International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution

Article

Indigenous Cultural Resources for Peacebuilding

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s Philosophy and Conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan

Keywords Islam, Khudai Khidmatghar, Taliban, Pakhtuns, liberal peacebuilding
Authors Saira Bano Orakzai
Author's information

250142 Saira Bano Orakzai
Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of Free State, South Africa.
  • Abstract

      Indigenous peacebuilding has introduced numerous challenges to the approach of liberal peacebuilding that is well advocated around the world. The conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan presents one such challenge for the local peacebuilders – whereas the implementation of the liberal peacebuilding has failed. Adopting a subaltern perspective, this article examines indigenous cultural peacebuilding resources for this conflict. Prominent among these resources is the philosophy of non-violence and self-restraint of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai Khidmatgar non-violent movement. The article discusses Khan’s philosophy and the movement it inspired, while making a case for the value of such indigenous resources in the development of culturally appropriate responses for countering militancy and violence in FATA. The article uses the writings of Ghaffar Khan together with secondary resources to suggest measures to counter the contemporary violent extremism by the Taliban and draw upon indigenous approaches to make peacebuilding more effective in FATA.

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