Collusion between nationalist fantasy and official cartography fuels conflict across South Asia

Imran Khan isn’t the first Pakistani leader to nurse fantasies: the Pakistani military commanders who commanded the war of 1947-1948 in Kashmir used the code-name “General Tariq”, invoking the commander of the Ummayid conquest of Gibraltar, while the wars of 1965 and 1971 were suffused with imagery drawn from medieval conquests in India.

Long, long ago, in a country far, far away, there was a King who lived in his palace with hundreds of dogs, each given its own room, and cared for by a servant who adorned them with silks and gold. The marriage of the King’s favourites, Roshanara and Bobby, involved a ritual nikah, a decorated four-horse carriage procession, fireworks, and performances by nautch girls. Frédéric Chopin’s Funeral March — written, his lover George Sands claimed, to mourn the passing of her dog Maquis — would be played when a dog died, as they were buried with state honours.

Show More

Related Articles