(Anti)social Capital in the Production of an (Un)civil Society in Pakistan*
Mustafa, Daanish, The Geographical Review
Pakistan is home to some of the most widely admired and emulated examples of nongovernmental-sector-based service-delivery and advocacy groups, such as the Orangi Pilot Project, the Edhi Foundation, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (Ghafoor 1987; UNDP 2000). (1) Yet the same society that has generated such positive civil-society activism, including legal aid to abused women, free ambulance services, and much else, is also home to a multiplicity of very visible nongovernmental actors espousing religious extremism and violence: (2) some religious seminaries from which the Taliban movement in Afghanistan emerged, Hizbul Mujahideen, and many others supporting violent activities around the world (Zaman 1998; Rashid 2000). (3) These groups challenge some of the fondly held notions by development practitioners about the desirability of the nongovernmental sector taking the lead in the delivery of education, health care, and environmental management services, among others, and playing an advocacy role for human rights, women's rights, environmental justice, and other socially desirable goals (Farrington and Bebbington 1993; GOP 1993; Vetter 1995). This article uses the social-capital/civil-society-based literature as a conceptual lens through which to examine the relative strength, impact, and interplay of democratic and/or developmentalist forces, and antidemocratic and/or violent forces in Pakistani society. Two nongovernmental organizations/movements--Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamic revivalist organization, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan--serve as examples to investigate the process of (anti)social capital mobilization in Pakistan.
The literature on nongovernmental organizations (NGOS) and social movements is often linked to the twin concepts of social capital and civil society. "Social capital" is defined as norms of behavior and the social and functional relations between individuals and groups, which may facilitate the actions of the social actors (Coleman 1988) and constitute a building block for a civil society. "Civil society" is conceptualized as a space occupied by social institutions and groups between the state, markets, and individual households (McIlwaine 1998). This conceptualization--although it assumes civility and positive interactions within the civil society (4)--nonetheless allows many types of agendas to be subsumed within the (un)civil-society/social-capital-based discourse: for example, wealth generation, social justice and empowerment, and, technically, also discrimination and violence. Considerable attention is paid to questions of how to create and increase societies' stocks of social capital and, consequently, strengthen civil society (Putnam, Leonardi, and Nanetti 1993; Serageldin and Steer 1994; Ritchey-Vance 1996; Narayan 1999; Mohan and Mohan 2002). But the unexplored question has been how to strengthen civil society against uncivil social forces with (anti)social capital; that is, social norms and networks that impose excessive financial or social obligations on actors or further solidify criminal and/or violent forces in a society (see Portes and Landolt 2000).
A substantial body of literature speaks to the efficacy of the nongovernmental sector in service delivery (Lam 1995; Bebbington, Quisbert, and Trujillo 1996; Bebbington 1997; Buckland 1998; Bebbington and Perreault 1999; Groenfeldt and Svendsen 2000) and in social mobilization and voicing the concerns of the vulnerable and traditionally underrepresented segments of a society (Rivera-Cusicanqui 1990; Escobar and Alvarez 1992; Johnson and Wilson 2000). Some literature suggests that NGOS, citizen groups, and social movements have fallen short of expectations with respect to their expressed missions and functions because of managerial and strategic missteps (Edwards and Hulme 1996; Edwards 1999) or hostile social and political environments (Fox 1996; Booth and Richard 1998). But in very few of the cases is the balance between positive social capital and what Mauricio Rubio (1997) calls "perverse social capital" and Alejandro Portes and Patricia Landolt (2000) call "negative social capital" in a society empirically investigated and specifically linked to social contexts. The issue is of particular importance in the case of Pakistan, where the rise of religious- and ethnic-based militancy and violence in discrete segments of the NGO sector is threatening the very existence of a reasonably functional, developmental state (Abbas 2005). In the post-9/11 focus on causes of religious extremism in South Asia and West Asia, insights from an investigation of (anti)social capital mobilization can have far-reaching implications for policy and research in the region. Case studies of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in the civil, and Jamaat-e-Islami in the uncivil, spaces of society are presented here to explain the origins, implications, and reasons for their institutionalization within Pakistani society. Each of these two organizations is highly influential in Pakistani society, and each is relatively better documented than most comparable organizations in Pakistan.
Pakistani society, like any other society, is influenced by flows of ideas, people, and material goods and services from the rest of the world. Consequently, it is important to analyze the discourses that promote and legitimate certain types of social capital, especially because those discourses are influenced by international contexts and actors, such as the cold war, the Islamic revolution in Iran, and agendas of international donors. International contexts and actors also have important material effects on social-capital formation; for example, through international financial and material aid.
This article will highlight the social-structural and discursive context of Pakistan that determines spaces of civil and uncivil society. The analysis seeks to address three hypotheses: 1) the processes that produce and mobilize positive and perverse social capital are multiscalar, from international to local, and are not necessarily exclusively national in their spatial scope; 2) ascendancy of one type of social capital over another is an outcome not necessarily of "culture" or religion but, rather, of the contingent convergence of government policy, international relations, and the state of socioeconomic development; and 3) in the Pakistani context, nothing intrinsically privileges one type of social capital over another, because both can be constructed and fostered or destroyed, given the right policy choices. A brief review of the social capital / civil society literature within the discipline of geography underscores the importance of retaining a focus on social-structural factors to understand how different types of social capital are mobilized and to what effect.
