Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sardars and Nawabs, have adopted a hybrid identity

At least since the 1920s, with the emergence of some elements of nationalist awareness, the tribal structures and values faced with new challenges. Giving priority to national
loyalty could undermine tribal loyalty, and this was an alarming threat for the power of the sardars. Choosing the nationalist label, tactically or strategically, in any form, at least could serve nawabs and sardars, to minimize the damaging effects of so much division and suspicion. For many decades, rarely a sardar, in Baluchistan, has refrained from being called or calling him a nationalist. As result, a section of sardars and nawabs, have adopted a hybrid identity, combining nationalism and tribalism.

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The current situation in Pakistani Baluchistan, in which inter and intra-tribal feuds and rivalries, amalgamated with nationalist insurgencies occur, has to some extent Deep roots in the social and political structures inherited from the British direct rule in this area. This historical context reflects not only a weak and highly fragmented state in Pakistan, but also weaker tribal systems in Baluchistan. The fragmented political structure in Pakistan has been associated with strong elitist security-military institutions. With the further weakness of the Pakistani state during the last two decades, the conflicts and rivalries in Baluchistan, as a marginalized area, have increased, and as a result coercive measures by the security forces, have intensified.

The fragmented political structures, which are seen as main sources of autonomous power of the sardars, are very likely to continue for a long period .When there is no strong culture of enlightenment and a hegemonic power, from inside or outside; rivalries and bloodshed are more likely to continue. Rivalries among the sardars on one hand, and coercive measures by the security forces on the other, have created a vacuum of power, which can create a fertile ground for the further influence of radical religious forces that widely use anti-corruption, egalitarian and anti-injustice rhetoric, and to some extent benefit from the support or sympathy of the security forces.

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