Friday 11th May
16.00-18.00 Reception at the Rook How
20.00 Dinner (The Ivy House, Hawkshead, www.ivyhousehotel.com)
Saturday 12th May
9.00-09.45 Opening (Chair: Iain Edgar)
9.00- 09.45Introduction of the participants
09.45-11.15 Social and political issues in contemporary Pakistan
(Chair: Steve Lyon)
09.45-10.45 Change in sociology and pattern of leadership in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) since the arrival of Al Qaeda, Mariam Abou Zahab, IEP-CERI/INALCO, Paris
10.45-11.30 From medical relief to community health care: a case study of non-governmental organisation in North West Frontier Province, Madeleine Patterson, University of Edinburgh
11.30- 11.45 Coffee break/ Ghap Shap
11.45- 13.15 British Pakistanis and Politics (Chair: Virinder Kalra)
11.45-12.30 Revisiting the UK Muslim Diasporic Public Sphere at a Time of Terror: From local (benign) invisible spaces to seditious conspiratorial spaces and national media dialogue, Pnina Werbner, Keele University
12.30-13.15 Kashmiri-Diaspora and political mobilization, Martin Sokefeld, Universität Bern
13.15-14.00 Lunch (Pakistani khana)
14.00-15.30 Walk in the woods
15.30-17.00 ‘Vilayat’ and ‘Back Home’ (Chair: Marta Bolognani)
15.30-16.15 “A lot of people like going to Pakistan and staying there, because they’ll be treated like a queen”: Paradoxes of class and caste for young British Pakistani women, Jody Mellor, York University
16.15- 17.00 “A Sunbeam of Hope”: Negotiations of identity and belonging among Pakistanis in Denmark , Mikkel Rytter, Københavns Universitet, Denmark
17.00-17.15 Coffee Break/ Ghap Shap
17.15-18.45 Pakistani Diasporas and Health Issues (Chair: Kaveri Harriss)
17.15-18.00 The Timing and Experience of Menopause among British Pakistani Women in Bradford and Leeds, West Yorkshire: Preliminary Results and Discussion of Issues in the Field, Mwenza Blell, University of Durham
18.00-18.45 Pakistani communities and Health in Barcelona: an ongoing research on ethnographic and applied anthropology, Hugo Valenzuela García, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
20.00 Dinner / Masti… (The Armadale, near Ulverston, www.armadalehotel.co.uk)
Sunday 13th May
9.00-10.30Ummah: dream or reality? (Chair: Mariam Abou-Zahab)
9.00-09.45 Dreams and the ‘unseen’ worlds of Islam and the self, Iain Edgar, University of Durham
09.45-10.30 Contesting Muslim Pilgrimage:British-Pakistanis, Sacred Journeys to Makkah and Madinah and the Global Postmodern , Seán McLoughlin, University of Leeds
10.30- 10.45 Coffee break/ Ghap Shap
10.45 12.15 Colonial Rule and Education (Chair: Nukhbah Langah )
10.45-11.30 Colonial Governance and Art Education in the 19th Century Punjab, Nadeem Omar
11.30-12.15 Narratives of Progress, Narratives of Displacement: Urdu and the Intikaal of Muhammad Hussain Azad, Jeffrey Diamond, College of Charleston, USA
12.15-13.00 Lunch (Pakistani khana)
13.00-13.45 Islam in South Asia (Chair: Pnina Werbner)
13.00-13.45 Deconstructing and Reconstructing ‘Muslim Women’ through Women’s Narratives, Nida Kirmani, University of Manchester
13.45-14.30Discussion on the role of the Pakistan Studies Group and promotion of other events (Chair: Mwenza Blell)
Social and political issues in contemporary Pakistan
(Chair: Steve Lyon)
Change in sociology and pattern of leadership in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) since the arrival of Al Qaeda
Mariam Abou Zahab, IEP-CERI/INALCO, Paris
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My paper discusses the change in sociology and pattern of leadership in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) since the arrival of Al Qaeda in the area after 9/11. The focus is on Waziristan which has become the hub of Al Qaeda and local and Afghan taliban. Drawing on social movements theories, my key argument is that the talibanisation of Waziristan might be analyzed as the outcome of a social movement among the Wazir tribesmen which started in the 1970s and was accelerated in the post 9/11 context by the emergence of "tribal entrepreneurs" who took advantage of a change of political opportunities and of their access to resources to content the traditional leadership.