SOCIAL CAPITAL AS NORMS AND VALUES VERSUS EFFECTS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURES
In the late 1990s a flood of literature on social capital and its implications for development praxis emerged. This literature can be placed within the new, post-impasse "agent-centered analysis" paradigm in development theory (Schuurmann 1993; Peet and Watts 1996; Preston 1996).
The term "social capital" was popularized in development-policy discourse by Robert Putnam, Robert Leonardi, and Raffaella Nanetti (1993), who define it as the "trust, norms and networks ... that can improve the [economic?] efficiency of society by facilitating coordinated action" (p. 167). This concept of social capital points to the norms of behavior, trust, and cooperation within a population that may presumably lower transaction costs, improve governance, and contribute to economic development. This concept of civil society emphasizes "social capital" as a building block of the horizontal association of individuals called "civil society institutions," with wealth generation as the main outcome of the functioning of such associations. Social capital is an internal attribute of societies, by virtue of their historical development trajectories (Putzel 1997). Other scholars go a step farther and attribute the development of social capital--in a culturally deterministic mode--mainly to religion, culture, and morality within a society (Platteau 1994; Fukuyama 2001).
Putnam, Leonardi, and Nanetti's conceptualization of social capital is open to criticism on many counts. It accepts the macrolevel socioeconomic context as a closed system (Bebbington and Perreault 1999; Radcliffe 2004), implies that capital is somehow not inherently social (Fine 2002), is silent on issues of power differentials within societies (Harris and de Renzio 1997; Fine 1999; Radcliffe 2004), and--most important--neglects the negative externalities, such as terrorism, racism, and misogyny, that may come from associational life (Levi 1996; Berman 1997).
James Coleman gives a parallel, equally influential conceptualization of social capital: "Social capital is defined by its function. It is not a single entity but a variety of different entities, with two elements in common; they all consist of some aspect of social structures, and they facilitate certain actions of actors--whether persons or corporate actors--within the structure" (1988, S98). This definition is less normative in its designation of functions to social capital, and it explicitly ties in the concept of social capital with social structures. Coleman's conceptualization, unlike Putnam, Leonardi, and Nanetti's, considers social capital as an inherent aspect of individuals in societies subject to various structural constraints and catalysts. It follows that what material consequences result from social capital will be mediated by social structures, which may steer the use of the social relations and associations toward more efficient service delivery, reduction of transaction costs, political activism, or conversely, politically or criminally motivated violence and/or promotion of politics of exclusion and discrimination. In the case of Pakistan it can be argued (following Berman 1997), that a militarist state structure may have promoted social-capital mobilization for espousing religious extremism, thereby promoting a politics of exclusion and violence.
In their review of forty-five empirical studies employing the concept of social capital, Michael Foley and Bob Edwards (1999) endorsed the social-structural approach to employment of the social-capital concept in practice. They argue that social capital needs to be treated as a dependent variable where the social-structural context determines its utility. They offer the important insight (following Bourdieu 1986), that "access" to networks may not be enough for economic development or for fostering democracy but that access coupled with "quality and quantity of resources" that networks can mobilize will decide the quality and quantity of social capital available to individuals and groups. If the ultimate function of the social capital matters--creation versus destruction, inclusion versus discrimination--then the concept needs to be critically reevaluated and more firmly linked to theoretically grounded concerns with social structures, class, conflict, globalization, and so forth (Fine 1999).
This raises the question, If structures continue to be the arbiters of material outcomes, albeit mediated by social capital in a civil society, why do we need to concern ourselves with social capital in the first place? Why not start with the social structures and conflict, if that is where the causal explanation lies? (Fine 1999, 2002). According to Anthony Bebbington and Thomas Perreault (1999), social capital remains relevant because its organizational manifestations in civil society are an empirical reality with visible impacts on everyday material existence, as they and others document (Beall 1997; Groenfeldt and Svendsen 2000; Johnson and Wilson 2000; Pretty and Ward 2001). They further argue that attention to social capital complements the social-theoretical approaches to understanding developmental outcomes. Social capital's relevance and functionality notwithstanding, the issues of how it is created and how it can be created independently of material conditions, if at all, remain unresolved (Mohan and Mohan 2002).
Jonathan Fox (1996) took a "political-construction" approach to explaining the distribution of positive social capital in rural Mexico. He described the approach as an iterative assembly of three building blocks that contribute to the emergence and consolidation of social capital. The first building block--political opportunity--is the outcome of shifting conflicts and alliances within the societal elites, which may protect scaled-up collective action against government or elite backlash in a less-than-democratic political context. The second building block--social energy--refers to the store of motivated activists who may be willing to bear the "irrational start-up costs of mobilization" (p. 1091). The third building block--scaling up--involves moving beyond the "small-is-beautiful" stage and building connections across local, regional, and national scales. The political-construction approach is one of the main theoretical tools used here to understand the developmental trajectory of Pakistani organizations.
