Seeing these connections, I decided to write an article on personal names and identity in Pakistan. The first thing I discovered was that this subject, onomastics, is not researched at all in the country. Richard Temple had written on Punjabi names but that was in 1883. And Anne Marie Schimmel had written to underline the fact that Pakistanis do not know Arabic and get the Islamic names all wrong (Nabi Baksh is theologically incorrect according to the stricter interpretations of Islam as she pointed out). However, as in all other fields, in the last few decades, there are hundreds of articles and even books on the names of the people of the whole world but nothing on Pakistan. This, I thought, was a gap I could fill. And I thought it would be easy. But it proved to be more difficult than I thought.
Then I set out to find frequencies of the occurrence of Islamic components, caste components and so on. I found that the percentage of Islamic components of the names of the 1950s was less than it was in the names of the 1990s. This could be attributed to the Islamisation project of Ziaul Haq. But this percentage is not very high. Other names showing defiance of America are Saddam and Osama, which were not common before the Iraq War and 9/11.
Class, region and modernisation are also linked with names.
Names are also used to hide besieged identities.