From an interview with Noam Chomsky about his views on elections in Pakistan:

Coming to election issues, what do you think, sitting afar and as an observer, are the basic issues that need to be handled by whoever is voted into power?

NC: Well, first of all, the internal issues. Pakistan is not a unified country. In large parts of the country, the state is regarded as a Punjabi state, not their (the people's) state. In fact, I think the last serious effort to deal with this was probably in the 1970s, when during the Bhutto regime some sort of arrangement of federalism was instituted for devolving power so that people feel the government is responding to them and not just some special interests focused on a particular region and class. Now that's a major problem.

Pakistan is an Islamic state, why does Chomsky call it a Punjabi state?

  • 2
    You might want to rephrase the question, since there are a number of possible answers that probably aren't relevant. (Including "Because Chomsky is frequently wrong about things" :-))
    – jamesqf
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 18:49
  • Pakistan is an Islamic state, why does Chomsky call it a Punjabi state? You are comparing religion with an ethnic group. Punjabi people, not Punjabi religion. Punjabi people follow various religions: Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Baptist Christianity, Catholicism and Atheism. Not sure if there are Mormons, Laveyan Satanists. Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 3:17

1 Answer 1


He is just referring to the fact that the government in Islamabad (a Punjab region sort of) have not managed to give citizens from other regions a collective Pakistani mindset.

  • Which is one of the problems in for example Latin America. But the US is also an example in Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 15:51

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