capturing the punjabi imagination: drones and “the noble savage”
It\'s not as obvious as it looks.
In Terminator: attack by drone, Hamid imagines the life of Pakistan\'s tribal region bordering Afghanistan being constantly attacked by the United StatesS. drone bombings.
His narrator was one of two boys who went out one night trying to attack the drone.
\"The machines are hungry tonight,\" the narrator said . \".
There are not many of us left. Humans I mean.
Most people who can do it have escaped.
Or try to run away.
I don\'t know what happened to them.
But we can\'t.
The horse lost his leg because of the mine and could not walk.
Sometimes she walks out of the cabin with a stick.
She spends most of her time at home climbing.
The work is done by the girls.
I\'m a man now. “Pa’s gone.
The machine caught him.
I didn\'t see this happening, but my uncle came back to me.
Take me to see dad buried underground.
I can\'t see any Pa that let me know is Pa.
When the machine sends you, there is not much left.
Just a mix of dust-covered stones.
\"It\'s a powerful thing to tell in the language of black American slaves in Tony Morrison\'s\" beloved \"style.
It vividly captures the horrors inspired by drones and the helplessness of people living in tribal areas. But is it true?
Is it important?
In the discussion on Twitter, literary critic Faiza S.
Khan of Khan @ BhopalHouse believes that the story should be considered a fictional work, not a report. A fair point.
But what if we turn things around and look at the story as a story, not a tribal area and a drone, but an imagination of Pakistan\'s central Punjab?
As a writer who spent part of his time in the Punjab capital Lahore, Hamid can at least be considered a part of Punjab\'s imagination.
We\'ll go back to the short story later, but the first step is a little bit back, and given the appeal of the story, at least in Punjab, people in tribal areas are being aggressive by US drone strikes.
Pakistan\'s political star Imran Khan attracted thousands of people at a rally in Lahore last month, a version of the narrative.
Stop the drone and Tehrik-e-
Pakistani Taliban (TTP)
The Pakistani Taliban can participate in peace talks to end a series of bombings across Pakistan.
The simplicity of this narrative is fascinating.
On a trip, it enters the opposite
The American doctrine prevailing in Pakistan also promises peace.
However, this is an incredible problem.
Please bear with me-this is not a drone defense in itself.
It is disturbing to use the \"machine\" to fight a war, in fact, using snipers to personalize aiming with invisible hands.
Emotionally, my fear of drones and snipers is far more than the fear of artillery and air strikes, even if I know the latter two are more likely to kill me.
This is also not a defense of the way the United States fought in Afghanistan-For anyone who knows history, the risk of mistakes in the Afghan war has been evident from the very beginning.
But these are different themes.
This is about the feelings of drone movement on the Pakistani mainland, perhaps especially Punjab.
The first problem with the narrative is that it ignores the radicalization of tribal regions (
And Pakistan as a whole)
It started long before America. S. drone campaign.
Many believe Pakistan supports the United States in supporting jihadist groups against the Soviet Union after Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979.
I might go further, perhaps back to the 1973 oil boom when a large number of Pashtuns from tribal areas went to Gulf to look for jobs.
The result is twofold-migrant workers are exposed to the Islamic traditions of Saudi Arabia, and the remittances they send home break the traditional balance of power in the local economy.
It can even be traced back to the origin of Pakistan\'s country in 1947, and its use of Islam as a unifying force to counter nationalism, including Pashtun nationalism.
In short, this is complicated.
From your point of view, stopping a drone may or may not be a moral necessity.
But let us not be fooled into thinking that it will bring peace in itself.
Secondly, the narrative of drone attacks, on the surface, caused a large number of civilian casualties.
Americans say they are accurate;
Their critics say they are lying.
The rest of us don\'t know the truth or the truth at all.
There are very few independent reports on tribal areas under federal jurisdiction (FATA)
It is impossible for us to verify whether the claims of civilian casualties are accurate.
We are not sure about the number of the dead, not to mention whether there are Taliban infantry who are also civilians among the dead.
However, what I have noticed is that at least some Pashtun intellectuals say the drone strike is accurate and that the opposition to them will increase as you are away from the tribal areas.
Earlier this year, a senior Pakistani military officer said that \"most of the terrorists who have been eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorists \".
Writer and scholar fahat Taj further elaborated on this argument, saying that people actually prefer drone attacks rather than living in fear of the Taliban and its foreign allies.
I don\'t know the truth now.
I \'ve only been to tribal areas once, once-day army-
Supervised travel to Bajaur.
By the way, I was struck by how far the landscape differs from my own imagination of the \"frontier\" Kiplingesque.
At bajaur, I saw the prosperity of agriculture, neatly laid out the relative fields and mountains (
Compared to the barren hills of sichin, kalakolan, and even Scotland)
It seems unexpected.
I have collected the rest of the FATA areas, but Bajaur trip is a lesson for me to tell me how far my imagination is
Undoubtedly influenced by colonial literature)
Very different from reality.
Many Pakistanis do not have a chance to visit the FATA at all, so it is still in the heart of Pakistan, like under Raj, an imaginary frontier.
Going back to drones, let\'s temporarily exclude the general view that Pakistan is in the midst of a \"US war\" from discussion, and consider how the people of the fata see drone attacks and peace talks with the Taliban.
As the people who suffer the most in the hands of the Pakistani Taliban, their views-at least from more perspective-should dominate any words of Pakistan that set themselves as idealism.
What do they say?
This reminds me of the most problematic part of the story and goes back to Hamid\'s short story.
In the \"stop the drone and win the peace debate\", the FATA people are considered unable to speak for themselves.
They are frozen in time in their ideal rural life, and once the drone and Afghan wars are over, they will restore their old traditions as if the history of the past 60 years has never happened.
Although none of them got on the plane, worked in the bay, or immigrated to Karachi.
Take a look at how they are portrayed in Hamid\'s story (
Although I have not asked him, I will admit that this may be an intentional imitation of the way people in FATA are often viewed.
In his story, our characters do not have the ability to master the world\'s great things that bring machines to their land.
They speak in the language of black American slaves.
The narrator\'s mother is compared to an animal, \"humbling like an old brown bear after a dog \".
The sexy nature of these two boys assembled weapons to attack drones highlights their hominicity: \"We put the he-
They are reduced to passwords for \"noble savages.
It is true that people in FATA do not tend to speak for themselves.
But given the size of the bombings and assassinations, fear seems more likely to be explained than being unable to express their thoughts.
It is true that they are not even real citizens.
Instead, they are bound by border crime regulations-a tough colony --
Era law, which has brought them collective punishment, is slowly being reformed by the Pakistani government.
Ultimately abolishing FCR, incorporating FATA into Pakistan, and other reforms aimed at decentralizing and caring for different ethnic groups in Pakistan, in the long run, allowing the country\'s Pashtun people in the heart of Punjab Province and tribal areas to achieve peace could be more effective, even more effective than ending drone attacks.
You\'ll find people who think you can do it at the same time-abolish the FCR and end drone attacks.
But how do you know?
Unless they are politically represented, how do you get along in peace with specific groups and figure out the way that best suits them? ÂÂ(
Peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban are different. )
Reread Hamid\'s work now and consider the gap between what the character imagined in his short story and who has full civil rights and political representation. ÂAs Fazia S.
Khan says he sees it as a fictional work.
But as a window of Punjab imagination, it can also be used as a political document.