A. H. Nayyar
Pakistani physicist, Dr Abdul Hameed Nayyar, taught at Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad for 32 years. Since retirement, he has pursued research on issues in education, energy, and nuclear disarmament. He has also been associated with Princeton University, USA, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad in various capacities. He is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials. He received the 2010 Joseph A. Burton Award from the American Physical Society. Dr Nayyar also participates in national, regional, and international peace movements.
Born in Karachi in 1955, he has lived and worked in London since 1970, and spends part of each year in Pakistan. He is the author of several works of fiction, including short story collections such as “Cactus Town”, “Insomnia”, and “37 Bridges” (winner of the KLF-Embassy of France Prize 2016); and the recently published “Hermitage” (2018). His novels include “Another Gulmohar Tree” (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Europe and South Asia 2010) and “The Cloud Messenger”.
Abdullah Jan Abid
Dr Abdullah Jan Abid is currently working as Associate Professor of Pashto and is Chairman of the Department of Pakistani Languages at Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad. Before assuming the duties of the Chair in October 2016, Dr Abid was Incharge of the Department of Pakistani Languages from 2011 to 2015. He organized two international and eight national conferences. He is the editor of ‘Journal of Pakistani Languages and Literature’—Pakistan’s first multilingual research journal. He has presented papers in several national and international conferences; and has to his credit thirty-seven research articles in national and international journals and sixteen books. He is also the author of the award-winning book titled, “A Brief History of Pashto Language and Literature”, which is included in the syllabi of various universities and the CSS syllabus. He is the recipient of the following awards: The Justice Kayani Award (Abasin Arts Council, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2007); Best Urdu Prose (Pakistan Writers Guild Lahore, 2007); and Best Teacher Award (Allama Iqbal Open University and UNESCO, 2013). Currently, he is working on establishing an Abstracting and Indexing Agency of Pakistani Languages Journals (Pashto, Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Saraiki, and Brahui). Through this Agency (HEC funded project under Thematic Research Grant Program), the AIOU will provide databases in Pakistani languages and literature by providing free online access to downloadable research articles, facilitating researchers and academics.
Ahmad Rafay Alam
Ahmad Rafay Alam is an environmental lawyer and partner at Saleem, Alam & Co. Mr Alam has served as Chairman of the Lahore Electric Supply Company and Lahore Waste Management Company, as Vice Chairman of the Punjab Urban Unit and as a member of the Pakistan Climate Change Council and Punjab Environmental Protection Council. He is the Lead Course Instructor on Water Law at the Punjwani Hisaar Water Institute at the NED University. Mr Alam also serves as a Senior Advisor to Air Quality Asia and as a Member of the Hisaar Foundation Think Tank on the Rational Use of Water.
Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore, who has covered Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia for a variety of publications since 1979. He is the author of ‘Taliban’ (2000); ‘Descent into Chaos: The US and the Disaster in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia’ (2008); ‘Jihad’ (2002); and ‘The Resurgence of Central Asia’ (1994). His latest book is ‘Pakistan on the Brink, The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan’. Both ‘Taliban’ and ‘Descent into Chaos’ are on course lists of over 200 universities and defence colleges around the world. His books have won numerous prizes and he lectures widely at universities, defence colleges, and conferences around the world.
He has informally advised governments, the UN, and other institutions on bringing peace to Afghanistan. In 2001, he donated one-third of his book profits to starting the Open Media Fund of Afghanistan which helped revitalize the media and helped launch a dozen newspapers and magazines in Kabul. He is a founding director of the Lahore Literary Festival that was instrumental in Lahore being nominated as a City of Culture by UNESCO.
‘Foreign Policy’ magazine chose him, twice, as one of the world’s most important 100 Global Thinkers in 2009 and 2010. In December 2009, he was appointed a member of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and in 2018 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group. He has also served on the Board of Advisers for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva for five years.
