Social Scientist. v 9, no. 97 (Aug 1980) p. 58.

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Islamic Fundamentalism

ISLAMIC fundamentalism can best be understood by analysing Pakistan's path of development as that country has always been found to be in search for a theoretical foundation. The proclamation of political independence is the culmination of the first stage of national liberation movement. Then comes the long period of struggle for economic independence whose success hinges on the particular path of national regeneration chosen. The search fora correct path thus stands as the crucial problem before the countries which have thrown off the shackles of colonial slavery. To gain economic independence, such countries must achieve high rates of production growth, correct the one-sided structure of their economy, and do away with non-equivalent trade, break the stranglehold of foreign capital, addicate the carry-overs of the feudal syrtem in the countryside and so on.

Full emancipation from dependence on imperialism is a long and difficult process. So long as they remain in the orbit of world capitalism, the newly independent states have to submit to the kind of international division of labour the imperialists prescribe. This only makes it harder for them to remedy the one-sided structure of their economies and go over to industrialization. Take the countries of Latin America most of whom have long enjoyed political independence but are still economically dependent on and remain for the greater part as subsidiaries of the United States economy.

Granted that under modern conditions capitalism does not necessarily exclude a fair degree of economic progress, it cannot ensure successful and, above all, rapid solution of the problems to overcome economic retardation of newly free countries. Gonse-cuently, they are seeking new paths of development.

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