From its very inception, the basis of Pakistani nationhood and identity have been bitterly contested. Its birth tainted by the violence of partition, and its present plagued by religious extremism, some have gone so far as to say that the creation of Pakistan was a historic mistake. The Promise of Pakistan takes us beyond the conventional focus on the apparent “failure” of Pakistan, arguing that much of this perception stems from a Eurocentric, orientalist framework, which views the country through a kaleidoscope of Western assumptions. Through a combination of historical inquiry and philosophical reformulation, S. Sayyid considers the limits and possibilities of political Islam as a means of building society, offering a new perspective on state building within South Asia and the wider postcolonial world. It is a radical explanation of what Pakistan has become that offers a bold new vision of what it could be.