The paper, which is still work in progress, is just a starting point to develop the understanding of the internal dynamics of Pashtun tribal society. It first provides an outline of the changes which have occurred in the last two decades in the social and demographic structure of Waziristan. Then, I look at the developments in the post 9/11 environment and at the emergence of an alternative leadership and I discuss the new status of mullahs as political actors and arbitrators between the tribes and the State. Finally, I address the redefinition of Pashtun identity and the subordination of Pashtun nationalism to the politics of religious identity.
From medical relief to community health care: a case study of non-governmental organisation in North West Frontier Province
Madeleine Patterson, University of Edinburgh
This case study is designed to answer the question whether refugees can make a positive contribution to host countries, not simply as individual participants in economic activity, but by contributing to welfare. The thesis provides a detailed study of an NGO originally established to provide medical relief for refugees but which now provides basic health care for local people. Since 1995 this NGO has adopted a policy of providing the same basic care to refugees and to people in local Pakistani villages, thus making no distinction between refugees and the residents of a specific geographical area. The case study also shows that an NGO can be an appropriate and effective provider of primary health care (PHC) as promoted by the 1978 Declaration of Alma Ata.
The thesis uses several approaches to demonstrate why this happened and how it was achieved. Firstly, it narrates the history over the twenty-year period 1980-2000 of an international health project originally started for a group of Afghan refugees, and its transformation in 1995 into an indigenous Pakistani NGO called “Frontier Primary Health Care (FPHC)”. Secondly, the study explores the theoretical utility and limitations of the PHC strategy generally. Thirdly, the thesis provides an analysis of the extent to which the underlying principles or “pillars” of PHC, that is, participation, inter-sectoral collaboration and equity have affected the process and outcomes of the project.
Locating the case study in the Pakistani context provides evidence of the persistent difficulties and shortcomings of official government basic health care in Pakistan, particularly for rural poor people, showing that the field is open for other providers of health care, such as NGOs. The thesis goes on to discuss strengths and weaknesses of NGOs in general, and particularly as health care providers. In investigating characteristics of the NGO sector in Pakistan, the study pays special attention to the discrete health care system for Afghan refugees created in the early 1980s, including its introduction of Community Health Workers.
In order to assess the impact of the NGO on people’s health, the study uses data from mother/child health and family planning programmes (as far as available) demonstrating that this NGO is a more effective provider than the other two agencies i.e. the Government of Pakistan and the Afghan Refugee Health Programme. Placing the NGO in this context also shows that it has a better understanding of the underlying “pillars” and has made more determined and effective efforts to implement them, especially in regard to community involvement.
It is unusual for a project initially refugee-oriented to have matured sufficiently to be making a contribution, as a matter of formal policy, to basic welfare in the host country, itself a developing country. The study concludes that the significant factors in its success are continuity of leadership, boundaries of population, geography and administration; dependable income and material resources; rigorous supervision; support, but not takeover, by experienced consultants; capacity to use learning to adapt and move on; and sensitivity to local cultural norms. All these have enabled the project to survive and develop as an indigenous autonomous organisation beyond the twenty years covered by the case study. FPHC is still operational in 2004.
British Pakistanis and Politics
(Chair: Virinder Kalra)
Revisiting the UK Muslim Diasporic Public Sphere at a Time of Terror: From local (benign) invisible spaces to seditious conspiratorial spaces and national media dialogue,
Pnina Werbner , Keele University,
The paper considers a public dialogue which emerged in Britain among politicians – whose views were publicised in the mainstream media; the media - who publicised a series of exposés of hidden Islamic extremism; and Muslim national organisations - whose views were mainly published in the ethnic press. Accusations of the ‘failure of multiculturalism’ and of the fostering of sedition not only by Muslim organisations but in a range of other invisible spaces – from mosques to internet clubs – highlight an ironic shift from a time, analysed in my earlier work, in which the diasporic public sphere was invisible and local while being relatively benign, a space of rhetoric and factional conflicts for power – to a time when the debate has shifted to a national mediatised diasporic public sphere, no longer invisible and no longer benign. The paper considers the further question of whether multiculturalism is indeed just that – or whether it may not be more accurate to talk of religious pluralism? Second, it raises the question why Muslim integration into Britain – the so-called success of multiculturalism – is now tested symbolically by participation in Holocaust Memorial Day.
Kashmiri-Diaspora and political mobilization,
Martin Sökefeld, University of Bern,
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This paper discusses the role of political mobilisation for the formation of diaspora, taking the Kashmiri diaspora in Britain as example. While people from (Azad) Kashmir, particularly from the area of Mirpur, are present in the UK since many decades, it is a more recent development that a growing number of activists demand their identification and recognition as Kashmiris. Before they (were) identified predominantly as Pakistanis or simply as Mirpuris. Departing from critical issues and events the paper traces the development of Kashmiri political mobilisation in Britain and in transnational context that effected this shift in identification.
