Pakistan’s most prominent human rights advocate, Asma Jahangir, discussed the country’s tumultuous social and political history and the outlook for true democratic governance.
Democracy in Pakistan suffers from enduring constraints. The country’s military and religious extremists wield disproportionate influence. Religious minorities, both Muslim and non-Muslim, face systematic discrimination. Journalists and independent television channels exercise self-censorship, while enforced disappearances continue to be carried out with impunity by security forces, particularly in Balochistan. Meanwhile, the elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif faces serious challenges, including charges of corruption.
On May 18, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, joined Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s leading human rights lawyer and activist, for an in-depth look at the current situation in Pakistan and prospects for change.