Whereas Fox (1996) concentrated on how social capital emerges and is consolidated by state action, others (including Farrington and Bebbington 1993; Evans 1996; Ostrom 1996; World Bank 1997; Narayan 1999) discussed how interactions between the state and civil society can lead to positive developmental outcomes. All of the latter except Elinor Ostrom emphasized the functional complementarity between state functions and what civil-society actors can do best; Ostrom (1996) emphasized "coproduction," whereby actors within the state interact with civil-society actors across blurred boundaries to jointly produce social services and generate wealth. The notion of complementarity between the state and civil society is premised upon the belief that, in many instances, nongovernmental actors can bring their local knowledge, relative efficiency, and greater adaptability to government's greater legitimacy, resources, and specialized management structures to ensure better developmental outcomes. The concepts of political construction and complementarity are particularly pertinent to the analysis of (anti)social capital and (un)civil society in Pakistan.
As presented in the literature cited above, social capital and civil society are primarily nested within an actor-oriented approach that emphasizes agency and contingency more than social structures and necessary relationships in explaining development of social capital. The following analysis of two organizations in Pakistan, however, is explicitly social-structural, but this emphasis on social-structural explanations does not deny agency to social actors and hence the use of the social capital framework. The concern with social structures is not limited to material relations and practices but, in a more poststructuralist mode of discourse analysis, is also concerned with discursive constructs that legitimate and reproduce the pattern of desirable versus undesirable social capital in Pakistan. Many social scientists, previously of the Marxist or structuralist persuasion, have recently called for greater attention to poststructuralist insights into how language, representations, and discourses contribute to our understanding and, sometimes, material construction of social reality (see Escobar 1996; Peet 1999; Castree and Braun 2001).
The analysis of the two organizations in the civil and uncivil spaces of Pakistani society seeks to explain how they may have been constructed politically and in a complementary role with the state. The emphasis will be not just on material structures of globalization and capitalism but also on the tension between legitimating discourses of participatory development, human rights, democracy, national security, identity, and religious revivalism in the context of modernity.
THE PAKISTANI HISTORICOGEOGRAPHICAL CONTEXT OF SOCIAL-CAPITAL MOBILIZATION
Since independence and partition from British India in 1947, Pakistani political institutions have been dominated by the military. Pakistan has had a military government for thirty of its fifty-eight years of independence. The Pakistani military is a descendent of the British Indian Army and has retained the institutional structure, culture, and imperial ethos of its colonial predecessor (Daechsel 1997; Cohen 1998). Similar observations can be made about the next most powerful institution in Pakistan, the civil bureaucracy (Kennedy 1987). Most analysts of the Pakistani state and politics have described the governance structure in the country as an oligarchic relationship between the landed feudal elites and the civil and military bureaucracy (Malik 1997). Most accounts of the Pakistani state and society have adhered to a narrative structured around civil and military bureaucracy, landed feudal elites, and ethnic and religious nationalist forces. The traditional narrative has also typically blamed the asymmetrical power of the tripartite oligarchic structure for the attenuated development of the civil-society institutions (Kennedy 1987; Khan 2000).
I propose that the history and geography of civil society in Pakistan can be mapped differently, along three discursive axes: identity politics, national security, and developmentalism. The interplay of these three discourses has produced the social-structural and discursive context for the operation of civil society in Pakistan. These axes set up the context for the discussion of the civil-society actors in Pakistan.
The matter of identity has particularly strong resonance in Pakistani society, not only because it is a developing society undergoing economic and social transition, but also because of its ethnic and linguistic diversity. Pakistan has six major recognized ethnolinguistic groups--Pashtun, Baloch, Brahvi, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Mohajir (the migrants from Northern India who form a majority in the urban areas of the southern Sindh Province). Many major subgroupings and minor ethnolinguistic groups are largely concentrated in the mountainous north of the country. Each of the major ethnic groups with its distinct geography and ethnic homeland poses a challenge to the Pakistani state in its effort to cobble together a modern national consciousness based on the European model of nationalism. The country has been faced with sometimes violent, irredentist nationalist movements among the Pashtuns and the Balochs on its western borders and with internal strife between the Sindhis and the Mohajirs in the southern Sindh Province. Ethnonationalist elements in Pakistan have generally been very vocal about their resentment of the politically and numerically dominant Punjabis.
Ethnic movements in Balochistan and Sindh have largely retained a secular character, whereas among the Pashtuns ethnic-identity politics have increasingly be-come religious in character. Islamic revivalist politics were traditionally the preserve of the largely bourgeois, urban-based Mohajirs (Nasr 1994). As Mohajir politics have become more secular (Malik 1997), Pashtun ethnic politics have moved in the opposite direction, to be closer to the Taliban-style extremism of the 1990s in Afghanistan (Rashid 2000). Even among the dominant Punjabis, with their traditional nationalist outlook, Islamic revivalist movements are making serious inroads.
