Visa Regime

by Aftab Nasir

To them, I am but,

the skin of a darker shade

the stench of a distant land

a petty scholar’s senseless thoughts

the child of a lesser God

an unsettling memory of some troubled past

Am I not a victim?

of some unjust distribution

of some violent delights

of a split identity

of a ruptured subjectivity?



I need no sympathy

no pity, no repatriation

How dare they!


How dare they boil me down to some numbers?

to some “structural” programs with out-comes

How dare they!


I am a whole, a mess, a beauty,

an intelligence in my own right(s)

my blood still runs underneath their “development”

yet they deny me entry!


Time may come

when we would need warrant to cross the river,

swamp or the road our ancestors trailed

I wonder if the lords of the skies…

would one day establish

That demarcation of the skies is MANDATORY

For the sake of their ‘’development’’

Air ought to be branded

for the sake of ‘’progress”,


the Birds must be restricted and restrained

for Peacemaking as Civilization demands


and the goldenness of the eagle of the global South

terrorises the bald eagle from some States;


Its nothing but Visa Regime

Stretched to the air and on and on


Still, to them, I am but…..

senseless thoughts of a scholar, oh no.. a security threat?



Aftab Nasir is Assistant Professor at Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan. His research interests are post-colonial epistemologies, sociolinguistics, psychoanalysis, political sociology and development studies. The above intervention was presented at the DecolDEV panel session on “Some scholars are more equal than others. Visa barriers, passport privilege and global academic mobility”.  Aftab is co-founder of the Convivial Thinking collective.