Delusional States argues that Gilgit-Baltistan’s image within Pakistan as an idyllic paradise elides how the region is governed as a suspect security zone, and dispossessed through multiple processes of state-making including representation, militarization, sectarianized education, and biodiversity conservation. The book charts this rule of state and empire as delusion, demonstrating how the region’s inhabitants nevertheless struggle to promote a progressive vision of ethics and politics. From political activists and preachers to poets and pastoralists, citizen-subjects in the region are demanding inclusion not just in terms of political rights — an aspect that over-determines the discourse on Kashmir – but also through struggles for religious recognition and ecological sovereignty which they feel as integral to a meaningful life of dignity.
A powerful contribution to studies of citizenship, development and Muslim sociality in South Asia, the book additionally offers distinct theoretical insights in the fields of social movements, education, cultural studies, and political ecology. "Delusional States is a theoretically sophisticated book written with courage and conviction. It covers an underwritten and under-analysed part of Pakistan, the Gilgit-Baltistan region. The text brings forward the lives, struggles, and histories of the people of the region and moves away from its folkloric and touristic representations. Beautifully written, at times in poetic prose, through a discussion of love, loyalty, betrayal, and terror, this book emphasizes the resolve of the people who have stood up to the subjugating policies of the post-colonial Pakistani state linked to the expansionist politics of the Empire