Ahmer Bilal Soofi
Ahmer is the Senior Managing Partner of the firm and the head of its dispute resolution practice. As an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he divides his time between the firm’s offices in Lahore and Islamabad. He has been consistently ranked as one of the Leading Individuals in Dispute Resolution by Chambers and Legal 500. In July 2021, he was appointed as a member to the International Court of Arbitration by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He served as the Federal Minister for Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs during the caretaker setup in 2013 under whose watch Pakistan completed its first transition of civilian rule from one elected government to another. He is a Member of the Panel of Eminent Persons of OIC and has served as the Chairman of the UN Advisory Committee on Human Rights in Geneva. He regularly advises the government on international treaties, international sanctions, UNSC Resolutions, BITs and other bilateral and multilateral issues related to public international law and is frequently invited to deliver talks at the National Defense College Islamabad, Command and Staff College Quetta, National Management College Lahore, Naval War College Lahore and several other institutes. He has previously been invited for delivering similar lectures at International Development Law Organization Rome, Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka, Shanghai University China, Fletcher School USA, Royal United Services Institute, London and Harvard Law School, USA.
Akhtar Raza Saleemi
Islamabad-based poet and novelist Akhtar Raza Saleemi writes in Hindko and Potohari, in addition to Urdu. Born in district Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he moved to Karachi in childhood and later to Islamabad. He joined the Pakistan Academy of Letters in Islamabad as an editor. Saleemi has published a number of books, his poetry being regarded as a distinctive blend of dream and reality. In addition to receiving United Bank’s Best Fiction Writer award, he has twice won the Abasin Arts Council Award. Artist Wasi Haider made a thousand and one paintings for the cover of his Saleemi’s novel Wake Up in a Dream, so that the cover of each copy of the first edition of this novel was different.
Akhtar Usman is a well-known poet and literary critic, he writes mostly in Urdu. He has also written in Persian, English, and Potohari. His published books include “Apni Apni Saleeb”, “Qalamrau”, “Abad Taab”, and “Sitara Saaz”. The winner of numerous literary awards, Usman is also a literary critic and has been writing for English and Urdu newspapers in Pakistan and overseas.
Ali Raza is an Associate Professor of History at LUMS. He is the author of “Revolutionary Pasts: Communist Internationalism in Colonial India” (CUP 2020; Folio Books 2021).
Aliya Hashmi Khan
Dr Aliya Hashmi Khan is Professor of Economics (retd) and a former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. She is Member of Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council and technical expert for Ehsaas Program. She is author of numerous publications in labour economics and development economics.
Amber Rahim Shamsi
Amber Rahim Shamsi is an award-winning multi-media journalist and free speech advocate, with wide-ranging experience in television, radio, online and the print media. She is also an International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) and a The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (ICFJ) fellow. She is currently head of content and communications at Tabadlab, a public policy think tank, consults with Media Matters for Democracy, a research and advocacy organisation working on freedom of expression, the media and the internet in Pakistan. She has also participated twice in the Jinnah Institute’s India-Pakistan Track II Chaophraya Dialogue as an Emerging Leader. Ms Shamsi has hosted three news and current affairs shows on mainstream news channels and writes opinion pieces for international media platforms. Previously she was a bilingual reporter for the BBC World Service, television anchor, desk editor, and producer. Her reporting largely focused on human rights. She has also written research reports and training manuals on women in the media, gender, and conflict reporting, as well as conducted numerous media trainings
Amjad Noorani retired in 1999 from a physical therapy clinical and consulting practice in California—and enthusiastically plunged right into activism for education reform in Pakistan. The intensity of his efforts has incrementally picked up in recent years, resulting in thoughtful development of a series of detailed reform proposals in this book—and the ‘Call to Action’. He remains closely connected with K-12 education reform through frequent travel to Pakistan, and his contribution to education forums. Since 2003, he has been associated with TCF and TCF-USA in advisory and leadership positions, and for philanthropic outreach. As lead author of “Agents of Change: The Problematic Landscape of Pakistan’s K-12 Education and the People Leading the Change”, his narrative and analyses are based on extensive personal research, conversations in the education community, interviews with experts in the field, and first-hand knowledge of the challenges within the education system.
A well-known British journalist and author, Anatol Lieven, is a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar and a visiting professor at King’s College, London. Among his books is ‘America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism’ and ‘Pakistan: A Hard Country’. With a BA in history (double first) and a PhD in political science from the University of Cambridge, UK, Professor Anatol Lieven’s is a former Chair of international relations and terrorism studies in the War Studies Department at King’s College, London. He is also a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC. His areas of expertise include Islamist terrorism and insurgency; contemporary warfare; US and Western strategy; the countries of the former Soviet Union; and the Greater Middle East, especially Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Anatol Lieven has worked in Washington DC as a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation. During this period he wrote ‘Ethical Realism: A Vision for America’s Role in the World’ (co-authored with John Hulsman), and ‘America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism’. Subsequently, he worked as a British journalist in South Asia and the former Soviet Union (chiefly for ‘The Times’), and is author of several books on the latter region.
Anita M. Weiss
Anita M. Weiss received her doctorate in sociology from UC Berkeley and is professor of International Studies at the University of Oregon, where she has taught since 1988. She has published extensively on social development, gender issues, and political Islam in Pakistan. Professor Weiss is a member of the editorial board of Globalizations, has been a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Pakistan National Commission on the Status of Women, has been Treasurer and Vice President of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS), and is on the Executive Committee of the Religion and International Relations as well as the IDSS sections of the International Studies Association. She recently stepped down, after seven years, from being Department Head of International Studies at the University of Oregon.
Anushay Malik is primarily a labour historian with a geographical focus on South Asia. Her teaching and research interests focus on labour movements with particular attention to the space of the city and the way in which it affects worker organization and possibilities. This idea, of possibilities, underlies most of her work and was the main focus of her PhD dissertation that explored how expansive political imaginations, made possible by the end of the Second World War and decolonization, made workers in Pakistan think that a revolution was possible. She spent some time as a research fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam working on a comparative project exploring how Partition in 1947 impacted the labour networks of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Indian sea faring workers. Anushay moved back to Pakistan in 2014 and joined LUMS (Lahore University of Management Services) as an Assistant Professor where she has been teaching courses on global histories of migration, nationalism in South Asia, labour and urban history, and Pakistani history. She is currently working on an AHRC, UK funded project with Dr Humera Iqbal (UCL) on ‘Partition of Identity: An exploration of Belonging in Bengalis in Pakistan, 1971- 2021’. The project will run from 2020 to 2022 and focuses on the community of Bengali ‘migrants’ in Karachi, Pakistan.
Arfa Sayeda Zehra
An educationist, literary personality, and Urdu language expert. She is the alumna of the Lahore College for Women University; Government College University; and the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Dr Zehra is a professor of history at Forman Christian College University and a former principal of the Lahore College for Women University.
Arifa Noor is a journalist with over twenty years of experience, working in various Pakistani publications. She has held senior editorial positions with the Dawn Media Group and currently hosts a current events show for Dawn News.
Dr Aroosa Kanwal is Assistant Professor in English Literature and Incharge, Department of English at the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI), Pakistan. She recently held a postdoctoral fellowship at Lancaster University, UK (2018-2020). She is the author of ‘The Routledge Companion to Pakistani Anglophone Writing’ (Routledge, 2019) and ‘Rethinking Identities in Contemporary Pakistani Fiction: Beyond 9/11’ (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015). Her monograph received the KLF-Coca-Cola award for the best non-fiction book of the year 2015. She is a recipient of the 2018 UK Alumni Professional Achievement Award. Kanwal is currently working on two monographs, contracted to Routledge, UK. She is also Co-Investigator and a Node-Leader (Pakistan) for Muslim Women Popular Genre, AHRC-funded project (2021-2023). She is an Editor of the ‘Journal of Contemporary Poetics’ (IIUI).
