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Cityscapes of Violence in KarachiPublics and Counterpublics$
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Nichola Khan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190656546

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190656546.001.0001

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Prohibition and ‘Sharab’ as Political Protest in Karachi

Prohibition and ‘Sharab’ as Political Protest in Karachi

(p.135) 7 Prohibition and ‘Sharab’ as Political Protest in Karachi
Cityscapes of Violence in Karachi

Nadeem F. Paracha

Oxford University Press

This chapter by Nadeem Farooq Paracha brings oral history and memoir to the fore. Paracha interweaves national, social and personal histories in an extraordinary analysis of how alcohol, its sale and consumption, became intrinsic to Karachi’s leftist political culture in the euphoria of the post-Zia years; how political rebellion involving alcohol fueled violence on Karachi’s student campuses; and shaped Paracha’s personal nemesis and life trajectory into journalism rather than militancy. The adage that the ‘personal is political’ acquires enriched meaning in these unfoldings of a simultaneously painful, exhilarating, and destructive era that shaped one radical element of the city’s political commentariat. The politics surrounding alcohol from 1970-90 offer a perfect lens, Paracha shows us, onto transformations of religion, morality, and revolution within student support for the Pakistan People’s Party in a saturnalian urban setting.

Keywords:   Zia-ul-Haq, Left wing politics, Student politics, Alcohol, Prohibition, riots, Pakistan People’s Party, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, State Islam, Oral history

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