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14 COMMENTS

  1. The Pakistani logic is that Mirpuris are not Kashmiris based on their tribal/clan names and language and historical state boundaries.
    Well in that case no one from Azad Kashmir including the people from Poonch and Muzaffarabad is a Kashmiri.
    In fact in Kashmir why are the leaders of APHC being allowed to call themselves Kashmiris as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Ali Gillani, Shabbir Shah and Abas Ansari and Mulla Budgami all claim to be ARABS, they are not ethnic Kashmiris and so why are they allowed not only to claim to be Kashmiris but they are allowed to be the official leaders of Kashmiris.

    If it is because they speak Kashmiri, then why are these Butts, Dars and other Punjabi speakers from Lahore allowed to call themselves Kashmiri as they cannot speak Kashmiri.

    So is one a Kashmiri based on race or language or geography?

    If it is based on geogrpahy and only people from a few districts are allowed to be Kashmiri, why the winter capital of Kashmir is Jammu and why do all Kashmiri leaders go there. Why presidents and MP in Parlaiment in Srinager are from outside the geographic area of Kashmir.

    Also if we are going to apply this logic, it has to be extended throughout Pakistan.

    Well then based on language and tribal names and historical boundaries all that claim to be Punjabis will also not be Punjabis.
    Based on historical tribal names only Jatts, Rajput and Gujjar and some other can be Punjabis, all Sayeds, qureshis, Butts, Awan, Dar, Lone, wani, Niazi, Mughal, Abbasssi, Yusufzai and others can also not claim to be Punjabis.
    Based on Language about 60% of the land surface of Punjab is inhabited by Seraiki and Hindko/pothohari speakers and so they also cannot claim to be Punjabis.
    Based on historical boundaries the state of Punjab today is not what it was in the past and so that can also impact on who can be termed a Punjabi.
    In Baluchistan the people who live there are Baluch, Brahui and Pashtuns and Jatts. So are the real inhabitants only the Baluch and should the other 65% of the population of Baluchistan Just disappear and die.
    In SIndh the inhabitants are the Jatts, Rajput and Rind and Domki and others and also Muhajirs. So who has a right to be called Sindhis Just the Jatts and Rajputs as the Domki, Rind, Marri and others are Baluch and the Qureshis are also not sindhis.
    NWFP which is now called KPK, what is the name to describe their inhabitants. Who can claim to be from there?
    So is one a Kashmiri, Punjabi, Baluch and Sindhi based on ethnic tribal origins or language or geography?
    Lets make a decision and lets stick to it, but no Pakistani will make a decision or have a policy on anything.
    The point is that why are only Mirpuris being told that they belong nowhere, based on standards that these Pakistanis never apply to themselves. ?

    • JattPunyal

      I was showing/listening to this podcast with my family, as they are over here for eid. They were unaware of all this.

      Jat your point is so insightful. Very very true. There is big irony here Jatt. The people with most clout in Valley Kashmir claim to be Central Asians, Persians, Arabs, etc a quick check of their DNA would bring them back to earth. Historically Valley Kashmiris of native origin were looked down at, and many of their children today point this out in their writings, but our caste-Kashmiris in Panjab, who probably weren’t even from Valley Kashmir, from very poor backgrounds, seem to think they are “special”, that they are real Kashmiris, but the people who actually live in this Kashmir – that the whole world, including India and Pakistan, calls Kashmir, aren’t.

      Of Jatt, Gujjar, Rajput etc etc, it was the colonial experts who were saying these people were from Central Asia or West Asia, Scythians, Aryans, Huns – they didnt say this about Kashmiris, or Jilanis, they said this about Jats, Gujajrs etc albeit who came to India thousands of years ago, and it appears from DNA studies, these people do have these far-away connections. You don’t see these groups going around saying they are from somewhere else, hating themselves like these pseudo-foriegners, because they are the children of the soil.

      These people who want to demean Mirpuris should really think about what they are saying. It seems to me they dont even know their own history, and the history of the areas they live in, but they going to comment on who is “Kashmiri” in Azad Kashmir, even though people in Mirpur don’t even care about these things. I have never once heard a Mirpuri offering expertise on Sindh, Baluchistan, Panjab, but these Pakistani experts all over the internet want to tell us constantly who Mirpuris are.

      It seems we fare much more in their imagination, then they fare in our imagination. We don’t even think about these things.

      You are absolutely right Jatt, these people who want to constantly talk about Mirpuris, demean us because of their own insecurities and ignorance, need a big reality check.

      Eid Mubarak Jat and everyone else reading this.

