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

Nichola KhanSubscribe to Nichola Khan

Mobilisation and Political Violence in the Mohajir Community of Karachi

Ideas revolving around exclusion and the wholesale failure of democratic political legitimacy encouraged the mobilisation of Pakistan's mohajirs in an oppositional ethnic identity. From the mid-1980s to the millennium, the Muttahida Quami Movement was engaged in a conflict in Karachi involving high levels of violence with other ethnic groups, rival factions and the state. Drawing on the biographies of a minority of celebrated career "killers", this paper examines how violence emerged as a solution to the mohajir predicament. The biographies contain past and present experiences of perceived humiliation and losses between mohajirs and the state, and fathers and sons, leading to fractured masculinities in which violence is powerfully inscribed. Whilst their participation compensated them temporarily for problems in the family, it also exacerbated and regenerated those conditions under protest.
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