Pakistani diasporas and health issues
(Chair: Marta Bolognani)
The Timing and Experience of Menopause among British Pakistani Women in Bradford and Leeds, West Yorkshire: Preliminary Results and Discussion of Issues in the Field
Mwenza Blell, University of Durham
This project employs a biosocial research design to examine the factors influencing the timing and the lived experience of menopause in women of Pakistani origin living in Bradford and Leeds, UK. Data collection includes both quantitative and qualitative methods to develop a
multifactorial model of influences on timing and experience of menopause. This research will help to build an understanding of knowledge, beliefs, and practices surrounding menopause and
reproductive aging and an understanding of the prevalence of and risk factors for menopausal symptoms in British Pakistani women. The predictive power of aspects of life experience and social circumstances on the timing of menopause are also investigated. Issues emerging in the fieldwork around accessing women and some social phenomena which may constitute barriers to achievement of positive health outcomes (in the widest sense) will be discussed.
Pakistani communities and Health in Barcelona: an ongoing research on ethnographic and applied anthropology
Hugo Valenzuela García, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
During the last few years Spain has become a central destination of vast, world-wide, migration fluxes coming from North-Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The new situation of cultural diversity poses an important challenge for local Public Health Institutions and a new situation for newcomers, local users and medical professionals alike. Newcomers share different and often complex cultural, religious, economic and political backgrounds which need to be understood in order to guarantee appropriate health assistance.
Among the newcomers the Pakistani community represents a major and increasing migrant sector, since it has tripled in the last five years. Comparing with other migrant collectives, Pakistanis in Barcelona share a number of peculiarities: they represent the major concentration of Pakistani community in the whole state and, furthermore, they are mainly settled only in one neighbourhood, Raval; the collective is markedly masculine (95%) and comes almost completely from Gujrat (Punjab) where most of these individuals were landowners (chowdhri). Medically, they share a number of concrete pathologies which are complexly related with cultural, economic and religious factors. The research, which is funded by the Catalan Department of Public Health and is carried out by a team of university researchers working on some other different ethnic groups, seeks to find out how those major cultural, economic or religious factors might influence the Pakistani health assistance. Eventually, the aim is to produce an ethnographic report in order to improve both the daily activity of medical practitioners and the health condition and assistance of the local Pakistani community.
The paper, which might be taken as a presentation of the ongoing research, will raise methodological issues regarding anthropological fieldwork among health professionals, Pakistani associations and Pakistani patients in Hospitals alike. On the other hand, it will present some preliminary results after the first period of fieldwork in order to discuss them with other researchers working on health and Pakistani issues.
(Chair: Virinder Kalra)
“A lot of people like going to Pakistan and staying there, because they’ll be treated like a queen”: Paradoxes of class and caste for young British Pakistani women
Jody Mellor, York University
The Pakistani community in the UK is largely working class. In the post-war era, Pakistanis – who came largely from lower caste/class families – migrated to the UK and worked largely in manual, low-wage labour. The British government expected that migrants’ socioeconomic position and life chances would improve in time they assimilated into the ‘British way of life’. However, such integration has not occurred. Pakistanis continue to occupy the lowest rungs of society; they continue to occupy the lowest paid jobs and working conditions, have higher levels of unemployment, and are more likely to live in substandard housing. Class/race exclusion has been exacerbated by the recent changes to university funding structures, including the introduction of fees and the abolition of grants, which has made it increasingly difficult for working class students to attend university (Callender 2005). In recent years, Islam has become the vilified faith in Europe and the experiences of Muslims in the UK have further deteriorated since 9/11, 7/7 and 21/7 (Afshar 2006).
Yet, despite the exclusion faced in Britain, the Pakistani diaspora in the UK contributes to the economic, social and political development and sustenance of Pakistan. By sending remittances, investing in properties in rural and urban areas, and through charitable donations at times of crisis, British Pakistanis continue play an important role in their home country from abroad.
In this paper I explore the complex structures and experiences of class for British Pakistanis. Concentrating on young women who are 3rd ‘generation’, I analyse the experiences of women from working class backgrounds attending university. Many of these women have complex, contradictory and paradoxical experiences of class. Whilst at university – an elite institution where the majority of students are middle or upper class – the women have struggled to balance paid work with studies, long hours of commuting and sometimes are alienated because of their class (and other) positions. Yet, during ‘the visit’ home to rural and urban areas of Pakistan, many women and their families are considered upper class, almost akin to royalty, by the biraderi and community abroad. Many are ‘alien’ and foreign tourists in their home country, speaking the elite language of English, often shocked by the poverty, and made ill by the food and climate. In this paper I explore the hybridities of class for the young women that I talked to, concentrating on issues of generation, caste, and class mobility and fixity.
