Religious Militancy, Migration and Identity: Reflection of Internal Displacement of Swat Pathans in Folk Poetry

  • Muneer Ahmed Chief Editor


Division of human beings into tribes, empires and states: most
accurately into identities, is a matter of nature since existence. These identities
are formed and reformed through various stages of human history; and
conflicts, more importantly displacing conflicts, play an imperative role in this
restructuring process. The Swat conflict consequent to Maulvi Fazlullah’s
Shariatization campaign resulted in forced migration of 2.7 million people in
an utter despair. The migration itself, like the very nature of the conflict, had a
confusing impact on the lives and thinking of the people of the area and poetry
seems to be an important, if not the only source, of the situation analysis.
Therefore, this paper tries to analyze the psychological distress of forcefully
displaced people of Swat, called Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and will
evaluate how forced displacement affects the very psychology of the people of
the area. This mental illness is well reflected in the poetry developed in the
area. Therefore, poetry of a poet of Swat has been used as a self-portrait of
thoughts and emotions of the people of the valley in this paper. It has been
concluded that identity seems to be a benign phenomenon, but it is seriously
affecting the issue of belonging of people of the land to the state of Pakistan.
Issues in the far clouds if not rectified now may create a situation which will
be very difficult if not impossible for the policy makers to tackle with in order
to keep unity, faith and discipline.