Pakistani Taliban is a large and powerful organisation, encompassing “40 militant groups and roughly 45,000 militants.”[39] The potential for them to gain an even greater platform for their militant and radical Islam is enormous.

Originally the Pashtuns living in the FATA were, for the most part, passive supporters of the Afghan Taliban, with support predicated mostly on ethnic ties. However, when the Pakistani army in 2002 lead an incursion to catch and kill radical militants in the FATA, an area that they had traditionally avoided out of respect, the supporters of the Afghan Taliban “transitioned into a mainstream Taliban force of their own as a reaction.”[40] Most men in the tribal agencies have grown up carrying arms, but it is “only in the last few years that they have begun to organize themselves around a Taliban-style Islamic ideology,”[41] which has become increasingly violent as the US-led occupation of Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s complicity in it, continues. Their stated objectives include: a defensive jihad against the Pakistani army and its governmental organs, “enforcement of Sharia, and a plan to unite against NATO forces in Afghanistan.”[42] The Taliban has explicitly targeted the Pakistani state, believing it to be corrupt and against the true Islam.

Islamist parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami have failed to consolidate the support of Pakistan’s more radical Islamists and consequently have found themselves outflanked by the Taliban. The Taliban have captured the support of Islamists who are dismayed at the nature of Islam within the state, regardless of the fact that the Taliban remains a largely ethnic Pashtun organisation. The extremist message has found support because the more radical supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami “have been drawn away by violent Jihadi groups like the Taliban in the Pashtun areas”[43] who have viewed the more moderate Islamists as simply another cog in the wheel of American cultural imperialism. Simply by engaging in democracy, Jamaat-e-Islami have isolated huge swathes of Pakistan’s Islamist population.

The Pakistani Taliban have remained stubborn. They continue to insist on “enforcing strict Sharia” and refuse to engage in “future peace deals with the government of Pakistan”[44] until their demands – such as the removal of all Pakistani Army checkpoints inside the FATA, and enforcement of Wahhabi-style Sharia – are enforced. When, in 2007, these demands were not met, the Taliban vowed to go on the offensive. They began bombing civilian and military targets inside Pakistan and swarmed into the Swat valley to take control, utilising a method first employed by Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: suicide bombings. This catapulted the Taliban inside Pakistan from a loose affiliation of Pashtun agitators to a serious paramilitary force.

The Pakistani Taliban quickly began to assert itself in the FATA and make increasingly brazen attacks on capitalist and government infrastructure. Of the fifty-six suicide bombings in Pakistan in 2007, thirty-six were against military-related targets, including two against the ISI and two against the Army headquarters.[45] This was much more than brinkmanship, representing the beginning of an open rebellion against the governmental organs that had directly funded and supported them in the past. The number of suicide bombings continued to increase, and in 2009 there were seventy-six suicide attacks. Evidence of increased use of children in these attacks began to alarm the general population.[46]

It was not simply the nature of these attacks that alarmed people, but also the targets. No longer were the targets merely the government branches – for which many Pakistanis already held little respect. The Taliban had begun its use of sectarian targets in a bid to draw attention to its cause and tear the nation apart. The Taliban began to attack Barelvi shrines and the Sajjada-Nashin families who maintained them, proving to be a major error on their part.

The attacks on the symbols of the most popular form of Islam in Pakistan were “motivated partly by religious hostility” due to Wahhabi theological antipathy towards idolatry. However, the hostility to the shrines also “stems from the role played by these families in the local elites, which means that the Taliban have to attack and destroy them in order to seize local power”.[47] In July 2010 – just two and half months after I had visited the shrine – the Taliban attacked the Lahore shrine of a major saint in the Sufi order, Data Ganj Baksh, “killing dozens of worshippers and galvanizing Barelvi religious figures into an unusual display of united protest.”[48] They also, somewhat foolishly in hindsight, attacked the shrine of the most famous Pashtun saint, Pir Rahman Baba, in Peshawar in 2009, completely undermining the support they had received from ethnic Pashtuns.

 Aside from unifying Barelvi religious leaders against them and destroying political gains amongst their power base, the Taliban have also targeted many Shia leaders. The government circulated a list of “about a dozen important Shi’a political leaders who… are on Mehsud’s hit list,”[49]a hit list clearly designed to divide the nation further. These attacks had a dual affect: firstly, they alienated large numbers of people who had once been attracted to the Pakistani Taliban’s strong support for jihad in Afghanistan and their advocacy of Sharia, and secondly they created an environment where the government of Pakistan could no longer tolerate the existence of the Taliban.

The Pakistani military had strongly supported the Taliban in Afghanistan. It had considered its support to be “part of the country’s strategic national interest”.[50] Following the Soviet defeat, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) had tried to bring its various Afghan proxies to power in Kabul in an attempt to keep India out of Afghanistan. “The Taliban provided just such a government”[51] and the ISI maintained its support even as its extremism became an international embarrassment. However, with the Pakistani Taliban becoming a larger and more organised force, the ISI found itself struggling to keep them under control. As their demands has become increasingly at odds with the wishes of the military and political elite of the nation, there is less they can do to stem the tide. The Taliban is fighting for a national form that strongly contrasts with any modern conception of the state, using methods that are as divisive as they are brutal. Their ability to gain support from anti-establishment Islamists and provide them with a voice has profound consequences for Pakistani nationalism as they continue to divide the nation using the language of Islam for their own gain.


Pakistan remains a deeply divided nation. These three groups represent just a small number of the people and organisations that attempt to speak for Islam in Pakistan. The Sajjada-Nashins exist as the feudal landlords whose power is predicated entirely upon their supposed spiritual powers. This is a superstition that they have successfully exploited for personal gain. Their role in the nation as spiritual mediums and political figures has had profound consequences for the way in which a majority of Pakistanis think about their nation.