“A Sunbeam of Hope”: Negotiations of identity and belonging among
Pakistanis in Denmark
Mikkel Rytter, Københavns Universitet, Denmark,
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Pakistani male “guestworkers” came to Denmark 35-40 years ago. During the 1970s they sent for their wives and children, who came to Denmark through family-reunification, and more children were born in Denmark. Today approximately 25.000 people in Denmark have a family history related to Pakistan. Despite the many years in Denmark, Pakistan still plays a major role in the everyday life of the families through various transnational practices such as communication, remittances, travels and arranged marriages. The result is a dual frame of reference in which families orient themselves towards localities, networks and communities in Pakistan as well as Denmark. However their meaning and significance are contested within many families along the lines of generation and gender.This paper uses a stage play, written and performed by members of OPSA, a Pakistani youth organisation in Denmark, to discuss how identity and belonging are negotiated between the “first” and “second” generation of Pakistanis. The play depicts how members of a family are confronted with their extended family and common history, as they return to Pakistan for the summer holidays. The play employs a number of stereotypes as artistic effects to question whether the parents' generation had mismanaged their Pakistani identity and cultural heritage. I argue that the stage play served as a medium through which to publicly express a kind of critique that can be difficult to articulate and accept within a family structure treasuring values of parental respect and authority. Furthermore, the way in which the narrative of the play dealt with the themes of identity and belonging suggests that the possibility of leaving Denmark and returning to Pakistan exists as an “imaginary horizon” among the young members of OPSA and their families.
Ummah: dream or reality?...
(Chair: Mariam Abou-Zahab)
Dreams and the ‘unseen’ worlds of Islam and the self
Iain Edgar, University of Durham
I have been studying and presented papers at the last three Pakistan workshops regarding the role of ‘true dreams’ (ruya) in the inspiration, conversion and even strategic guidance of militant Islamic leaders and followers, including case-studies of Mullah Omar and others with a Pakistan connection. As well as revisiting some of the basics of this research, I will this year conclude with a thematic analysis of the main themes of this study: the divinatory role of such dreams in
relation to future events; their legitimation function for the Ummah; the atemporal relationship between dream, myth, identity and action; the reconfiguation of dream interpretation between the manifest and latent content of dreams; dreams and the ‘unseen’ worlds of Islam and
the self; dreams and military action.
Contesting Muslim Pilgrimage:British-Pakistanis, Sacred Journeys to Makkah and Madinah and the Global Postmodern
Seán McLoughlin, University of Leeds
As many as 125,000 British-Muslims travel to Makkah and Madinah on pilgrimage every year. Indeed, so long as they are physically fit and can afford to make the journey, it is incumbent upon the followers of Islam to undertake the hajj at least once in their lives. ‘Umrah, in contrast, is a voluntary ‘minor’ pilgrimage, which involves the performance of abbreviated rituals outside hajj season. During hajj and ‘umrah many Muslims will also seek to do ziyarah (visitation) of the tombs of sacred personalities such as the Prophet Muhammad and His Companions. This is certainly true of the majority of South Asian heritage Muslims and especially the British Pakistanis interviewed here. Insofar as they have been influenced by any particular sect of Islam, whether through socialisation at home and the mosque or more active religiosity, the respondents tended to be associated with the devotional Islam of various trans-national Sufi tariqas (orders) and/or the modern South Asian heritage movement of reforming Sunni ‘ulama’ (scholars), the Ahl-i Sunnat or ‘Barelwis’ (see Shaw 1988; Lewis 1994; Sanyal 1996; Geaves 2000; Werbner, 2003).
The present article is a study of the contested accounts of the sacred journeys to the Holy Places of Makkah and Madinah undertaken by Pakistani heritage Muslims in the UK diaspora. Over two years, between 1999 and 2001, twenty in-depth, semi-structured, interviews were conducted with respondents settled in Lancashire mill towns such as Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Nelson. Most interviewees traced their roots to Mirpur district in ‘Azad’ Kashmir (see Saifullah Khan, 1977; Ballard, 1983; Kalra, 2000) while the age of respondents ranged in more or less equal numbers across the following groups: i) teens and twenties; ii) thirties and forties; ii) fifties to seventies. Their occupations included further or higher education student, sales assistant, computer programmer, school teacher, housewife, housing support worker, spinner and retired textiles worker. Around 25% were women. Most importantly, all had been on Hajj (50%) or ‘umrah (25%) or both (25%) at least once since the 1970s.