The national-security discourse is another part of understanding the development trajectory of civil society in Pakistan. To most Pakistanis, particularly in the military and civil elite, the conflict with India over the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is at the core of Pakistan's sense of nationhood and its territorial security (Mustafa and Murthy 2000; Mustafa 2004; Abbas 2005). The conflict has further accentuated the country's sense of insecurity vis-a-vis its much larger neighbor, India. The national obsession with Kashmir, coupled with the military's dominance of the Pakistani political structures, has ensured that national-security discourse plays a dominant role in the state's interactions with civil society (Inayatullah 1998) and in defining the spaces for civil-society operations. As will be illustrated in the individual case studies, interaction between the national-security discourse and identity politics has also spawned the specific geographies of civil and uncivil spaces in Pakistani society.
Developmentalism, or development as modernization, is almost universally applicable to the developing world, but in Pakistan it has generated some unique organizational experiments; for example, the Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme. Most Pakistani state and civil-society activity in the realm of social and economic development is embedded in the understanding of development as modernization. Although development as modernization and replication of the Western development trajectory has come under sustained criticism within development geography (Peet 1999; Peet and Watts 2004), the governmental and nongovernmental sectors in Pakistan have uncritically subscribed to the linkage, as reflected in a recent Pakistani newspaper article: "The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet, Establishment and Management Services on Thursday observed that the electronic media should promote patriotism and inculcate scientific attitudes and social values among the young" (Dawn 2005). Part of the reason for this uncritical acceptance of development as modernization might be the dominant role of urban-based elites in the development-related nongovernmental sector. But it may also be a reaction to the excesses of the ethnic- and religious-based politics in Pakistani society.
Pakistan is a country in an undeniable state of socioeconomic transition. The engagement of Pakistani civil society with developmentalism can also be read as the society's response to the often alienating experience of that transition. Alan Whaites (1995), in his relatively optimistic view of civil-society development in Pakistan, used the density and quality of horizontal associations as an indicator of the vibrancy of Pakistani civil society. He concluded that, along with changes in the demographics and economy of the country from agrarian to urbanizing and industrializing, voluntary associations of bonded labor, women, industrial workers, and business groups are becoming more independent and effective in the face of state power.
SPACES OF CIVIL AND UNCIVIL SOCIETY IN PAKISTAN
Each of the three discourses of national security, developmentalism, and identity politics have pulled Pakistani civil society in conflicting directions, as has the process of mobilizing social capital. The two organizations discussed here--Jamaat-e-Islami and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan--serve as exemplars of the larger tensions within Pakistani society and not as moral opposites. All organizations/movements are deemed to be part of civil society unless they or their subsidiaries espouse and/or practice violence against noncombatant civilians. A civil society by definition does, and should, contain a range of agendas. Promoting a certain interpretation or vision of religion, state, and society is inherent to the dynamics of a vibrant civil society. But when support of an agenda leaves the political sphere and becomes a violent armed struggle, questions can legitimately be raised about its place within civil society. The issue of what type of violence will qualify a nonstate actor to be excluded from the ambit of "civil" society is debatable and echoes the very contentious contemporary debate on the definition of terrorism. Without engaging the rapidly expanding literature on terrorism and legitimate versus illegitimate violence (Hewitt 1987, 2001; Crenshaw 1995; Hoffman 1998; Mustafa 2005), it should be noted that if noncombatant civilians are the major victims of violence by a nonstate actor, the actor may be classified as part of the uncivil society. The debate and ambiguity on this issue are inherent in the type of discussion being undertaken here.
Jamaat-e-Islami is probably one of the most influential organizational articulations of the Islamic revivalist movements in Pakistan, perhaps even in the Islamic world (Nasr 1994; Moten 2003). It was founded in 1941 by Sayyid Abu Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979), scion of a prominent Muslim family from northern India, known for its tradition of religious learning as well as associations with the Mughal royal court and other Muslim ruling houses of India. Mawdudi was deeply influenced in his formative years by the anticolonial movement and the angst among the Muslim elites of India about the loss of their empire and political power to the British. The relatively depressed economic, social, and political status of the Muslim populace in colonial India was a further source of resentment and reflection for the bright and studious young Mawdudi (Nasr 1996; Moten 2003). Armed with a classical training in Islamic learning, coupled with his considerable self-taught command of important segments of Western and modern social and political thought, Mawdudi fancied himself to be an intellectual and political leader for the Muslims of India (Nasr 1996). Jamaat-e-Islami was his brainchild and was initially intended to be a "holy community" whose members could prepare themselves for the leadership role in reviving the lost glory of Islam in India by following the "true" path of Islam--as interpreted by Mawdudi.
The Islamic revivalist message that Mawdudi promoted was based on his distillation of the teachings of the Qur'an, the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet Muhammad), and the Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet) and on combining those with his readings of Western philosophy within a deductive logical framework. His vision of Islam was deeply hostile to the very rich legacy of Islamic historicocultural development and, instead, insisted on a return to a "pure" Islam, for which the life of the Prophet and the reigns of the four righteous caliphs (A.D. 632-661) were the model (Mawdudi 1980; Nasr 1996). For Mawdudi and the movement that he founded, layers of geography, culture, and more than 1,500 years of history needed to be peeled away to reveal the pure Islam. Jamaat-e-Islami shared this attribute with many other Islamic revivalist and fundamentalist movements (Moghissi 2001). Inevitably, however, Mawdudi's concept of pure Islam was very deeply embedded in his subjectivity as a Muslim bourgeois in colonial India. His writings and the movement he founded shared a deeply ambivalent relationship with modernity. He harangued against the corrupting influence of secular modernity but simultaneously borrowed modernist intellectual frameworks for his prolific writings on practically everything. Even for Jamaat, his vision was not a political movement in the liberal sense but rather, following Lenin, an "organizational weapon" in the Bolshevik sense (Nasr 1994). This notion of Jamaat as an organizational weapon is key to understanding its role in straddling the boundaries between civil and uncivil spaces of Pakistani society.
