A Brief History of Pakistan, Volume 1

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Infobase Publishing, 2009 - History - 324 pages
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Situated in the northwest corner of the Indian subcontinent, the

Islamic Republic of Pakistan occupies a position of historic importance.

Its strategic location, its role in the birth of civilization, and its

infl uence as a crossroads of political and religious ideologies have kept

it at the forefront of world events. Geographically, present-day Pakistan

has long been a gateway between Eurasia and the subcontinent and

between East and West. Its culture and history have been enriched by

the countless invaders, traders, and settlers who have been a part of

the region’s past. Some, like Alexander the Great and his army, merely

passed through but left a lasting mark. Others, such as the Arab armies

spreading the word of Islam and the British who imposed the ways of

the West, became an integral part of the region’s culture and character.

Some of humankind’s greatest works of art and architecture, of verse

and word, were created here. Today the region again has taken an

outsized role on the world stage: It is a linchpin in the global struggle

against terrorism, a cauldron in the heated confl ict between secular and

theocratic rule, a poster nation for the struggle between autocracy and

democracy, and a nuclear power whose relations with its neighbor India

have made this one of the most unstable regions in the world.

Most Westerners know little about this region or nation. Though an

independent state only since 1947, its homeland has a history unique

from the rest of the subcontinent it shares with India. Here the Indus

Valley Civilization, one of the world’s earliest and greatest, fl ourished

contemporaneously with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian empires. The

region has also been a cradle of spiritual awakening. Here Hinduism was

born in the aftermath of the Aryan migration into the region that began

about 1700–1500 B.C.E. A scant distance away, the Buddha received

enlightenment, founding a religion and philosophy that transformed

the region. Islam, which would have an even greater impact, gained its

foothold in Asia in what is today Pakistan. And the Sikh religion can

trace its roots to the region as well.

One of the most fabled dynasties in history, the Mughals, a regime so

rich and powerful that today its name is synonymous with those attributes,

ruled from here, as over the years have robber princes, religious

zealots, and ruthless vagabonds. During the British occupation, what



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The Land and Its Early History
Inroads of Armies and Ideas
The Coming of Islam
The Mughal Period
Trading Company Wars
The Raj Era
The Road to Independence
The Challenges of Independence
Military Rule
Between East and West
Civilian Rule Restored
A Return to the World Stage

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Foreword by Fawaz A. Gerges

A Brief History of Pakistan

Copyright 2009 by James Wynbrandt; foreword by Fawaz A. Gerges

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form

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any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the

publisher. For information contact:

Facts On File, Inc.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Wynbrandt, James.

A brief history of Pakistan / James Wynbrandt; foreword by Fawaz A. Gerges.

p. cm.—(Brief history)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-6184-6

ISBN-10: 0-8160-6184-X

1. Pakistan—History. I. Title.

DS382.W96 2008

954.91—dc22 2008008921

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Text design by Joan M. McEvoy

Cover design by Semadar Megged/Jooyoung An

Map design by Sholto Ainslie

Printed in the United States of America

MP Hermitage 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This book is printed on acid-free paper and contains 30 percent postconsumer

recycled content.

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