Political Culture and Heritage
Pakistan came into existence as the fulfillment of a dream to create a Muslim homeland in South Asia. Consequently, Pakistan's dominant political values and beliefs have revolved around alternative interpretations of the meaning of "Muslim nationalism," which advocates understand as the ideal for pursuing a stable democratic polity that represents the people who reside within Pakistan's territorial confines. Since the separation of Bangladesh in 1971, truncated Pakistan has contained five major politically significant ethnic groups or nations: Punjabis, Sindhis, Pakhtuns, muhajirs, and the Baloch. Islamic identity is at the core of Pakistani beliefs and values. Islam is both a religious doctrine and a code of social and political organization. Pakistan possesses one of the most varied geographical settings in the world. Demographically, Pakistan suffers the effects of rapid population growth, the highest rate of increase of all the South Asian states at around two percent per year.