Role of Shrines in Local Politics – Ruralisation of Urban Areas; A Case Study of Pakpattan District Punjab
Author: Muhammad Saleem

Sufi shrines are followed largely by rural population of Pakistani Punjab. Most of Punjabi population consists of rural settings. Owing to large rural followings, the Sufi descendants possess strong social, cultural, religious and political position in Punjabi society. This strong, multifaceted, rural driven position of Sufi descendants is obstructing the process of sociopolitical development especially in urban areas of Punjab. Urban areas, despite having fewer followings and rapid socio-political change, are as vulnerable to the traditional political leadership of Sufi descendants as the rural one. Moreover, urban society is having as slow process of socio-political development as its rustic counterpart does. This study investigates the given phenomenon with some objectives such as the political control of Sufi descendants over urban population and the socio-political troubles in urban areas due to the political hegemony of Sufi descendants. More so, this study investigates; socio-political structures through which the Sufi descendants organise political support from both rural and urban areas, how the urban areas are being ruralised? and what are the consequences of the political leadership of Sufi descendants? This study uses qualitative methods to seek the answers of such research questions. To analyse data, framework analysis has been used in this study. The findings show that in rural areas of Punjab especially of Pakpattan District, the followings of Sufi shrines and their descendants are increasing while decreasing in urban areas rapidly. And owing to this phenomenon, the process of socio-political development is being obstructed, resulting in the ruralisation of urban areas. Furthermore, this study is adorned with some key recommendations. Supervisor:- Dr. Zulfiqar Ali

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Keywords : Biradari, Local politics, Piri-muridi, Urbanisation
Supervisor: Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro
Cosupervisor: Abid Ghafoor Chaudhry

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