• Qurratulaen Liaqat
  • Amra Raza
Keywords: Drone, Necropolitics, Biopolitics, Posthuman, Discourse


Humans have entered posthuman era where human activities, productions and cultures are being transformed by increasing enmeshment of technology. Accordingly, one of the most defining factors of contemporary Politics and Literature is the overwhelming presence of machines in their narratives. This research is an inter-disciplinary study which demonstrates that contemporary Pakistani Anglophone fiction is a political statement against the necropolitical and biopolitical usage of drone technology in underprivileged countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. There are not many notable researched available on the interrelation between drone technology, politics and Pakistani literature. This paper is, therefore, unique and innovative in its approach towards drone warfare and its political and literary implications. By conducting a hermeneutic textual analysis of three novels by Nadeem Aslam, Uzma Aslam Khan and Mohsin Hamid from a posthuman theoretical framework, this article illustrates that technology has transformed the characteristics of international politics in the twenty-first century Pakistan.

Author Biographies

Qurratulaen Liaqat
Assistant Professor, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), Lahore, Pakistan.
Amra Raza
Professor English Department & Dean of Humanities, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.


Ahmed, A. (2013). The Thistle and the Drone. Brookings Institution Press.

Allinson, J. (2015). The necropolitics of drones. International Political Sociology, 9(2), 113-127.

Aslam, M. W. (2011). A critical evaluation of American drone strikes in Pakistan: legality, legitimacy and prudence. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 4(3), 313-329.

Aslam, N. (2008). The Wasted Vigil. NY: Vintage International.

Azeem, W. M. (2019). Drones, State of Exception and Truck Art. In Nukhbah Langah (Ed.), Literary and Non-Literary Responses towards Post 9/11 (pp. 99-113). New York: Routledge.

Braidotti, R. & Hlavajova, M. (2018). Posthuman Glossary. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Braidotti, R. (2013). The Posthuman. London: Polity Press.

Butler, J. (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso.

Cavallero, J., Sonnenberg, S., & Knuckey, S. (2012). Living under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan. Stanford, CA: International Human Rights and Conflict Resolutions Clinic (Stanford Law School); New York: Global Justice Clinic (NYU School of Law).

Chamayou, G. (2015). Drone Theory. London: Penguin UK.

Chomsky, N. & A. Vltchek.(2013). On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare. London: Pluto Press.

Cilano, C. N. (2014). Post-9/11 Espionage Fiction in the US and Pakistan: Spies and” terrorists”. New York: Routledge.

Cosgrove, S. E. (2008). Reading for Peace? Literature as activism an investigation into new literary ethics and the novel. Activating Human Rights and Peace, Conference Proceedings, Centre for Peace and Social Justice, Southern Cross University.

Espinoza, M. (2018). State terrorism: orientalism and the drone programme. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 11(2), 376-393.

Hamid, M. (2017). Exit West. London: Penguin.

Herbrechter, S., & Callus, I. (2008). What is a posthumanist reading? Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 13(1), 95- 111.

Kanwal, A. & Aslam, S. (2018). Routledge Companion to Pakistani Anglophone Writing. New York: Routledge.

Khan, U. A. (2012). Thinner than Skin. Northampton: Interlink Publishing.

Kordela, A. K. (2016). Monsters of Biopower: Terror (ism) and Horror in the Era of Affect. Philosophy Today, 60(1), 193-205.

Kroker, A. & Kroker, M. (2016). Exits to the Posthuman Future: Dreaming with Drones. In Debashish Banerji & Makarand R. Paranjape (Eds.) Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures (75-90). New Delhi: Springer India.

Mbembé, J. A. (2003). Necropolitics. Public culture, 15(1), 11-40.

Motyl, K., & Arghavan, M. (2018). Writing against neocolonial necropolitics: literary responses by Iraqi/Arab writers to the US ‘War on Terror’. European Journal of English Studies, 22(2), 128-141.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Ninth Edition). (2015). A.S. Hornby. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pugliese, J. (2013). State Violence and the Execution of Law. New York: Routledge.

Rogers, A. & Hill, J. (2014). Unmanned: Drone Warfare and Global Security. Toronto: Between the Lines.

Ronald Shaw, I. G., & Akhter, M. (2012). The unbearable humanness of drone warfare in FATA, Pakistan. Antipode, 44(4), 1490-1509.

Said, E. (2003). Orientalism. Stockholm: Ordfront.

Saif, A. A. (2015). The Drone Eats with Me: Diaries from a City under Fire. Manchester: Comma Press.

Salama, V. (2014). Death from Above: How American Drone Strikes are Devastating Yemen. Rolling Stone, 14.

Shamsie, M. (2017). Hybrid Tapestries. Karachi: Oxford University Press.

Shaw, I. G. (2013). Predator empire: The geopolitics of US drone warfare. Geopolitics, 18(3), 536-559.

Stahl, R. (2013). What the drone saw: the cultural optics of the unmanned war. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 67(5), 659-674.

UNAMA. (2013). Afghanistan Mid-Year Report 2013: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Kabul, July 2013.

Vorster, N. (2015). Killing from a distance: a Christian ethical evaluation of CIA targeted drone killings. The Heythrop Journal, 56(5), 836-849.

Walzer, M. (2016). Just & unjust targeted killing & Drone Warfare.Daedalus,145(4), 12-24.

Wilcox, L. (2017). Embodying algorithmic war: Gender, race, and the posthuman in drone warfare. Security Dialogue, 48(1), 11-28.

Wolfe, C. (2010). What is Posthumanism? Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.