During its initial years Jamaat-e-Islami concentrated on consolidating and indoctrinating its limited rank and file in the teachings of its founder. Although the group harbored very clear ambitions to political leadership in India, it largely sought to do so by indoctrinating large segments of the Muslim population (unlike the populist politics of its bete noire, the Muslim League, the largest Muslim communal party in colonial India). Soon after Pakistan was formed in 1947, Jamaat morphed from a religious movement into a political party. But even this transition was not without its challenges. Jamaat had never aspired to being a populist party but was admittedly more interested in infiltrating the structures of power, in order to impose its concept of an Islamic order from above (Mawdudi 1984; Nasr 1994; Moten 2003). But, despite its aversion to populist politics, by virtue of its basic ideology it could not divorce religion from politics. Therefore, in addition to frequent demonstrations of street power and active propagation of its ideology among the literate classes, Jamaat had to engage in electoral politics, the most obvious route to political power. Historically, however, Jamaat's performance in electoral politics was generally dismal, so its influence on Pakistani society has been out of proportion with its limited vote bank. This influence flows from its considerable publishing activity, its connections within the civil and military bureaucracy, and its role in organizing various segments of Pakistani society, from students to various professional classes (for a sampling of activities see the Jamaat Web site, [www.jamaat.org]). Insofar as Jamaat supports certain views about the role of religion in political life, it remains within the ambit of civil society. It is when Jamaat and its subsidiaries actively engage in violence that its civil society credentials become suspect.
Jamaat-e-Islami was in opposition to all the governments of Pakistan, for most of its existence, until the onset of the brutal dictatorship of Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1977. Zia took the traditional Islamizing tendencies of Pakistani military governments to new levels in order to legitimate his regime (Daechsel 1997). He was an intellectual disciple of Mawdudi and, under his government, Jamaat, for the first time since its creation, gained backdoor access to the corridors of power (Nasr 1994; Abbas 2005). Jamaat has always been one of the most highly organized and disciplined religiopolitical organizations in Pakistan. Its student wing, Islami-Jamaat-i-Tulaba (IJT), ruled major Pakistani university campuses, mostly in the Punjab (Figure 1), and was not averse to using strong-arm tactics against left-leaning student and political forces in urban areas of Pakistan. In 1979 the Zia regime became the main facilitator of the Americans' covert war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Jamaat was tapped by the Zia regime to provide educational and training services for Afghan refugee camps, in addition to manpower from IJT cadres to wage the jihad against the Soviet infidels in Afghanistan (Abbas 2005; ICG 2005). As millions of dollars of American and Saudi money poured into the coffers of Jamaat through Pakistani intelligence services, Jamaat and IJT became more strident in their Islamist rhetoric, as well as in perpetrating violence against leftist students on Pakistani university campuses. Jamaat had historically enjoyed financial backing from the oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies, especially Saudi Arabia. Jamaat's involvement in the Afghan Jihad further solidified its connection to those monarchies (Nasr 1994; Abbas 2005).
Following the death of Zia in 1988 and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, Jamaat-e-Islami's experience in the Afghan Jihad and its pool of veterans of that war were diverted by Pakistani intelligence agencies to fan the flames of an armed insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir (Rana 2004). Once again, as Jamaat switched between the opposition and the government in the post-Zia seesaw democratic politics of Pakistan, with governments alternating between the center-left People's Party and the center-right Muslim League, its involvement in the Kashmiri insurgency ensured that it continued to openly recruit personnel and solicit funds for its militant activities there. In fact, Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest Islamic militant organization operating in Indian-administered Kashmir, is a subsidiary of Jamaat. In addition to its regular attacks on Indian security forces, Hizbul Mujahideen is implicated in excesses against the civilian population of Kashmir and the destruction of the shrine of the patron saint of Kashmir at Charar Sharif (Rana 2004). The group has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State and continues to be active in Kashmir, even though, under pressure from the United States, in 2002 the Pakistan government reversed its policy of promoting militancy in Indian-administered Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen's parent organization, Jamaat, is at present a junior partner in the alliance of opposition Islamist parties in the Pakistani parliament, and it continues to vocally oppose the ongoing attempts at rapprochement between Pakistan and India.