Second lecture of the lecture series
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar is an Assistant Professor at Quaid-e-Azam University and member of the Awami Workers Party. He is the author of a number of journal articles and book chapters. He completed his PhD from SOAS, London and has also previously taught at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.
One such example is the Pakistani state’s war against nationalist rebels in the country’s largest province of Balochistan where a low-intensity insurgency has been ongoing since 2005. The conflict between the Pakistani state and Baloch nationalists has persisted for most of the country’s existence – the present armed uprising is the fifth of its kind since
In recent times, the state has gained an upper hand in its attempts to crush the nationalist resistance due to the virtual carte blanche that it has received from the Chinese government, following the latter’s announcement of an aid package worth almost US$50 billion. Under the terms of this package, the Chinese and Pakistani authorities will initiate a series of road and related communications infrastructure projects through a big chunk of Balochistan’s territory as part of a grand development vision that links the interior of China to the under-construction deep-water port of Gwadar on the south-western tip of Balochistan. The so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been hailed by a wide cross-section of Pakistani opinion-makers as a game-changer in the country’s development.
However, Baloch nationalists – and other political dissidents – view CPEC through a very different lens. In particular China’s quite explicit patronage of the Pakistani military is of substantial concern given that the latter has long impeded the political process in Balochistan, and is currently using unbridled force to quell the insurgency.
The Balochistan case confirms the manner in which post-colonial states and foreign capital are employing the twin discourses of ‘counter-terrorism’ and ‘development’ to eliminate any and all forms of resistance both to neo-liberalism and state power.
Apr 19, 2016 | 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften