Studies on militarization and borders in South Asia often focus on zones of spectacular conflict, such as Kashmir, or partition violence in Punjab. This article examines the production of everyday policing in a zone of high surveillance that is not a conventional military “hot spot” in the region. The question of who or what constitutes the police force is as important as the question of what it does. The categories of police or law enforcer and those who are policed are malleable and contingent. Networks of secrecy, transparency, and trust are produced through a series of dialogic relationships between police, borderland residents, and other actors not conventionally taken to be a part of the security apparatus—for example, tourists, development agencies, and anthropologists. The article suggests that encounters between those on either side of the law are not only coercive, but shot through with shades of hospitality, reciprocity, and desire. It thus attempts to refigure wartime and peacetime as periods of continuum rather than opposition and repositions those who are inside and outside formal categories of law enforcement to suggest that the manner in which the border is policed may reflect the ways in which borderland populations are engaged quite actively with the question of security.

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