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Jamaat-e-Islami's formation was a case of political construction in the waning days of the British Empire in India, when fascist organizational models were being liberally copied by religious revivalist movements in India, such as the Hindu militant organization Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh. Mawdudi was clearly inspired by these organizational models, and Jamaat's continued strong organizational structure is a testament to his attention to organizational aspects of institutionalizing a politicoreligious movement. In the context of the anticolonial nationalist movement dominated by the secularist Congress Party and the Muslim League in colonial India, Jamaat, like other minor organizations, managed to stay below the radar until it had matured enough to usher itself onto the political scene in Pakistan. Mawdudi and other founding fathers bore most of the financial and social start-up costs of the organization. Subsequently, through an adroit manipulation of alliances with other religious organizations and foreign governments, as well as through ideological infiltration of the bourgeoisie government and business elites of Pakistan, Jamaat managed to entrench itself as part of the Pakistani political landscape. The social capital that Jamaat cultivated through its myriad subsidiary youth and professional organizations paid rich dividends in making the organization relevant to social discourse in Pakistan. Jamaat's lending of itself to the government as an organizational weapon during the Afghan and Kashmiri insurgencies was a classic case of perverse complementarity. When the government could not wage an open war against a much stronger foe, it drew upon Jamaat's social capital and organization to wage war in its place. In fact, Jamaat and the Pakistani, American, and Saudi governments more or less coproduced the jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Nothing about the growth and consolidation of Jamaat-e-Islami in the Pakistani body politic was structurally inevitable. On one hand, Jamaat may have initially drawn most of its recruits from the socially conservative petite bourgeoisie in the transitional economy of Pakistan. But, on the other hand, the militant turn in its activities was largely a function of external contingent factors such as the ascendancy of the Islamist Zia and the Afghan and Kashmiri wars. Jamaat may have historically catered to the identity politics of the Mohajirs in urban Sindh who claimed to have abandoned their homeland in India in the name of Pakistan and Islam. More recently, however, Jamaat's social positionality has been closer to the national security and Pashtun Islamist identity axes in the discursive landscape of Pakistan, largely as a result of its interaction with the state. In fact, Zia's recruitment of Jamaat in the Afghan war opened it up to ideological, political, and financial possibilities beyond the domestic sphere of Pakistan (Nasr 2000). Jamaat has come to view jihad as a useful paradigm with which to explicate its Islamist agenda and its concept of political action to the Pakistani public (Nasr 2000).
The civil society and the social capital in it have been conceptualized in an independent role from the government, but the case of Jamaat-e-Islami draws attention to the role of the state in manipulating the strength and direction of social-capital mobilization. The case study further illustrates that, although structural factors like globalization, capitalism, and underdevelopment may have created the context for Jamaat's operations, it was the agency of Jamaat's leadership and membership that directed its social capital in perverse, violent directions.
THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN
Partially in reaction to the excesses of the Zia regime and its allies, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) was formed in 1986 (see [www.hrcp-web.org]). In the two decades since its inception, the HRCP has become the most influential nongovernmental actor in the cause of human rights in Pakistan (UNDP 2000). The immediate impetus for the HRCP's formation was opposition to a battery of regressive laws passed by the Zia regime, including the separate electorate for non-Muslim minorities of Pakistan and the Hudood ordinance, in addition to vastly enhanced powers of the state for arbitrary arrests, censorship of the press, and limiting political dissent (Malik 1997; Abbas 2005). (5) Although women and religious minorities were the main victims of Zia's Islamization drives, the progressive elements in the society were especially targeted for state oppression because they were deemed to be aligned with the main leftist opposition, the People's Party. It was in this environment that a group of prominent citizens, primarily lawyers, including Asma Jehangir, Justice Dorab Patel, Malik Qasim, and Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim met and decided to merge many organizations and prodemocracy groups under the umbrella of the HRCP. Among the organizations were the Malik Ghulam Jilani Foundation for Human Rights and some political-prisoner-release and legal-aid committees. (6)
The founding members of the HRCP were mindful of the need for political action to bring about meaningful change. But in an atmosphere in which "the political parties had been bludgeoned into oblivion" and, in the opinion of the HRCP founders, "had also lost their way" in the cause of fighting for human rights, the need for a nonpartisan, but not apolitical, watchdog organization to speak up for the rights of the victims of state oppression was urgent (Rahman 2005). The three resolutions adopted at the first meeting of the HRCP in 1986 were the holding of free and fair democratic elections, abolition of the separate electorate for the religious minorities in Pakistan and bringing them into the mainstream, and abolition of the death penalty. The last was particularly ambitious, given that the popularity of the death penalty in Pakistani state and society is perhaps matched only by Saudi Arabia and Texas!
The HRCP was an avowed secular organization in a time when secularism was equated with atheism and antireligion in Pakistani society. In the words of one of its founding members, the HRCP was and continues to be an organization representing a "liberal democratic movement" in the society (Jehangir 2005). Religious revivalist organizations were particularly hostile to the HRCP's secularist message and have been a source of harassment to the HRCP membership from its inception (Jehangir 2005). Although the HRCP is not a direct competitor in the electoral arena with Islamist movements, its activism against instances of religiotribalist injustice toward women has particularly rankled many Islamists, who tend to equate many tribal cultural traditions with Islam.
