Yesterday’s announcement that Zardari has made a deal with the TNSM and installed “Islamic government” in Swat is all over the news. I talked, briefly, with Jerome McDonald of Worldview today. My main point was that there exists a history – 1994, 1999, 2007 – of efforts to install a Shari-Nizam-e-Adl (Islamic Order of Justice) in Swat region. You can check my previous post on Swat to get a sense of this history, Akond of Swat.
More importantly, an absolutely must-read is historian Sultan-i-Rome’s paper, Swat: A Critical Analysis [pdf], IPCS Research Paper, January 2009. The paper provides a succinct historical and political overview and also introduces some of the key players. Must read.
Sultan-i-Rome is one of the major, if not the, historian of Swat valley. His monograph, Swat State, 1915-1969: From Genesis to Merger: An Analysis of Political, Administrative, Socio-Political, and Economic Development is key to building a historical overview of the crisis facing the state of Pakistan. I had thought of writing a proper review of the latter, but time slipped away. I will try and do it.