      • Gujjar

        eid Mubarak to family and you

        on this point and the other point u made, so you agree, there is no Pakistani brotherhood in UK? they been saying bad things about us since we got here before the 1950s. Its so bad now, people are embarrassed to say they Mirpuris because of the climate of hate Pakistanis have created for us. they think their so special, the tweets here, about not being Mirpuri alhamdulillah, laughing at aunty who came to ask rishta for son, swearing “fkn they were Mirpuris”, gujjarBrother, rest of u here defending Pakistan, these your people, not my people.

        d**** l***** s*****, look at them, whats so special about them, as if our community is lacking in beautiful people, look how deluded they are. how come we dont pass comments on their appearances, and make them feel small? we got no future with these people.

        I respect ur right to express ur opinion, because we respect each other unlike these Pakistanis, because we live in UK. I wouldn’t be allowed to express my opinion in my own homeland of AJK, is that fair? and we talking about brotherhood, come on brothers.

        then they come on this site to lecture us about how bad we are, and how innocent they are, alhamdulillah!

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  2. This is a good initiative to forward the debate on what ‘Mirpuris’, ‘Kashmiris’, ‘Jamwaals’, ‘Pahaaris’ and ‘AJKites’ are. What is the level of connection between the diaspora in the UK and those inhabitants (subjects or citizens) of AJK. Can the benefits of living in an evolved democracy with a heavy legacy of colonialism (the UK) play any meaningful or constructive role in providing the same benefits to AJK (non-existant on the world map or global imagination), a territory stuck between 2 possessive and intolerant narratives in the shape of Indian and Pakistani nationalism?

    I hope the above thread will be pursued in forthcoming podcasts.

  3. Punjabi self-hatred and inadequacy plays a role in Mirpuri vilification. The Kashmiri identity is considered more prestigious than the Punjabi identity due to the Kashmir conflict. They feel the need to bring Mirpuris down to a the level below them of downgraded Punjabis or Punjabi trash.

    Urdu-speaking Pothwaris tend to be the biggest opponents of the ‘Pahari’ identity suffering from the same complex as the Punjabis; they see ‘Pahari’ as an escape from the lowly status they accord to their own ‘Punjabi’ or Pothwari background.

    Sikhs are involved in Mirpuri bashing, hoping to redeem the reputation of their Punjabi kinsmen by throwing Mirpuris under the bus. Afghans are doing this to a lesser extent for thier own Pathan kinsmen. Notice, Gujjis, Bengalis and Tamils have no real beef with Mirpuris and they’re happy to call us all Pakistanis and not differentiate.

    The upwardly mobile Pakistanis, as gatekeepers of the British-Pakistani community, have very successfully created the impression that their community can do no wrong and all bad elements come from the Mirpuri community. They do this by linking their own perceived backgrounds to a progressive, liberal metropolis and Mirpuris to a backward, regressive, village, millions of miles away from civilisation. No mention is made that nearly all British-Pakistanis come from similar backgrounds to Mirpuris. People are left with the impression that all the ‘Junglee’, criminal, backward Pakistanis who they see and hear about must be Mirpuris and all the well integrated Pakistanis must be from the Urban areas of Pakistan.

    Pakistanis in general redeem the reputation of their own British-Pakistani community by throwing Mirpuris(the pseudo Pakistanis) under the bus. They point to the huge population of Mirpuris in certain problematic areas which they term “Mirpuri Ghettoes”, but fail to mention that Pakistanis also make up a significant minority or are a majority in some of these areas.

    Mirpuris are not real Pakistanis, nor real Kashmiris or Paharis but simply Mirpuris; a label they themselves have given us. Stripped of humanity, these “Junglee” Mirpuris become the kicking ball of the other communities and anything they say is not considered racist.

    They say racism against Mirpuris is not real but banter. At the same time, they say racism against Pakistanis and Islamophobia is definitely real and no laughing matter; Pakistanis are being unfairly treated by whites and they are not responsible for their own bad reputation. At the same time, Mirpuris are 100% responsible for the vitriol they are receiving from Pakistanis and need to get educated first before Pakistanis stop bashing them.

  4. Episode 3,
    Regarding whether Mehreen did or didn’t have any exposure to the Mirpuri or British-Pakistani community. Northeast London where she’s from has around 30,000 “British-Pakistanis” and around 70% are Mirpuris(mainly from Jhelum, but also Mirpur proper). Tottenham is 5 minutes away from Walthamstow, Clapton, Lea bridge, Leyton, Blackhorse which is a huge Mirpuri majority space within a 5 mile radius of where she’s living. So she lives in a Mirpuri locality.

    • How can she not know about Mirpuris ? Which Brit-Pakistani doesn’t know about Mirpuris ??? The idea she didnt know about the largest British Pakistani community is ludicrous. They r always reminding people about how different they are from Mirpuris! They’re still attacking Mirpuris on twitter, the same crap, Mirpuris r not Kashmiris !!!!! lolol

      Nadeem said Mehreen said she didnt know about Mirpuris, so she started from a position of ignorance, you either go up or down.

      People can make their own mind up. Mirpuris need to wake up and smell the coffee.

