Aaisha Salman


BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award


Date of Submission



Aliya Iqbal Naqvi, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


This thesis locates Aangan Ṭeṛha (1984) within the genre of the PTV Urdu play. The PTV Urdu play was a dramatic form that developed at Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), a state-owned enterprise. Through a literary and visual analysis of Aangan Ṭeṛha, I have argued that the narrative of the play exhibits characteristics that are particular to this genre. I have posited that as an Urdu play, Aangan Ṭeṛha centralizes the Urdu-speaking Muhajir identity, and the history of Urdu-speaking Muhajirs, in its narration of failure and crisis. Moreover, I have shown that national culture is imagined in the play through Urdu and its literary-culture history; characters who do not share the lineage of Urdu-speaking Muhajirs cannot share tehzīb or culture either. Finally, I have shown that the Pakistani military state’s ‘marks’ appear in the play through the character of Akbar, a retired, classical dancer, because his life is shaped by General Zia-ul-Haq’s policies, and because he inhabits a subversive masculinity defined against a model of military masculinity. My research contributes towards an understanding of a national visual culture in Pakistan, and how it is tied to larger narratives about history, identity and national culture.



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