Metaphors of Terrorism in Political Discourse in Pakistan

Lubna Umar, Sarwat Rasul & Umaima Kamran



This research provides an understanding of the manner in which Pakistani politicians construct the narrative of war using terrorism as a target domain. Based on the Critical Metaphor Approach given by Charteris-Black (2005), a critical metaphor analysis of discourse generated by politicians including Imran Khan, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari and Pervez Musharraf in the post 9/11 scenario was carried out.  Linguistic metaphorical expressions that give rise to conceptual metaphors constituting terrorism as war, cancer, enemy, deceptive force, expensive, living and growing force, natural phenomenon and elements gone astray are discussed. The study reveals how all selected politicians save Musharraf build upon the international narrative of terrorism while Musharraf alone provides a native concept viewing terrorism as an internal problem. Also, how a consensus for military action is constructed where leaders can act as warriors and heroes, glorifying their contributions, highlighting their achievements and presenting failures of others to arouse public sympathy.

Keywords: Critical Metaphor Analysis, Metaphors, Political Discourse, Political Ideology, Terrorism

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