Unlike many of its Western counterpart organizations, the HRCP has not limited itself to a legalistic interpretation of human rights, although that is an important element of its advocacy agenda. The annual human rights reports published by the HRCP are notable for their uniquely political view of what constitutes the arena of human rights. The HRCP has cultivated close partnerships with trade and worker unions in Pakistan and has highlighted such diverse issues as unemployment, foreign policy, militarization of civilian organizations, media, health, education, and youth affairs in its widely disseminated annual reports and council-meeting statements (HRCP 2003, 2004a, 2004b). The activist background of some of the HRCP's founding members and the organization's declared allegiance to secular democracy and improving human welfare through justice have induced it to take a very broad and admittedly politicized view of human rights in Pakistan, despite contrary advice from some of its Western donors (Rahman 2005).
Some of the activities through which the HRCP fulfills its mission include holding seminars and training sessions, research, litigation, election monitoring, publishing of three regular publications and a host of topical pamphlets, and, occasionally, street agitation. The HRCP's founding members contributed an average of 1 million rupees (approximately U.S. $60,000 by the 1986 exchange rate) annually for the organization's operational expenses in the first three years of its formation. Subsequently, donors from European countries and Canada have been meeting parts of the HRCP's operational costs, as have membership contributions. The organization is in the process of building an endowment based on donations by Asma Jehangir and others, who have been donating the prize money from their international awards. (7) The HRCP has scaled up from its humble beginnings in a small office in Lahore to a district-level network of 3,500 members in 78 of the 103 districts in Pakistan, although it is still far from being a grassroots organization (Rahman 2005).
In addition to scaling up domestically, the HRCP has also built valuable partnerships internationally with the International Commission of Jurists, the International Federation of Human Rights, and "Forum Asia," a coalition of Asian NGOS. The HRCP's networking at the international level, coupled with the relatively high profile of its board members--as journalists, lawyers, retired Supreme Court of Pakistan justices, and retired military officers--has cushioned the impact of the opposition it has received from various segments of the population, particularly religious extremists. Although the organization may have escaped being shut down, individual members have been arbitrarily arrested, threatened, and subjected to assassination attempts. The HRCP's friendly connections in the press, particularly the Pakistani English-language press, which is read by the country's elite, have served it well in times of stress under the authoritarian military and elected regimes.
The HRCP's social capital has retained a very distinct geography, one that is congruent with the unique ethnic diversity of the country. Whereas in the politically dominant Punjab and North-West Frontier Provinces the bulk of the HRCP's membership comes from urban areas, in Sindh and Balochistan Provinces and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas the membership is largely rural. Similarly, whereas the national Urdu press, which caters to the urban middle and lower classes, is generally indifferent if not hostile to the HRCP's agenda, the regional vernacular press has been an enthusiastic ally of the HRCP's work. Part of the reason for this distribution is the way in which the HRCP's unqualified commitment to democracy and democratization of the Pakistani polity resonates with the ethnic nationalists' claims for democratic rights vis-a-vis a Punjabi elite.
The HRCP is closest to the developmentalist discursive axis of the Pakistani society--with some gravitational pull from the identity axis--because of its commitment to democratization of the Pakistani polity. The organization's social positionality can further be conceptualized as being in opposition to the national security discourse in the society (Nizamani 1998), as is particularly evident from its antinuclear stance and aggressive attempts to promote peace and understanding between Pakistan and its archrival, India.
The organization draws its intellectual capital from such modernist concepts as individual rights, democracy, equality before the law, and secularism. But its interpretation and operationalization of those modernist concepts is still within the Pakistani and South Asian cultural and political context. The HRCP does not draw any distinctions between the spheres of political, cultural, and economic rights and issues of local, national, and international politics--deeming them all to be part of the political context within which a broad spectrum of human rights issues are negotiated, produced, and contested. The vision of developmentalism for the HRCP is still closer to development as modernization and social justice. No evidence exists to suggest that the HRCP has looked outside the canons of modern Western knowledge to seek the intellectual basis for its various positions.
The HRCP's formation was a case of political opportunity in opposition to an oppressive regime's legal and administrative silencing of civil society. In the late 1980s Pakistan seemed to be on an inexorable march toward Islamism, and urban and ethnonationalist secular elements were generally demoralized. With its relatively high-profile entry on the scene, the HRCP was also meant to give a voice to secular elements in Pakistan (Jehangir 2005). The HRCP's founding and success can be attributed in large part to its founders' and membership's agency and social energy. But the structural factors of cold war and Islamic revivalism cannot be discounted in creating a vacuum for the HRCP to fill. The global structures of "development," comprising bilateral donors and international NGOS, were also a factor in the HRCP's prominence. The international networks the HRCP has developed and the financial help it has secured from some bilateral donor agencies and international NGOS has helped consolidate its position against hostile state action or backlash from more regressive elements in the society.
WHO HOLDS THE BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE CIVIL SOCIETY?
As the case studies and the literature illustrate, the thrust of the dominant social-capital literature has been on the independent role of social capital in bringing about positive developmental changes, whereas case studies demonstrate the dependent nature of the social-capital variable and the contingency of its role in contributing to civil or uncivil spaces in Pakistani society. From the oppositional mobilization of social capital in the case of the HRCP to complementary mobilization in case of Jamaat-e-Islami, the roles of the state and social and economic structures of modernization, capitalism, and global geopolitics are pivotal in defining the parameters for civil/uncivil-society operations.