      • Mehreen’s sister Ambreen was liking every tweet that said Mirpuris are the problem. lol The whole family including her father are anti-Mirpuri bigots. The only purpose the documentary achieved was to show the world that it is the Mirpuris who are the problematic Pakistanis, and don’t tarnish her Lahori community with the same brush.

        Some Mirpuris are self-affirming as “Kashmiri” as a regional identity. Others are using it as an ethnic label- Kashmiri is being used wrongly to say “ethnic Pahari” by both Mirpuris and other Asians.

        Pakistanis are claiming that Mirpuris are using the Kashmiri identity in a nationalist sense. Mirpuris are Pakistanis when cricket is on, but Kashmiris when things are going bad. Hence, the fidelity of Mirpuris to Pakistan is in question. They are not real Pakistanis, as their loyalty is split. Dependant on the situation of the country, Mirpuris will either be with Pakistan or jump ship. This then gives them a convenient excuse for their own backstabbing when they are telling the whole world that Mirpuris are the problem and not to blame ordinary Pakistanis. ‘Don’t call them Pakistanis, call them Mirpuris’.

        The whole “turncoat Mirpuri” narrative is essentially a conspiracy theory, so it’s unfalsifiable. There’s no way to prove to 400,000 Pakistanis that Mirpuris are 100% with their country. Mirpuris will also not give up on their multiple identities just to calm the anxieties of Pakistanis.

        • I dont think her father said anything bad about Mirpuris, correct me if im wrong though. But the real point, would he include himself with Mirpuris as a fraternity, I dont think he would? Lets be honest, they dont consider us Pakistanis, they r Pakistanis, we r the MIRPURIS, and they’ve got some serious insecurities about us.

          Whose really ashamed of Pakistan, us or them, as they try to say we’re giving Pakistanis a bad name? 9/11? 7/7? Did Mirpuris cause the backlash? Did Mirpuris hide Bin Laden in Pakistan? Did Mirpuris shoot Malala Yusuf in the head? lot’s of cases reported in the UK about honour crimes, how many of these were British Paharis or Punjabis? They blamed us for 7/7 even though the bombers weren’t from Mirpur.

          No shred of honesty in them? Why do they speak Urdu to us ? LOLOLOLOL

          Why do they pretend to speak Urdu WITH US, as if we give a crap, we speak English and Pahari. It’s because they want to separate themselves from us because they cant speak our language, so they want to make fun of our language, even as we’ve never laughed at their languages. Some of these Punjabis, hate their own culture so much that they want to make fun of our culture, why r so many of them speaking Urdu to their children in Britain? They’re ashamed of their own backgrounds. Mehreen was struggling to speak Urdu to the Bhava in Mirpur who spoke the language much better than her, does Mehreen’s dad speak Urdu or Punjabi to her?

          Why would a Lahori person from the Punjab, growing up in the UK speak Urdu to a Mirpuri Bhava in Mirpur? UK audience was English, why couldn’t she just speak Punjabi to the Bhava or English? If Mirpuri was Punjabi, I thought we were Punjabis, why not speak Punjabi? I’ll tell u why, cause she doesn’t understand Pahari because Pahari is not Punjabi!!!! Like how Faruq got exposed in front of all us claiming he could speak Pahari but misunderstood the entire sentence.

          They’re haters. When it suits them, we become Punjabis because they dont want us to have any connection with our homeland which is in Kashmir, but then in the UK, they want to make distinctions between Mirpuris and Punjabis. I thought they said we Punjabis, so why then do they make the distinction between Mirpuris and Punjabis in UK? Why the distinction between AJK people, i.e., Mirpuris and the rest of the Pakistanis.

          Is everyone asleep that we cant see what they’re doing. There is no fraternity, they make up any crap to demean us. This is about belittling us, trying to humiliate us, make us feel bad about ourselves when they r the ones who r unaccomplished.

          We’ve never felt insecure about who we are, they r insecure about who they r, but they want to project their insecurities on us.

          It’s Pakistanis blaming Mirpuris for everything that’s wrong with their own society; have u been reading about the grooming gangs?

          Quilliam Foundation and Majid Nawaz r trying to get Home Secretary to blame Pakistanis for the grooming gangs. In the Quilliam report, they explicitly mention that Mirpuris make up 60 percent of Brit-Pakistani population and r therefore over-represented in these crimes? So they’re already created differentiation as they conveniently use the term Mirpuri?

          Of Quilliam’s Pakistani-heritage Britons, how many r from Mirpur? I’ll take a guess – ZERO!!!! But yet they think they can speak for our community as they previously blamed us for the 7/7 bombings.

          Where’s the apology?

          Like the proof that 7/7 bombers were from Mirpur? Is that the same anecdotal proof they’re using for the grooming gang stats, did they go to the villagers to verify the backgrounds?

          These Pakistanis hate Mirpuris and they want to blame us for their own insecurities and anxieties – which British Pakistani have u come across thats proud to be Pakistani?

