The News on Sunday (TNS): As an academic who has returned to Pakistan after spending time abroad, how do you look at the state of Pakistan? Does it look like a failed state with no hope of redemption? Does the state need to redefine itself?
Nauman Naqvi (NN): Frankly, most — if not all — states look like failed states at this juncture. The Pakistani middle-class has a tendency to see Pakistan as singular in its crises. In general, nationalism and the territorial spatiality of the nation-state, combined with the narcissistic individualism of capitalism, together produce an involuted individual/collective self-imagination that results in an exceptionalist self-understanding: we are the best/we are the worst — in either case, we are like no other.