 The Jamaat-e-Islami have attempted to unify people behind them by openly criticising the Sajjada-Nashins and calling for a more monolithic form of Islam predicated upon Sharia. Their lack of continued success is a testament to the power of the Sajjada-Nashin but also to the divisive nature of their Islamic message. As they continue to proselytise in the name of Islam, they also marginalise a huge number of Pakistanis who wish for more inclusivity, and so have become little more than another Sunni faction in an increasingly factionalised state.

 The Taliban represent the largest problem for Pakistani nationalism, as they remain primarily an ethno-religious organisation intent on enforcing strict Wahhabi Islam in a nation that has both little experience and interest in it. Their explicit sectarianism has divided the nation and coerced people into more and more specific religious or ethnic groupings. Pakistan was established in the name of Islam, and has utilised the language of Islam as the single most important unifying factor for people from different cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. With such a large and diverse population, it comes as little surprise that so many disparate groups claim to speak for the true Islam, and that this situation has divided the nation today more than ever before.

 Alexander Willox travelled to Pakistan in 2010 and currently finishing his Master of International Relations student at the University of Melbourne.

[1]   Warren Frederick Larson, Islamic Ideology and Fundamentalism in Pakistan: Climate for Conversion to Christianity?(University Press of America: Boston, 1998), p. 84.

[2]   Leonard Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, (University of California Press: Berkley, 1963), p. 3.

[3]   Ibid. p. 4.

[4]   Warren Frederick Larson, Islamic Ideology and Fundamentalism in Pakistan: Climate for Conversion to Christianity, p. 79.

[5]   Ibid. p. 80 – 81.

[6]   The khilifat movement, caliphate movement, was a mid nineteenth century movement in the sub-continent for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate.

[7]   Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country, (New York: Public Affairs, 2011), p. 57.

[8]   Ibid.p. 83.

[9]   Warren Frederick Larson, Islamic Ideology and Fundamentalism in Pakistan: Climate for Conversion to Christianity, p. 28.

[10]   Leonard Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, p. 22.

[11]   Leonard Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, p. 4.

[12]   Warren Frederick Larson, Islamic Ideology and Fundamentalism in Pakistan: Climate for Conversion to Christianity, p. 83.

[13]   Katherine Ewing, “The Politics of Sufism Redefining the Saints of Pakistan” in The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2 (February 1983), p. 260.

[14]   Muhammad Hassanali, “Sufi Influence on Pakistani Politics and Culture” in Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies,Vol. 2, No. 1, (2010), p. 39.

[15]   Muhammad Hassanali, “Sufi Influence on Pakistani Politics and Culture,” p. 39.

[16]   Katherine Ewing, “The Politics of Sufism Redefining the Saints of Pakistan,” p. 254.

[17]   Lieutenant-governor of the Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dwyer, in Riaz Hassan, “Religion, Society and the State in Pakistan: Pirs and Politics” in Asian Survey, Vol. 27, No. 5 (may 1987), p. 569.

[18]   Hamza Alavi, “Social Forces and Ideology in the Making of Pakistan”, in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 51 (Dec. 21-27, 2002), p. 5123.

[19]   Hamza Alavi, “Social Forces and Ideology in the Making of Pakistan,” p. 5123.

[20]   Ibid, p. 139.

[21]   Katherine Ewing, “The Politics of Sufism Redefining the Saints of Pakistan,” p. 255

[22]   Ibid. p. 251.

[23]   Muhammad Hassanali, “Sufi Influence on Pakistani Politics and Culture”, p. 36.

[24]   Ibid.

[25]   Katherine Ewing, “The Politics of Sufism Redefining the Saints of Pakistan,” p. 258.

[26]   Muhammad Hassanali, “Sufi Influence on Pakistani Politics and Culture,” p. 37.

[27]   Muhammad Hassanali, “Sufi Influence on Pakistani Politics and Culture,” p. 41.

[28]   Sehwan Sharif, “Sufism: Of Saints and Sinners” in The Economist, Dec 18, 2008, available [Online]; (13/10/2013).

[29]   Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country, p. 138.

[30]   Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country, p. 138.

[31]   Sehwan Sharif, “Sufism: Of Saints and Sinners”.

[32]   Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country, p. 129.

[33]   Ibid. p. 84.

[34]   Leonard Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan, p. 28.

[35]   Muhammad Hassanali, “Sufi Influence on Pakistani Politics and Culture,” p. 40.

[36]   Ibid.

[37]   Riaz Hassan, “Religion, Society and the State in Pakistan: Pirs and Politics” in Asian Survey, Vol. 27, No. 5, May 1987, p. 565.

[38]   Shehzad H. Qazi, “Rebels of the Frontier: Origins, Organisation, and Recruitment of the Pakistani Taliban,” p. 575.

[39]   Ibid.

[40]   Jayshree Bajoria and Jonathon Masters, “Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists” in The Council on Foreign Relations, September 26, 2012.

[41]   Jaycee Bajoria, “Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists.”

[42] Hasan Abbas, “A Profile of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan” in CTC Sentinel, Vol. 1, Issue. 2, January 2008, p. 2.

[43]   Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country, p. 133.

[44]   Hasan Abbas, “A Profile of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan,” p. 2

[45]   Hasan Abbas, “A Profile of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan”, p. 3

[46]   Jayshree Bajoria and Jonathon Masters, “Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists”

[47]   Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country, p. 133.

[48]   Ibid.

[49]   Hasan Abbas, “A Profile of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan”, p. 3

[50]   Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos, (New York: Penguin Books, 2009), p. 25.

[51]   Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos, p. 25.