          Is this why they burn so much that we’re from Jammu & Kashmir because of how they imagine our lands, as opposed to their own lands? We say we’re from Kashmir, their faces drop, cant stomach the fact that we have our own homeland separate from theirs, so they want to insult us as if they’re experts on our own background.

          They no crap about their own backgrounds, but they’re experts on our lands.

          Why do they keep saying Mirpuris are not Kashmiris, like it was said so many times, whose anxieties r these?

          What’s really going on?

          The more I read the online tweets and all the other stuff, the more I realise they r insecure about themselves. This Mirpuri hatred is more about them, then it is about us, there is something going on. They r being insincere.

          I’ve been having this conversation with more people now, even Pakistanis, not just Mirpuris, and guess what they all say, how come these Pakistanis dont say this stuff to our faces? My Pakistani friends have admitted it does happen. But, why is it always happening behind our backs?

          The community is being demonised in front of our faces, and Mirpuris are asleep until they succeed in getting everyone in the mainstream to hate us for their own insecurities.

          Is that when we’re all going to become independence Kashmiris?

          • Of course, there’s no doubt these come from self-hatred of their own roots and anxieties about Mirpuris going rogue and becoming “independent Kashmiris”. They are entirely ashamed of their own “Pakistani” and ethnic heritage so they need to put Mirpuris down to feel good about themselves.

            Pakistanis are saying things behind our back because they want to keep AJK as part of Pakistan lool They don’t care about the people, Pakistanis like Farooq are worried about their land separating. If AJK becomes a fifth province of Pakistan then the racism will be even worse. Then they’ll have no incentive to be nice to Mirpuris and we’ll see their true colors.

            They absolutely detest when we say we are not Punjabi, and yes it’s insecurities on their part. It’s a mixture of self-hatred of their own Punjabi and Pakistani identity and also political reasons as they want to split Paharis from the rest of the J&K region. Mirpuris are the most powerful J&K diaspora in the world, if our politicians like Lord Nazir weren’t pro-Pakistani and crying tears for valley Kashmiris, and pro-AJK instead so he can speak for his own people then we wouldn’t be in this mess. AJK people need to start seeing AJK as their homeland. We are all secularists. We are all democrats. Our position is what the AJK people want and they currently want an independent state. So we are “independance Kashmiris” if we are indeed democrats. But if tomorrow, they want to join India or Pakistan, then that’s what we should advocate.

            As I’ve talked to Mirpuris, I’ve notice not one denies there is no fraternity, and they also know AJK people are second class citizens, but they think AJK is part of Pakistan. This is what they need educating on. If they’re given the “British Pahari” or “British AJK” option on a census, I think most will tick it. We just need them to start seeing AJK as their homeland and not the rest of Pakistan as they are not from there- only then can they make a difference.

            I was talking to a racist village Punjabi who blames us for all the grooming. I told him Rochdale is 60% central Punjabi and was a major area for this crime, so will he say Punjabis are also involved? lol Of course all I got was denial. “majority commits the majority of crimes” when it comes to Mirpuris. But crimes in Rochdale and London where Mirpuris are a minority are still being done by Mirpuris lol. Grooming in Oxford, Bristol, Huddersfield, Newcastle, rochdale, Barking are all Mirpuri even though these places are said to be 50% or more Punjabi Pakistani.

            Also, he said Pahari is a dialect of Punjabi so I gave him the line that Farooq couldn’t understand. Here’s another easier line that they’re not able to translate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsOzapbhJ_4 First 5 seconds, she says “Ala bujh, shoppa par mare’ste sauda kinni ach”. This line has no technical words and is not poetic and even a 7 year Mirpuri could understand and yet NOT ONE WORD is understood by Punjabi speakers. He told me bujh means extinguish fire, sauda means loan and kinni means how much. LOLOLOL. Don’t show them the video though as they’ll work out what’s been said from the context.

  5. Faisal

    OMG

    And he couldn’t understand the first 5 seconds of that clip? Isn’t that proof? That’s proof!

    I could add my own experiences to what u said.

    This is how we’re going to expose them. Farooq got the line completely wrong, and he carried on repeating the same line that he understood Pahari which he didn’t. So I don’t have any hope for this Gujrati dude, they’re just obsessed with their own reasoning. This shows how much knowledge they have. They’re quite arrogant if u think about it, they don’t know anything, but they insist on telling us what language we speak and from which region we come from!

    British Sikhs r Punjabis, they sing about their Punjabi identity all the time! Because of all this talk about Punjabi, Pahari, which language is it, I did my own test out of curiosity. We’ve all got Indian friends? Try it for yourself. I’ve been randomly speaking to my Punjabi Sikh friends, one is Hindu, I’ve spoken to them in Pahari, they don’t understand anything I’m saying! NOT EVEN A SENTENCE. One of my friends said “I don’t speak Urdu, I speak Punjabi!” I said laughingly, “Don’t you watch Bollywood”, and she said, “no, I just watch English movies. I speak English at home but I can speak Punjabi cause my mum and dad speak it.”