Turning to the ethnography, there is an account of the changing dynamics of British-Pakistanis’ experiences of deciding to embark upon pilgrimage in the context of sociological shifts towards a religiosity increasingly defined in terms of self-identity and consumer culture in the West, not least when set against the expectations and religious imaginaries of their ancestors in places like Mirpur prior to Partition. The ethnography unfolds with an examination of respondents’ constructions (and embodiments) of sacred Islamic cosmology, community and identity during the various rituals, with secular inferences never far away even in Makkah and its environs. As we shall see, narratives of imagined unity and ‘communitas’ are were also qualified by competing narratives which illuminate the ways in which socio-economic and political, as well as religious and ethnic/racial, differences and divisions all persist between Muslims during the course of Hajj and ‘umrah. On a (post)modern pilgrimage within the context of the Saudi Arabian nation-state, rationalisation, sectarian ideology, consumer capitalism and media coverage are all part of the experience. Finally, I assess pilgrims’ accounts of ‘reintegrating’ into ‘profane’ time and space back in the UK after returning from pilgrimage. The focus here is on the pervasive power of memories and souvenirs of sacred time and place despite changing and contested British-Pakistani expectations of a hajji(a) and divergent trajectories of Muslim religious self-identity and consciousness in late modern Britain.
Colonial Rule and Education
(Chair: Nukhbah Langah )
Colonial Governance and Art Education in the 19th Century Punjab
The paper examines the connections between colonial governance and art education by tracing the career of disciplinary technologies of art schools and regulatory discourses of colonial folklore. The disciplinary discourses of the colonial state in Punjab, formed the primary archive for the colonial engineering of society along the evolutionary scale of primitive.The paper specifically contends that boundaries between oral and literate are the folklorist prisms through which the practices of communities and institutions of artists and craftsmen, and the distinctions between primitive and modern, traditional and creative, anonymous and individual, literature and myth, and history and legend are articulated. The historical contingencies of naturalisation of these binary oppositions will be read in the ethnographic project of the colonial state and art educational discourse in the late nineteenth century Punjab, that transformed the individuals and social groups into subjects of particular kind of power through techniques of discipline and regulations.
Narratives of Progress, Narratives of Displacement: Urdu and the Intikaal of Muhammad Hussain Azad
Jeffrey Diamond, College of Charleston, USA
The development of Urdu and Urdu education in the nineteenth century is often displayed as a narrative of 'progress,' a story that illustrates the 'modernization,' of the language. One of the most significant Muslim intellectuals part of this narrative was Muhammad Hussain Azad. Born into a distinguished literary family in Delhi, he publicly advocated the development of Urdu as a modern literary language -- a language of a new cultural framework. Yet privately, Azad was a conflicted individual who realized his efforts facilitated the loss of an older Muslim educational and literary heritage. This paper will utilize Azad to examine the displacement of
Muslim intellectuals in North India after the 1857 Revolt. It will analyze how colonial rule and education fostered these processes, processes that ultimately resulted in a tragic end. Moreover, it will evaluate how these processes have continued as central issues concerning language and identity in postcolonial Pakistan.
Islam in South Asia
(Chair: Pnina Werbner)
Deconstructing and Reconstructing ‘Muslim Women’ through Women’s Narratives,
Nida Kirmani, University of Manchester
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‘Muslim women in India’ is a category that has increasingly been the focus of academic study and media discourses since the historic Shah Bano case in the mid 80s. The image of the Muslim woman, shrouded in a burqa and oppressed by her men, has come to dominate public debates about religious identity in India and often represents the supposed backwardness of ‘the Muslim community.’ Furthermore, Muslim women have generally been viewed through the lens of a set of tropes including parda, Personal Laws and a series of social problems. Based on my fieldwork in the predominantly Muslim neighbourhood of Zakir Nagar in South Delhi, this paper looks at the multiple ways in which women themselves responded to discourses about ‘Muslim women’. These discussions reveal competing ideas about ‘Muslim women’ and their status in the Indian context. Many middle class women disagreed with the dominant image of Muslim women or constructed this category as separate from their own experiences. For women of lower economic strata, ‘Muslim women’ did not emerge as a category relevant to their personal narratives, although these women were often made to carry the burden of representation by members of the middle class. Women’s narratives, therefore, challenged the notion that ‘Muslim women’ form a coherent group in Indian society and suggests an approach to the study of identities that steps out of the confines of rigid categories.