TJCP Vol. 01 Issue.01

The Politics of Indigenousness of Med Fisherfolk of Pakistan: Their Cultural Rights in Perspective

Tuba Azeem


Med of the coastal districts of Gwadar and Lasbela of the Balochistan province of Pakistan comprises a social class with fisherfolk from different backgrounds. They have a subordinate and mostly subaltern position within the Baloch social and cultural hierarchy, dominated by landowners, wealthy boat owners, and notables locally known as Mirs and Kahodas. Overall, they are ranked among the many marginalized and underrepresented communities of Pakistan while considerd arguably indigenous to the region. Their cultural rights are interrupted due to acquisition of their ancestral land territories to build and protect developmental projects by the state agencies. It has put at risk their cultural identities and stewardship to the coastal habitat and the Arabian Sea. This article provides the context of their land dispossession and explains their distinct affiliation to the coastal Makran and the Arabian Sea. It suggests at the end an integrated coastal policy to establish cultural institutions raising awareness about their rich heritage, monuments, and maritime customs, dating back thousands of years.

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