• Is there really a Mirpuri-centred parochialism?

    Posted by Administrator on 07/03/2013

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    'Mirpuris are a breed onto themselves', stated one Pakistani detractor in an online forum used by Pakistanis globally. Similar 'outbursts' exist on other forums and have been doing the rounds for more than a decade unabated. We at the Portmir Foundation consider such comments to be 'trash-attacks' that have become synonymous with a Pakistani hate-campaign against Mirpuri communities in the UK.We pose the following consideration.

    "There is of course a South-Asian parochialism that Mirpuri-attitudes are moulded by and which has its roots in a cultural trajectory that has shaped every ethnic group coming out of the subcontinent. If you accept this observation then it is patently disingenuous to argue that Mirpuris have characteristics that make them distinct from Pakistani-based communities. The distinctions between 'urban' communities and 'rural' ones normally parroted by urban detractors of Mirpuris are borne of sociological differences but no one should be mistaken that shared cultural values cut across the various ethnic and linguistic communities of the subcontinent. Honour-based crimes (1,2,3), forced marriages (1, 2, 3, 4), extended family networks (1,2,3, 4) for example are some of the defining features of this geographical space we call the subcontinent - whether or not we choose to frame such characterisations as 'aberrations' or otherwise through whichever ideological filters that conveniently discount such realities. However you look at it, these problems cut across the flimsy ethnic boundaries that some people use to prove that they are somehow different from the others that originate from within their wider cultural spaces. After all, our wedding customs, our traditional clothes, the food we eat, even our languages come from the same shared cultural trajectories. Recent characterisations that seek to put the spotlight on Mirpuris in respect of these issues are therefore an attempt on the part of certain 'urban' Pakistani communities to distance themselves from social problems that also exist within their own extended family networks. Most of the honour based violence 'cases' reported in the British press actually involve individuals who originate from Pakistan and not from Pakistan-administered-Kashmir. The widespread misreporting of the 'Mirpuri' origin of three of the four 7/7 suicide bombers in numerous newspapers and online forums was actually false and part of this same dynamic. There is of course a history to all this which we have explained in our Trash-Attacks article. Many journalists have unsuspectingly adopted the urban Pakistani narrative; it could be argued that others of a Pakistani background including Samira Shackle have deliberately sought to put the spotlight on Mirpuris. In doing so these journalists have appropriated for themselves a 'specialism' that seeks to explain the Mirpuri phenomenon in the UK despite their descriptions of Mirpuris being rooted in factoids and if applied to any other 'ethnic-minority' community would be castigated as dangerous caricatures!"

    Would this be a fair assessment of the facts?

    Please discuss the issues within the limits of proper comportment; extending respect and courtesy to those whose views you may not necessarily agree with. Offensive and hate-filled comments (normally reflective of intellectually-challenged people) will be deleted.

  • Replies

    • Mirpurian On 12/11/2013

      Samira Shackle's article is a joke. Why after so many years are we criticising it???? It was published in 2010. Were are our leaders?????? Were are our representatives???????

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