Home > Publications > Conflict and Ethnic Identity: Pukhtunwali and Purdahin Conflict Ridden Swat, Pakistan

Conflict and Ethnic Identity: Pukhtunwali and Purdahin Conflict Ridden
Swat, Pakistan

Syed Wasif Azim1, Muhammad Ayub Jan2 and Nathalie Williams3

Abstract
This study argues that the recent conflict and violence in Swat, a Pukhtun
populated region of Pakistan, has diverse and multiple impacts onPurdah, a socio-cultural
code of Pukhtun culture (Pukhtunwali), which is in turn a significant performing aspect
and marker of Pukhtun ethnic identity. We postulate that Purdah is at least in four forms,
named in this study, as women Purdah (based on dress code), home Purdah, elder men
Purdah and locality Purdah 1
. Moreover, the impacts are witnessed in all these four forms
of Purdah. Likewise, the impacts are considered unfortunate and culturally detrimental by
the research participants in Swat. The study is based on 45 open-ended in-depth interviews
and five focus group discussions in diverse parts of Swat, coupled
withethnographicobservation.

Keywords: conflict, ethnic identity, Pukhtunwali, purdah, swat