Arshad Saeed Husain
Arshad Saeed Husain has been heading Oxford University Press since February 2018. He is a seasoned corporate executive having worked with leading multinational companies and is a former Managing Director of Abbott Laboratories and Syngenta. He has also served as the President of the American Business Council and as Chairman of the Pharma Bureau of the OICCI. He is also a Past President and member of the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Karachi Metropolitan.
Arshad is an alumnus of Aitchison College and the London School of Economics.
Asghar Nadeem Syed
Poet, novelist, and a teacher of film and theatre. He has recently published a book titled, ‘Tooti Hui Tanab Udhar’. Best known for his popular TV drama serials, such as ‘Chand Grahan’; ‘Nijaat’; ‘Ghulam Gardish’; and ‘Piyaas’; Asghar Nadeem Syed has written plays depicting the feudal culture in rural Sindh, exploitation of women, the oligarchic structure in Pakistan comprising politicians, feudals, media moguls and the bureaucracy. He received the President’s Pride of Performance in 2006.
Ashfaq Yousuf Tola
Ashfaq Yousuf Tola is a Karachi-based Chartered Accountant and Finance Specialist who presently heads his own firm of chartered accountants. He has also been involved over the years with such governmental organisations as the Federal Board of Revenue, the Privatisation Commission, and the Ministry of Finance in a high-level advisory capacity. He has been a member of key commissions, councils, and committees that have guided the government in matters relating to Taxation, Privatisation, etc. Mr Tola has been active in the affairs of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the South Asian Federation of Accountants, as well as other organisations and bodies.
Major General (retd) Athar Abbas served in the Pakistan Army from 1976 to 2012. He has served on the faculties of Staff College as well as the Defence University. Before retiring from the army, he served as Chief Military Spokesperson and Director General, ISPR. He delivers lectures on national security, counter terrorism/violent extremism, civil-military relations, and media’s role in a conflict. He comments on these subjects in national and international publications. An active member of the Pakistan-India Track-II diplomacy, his last assignment was as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Ukraine.
Aurangzaib Khan is a journalist based in Peshawar. He has written for the Herald and the Dawn. His poetry has been published in the Aleph Review.
Ayesha Razzaque has a doctorate in Educational Administration from the College of Education, Michigan State University (MSU). She received her masters degree in the same from MSU. Ayesha benefits from ten plus years of experience supporting education development in a variety of social and political contexts, specifically in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She writes regularly for the The News International and has been following and writing on the Single National Curriculum for the past two years.
A poet, actor, comedian, humanitarian, and social worker. For fifteen years, she has done stand-up comedy mostly in the USA, UK, the Gulf, and Pakistan for charity fundraisers and has acted in films (most recently “Cake”) and TV serials. She has also worked in a web series “Ek Jhooti Love Story” with Mehreen Jabbar and is currently shooting “Femme fatales of Androon Shehr” with Meenu and Farjad. She has won awards for services to arts and humanity. Beo Zafar lives in London with her husband and has three grown up children.
Bilal Zahoor is the founder and editorial director of Folio Books—a Lahore-based independent publishing house. He studied chemical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, but did not let his academic training obstruct his passion for establishing an independent publishing platform in Pakistan. Zahoor aspires to contribute to a more socially just-world by publishing works offering progressive worldview on politics, history and gender. He is the co-editor of the widely-endorsed volume, “Rethinking Pakistan: A 21st Century Perspective” (Folio Books, 2019; Anthem Press, 2020).
Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq
Dr Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq is a former Education Minister and a former Minister for Human Rights, Population & Social Welfare, Minorities and Baitulmal in the Interim Government of Punjab, and is recognized as the 500 most influential Muslims of the world for three consecutive years by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, Jordan, he is a leading national academician, education reformer and a social entrepreneur. Dr Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq, has also been conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Education by the world’s leading University of Hertfordshire United Kingdom in recognition of his outstanding and exemplary services to education in Pakistan in September 2021.
