Sahar Shafqat is Professor in the Department of Political Science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she focuses on political parties, social and political movements, democratization, ethnic conflict and nationalism, and gender and sexuality studies. Sahar received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Economics and International Relations, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A&M University. Sahar has previously taught at Southwestern University in Texas, and at Habib University in Karachi. Sahar has published articles in academic journals like Law and Social Inquiry and Asian Survey, and in publications like Express Tribune and Baltimore Sun, and has done media appearances on outlets such as Al Jazeera and Democracy Now.
Surviving between Dictatorship and Democracy
Pakistan’s 2018 general elections marked the second successful transfer of power from one elected civilian government to another—a remarkable achievement considering the country’s history of dictatorial rule. Pakistan’s Political Parties examines how the civilian side of the state’s current regime has survived the transition to democracy, providing critical insight into the evolution of political parties in Pakistan and their role in developing democracies in general.Pakistan’s numerous political parties span the ideological spectrum, as well as represent diverse regional, ethnic, and religious constituencies. The essays in this volume explore the way in which these parties both contend and work with Pakistan’s military-bureaucratic establishment to assert and expand their power. Researchers use interviews, surveys, data, and ethnography to illuminate the internal dynamics and motivations of these groups and the mechanisms through which they create policy and influence state and society.
Pakistan’s Political Parties is a one-of-a-kind resource for diplomats, policymakers, journalists, and scholars searching for a comprehensive overview of Pakistan’s party system and its unlikely survival against an interventionist military, with insights that extend far beyond the region.
“This is truly an important contribution to the literature on political parties and electoral considerations in Pakistan. There is nothing like it that currently exists.”
—Charles H. Kennedy, professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations and Director, Middle East and South Asia Program, Wake Forest University
“This is a long overdue, but essential, contribution to our understanding of Pakistan. With an impressive author list, this will become the go-to book on understanding political parties in Pakistan’s hybrid regime.”
—Katharine Adeney, Director of the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute
“Pakistan’s Political Parties is a timely and vital contribution to the social science literature on political parties in south Asia . . . . It presents an exceptionally lucid and well-crafted analysis of major political parties in Pakistan, their role and functions in a nascent democracy, and the relationship of political parties to other institutions.”
—Kavita Khory, Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke College
“This wonderful book is absolutely indispensable for understanding Pakistan’s democracy, and all of the main actors and interests involved. The various authors manage very effectively to combine deep knowledge of Pakistan’s political parties, social groups, and interests, with the comparative breadth to put everything into broader theoretical perspective.”
—Steven Wilkinson, Henry R. Luce Director, The Whitney & Betty MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies; Nilekani Professor of India & South Asian Studies; and professor of political science & international affairs, Yale University
Tithi Bhattacharya is Associate Professor and Director of Global Studies at Purdue University. She was one of the main organizers of the International Women’s Strike in the United States and is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review.
Fahmida Riaz was a progressive Pakistani Urdu poet, writer, and translator. Born in 1946 in Meerut and educated in Hyderabad (Sindh) and London, she was a prominent voice in the feminist struggle in Pakistan. During the Zia era, she was charged with sedition and forced to go into exile. She is the author of many collections of poetry. Three volumes of her novels and collection of short stories, apart from the Urdu translation of selected verses from Shaikh Ayaz and the Iranian poet, Farough Farrakhzad have also been published. She also translated in rhyme a selection of ghazals from Divan-e-Shams Tabriz into Urdu, titled Khaan-e-aab-o-gil. She died on November 21, 2018 after battling a long illness.
Faraz Talat is a medical doctor and the founder of the cultural space Cafe Sol in Islamabad. He is also a writer with numerous online publications on the subjects of civil rights, public health, and arts and culture. He is presently working in the psychiatric field, focusing on community programs that aim to make mental healthcare more accessible to the public. Seventy Four is his debut novella.
Harris Khalique is a leading Urdu and English language poet. He is also an essayist and columnist. During the 1980s and 1990s, some of his poems faced censorship in Pakistan. Anthologised and published internationally, he is translated into several languages and his poetry is composed to music and dance. Khalique is a University of Iowa Honorary Fellow in Writing and has spoken and written widely on themes straddling literature, politics, history and human rights. He is the recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance – one of the highest civilian honours in Pakistan – and the UBL Literary Excellence Award.