The social-capital literature, despite its conceptual ambiguities and political pitfalls, provides intriguing insights into progression beyond the crude structural determinism of the past, but not to the extent of dispensing with structures altogether and embracing the cruder neoliberal celebration of individual and collective agency. All human societies have norms, networks, and horizontal associations that facilitate the agendas of individuals and groups. The more important question is, What are those norms and networks mobilized to achieve? How do certain norms become more ascendant than other norms, such as exclusivist and violent religiosity versus tolerant and nonviolent piety, or discrimination versus democracy?
Social-capital mobilization, in the case of both the HRCP and Jamaat-e-Islami, reflects political construction and political opportunity, with social energy and scaling up being important for organizational growth and consolidation. In both cases, however, the direction of social-capital mobilization was determined by social-structural factors as well as contingent developments across local, regional, national, and international scales. The cold war may have consolidated Zia's dictatorship and promoted his Islamist rhetoric and policies, thus eliciting a response from the civil society in the form of the HRCP. But the HRCP emerged from the ranks of the urban-based middle and upper class and has had limited success expanding its social base beyond its origins, except where its message of democratic development resonates with the ethnic identity politics of Sindh and Balochistan. Jamaat, on the other hand, benefited financially and politically from the cold war. Although it initially drew upon the conservative sensibilities of its urban-bourgeoisie supporters, Jamaat subsequently had to align itself with the national-security discourse and the ethnoreligious identity politics in the Pashtun areas of northwestern Pakistan for consolidation of the gains it made during the Zia regime. In both cases, policy choices by the Pakistani state, international governments, and civil society played a role in deciding the polarity of social-capital mobilization in the transitional society of Pakistan.
Social capital is a useful conceptual lens when investigating reasons for the rise of religiously inspired, violent movements in Southwest and South Asia. How multiscalar social-structural forces and discourses are concretized in space is mediated by social capital and its organizational manifestations. But social-capital mobilization itself has a regional inflection, even at the national scale. As various agendas within a society compete for greater discursive space, the danger is great that one agenda will become violently ascendant over others because of backing from the state or international power structures. Conceptually and practically, social capital's neutral polarity lends greater valence to its instrumentality--for good and for evil. Policymakers and enthusiasts of social capital would do well to remember that.
1. The Orangi Pilot Project is one of the largest nongovernmental projects in Asia employing participatory techniques for the provision of sanitation and microcredit facilities to the half-million residents of the low-income Orangi Town neighborhood in Karachi. The Edhi Foundation is a nationwide voluntary network of ambulance services, disaster relief, and shelter for abused and abandoned women and children in Pakistan.
2. Here the nongovernmental sector is understood to include the litany of different types of horizontal associations of individuals and groups, outside the state apparatus or market relations, including formally registered NGOS at various scales, formal and informal networks, and social movements.
3. Hizbul Mujahideen is a Jamaat-e-Islami-affiliated jihadist organization active in Indian-administered Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Taiyeba is one of the most active jihadist organizations in Indian-administered Kashmir, even though it is based in Pakistan. Banned by the Prevez Musharraf in 2002, it continues to exist under the new name "Jamaat-e-Dawa," which is also on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations.
4. The terms "civility," "civil society," and "civil interaction" have overwhelmingly positive connotations. The use of "(un)civil," with "un" in parentheses, is meant to challenge that traditional positive connotation of these terms and hence the concept.
5. The separate electorate essentially disenfranchised non-Muslim minorities, because they could vote only for special seats reserved for minorities. Consequently, their ability to play a political role in regular provincial and national politics and to influence the policies of the dominant political parties was effectively curtailed. The Hudood ordinance, issued by the Zia regime, prescribed punishments for adultery. One of the perverse provisions in the law was that the rules of evidence admissible to convict somebody of adultery required the presence of three male Muslim witnesses at the time of the act but that a female rape victim's testimony was not good enough to convict the rapist. And a woman who became pregnant as a result of being raped was deemed guilty of adultery! In many cases, at the behest of their families, women who married without their family's consent were also arrested for Hudood violation. Up to 90 percent of females incarcerated in Pakistan were arrested under the Hudood ordinance. The ordinance is still in force despite repeated attempts by opposition parliamentarians in the Pakistani National Assembly to amend or revoke it.
6. For example, the committee that was involved in the case of Jam Saqi, a political prisoner who had lost his memory because of police torture in 1985-1986. The pursuit of his release was the main rallying point for the founders of the HRCP.
7. Asma Jehangir has been the recipient of American Bar Association, Martin Ennals, and Ramon Magsaysay Awards for the defense of human rights, in addition to Sitara-e-Imtiaz, a high Pakistani civilian award.
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* The article benefited from reviews by Chris Meindle, Sharon Lash, and two anonymous reviewers. I thank Dona Stewart for her assistance through the review process.
DR. MUSTAFA is a lecturer in geography at King's College, University of London, London WC2R 2LS, England.…
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Publication information: Article title: (Anti)social Capital in the Production of an (Un)civil Society in Pakistan*. Contributors: Mustafa, Daanish - Author. Journal title: The Geographical Review. Volume: 95. Issue: 3 Publication date: July 2005. Page number: 328+. © 1998 American Geographical Society. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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