This paper explores the transition from military to civil security in post-militancy and subsequent militant operations in 2009 and the floods of 2010 in the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan. Based mainly on qualitative interviews with local police and community women and men, the paper examines the shifting roles of the police over the course of these crises and how community-police relations are continuously negotiated. Before the conflict, relations between the community and police were weak, and traditional institutions such as the jirga were functioning. Militants attacked both systems, targeting police, politicians, jirga leaders and education institutions. Following the military operation, the responsibility for security became a confusing institutional landscape of civil and military actors, which has reshaped community-police relations in Swat. Dichotomous distinctions between state and non-state, formal and informal institutions fall short in describing the everyday dynamic crafting of local institutions, particularly in a post-conflict context like Swat. New ‘hybrid’ institutions have emerged, initiated by both government and communities, with varying degrees of success in building trust and addressing peoples’ fears that militants may return. The results are relevant for both post-conflict development assistance and police and justice reform not only in the study area, but also in other post-conflict areas where states and communities find themselves re-negotiating their basic relationships.
DOI: 10.12924/johs2021.16020134 |Publication Date: 7 June 2021
Civil Security in the Wake of Crisis—Renegotiating Police-Community Relations in Post-Crisis Development in Swat, Pakistan
Keywords: Sevurity; Human Security; Post-Conflict; Pakistan; Swat Local Institutions: Bricolage: Community-Oriented Policing; Police Reform