He is the Founder and Chairman of Roots Millennium Education, Pakistan and is also the founder and CEO of a non-profit, community development organization Change in Education Foundation working in support of government and public sector education across education districts in Pakistan, thus scaling Pakistan’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals SDGs 2030. Today he has successfully reformed more than 200 government schools across various districts, provinces and rural communities in Pakistan. Faisal Mushtaq is the pioneer and idea sponsor for introducing Chinese language teaching across Pakistan, an initiative he took much before CPEC back in 2009, where today he serves as the Chair of Hanban Confucius Classroom Pakistan. President of China, Xi Jinping, on his last visit to Pakistan met him and recognized his services.
He has been conferred with the prestigious national civil award of Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, by the President of Pakistan on 23 March 2013 in recognition of his outstanding services in the field of education, youth, public sector contribution and promotion of Chinese Language and ICT in education across Pakistan as the national academic icon, educational change sponsor and globally recognized School and Education Management Practitioner.
Faisal Mushtaq also serves as the Board of Governors on the Board of WWF for Nature, WWF Pakistan Chapter; Board Member of Fauji Foundation Pakistan; Board Member of Young President Organization; and the historic Cadet College Hasan Abdal which is his alma mater. He is a member of many of the government’s committees on education and ICT at national level and has been appointed as the National Book Ambassador for the last three successive years by the National Book Foundation, Pakistan.
Daniel Atif is a career Investment Banker who started his career at Bank of America in Lahore and then went on to work at organizations such as Bank of Montreal and the World Bank. His last Banking assignment was at IBGC Islamic Banking Group of Canada as President and CEO. He is also an International best-selling author with his latest ground-breaking book, “Managing the Unthinkable”, which is used as a management manual in some of the top companies of the world for the training of senior level managers. Internationally he has delivered talks and lectures in Europe, North America, and Africa on economics, ecology and management. He was Professor of Economics at York University, Canada, for four years heading the university’s Asian Management Program which hosted top executives from all over Asia to the university. In his work at Analytics Boutique Consulting he has provided advice and consultation to C-Level executives at Fortune 500 Companies in Canada, UK, US and South Africa. His recent work has involved helping organizations figure out algorithms in the blockchain space leading to cryptocurrency innovations like ‘Ripple’. He has been effective in making energy conservation economically sustainable and not letting the long-term good intentions jeopardise monthly, quarterly, and annual corporate results. A case study Atif wrote about the choices related with environmental sustainability in Oakville, Ontario, Canada has become the blueprint for towns and cities around the world and is taught at business schools globally. In the public sector he worked closely with the Canadian Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, as deputy finance minister to draw up the Liberal Party’s previous economic budget for Canada in 2015/2016.
Dr Ehsan Akbar is a Lahore-based poet and prose writer in Urdu and an academic. With a PhD from Punjab University, he has taught Urdu at various colleges for thirty-nine years. He teaches Iqbal Studies at master’s level, as well as teaching at undergraduate level. A recipient of several literary awards, including Pride of Performance in 2014 and the International Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi Award in 2002, he has published five books, including both verse and prose.
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is an author and academic whose creative and critical work has a largely environmental focus. Publications include the poetry collections “Of Sea” (Penned in the Margins, 2021) and “Swims” (Penned in the Margins, 2017); nature writing memoir “The Grassling” (Penguin, 2019) and monograph “A Social Biography of Contemporary Innovative Poetry Communities: The Gift, the Wager and Poethics” (Palgrave, 2017). She is a Leverhulme Research Fellow (2021-2), researching ‘Creative Writing and Climate Change: Developing a New Wetlands Literature’, a nature diarist for “Oh” magazine and “The Guardian”, founder of Grow Your Own Creativity and Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Northumbria University.
