Remotely Colonial

ISBN 9780190702120
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Remotely Colonial is a monograph that examines tribalism and nationalism as historical processes in Kalat, which is today incorporated in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Kalat was 'remotely colonial' in two ways. It was located on the far reaches of the Indian Empire, and British interests were geostrategic rather than economic.
The British designated Kalat a native state, but proceeded to marginalize the ruler in favour of sardars (chiefs) and tribal governance through jirga (tribal court) deliberations. This led to tensions between local officials dealing with events on the ground and the central government, which was determined that the facade of Kalat State be maintained. Colonial subject status-tribal, client or British Protected Subject-determined rights and obligations. The fragmentation of subjecthood produced a situation in which Kalat State became a polity with situationally defined subjects. Although Kalat State ceased to exist in 1955, its colonial structures persist today. Sardars and jirgas have become signifiers of entrenched tradition, a tribal 'other' of the national state. This is a convenient image for the Pakistani government, enabling blame for present conditions to be pinned on the tribal sector, deflecting attention away from the state's failure to provide basic services.