Pakistani fiction and human rights

Authored by: Esra Mirze Santesso

The Routledge Companion to Pakistani Anglophone Writing

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138745520
eBook ISBN: 9781315180618
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on contemporary Pakistani fiction (penned by Mohammed Hanif, Kamila Shamsie, Salman Rushdie, and Uzma Aslam Khan) which investigates the civic and political repercussions of the Islamisation of the state during Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. Islamopolitics presents direct challenges to human rights as religion becomes a repressive apparatus to keep the secular elite in check by restricting their basic freedoms. Indeed, torture, sanctioned by the state, attests to the illegal detainment and treatment of dissident citizens whose bodies become subject to violence. Consequently, storytelling emerges as a political act of resistance that helps to end the silence of the victims.

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