    I said “I’m speaking Punjabi” and she said “YOU ARE NOT SPEAKING PUNJABI! “That is not Punjabi!!!” “That is some other language!”

    Do u remember Reiss argument that people can learn how to speak Hindu Urdu through exposure to Bollywood and Pakistani dramas alone, but no Linguist would ever say Hindi-Urdu is Pahari? Who would deny this?

    And yet if we speak the same language but different dialects, why the lack of understanding in the example I gave? I don’t even understand Punjabi properly myself, if someone spoke Punjabi to me properly I have difficulties understanding what they’re saying. I understand Urdu though, which makes sense given what Reiss said about diglossia and being exposed to different languages. I don’t understand news programmes because of the words they use, but this is good example of exposure to words.

    I’ve been reading about language use, about language stigma, people who say, Mirpuri is Punjabi r just dumb. If you live amongst Persians, Arabs, Turks, Swahili speakers, over many years, you will eventually learn their languages, because communicating through language is a human skill, it is innate to human beings. We pick it up through context; being able to speak a language is to be a human being. This doesn’t mean different languages are all the same languages because someone can understand them – they r being disingenuous.

    They’re just lying about our actual language. These “proper” Punjabis do not understand our language. This is the only reason why they have to use the Pothwari connection, by saying Pothwaris are Punjabis, so that means u are Punjabis too. They are disingenuous cause Pothwaris live in the Punjab Province, and they’re Punjabis because of this Province connection more than 150 years old. They feel Punjabi like how we feel our connections to Jammu & Kashmir.

    They accept their Punjab connection whilst trying to deny our Jammu & Kashmir connection. And it’s usually Punjabis insulting Pothwaris about the dog’s dinner they call Punjabi, which is slang and not even Punjabi. Do u remember what Faruq said about Pothwari being Punjabi slang???

    But how r we Punjabis, when our area HAS NEVER BEEN PART OF THE PUNJAB PROVINCE, and lot’s of areas in what is today Mirpur were in fact part of Kashmir Subah, before they got added to the Jammu GEO-ADMINISTRATIVE Configuration decades later? And I’ve been watching the online stuff on Jammu, and these Dogras DON’T SAY THEY’RE PUNJABIS EITHER. THEY ARE PROUD “DOGRAS” NOT PUNJABIS. They make distinctions between themselves and Punjabis! They talk proudly about their State of Jammu & Kashmir!!

    Before Punjab emerged as a Province, it was Lahore Subah. Do we have Pothwaris going around saying they r “Lahoris” because they originally from Lahore Subah before the British created the Punjab Province? It wasn’t the Sikhs who created the Punjab Province. It was the British who configured and mapped the Province! Apparently, the Sikh rulers of the “Lahore State” didn’t consider the Pothohar Uplands put of the Punjab, so what r these experts talking about when Mirpur wasn’t even part of the British Province of Punjab?

    Try this Faisal, just out of curiosity. Go home and ask your parents, grand parents, about the elders to our uncles and aunts, if their grandparents ever said they were Punjabis?” Guess what they will say? I’ve been asking my friends to do the same, this is what they say, “no, my dad said…, no, my mum said… their parents never identified as Punjabis!”

    These is going back generations, we never identified as Punjabis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So how did we become Punjabis because they’re telling us now we’re Punjabis because of a connections being forced on us through our ethnic people in Pothwar, which became part of British Punjab Province through the new Rawalpindi Division.

    In the UK, they r always pointing out the difference between Mirpuris and Punjabis in attainment levels? Isn’t that odd?

    Why do they talk about ethnic Pakistanis? As opposed to ethnic Kashmiris? Because they don’t have a bone of sincerity in their bodies. Perhaps, this is the reason why Pakistan is known across the world for duplicity. If it can actively falsify its own history, what would stop them from falsifying Punjab or Jammu Kashmir’s history?

    They have no political arguments for what is happening in so-called Azad Jammu Kashmir. So they have to make up lame ethnic arguments. And we all know there is no British Pakistani fraternity in UK. If Mirpuris are still deluded about this, please tell them to spend more time on social media to see the hate firsthand.

    I even came across an Italian Pakistani “Panjaaaabi” speaking bad about Mirpuris and she hasnt even been to the UK!

    • Dialect means varieties of the same language right? So American dialect, Canadian dialects of the English language. So in America, the language is the same but they say elevator and we say lift, but the rest of the sentence will be the same. “Which way is the lift”, or “Which way is the elevator”? I’m sure a Swedish person who’s learned the Canadian dialect of English does not need to learn the American dialect, Australian or the British dialects if they moved to these countries. The difference is accent and regional synonyms like lift/elevator, taxi/cab? Is this the case with Pahari and Punjabi.