An Associate Professor of Economics at LUMS, he is also the Director of Academic Programmes at the School of Education at LUMS. His current teaching interests are in the areas of economics of education, game theory, microeconomics, and industrial organization. His research interests are also in the same areas. He writes a fortnightly column for the daily ‘Dawn’.
Farrukh Yar has four books of poems to his credit. His other works include anthologies of the Urdu Nazm compiled for the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 2001 and 2005. Farrukh Yar’s research on the 16th century Punjabi Sufi poet, Shah Hussain, a pioneer of the Kafi form of Punjabi poetry, chronicles his role in the evolution of Punjabi poetry. His long poem, ‘Karez’, was launched at the Islamabad Literature Festival in 2019.
A well-known satirist and political commentator, he has hosted his own television, radio and podcast shows along with his extensive op-ed writing. Fasi Zaka is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a Rhodes Scholar, and Goodwill Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund. He has previously hosted the programme ‘On the Fringe’ for Indus Music, and then MTV Pakistan; ‘News, Views and Confused’ for AAJ TV; and The Fasi Zaka and Friends Show for FM91.
Fateh Mohammad Malik
A literary critic, linguist, and a scholar, he has authored numerous books, papers, and articles. Professor Malik has written a number of books on Allama Iqbal, including “Iqbal’s Reconstruction of Muslim Political Thought”, published by the University of Leicester. His major work while working for National Language Authority, Pakistan was a five-volume book on the origin of Urdu as a language. Professor Malik is the Chairman of the National Language Authority, Pakistan. He served as Rector of the International Islamic University, Islamabad, till 2012. He also served this University as Dean of the Faculty of Languages, literature, and Humanities. Before starting his career in Pakistan, Malik had taught at Columbia University, Heidelberg University, Humboldt University, and Saint Petersburg University for ten years. He was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2006.
Fathima Dada was born and educated in South Africa, and began her career there as a teacher in the apartheid era. Before she joined OUP as Managing Director of OUP’s Education division in 2018, she had both South African regional and global roles at Pearson, including Chair and CEO of Pearson’s Southern, East, and Central African businesses. Fathima also takes time out of her publishing career to work with governments and not-for-profit organizations on policy, planning, curriculum, assessment, qualifications and implementation, in many countries.
Fatimah Ihsan is an academic, cross-sectoral gender expert, and feminist researcher. She has worked in Pakistan and US with leading civil society organizations and development funding agencies. She currently teaches at the Gender Studies department of the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
Firoze Manji, PhD, a Kenyan, is the publisher of Daraja Press and Adjunct Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He is the recipient of the 2021 Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He is a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy, Berlin, Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford (2001-2016) and, and Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. He is the founder and former editor-in-chief of the prize-winning Pan-African social justice newsletter and website ‘Pambazuka News’ and Pambazuka Press/Fahamu Books. He has previously worked as Africa Programme Director for Amnesty International. He is a member of the editorial review board of ‘Global Critical Caribbean Thought’, a member of the editorial board of ‘Nokoko, Journal of the Institute of African Studies’, Carleton University, and a member of the international advisory board of the journal ‘Philosophy and Global Affairs’. He is a Senior Research Fellow of the Global Centre for Advanced Studies. He is currently a member of the board of GRAIN and has served as a member of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on the Role of TNCs in Southern Africa (2018-9). He has published widely on health, human rights, development and politics. He is co-editor, with Sokari Ekine, of ‘African Awakenings: The Emerging Revolutions’ and co-editor with Bill Fletcher Jr, of ‘Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral’.
Frances Pritchett is a Professor Emerita of Modern Indic Languages, Dept. of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University. Her main research interests have been classical ghazal (especially Ghalib and Mir), and the Dastan-e Amir Hamzah. She maintains a very large website for students and teachers of South Asia.
