Gilgit - BaltistanPakistan

Celebrate fragments of the whole

by Aziz Ali Dad

The current mantra of war on terror is blown out of proportion by those whose interest lies in the protection of nation state, extremist agenda and world system on the one hand, and perpetuation of violence on the other. In this process, people living on the margins of nation state, global jihad and globalisation bear most of the brunt. Nation states of the world have joined the chorus of war on terror with bad faith to shirk the responsibility of curing their societies of malaise that exists within. It is bad faith of the ruling class of the world which lumps together strange bedfellows like Hezbollah, Darfur, Basques, Hamas, Taliban, Al-Qaida, Tamils and Chechens on the one side, and people believe on conspiracy theories on the other. This approach may help nations to suppress insurgencies in the short term, but cannot prevent a return of the repressedwith vengeance in the long term.

One of the inherent flaws in lumping different separatist and violent movements together is that it ignores diverse social, cultural, religious, political and economics contexts that gave birth to them. Second, people wallow in conspiracies spawned by proponents of status quo and obscurantist forces, and do not engage with real issues. Owing to this, policy makers devise counter strategies that are incompatible with ground realities. Hence, strategies concerning violence become non-starters. The contemporary discourse of terrorism sees violence in Manichean terms of good and evil.

In addition, it stifles the breathing space available for dissenting voices to negotiate their separateness and difference of opinion. Ultimately, the voices of sanity are drowned in a Manichean war of good and evil. Such are the consequences of monomaniac mind that even our sense of listening is attuned only to monologue and averse to a discordant dialogue.

Tearing down wall between India and Pakistan will not resolve the problems instantly. Rather, there is a strong possibility of emergence of new forms of conflicts begotten by reconfigurations of social structures and realignment of power relations. Before we can remove physical walls, it is imperative to remove walls in the minds of people. For guidance we can look for scholarship that endeavours to recover identities of groups who were displaced, denigrated and in some cases exterminated through dominating modes of representation and nationalist elite’s dominance in history.

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