      I think the real test is written Punjabi and Pahari. Someone who can read and understand the New York times can also read and understand The Gaurdian. Is this the case with the written works of Pahari and Punjabi?

      Both our SPOKEN languages have strong Urdu influences, and also Pakjabis speak Punjabi with an Urdu accent, and Urdu with a Punjabi accent. They can understand us through the shared Urdu connection. I bet a Punjabi and Pahari who does not understand Urdu will not be able to understand each others language at all like your example of Sikhs. If they can’t understand Urdu, then spoken Pahari is incomprehensible to them.

      Indian Punjabis categorically say we are not Punjabis. Remember, their goal is to redeem their Punjabi reputation by saying Pakjabis are not the problem it’s Mirpuris. So they’re happy to say we are not Punjabis and are connected to Kashmiris(aquiline noses and fairer skin, these are the traits of Kashmiris according to them which Mirpuris share). It’s only Pakistanis that are trying to claim AJK based on us being Punjabis. They are claiming Mirpur on ethnic lines; “AJK is Punjabi just like them”. This is despite the fact that Pakistan is claiming the whole of J&K on Religious lines.

      Dogra don’t see themselves as Punjabis, and Indo-Punjabis detest Dogras. They call them a “Treachourous race”. Do you remember how the Sikh empire fell? They still haven’t forgiven them.

      My Parents call their language a type of punjabi. We get our cues from other people. Mirpuris are being told their language is Pothwari and Punjabis are the main people my family interact with. We don’t live in an Asian/Mirpuri area. But they’ve NEVER called themselves Punjabi ever. They identify as Pakistani and with their caste background.

      A lot of these guys online are not from the UK. This Gujrati guy was from America. These ideas are spreading and this myth that it’s only UK Pakistanis needs to stop. Pakistanis from all over the world are trying to redeem their reputation by saying Mirpuris(who are not real Pakistanis) are the problem. People who have Pakistani friends are being told by them that Mirpuris are the problem and they are not real Pakistanis. This is a worldwide thing now. I’ve seen Chinese-Americans online talking about Mirpuris are the problem and not Pakistanis. Who told them this? Obviously their Paki-American friend. There’s no fraternity between Pakistanis and AJK people full stop.

      Finally, like Jatt said, Mirpuris are the only ones who are being denied connection to their region and made to feel like they are imposters to an identity. Half of Punjabis are claiming to be Arab aristocrats, Pathans and ethnic Kashmiris are the lost tribes of Israel, Balochis are Syrians. Mirpuris are saying they are ethnically PAHARI and regionally KASHMIRI. Our castes are all native “Indian” castes. Mirpuris are the only people who are actually proud of themselves and don’t claim foreign descent like these others who are trying to be “exotic”. The “complex” is entirely them. They have issues and they are projecting these issues onto us. They are overcompensating by posturing through this Urdu speaking, middle class identity and looking down on Mirpuris(the archetypal villiagers), who are just happy to be themselves and are not claiming to be other than who they are. They’ve denied all connection to their past so they have nothing to be proud of. Muhammad bin Qasim civilised them and before that, they were ignorant Pagans who worshipped stones. They have so much to be proud of like the Indus valley civilization, and the place where the Vedas were written. Where sanskrit was written. But they’ve denied all these connections and all they have left is modern Pakistan. A complete mess.

      • Faisal, Myra

        In light of Faisal’s remark concerning the literary standards of Pahari and Punjabi, the former is nascent and emerging within a specific social context, it would disprove instantly claims that Pahari is Punjabi, as I intend to demonstrate with the link at the end of this comment. This is the implication in Faisal’s comments about reading texts in Pahari or Punjabi; we would literally demolish this Punjabi argument for good.

        Indian Punjabis, I believe, would be less biased in their claims that they don’t understand Pahari because there is no reason for them to maintain fraternity with Mirpuris. I understand Faisal’s claim that they seek fraternity with Punjabi Pakistanis because of how Mirpuris are being presented through the agency of Pakistanis, but from my own experiences, they don’t seem to be endeared to Pakistanis in any case. And when you question them about what they’ve been told about Mirpuris through their non-Mirpuri Pakistani friends, they readily expose the ensuing diatribes. Speak to British-Indians, and ask them what they’ve been told about Mirpuris – the ones exposed to such descriptions, they will quickly spill the beans. They don’t seem to have any loyalty to their Punjabi Pakistanis, it’s the British Punjabi Pakistanis that seem to be making the overtures towards them, as they quickly lampoon Mirpuris for being fake Kashmiris on account of being Punjabis. The self-hatred is obvious; to deprecate Mirpuris for being fake Kashmiris, they assert that they are actually Punjabis and the descriptions they give to prove this point is hardly flattering of Punjabis. So is this how they imagine themselves, otherwise it would make no sense, the proverb of spiting one’s face comes to mind?

