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Schild, Pascale ORCID: 0000-0003-2385-719X (6. July 2015): Local Politics of Reconstruction Along and Across Azad Kashmir's Border with Pakistan. In: Contemporary South Asia, Vol. 23, No. 3: pp. 292-313
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Abstract

Drawing on anthropological approaches to state borders as processes (rather than entities), this paper examines the political boundary between Pakistan and Azad Kashmir through the window of reconstruction politics after the 2005 earthquake in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir. "The border" became inscribed into politics and power relations in Muzaffarabad through a locally contested reconstruction bureaucracy which provided Pakistan with the means to dominate reconstruction in Azad Kashmir. Activists from Muzaffarabad widely criticised this domination. However, local politicisation of reconstruction revealed contradictory effects of the border on power relations in Muzaffarabad. For most activists, the political relationship between Pakistan and Azad Kashmir was characterised by domination as well as complicity that undermined local concerns such as the reconstruction of their city. Therefore, they opposed their own government as well and transgressed the border into Pakistan through the creation of alliances with national politicians to put pressure on the government of Azad Kashmir. In taking advantage of power disparities between Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, these alliances not only confirmed but also undermined the nation state's domination over the region by manipulating and circumventing its reconstruction bureaucracy.