ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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State, Society and Power

Five scholars engage with S Akbar Zaidi's proposed agenda for research in the political economy of Pakistan, "Rethinking Pakistan's Political Economy" (1 February 2014). Majed Akhter introduces the discussion, Aasim Sajjad Akhtar discusses the hegemonic "politics of common sense", Fahd Ali draws on postcolonial theory to engage Zaidi's use of "political settlements", Umair Javed focuses on associational politics in Punjab and Adeem Suhail theorises "the negotiated state" based on his fi eldwork in Karachi. Zaidi responds to the critiques by suggesting they are not ruthless enough.

Writing the Mughal State as a Spatial Process

Mughal Warfare: Indian Frontiers and High Roads to Empire, 1500-1700 by Jos Gommans (London: Routledge), 2002; pp 256, $27.95. Making Space: Sufis and Settlers in Early Modern India by Nile Green (New York: Oxford University Press), 2012; pp 339, $60. State and Locality in Mughal India: Power Relations in Western India, c 1572-1730 by Farhat Hasan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2004; pp 160, $108.

Geopolitics of Dam Design on the Indus

The legal geopolitics of the Baglihar and Kishenganga hydroelectric power projects, whose legitimacy under the Indus Waters Treaty has been contested by Pakistan, demonstrates the political nature of technology and the governance of technology need not remain out-of-bounds for non-engineers. In attempting an understanding, this article seeks to step outside the conventional nationalist mode of geopolitical analysis.

The Politics of Sovereignty in Pakistan

The wretched reality of Pakistani sovereignty - the playing out of its formal politics in various capitals of the world - contrasts with the heroic rhetoric from domestic political actors on the integrity of its sovereignty. Progressives are best advised to understand the substantive nature of sovereignty in an unequal and postcolonial world while focusing their energies on addressing the iniquitous nature and class character of the Pakistani nation state.

More on the Sharing of the Indus Waters

The important questions about the Indus waters are not about whether or not the Pakistani state is "crafty" or the Indian state a "bully". The critical transnational issues are those stemming from the complex hydrologic interconnectivity of the Indus basin waters that are not given scope in the Indus Water Treaty. This criticism of Ramaswamy R Iyer's article "Pakistan's Questionable Move on Water" (27 March) argues for an understanding of the issue from a relational and context-specific perspective on law and geography.
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