        To repeat, Indian Punjabis have no reason to differentiate between Mirpuris and Kashmiris politically except when they fall for Indian propaganda that Mirpuris are not Kashmiris, even as they claim Mirpur is within Pakistan Occupied “Kashmir”! The sophistry behind this position is so ludicrous that it’s surprising no one has taken the Indians to account for this stupidity. The entire State of Jammu & Kashmir including what is AJK is proudly displayed on the maps of their Indian Republic. The same people go on to make silly remarks that Mirpuris are an occupied people even as they argue contradictorily that Mirpuris are not really genuine “state subjects” but Pakistani Punjabis deliberately settled in Mirpur to change the demography of Kashmir! We’ve been settled in our region for centuries, but of course, the outsiders who buy into such claims are not familiar with us, except the dubious claims about us. The British Pakistanis give a veneer of respectability to these claims when they argue Mirpuris are not Kashmiris, and this in itself proves we have no fraternity with such Pakistanis.

        This is thus a grievance.

        I have yet to read about these tactics in any of the works of the academics, and it’s curious why these realities are missing from the ongoing commentary on the Kashmir conflict. I think I know why though given the failures of the current pro-Kashmiri incumbents in the UK to raise such issues, and their absence from the wider debates on Kashmir.

        The material on Mirpuris is thus suggestive. This is an essentially Pakistani tactic in the UK, and the individuals making these claims also resort to racialising Mirpuris, they are just ignorant of their own claims. They seek confirmation bias and they give a platform to such ideas irrespective of how bad it makes them look to outsiders. Some of them post pictures of what the real Kashmiris look like – they haven’t even been to the Valley; some of the pictures are so cringe-worthy that you can see their own obsessions with racial myths.

        We’ve already touched on the reasons why they do this; these insecurities and anxieties are their’s, it doesn’t reflect on us at all. These insecurities are being imposed on us and we need to explain to British Paharis what is really going on; when some of us say that they’re Kashmiris, i.e., from Kashmir, they’ve not made any factually incorrect statements because Azad Kashmir is known internationally as “Kashmir”. The Pakistani State hasn’t innovated anything new when it drop the term Jammu from Azad Jammu & Kashmir, because this is an old convention which is an Indian practise too that goes back to the days of British colonialism. It’s ignorant people who can’t fathom a basic truth that lot’s of areas within AJK as far as Mirpur were actually part of “Kashmir” historically and not Jammu, as these areas were later configured and added to Jammu Province.

        To refresh our memories.

        I would like to repeat that the idea that “Pahari” (sociolinguistically), a speech variety spoken in Mirpur is Punjabi is just patently false. No linguist has ever said this mindful of what was implied by the term Punjabi linguistically, something very distinct from notions of geography, even as the same term was employed.

        People who repeat such claims, I can say with conviction, have never once read a chapter in any book written on Indo-Aryan languages to understand the actual working definition of “Punjabi” for linguistic discourse. There are others who I am afraid, are just disingenuous in their claims and to be candid, I don’t think we should even entertain them in our own conversations. We should just ignore them, as their input is intended to be ‘toxic’ and ‘suggestive’ of an identity that prioritises Pakistan as the place from whence we all originate.

        Think about this for one moment; we’re being told that Mirpur was part of the Punjab before it became part of Jammu & Kashmir in 1846 by people who insist we’re Pakistanis, a completely artificial country that came into existence in 1947, on the basis of a flawed ideology that was exposed in 1971? Are these ironies lost on such protagonists, even as Mirpur according to Pakisan’s state enforced narrative is part of AZAD Jammu & Kashmir, the liberated part of Jammu & Kashmir State? The Pakistan position is simple, India has illegally annexed Kashmir to India whilst Pakistan has kept it’s part separate from itself.

        Pakistan maintains the moral high ground through such claims, as it insists on calling people from Mirpur, “Kashmiris” in Pakistan, whilst demanding they be recognised as Pakistanis outside Azad Kashmir.

        Are the people we talk to sincere when they deploy the ludicrous argument that Mirpuris are Punjabis? We know they’re not making ethnic arguments but political arguments. These are the sorts of people who create twitter accounts and repeat the nauseating claim that Mirpuris are “Jats”, “Gujjar”, “Rajput”, as they deploy this illusory identity to create divisions with other regional communities in AJK. When did caste become an over-riding determiner to understand the ethnicity of people? My apologies but which moron would dare to make such claims without the risk of sounding stupid? The idea is so stupid given the original concept of caste dealt with a restrictive form of social stratification not “race” or “ethnicity”, but these pro-Punjabi protagonists continue to deploy such disingenuous arguments.

        This is what we should be exposing Faisal, Myra?

