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Punjabi

Making the Federation Effective

The finest experiment in nationhood in its time came apart 24 years later in 1971, West Pakistan barely surviving as a truncated Pakistan. A myriad number of reasons turned this great adventure into a disaster, the major one was that the people of East Pakistan felt ignored and disparaged. During 1965 this isolation (“the defence of the East is in the West”), along with economic and political disparities and discrimination, perceived as well as real, became the bedrock for separatism. Economic reasons may have contributed heavily to bringing Pakistan down to its knees this time around, the overall political picture of inter-Provincial disharmony has assumed crisis proportions. When partners in any venture feel they are being shortchanged and their counterparts are insensitive to their needs, the process of dissolution of the union starts. In its own defence, the major partner then proceeds to blame the others for a lack of “patriotism”, “the last refuge of a scoundrel” (to quote Samuel Johnson).

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