Book Review – The Frontier Tribal Belt: Genesis and Purpose Under the Raj

[Originally published in the Herald July 2016 Issue) Book Review – The Frontier Tribal Belt: Genesis and Purpose Under the Raj Salman Bangash Oxford University Press, Karachi 2016   Troubled areas   By Usama Khilji Popular narratives about the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) espouse the view that their residents are wild tribespeople who favour the… Read More Book Review – The Frontier Tribal Belt: Genesis and Purpose Under the Raj

Abdul Sattar Edhi: The philanthropist who filled in for the state in Pakistan

[This post was originally published on the South Asia @ LSE blog.] Pakistan’s iconic philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away in Karachi at the age of 92 on 8 July 2016, and was accorded the first state funeral in Pakistan in 30 years. Edhi embodied selfless humanitarianism, providing welfare without discrimination to the downtrodden in… Read More Abdul Sattar Edhi: The philanthropist who filled in for the state in Pakistan

Will the execution of Governor Taseer’s assassin reopen the debate on Pakistan’s blasphemy law?

(Originally published on the South Asia @ LSE blog.) Mumtaz Qadri, the police bodyguard of former Governor of Punjab province Salmaan Taseer was executed on 29 February 2016 for killing him with 27 bullets on 4 January 2011. The assassination followed the Governor’s call to reform of Pakistan’s blasphemy law. The execution shows the State’s rejection of violent… Read More Will the execution of Governor Taseer’s assassin reopen the debate on Pakistan’s blasphemy law?

Too poor for the capital: forced evictions from Islamabad’s slums

[Originally published on Asia Development Dialogue] In July 2015, images of police dragging women out of their homes in slums of Islamabad – the posh capital of Pakistan – divided Pakistanis privileged enough to have a voice on social and mainstream media. Some sympathised with the poor who were being forcefully evicted from their homes,… Read More Too poor for the capital: forced evictions from Islamabad’s slums

The Internet Policymaking Landscape in Pakistan

This post originally appeared on the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)’s Center for Global Communication Studies (GGCS) blog, and summarises the findings of the research report I authored on behalf of Bolo Bhi for the Center.     Internet policymaking in Pakistan has been an uphill task for all stakeholders involved, a process whereby the government justifies… Read More The Internet Policymaking Landscape in Pakistan

How Pakistanis’ internet rights are at stake, and what you can do to reclaim them

You thought the YouTube ban was bad? The Government of Pakistan under the proposed Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 is giving itself sweeping powers to remove or block ANY content it deems unfit. As Pakistani citizens, we must resist this move to protect our right to use the internet freely as means of expressing ourselves.… Read More How Pakistanis’ internet rights are at stake, and what you can do to reclaim them

What Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize means for Pakistan and the world

[Originally published at Future Challenges]   Malala Yousufzai first gained recognition in 2008 at age 11 when she took to the Press Club in Peshawar against the Taliban banning girls’ education in the Swat valley. She soon started writing an anonymous blog for the BBC as Gul Makai, chronicling the feelings of a young girl… Read More What Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize means for Pakistan and the world