Ethnic politics has its own standing in politics around the globe. People who belong to diverse ethnic groups share their concerns regarding the challenges faced by their ethnic group. Similarly, ethnic political parties are created to spread specific ethnic narratives. These ethnic narratives sometimes give rise to extreme and narrow nationalism which can prove hazardous for states sovereignty and brings unrest within a state resulting in unending chaos and deep agitation. An ethnic group is a bunch of individuals who share a common culture, language, norms, and racial values. The inequalities and atrocities faced by a certain ethnic group in a country are used as tools of exploitation by certain political parties to gain their own specific interests.
Pakistan is a blend of nations and ethnic groups among which the most dominant are Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi and Pashtuns, others include Saraiki, Muhajir, Jat, Afghans, Hindkowan which are in minority. Most of the politicians who come into power belong to one of the groups mentioned above. These politicians having a sense of nationalism in their veins and haughtiness of sense of belonging to their tribe gives them an extra boost to jolt the floors of their countries legislative assembly. Highlighting the issues which are faced by their tribe in the House of Representatives and playing politics in the name of nationalism is their sole duty. Pakistan has witnessed people like these quite frequently for whom regional interest came first rather than the countries national interest.
The president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, once said
“Politics that’s based solely on a tribe and ethnicity is politics that’s doomed to tear a country apart”. “It’s a failure a failure of imagination.”
These words are from a person who regardless of belonging to a black inferior racial group became the president of the world sole hegemonic power. Setting racial, cultural, lingual and national differences aside when it comes to the benefit of a country is the only way forward by which a country can possibly make progress and leave its mark on the face of the earth.
Pakistan, a country having a population of 204 million as per July 2017 census, the ethnic groups consists of 44.7% Punjabis, 15.5% Pashtuns, 14.1% Sindhi, 3.6% Baloch and 7.6% Muhajirs. Each of these ethnic groups has its own interest, like working for the betterment of their own community and further preserving it. In such cases, the country’s development and prosperity come next. Consequently, the ethnic politics results into a continues threat to the country, in the form of faulty good governance, weak democracy and violation of basic human rights.
It is evident from our history, that Pro-nationalist political parties have used ethnicity as a resource for political manipulation, and attaining things for self-interest. All these factors provided dominancy to a single ethnic group in the country, this imbalance is from Justice system to the political arena of the country. This shift of power to a single ethnic group provided a reason for other ethnic groups to consider themselves a minority in their own country. This feeling of being in sideline has promoted a sense of deprivation in other ethnic groups.
Those ethnic groups whose rights and privileges are denied are thus compelled to rebellion acts against the state authorities and are forced to snatch their rights and prerogatives through violent means which create a total lack of order inside a country. Extreme nationalism is the root cause of all unrest and instability inside a country. Love for one nation is the hate for the other. Democracy demands a system of equality and uniformity within a state where each and every ethnic group gets their due political, economic and social rights.
Empowering a certain elite with enough political power results in the ethnic conflict, which is a major reason why countries like Pakistan lay behind from most of the countries in the world. Once unity is targeted all other ways for countries progress perishes. In Pakistan Security concerns of different ethnic groups must be addressed wisely otherwise in the near future a huge uprising might ascent by deprived class of this country which can prove quite unhealthy for the countries stability.
Furthermore, minorities must also be given their legitimate rights we must make this country a role model for the entire world. A country envisaged by quaid e Azam was a country where freedom could’ve been enjoyed by each individual regardless of their ethnicity and racial, religious differences. The taste of freedom is sweeter than sugar.
Furthermore, Pakistan is not the only country suffering from this problem. Countries like India and some African countries are also faced with similar situation. The famous separatist movement by Sikh majority of India has started “Khalistan movement” by which they demand a separate state of their own. They have knocked the doors of international institutions from which they expect justice. Separatist movements like these are witnessed all across the globe where a suppressed ethnic majority is subject to exploitation and violence.