Research Project: What it is to be an Azad Kashmiri?
Funding: DAAD-HEC Scholarship
Supervisor: Dr. Martin Soekefeld
My research interest for PhD lies in investigating the construction and contestation of identity of People of Azad Kashmir (Pakistani held Kashmir). The main area that I focus on is: How the history of state of Jammu & Kashmir has been appropriated with the larger security and strategic interests of Pakistan and India. How the subjective identities of people of Azad Kashmir comprising of their own cultural values, languages, traditions, political positioning and their sense of belonging are contested and negotiated. How the people of Azad Kashmir socialize within the subordinate power relations with state of Pakistan and reproduce the state discourse without actualizing their own agency.
I am a PhD candidate at dept. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, LMU since 2017. I came from Poonch, a district in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. I did my M.phil in Psychology from Government College University Lahore, Pakistan. My M.phil research focused on investigating the question of identity of People of Azad Kashmir: a psychological analysis. Being a Pakistani (Azad) Kashmiri, with millions of others, I share a complexity of problematic psycho-social identity formulations and confusions marked with the ethnic complications. In order to explore the socio-political identity constructions of people of Azad Kashmir and understand how politically conditioned human actions at a mega level come to affect the lives of individuals at micro levels, I decide to continue my research enquires with anthropological lens in my doctoral project.