The country of Pakistan (in Urdu and Persian meaning “Land of the Pure”—a term coined in 1933 by Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, a Muslim movement activist) was to be formed, theoretically, out of the Muslim populations of British India. These populations—or the elites among them—had at times ruled over the Hindu populations of the Indian subcontinent, notably in the course of a succession of Muslim empires in South Asia. The last of these was the Mughal Empire, which ruled from the 16th to the 19th centuries, the architectural apotheosis of which was the creation of the Taj Mahal under Emperor Shah Jahan. The decline of the Mughal Empire, starting in the 18th century, left it an empire in name only as it gave way to the ...

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