More than six decades after being carved out of British India, PakistanÃÂ remains an enigma. Born in 1947 as the first self-professed MuslimÃÂ state, it rejected theocracy; vulnerable to the appeal of political Islam,ÃÂ it aspired to Western constitutionalism; prone to military dictatorship,ÃÂ it hankered after democracy; unsure of what it stood for, PakistanÃÂ has been left clutching at an identity beset by an ambiguous relationÃÂ to Islam.ÃÂ This bookÃ¢ÂÂa work of interpretation rather than of historicalÃÂ researchÃ¢ÂÂaddresses the political, economic and strategic implicationsÃÂ of PakistanÃ¢ÂÂs uncertain national identity. Such uncertainty has hadÃÂ profound and far-reaching consequences: it has deepened the countryÃ¢ÂÂsÃÂ divisions and discouraged plural definitions of the Pakistani. It hasÃÂ blighted good governance and tempted political elites to use the languageÃÂ of Islam as a substitute for democratic legitimacy. It has distortedÃÂ economic and social development and fuelled a moral discourseÃÂ that has sought to gauge progress against supposed Islamic standards.ÃÂ It has intensified the struggle between rival conceptions of PakistanÃÂ and set the countryÃ¢ÂÂs claim to be a Muslim homeland against its obligationÃÂ to act as a guarantor of Islam. More ominously still, it hasÃÂ driven this nuclear-armed state to look beyond its frontiers in searchÃÂ of validation, thus encouraging policies that pose a threat to its survivalÃÂ and to the security of the international community.