Members of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn Sheikh Mohammad Nasib (called to bar 1896) and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (called to bar 1897) with fellow advocates of the Pakistan Movement in Malir Cantt Karachi, 1946.The story of Pakistan is the story of representation. It is the story of human behaviour guided by (abstract) ideas. And it is the story of power and interest. Abstract conceptualisations of ideas and their link to representation is not a new phenomenon of exploration in the discipline. The idea of influence played a role in the society formation of ancient Greeks followed by the Romans introducing the term in old French as repraesentare and it was in the thirteenth century that it emerged in Latin and was utilised in the English language with increased participation of citizenry in church councils or the parliament as representatives. The term, eventually, took on a deeper meaning during the American and French revolutions with the emergence of the individual rights and the fight for freedom. Political theorist Hanna F Pitkin suggests that this deepened meaning associated with representation has since been linked to the notion of self-government and has seeped into the embodiment of institutions with an objective of preserving freedom, equality and justice.Fearful of domination and wanting to secure a political voice that the Hindu majority in the subcontinent would not drown out, the Muslims of India collectively organised through networks. Though the path of the movement can be characterised as anything but linear in securing space for the cultivation of a unique political identity, it was, however, consistent in gaining momentum around a reformed view of nationalism from the turn of the century to the inception of the new nation. The transformation of an abstract idea, that unified segments of population across the subcontinent into a tangible outcome of a negotiated settlement of Pakistan, is regarded as quite remarkable by historians and serves as the foundation of inquiry as its formation augmented the development of new global political futures and deviated from the conceptualisations of the Old World nationalism (which can be argued to have potentially contributed to the failure of the League of Nations in the rapidly changing world). This new nationalism transcended territory with an idea of a nation based on a principle and the inherent right to representation through self-determination. Nationalism based on people and fraternity was born out of the European revolutions of 1848 that sought independence from old monarchies that laid the foundations of the new definition of nationhood based on the choice of the people, to be governed by consent. This very consent conceptualised representation as a modality of self-governance with the assumption that people are free, equal and capable of self-determination was instrumental to the shifting nature of the nationhood.The fluctuating global political landscapes as a consequence of both World Wars and the dissolution of the League of Nations eroded the Old World systems and disillusioned minority leaders, especially in the colonised world, and compelled the argument of national belonging as the international system of minority protections seemed to have collapsed. It can, then, be argued that young men of Indian society with British education were, in fact, influenced by these very changing realities and exported these new revolutionary notions to the Muslim minority dilemma faced in nations around the world contributing to the already existing pan-Islamic political fraternity. Jinnah, in a presidential address to the special Pakistan session of the Punjab Muslim Students Federation in 1941, announced the death of the League of Nations as a significant global event and stated: “…you do not realise that the entire face of the world is changed from week to week and from month to month in the European and other fields of battle”. Historians agree that the period between the mid-19th century to mid-20th century redefined social, economic and political realities as the ideas of citizenship emerged. Legitimacy of a popular sovereignty and citizenry were categorised as active and passive with active participating in decision makingHistorians agree that mid-nineteenth century to mid-twentieth century redefined social, economic and political realities as ideas of citizenship emerged. Legitimacy of popular sovereignty and citizenry were categorised as active and passive with active participating in decision making and passive defined as those without property (women and minorities) although had natural civil rights, but were not allowed space to exercise political rights.It was during this time that the world witnessed the passive citizenry form networks around ideas and manages a ‘communal’ identity, a term highlighted by historical Ayesha Jalal’s work on sovereignty, which resulted in the fight for political rights. With the publication of Qu’est-ce qu’une nation in 1882, French philosopher Ernest Renan presented a revolutionary understanding of nationhood stating that if people make the choice of consolidating differences, perpetuate unity and will governance by consent, then, in fact, they cumulate a nation. Along the same lines, Muslim and non-Muslim leaders of the Pakistan movement negotiated religious dogma and collectively progressed towards the idea of an independent Muslim nation. It can be argued that the creation of Pakistan challenged traditional politics and redefined nationality in the wake of Second World War and paved the way to a new dimension of political identity of self-determined representation and participation to avoid oppression by a majority.The politics of the Pakistan movement utilised religiosity as a unifier to rally an identity that cut across socio-economic and ethnic dimensions to ensure a political participation. Scholarship in the field regards this type of political position, held by people around common interests and or perspectives to form networks of influence and coalitions to amplify voice of the minority, as identity politics. Although the term identity politics was coined quite recently, it can, however, trace its theoretical origins to James Madison’s reference of ‘factions’ in Federalist Paper No 10 (1787) and is witnessed in the creation of the Jewish state of Israel. Its visibility can also be argued between history pages of the subcontinent’s pre-and post-partition India, the independence of East Pakistan, the political challenge of Kashmir and more recently the Balochi and the Pashtun movements. As a Governor-General of the newly created Pakistan, Jinnah compared the politics of identity in the context of nationhood and sense of belonging at a meeting in Dacca in 1948 by highlighting the example of the United States which was also constructed around common ideals of freedom and liberty by successfully destroying ‘sectionalism’ and identified collectively as Americans. Perhaps a deeper understanding of Pakistan’s story of representation is necessary in the context of global influencers and shifting post World War world systems. Further (holistic) inquiry into the role of identity formation and the redefinition of nationhood in the context of securing minority representation is recommended to gain insight into the current challenges of representation faced by the country’s minority population. It is at the very intersection of human behaviour, abstract (ideas), and networks of influence that the story of Pakistan, the story of representation, finds its roots within the shifting social, political and economic structures and processes of the world.The writer is a PhD Candidate in Political Economy at the University of Missouri St. Louis and serves as a civil society UN Representative at the ECOSOC. As a former political appointee of St Louis County Government and an Adjunct Professor of Social Sciences at CUNY, her area of policy and teaching include criminal justice and comparative politics. Twitter at @suitcasememoirs Published in Daily Times, March 26th 2018.