        I’ve noticed lots of young people (Mirpuris) are now repeating the claim that Mirpuris are Punjabis on social media and it is pretty clear that they have adopted such opinions from wikipedia. This material is suggestive, as is the trope that Mirpuris are not Kashmiris but Punjabis. Our detractors are deliberately sowing discord amongst us not least because our grandparents have no memory of their own grandparents ever identifying as Punjabis; this is just an incontestable fact.

        Again, experts tell us, as there is a huge body of knowledge that exists on this matter, that linguistic identities do not lead to ethnic identities. The two are separate considerations.

        You are right Faisal, the closest we’ve ever got to a Punjabi identity was we spoke a dialect of Punjabi, but even this was not based on any association with the Punjabi of the Plains, but westwards to the Pothwari spoken in the Punjab Province. This is the reason why some of us still maintain that we speak Pothwari, again because of these unjust impulses coming from Pakistan. The nuances here are pretty clear as historically those of us from the hills which included the Dadyal, Chaskwari area as far as Kotli, called their Mirpuri “Pahari” and not “Pothwari” because outsiders used to call us “Paharis” including those in Mirpur proper. The practise of calling our language “Pothwari” and more recently “Punjabi” was adopted from those further down on the Kharri Plains who were interacting with people coming into the region from the Plains. It was usually the people living in the old town of Mirpur that used to call their dialect a “sweet form” of Punjabi. Outsiders on the Plains however thought otherwise and called such people Paharis, as in Pahari Mahajan, Pahari Rajeh etc. This is not a significant point though as all the dialects/accents in question are not Punjabi in the way we understand Punjabi in a strictly linguistic sense.

        To recap.

        We know what we mean when we use the term “Pahari”, and the associations we are making with related dialects. No one from our region, when deploying the term Pahari includes the Punjabi of the Plains, and by that I mean modern standard Punjabi, a particular dialect that has been standardised. Because of the intersection between Punjab as geography, language and geo-political configuration, even ambiguous history for unrelated events, the idea of an ethnic Punjabi identity with its centre of gravity in Lahore is being conflated with our sense of Punjabi.

        This form of ahistorical Punjabi identity is being stretched to include unrelated people through the dictates of a pan-Punjab agenda. Writers on Punjab Studies have pointed this out in their writings.

        Our dialect is mutually unintelligible to speakers of modern standard Punjabi where diglossia and triglossia are not the linguistic norm; where speakers have been exposed to these speech varieties, they have understanding, but even then, lot’s of these people would be reluctant to say they speak the same language.

        The only people who argue otherwise are the disingenuous patriots of Pakistan who are forcing upon us a Punjabi identity for political reasons under the cover of ethnic arguments.

        So here is a good test, ask your Punjabi friends to translate the following words as read out from a story written in Pahari.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unhGwh9gg8Q&t=141s

        • “This is what we should be exposing Faisal, Myra?”

          Indeed, and I think like Myra said, the reading material needs to be put out there for all to read. Those Indo-Punjabis that are trying to redeem Pakjabis are not doing it out of any sense of real fraternity, although this maybe the case in some instances. I think they don’t want their “Punjabi” name being put into the mud if they can help it. They know most of the Pakistanis in the west are either Mirpuri or Punjabi. So why not throw the Mirpuris under the bus and say they are the groomers and terrorists rather than let the world think “Punjabis” are doing it, even if they don’t really care for them either.

          Indian propaganda does indeed say “Mirpuris”(by which they mean ethnic Paharis) are migrants to AJK from Punjab. I don’t think any of them is aware of the “Mirpuris” in their own Rajouri and Poonch district. LOL

          The reading material for this information needs to be put out there and the posts on here need be sourced. I’m being told Pahari is a made up ethnicity and that Mirpuris are Punjabis but are ashamed.

          How exactly are ethnicities recognised? Saraikis were Punjabis before and now they are ethnic Sereikis, so who determined this? Is it academics or is it consensus from the Seraiki people themselves?

          I know all ethnicities are socially constructed but at what point are Mirpuris going to be able to say they are ethnically Pahari and not ethnically Punjabi and it’s not controversial? Lahoris are ethnic Punjabis, this is not controversial. Pathans are Pathans. Balochis are Balochis. Sindhis are Sindhis.

          I think if there’s no objective way to determine an ethnicity, and for people to recognise it, is there really any point in trying to convince our detractors that we are ethnically not Punjabi? Paharis will accept our claim, but our detractors will still call us ethnically Punjabi(as we’ve seen on this very website how hard it is to convince people who are stuck in their propaganda).

          I think the only way we are going to be taken seriously is for AJK people in the UK to start calling themselves Pahari and doing “Pahari” things. If there’s a Pahari poet, Pahari writer, Pahari tv shows, then I think the rest of the world including Pakistanis and Indians will look like fools if they don’t recognise there’s something that distinguishes us from “Punjabis”. If there’s Pahari entertainment, and Pahari culture which is distinct from “Pakistani” or “Punjabi” then people will intuitively feel we are different.

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