An Urdu fiction writer and literary critic from Attock, Punjab. His first writings were published while he was still at school and his first book was published when he was a university student. Hameed Shahid has authored several collections of short stories, a novel, and literary criticisms. His book ‘Dehshat mein Mohabbat’ was nominated for both the 6th UBL Literary Excellence and KLF awards (2016) and was declared a winner at the UBL Literary Excellence Award in 2017. He received Tamgha-e-Imtiaz from the President of Pakistan in 2017.
Harris Khalique is a leading Urdu and English language poet, essayist, and a columnist, he has published nine collections of verse and two books of nonfiction including “Crimson Papers: Reflections on Struggle, Suffering, and Creativity in Pakistan”. His poetry has been anthologized internationally and translated into several languages. He is a recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance (2018) and the UBL Literary Excellence Award (2013) in the category of Urdu poetry for his collection “Melay Mein”. He has worked professionally and voluntarily for community development and human rights. Currently, he is the Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Haseeb Sultan is an orthodontist, writer, and artist who currently lives in Islamabad. His work has appeared in publications like ‘GQ’, ‘Buzzfeed’, ‘Thought Catalog’, ‘Aleph’ and more. He’s studied creative non-fiction from the University of Iowa. You can follow him on Instagram @haseebsultan for his daily musings and read more about him on haseebsultan.com
Hina Rabbani Khar
Hina Rabbani Khar is a Pakistani politician who served as the 21st Foreign Minister of Pakistan from February 2011 until March 2013. Appointed at the age of 33, she was the youngest person and the first woman to have held the position. Khar is a member of an influential feudal family in Muzaffargarh. She studied business at LUMS and U Mass-Amherst before entering politics as a member of the national assembly in 2002, representing the PML-Q and becoming a junior minister responsible for economic policy under the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. In 2009, after switching parties and winning re-election with the Pakistan Peoples Party, she became the Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs and the same year became the first woman to present the national budget. She was appointed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan in July 2011, and served until shortly before the 2013 election, when she retired from active politics. She has continued to push for stronger ties with India. She remains a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, and is a public speaker on foreign policy. As of 2019, she is a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan on a reserved seat for women.
Huma Baqai is She is an Associate Professor of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts and former Associate Dean, IBA Karachi. Her teaching and research experience spans a period of over twenty-five years, and she has to her credit forty-plus publications. She is a member to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs, member to the Advisory Committee on Status of Women, Government of Sindh, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at PIDE. She is the Vice Chairperson, Karachi Council for Foreign Relations. She also works with both national and international media as an international relations expert and political analyst.
Writer, literary critic, and Assistant Professor in the Urdu Department, International Islamic University, Islamabad, she specializes in women home journals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
A prominent Urdu poet, scholar, and literary personality. Several collections of Iftikhar Arif’s poetry have been published, including the rendition of his poetry into English, titled ‘Written in the Season of Fear’ (OUP, 2003). A former head of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, National Language Authority, and the National Book Foundation, he has also been President of the ECO Cultural Institute in Tehran, Iran. He is the former head of National Language Promotion Department, National History and Literary Heritage Division, Islamabad. He has received numerous awards, including the President’s Pride of Performance Award. ‘Baagh-i-Gul-i-Surkh’ is his latest offering.
Chairman, Pathfinder Group, Pakistan, which includes two of the largest private security companies in the country. He is also involved in various national and international organizations. He is a member of World Economic Forum (WEF); International Organization for Migration (IOM); WEF Global Agenda Council (GAC) for counter-terrorism; and Director, East West Institute (EWI), a US based think tank. He is a regular op-ed contributor to newspapers and frequently appears on current affairs programmes.
An English language poet, editor, and critic, Ilona is also a designer and printmaker. Presently Associate Editor of ‘The Aleph Review’, she has also freelanced for ‘Nukta’; ‘Newsline’; and ‘ArtNow’, and written essays on Pakistani poetryin English. Her poems have been published in books and literary journals, locally and abroad, in print and digital media. She has worked as an editor for the ‘Alhamra Literary Review’, and guest edited a special issue of Pakistani poetry in English for the Canadian poetry magazine ‘Vallum’.
Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada
Born in 1936, Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada, joined the erstwhile Civil Service of Pakistan in 1959. After serving in a number of Assignments in the provincial bureaucracy of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, which includes that of the Chief Secretary, he was transferred to Islamabad in 1987. There he served as Secretary to the Federal Government in different ministries and superannuated in 1996 as the Cabinet Secretary. Thereafter, he went on to become the member of the Federal Public Service Commission, a member of the National Security Council, Chairman of the Federal Lands Commission, Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) of Pakistan and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Tribal Affairs, he finally retired from public service in 2008. He is the author of two books ‘Pilgrim of Beauty’ and ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’. The former contains translations into English of 150 poems of Ghani Khan. The latter is a compilation of the speeches and interventions of Ghani Khan in the Central Legislative Assembly of India of 1946. He has also translated ‘My Life and Struggle: The Autobiography of Abdul Ghaffar Khan’, popularly known as Bacha Khan.
Jalil Aali is a highly regarded poet, literary critic, and educationist. Born in Amritsar, India, he was educated at Lahore. He holds master’s degrees from the University of the Punjab, in Urdu and Sociology. After a career of teaching, he retired as Head of the Department of Urdu language and literature, Federal Government Sir Syed College, Rawalpindi. He has published three volumes of poetry, “Khwab Dareecha”, “Showk Sitara”, and “Arz-e-Hunar se Aage”, the third of which won the Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi Award 2007 and the Writers’ Guild Award 2005-2007. He has also published more than fifty critical articles in prominent literary journals. He has also compiled and edited two annual editions (2002 and 2005) of “Pakistani Adab”, the anthology of Urdu poetry compiled each year by the Pakistan Academy of Letters.
French-born author Julien Columeau writes fiction in Urdu. He has published 5 books in Urdu: ‘Saaghar’ (2009), ‘Teen novelette’ (2013), ‘Zaahid aur Do Kahaaniyaan’ (2013), ‘Chaurangi’ (2017), as well as ‘Nazar ki umang’ (2020), an Urdu translation of ‘The Eye Still Seeks’, a collection of essays edited by Salima Hashmi on Pakistani contemporary art. His new collection of Urdu novels and short stories titled ‘Derrida haraamdaa’ will be published by Maktaba-e Danyal, Karachi in the beginning of 2022. He holds an MPhil in Islamic Studies from EPHE, Paris and a PHD in History from EHESS, Paris.
Kabeer Dawani is a social science researcher, with a particular interest in the political economy of development. He has worked at the Collective for Social Science Research in Karachi on numerous projects and as a consultant with the World Bank on urban development. He holds a MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Chevening Scholar.
Kamran Asdar Ali
Kamran Asdar Ali is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas. He has conducted ethnographic research in Mexico, Egypt, and Pakistan. Based on these studies, his publications are on topics relating to health, gender, sexuality, urban issues, popular culture, and labour history. He has currently taken a break from University of Texas University of Texas, Austin and has joined LUMS as Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Khadim Hussain is currently working as Provincial Culture Secretary of Awami National Party. He has previously worked as Managing Director of the Baacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation (BKTEF) Peshawar for ten years. He taught Linguistics and Communication at Bahria University Islamabad, Pakistan, and taught language and linguistics at the department of Linguistics Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad for two decades. Khadim Hussain has five books and dozens of research papers to his credit. “Rethinking Education-Critical Discourse and Society” was published in 2012, “The Militant Discourse” was published in 2013, an Urdu novel “Pagdandi” was published in 2014. Pashto books “Zhaba, Qaam Aw Adab” and “Adam Tashaddud: Madkoora Aw taglara” were published in January 2020 by the Baacha Khan Research Canter.
Khaled Anam is a singer, actor, song-writer, theatrical producer, and performer. He also hosts and produces a radio show based on Urdu literature and old songs on FM107. With a master’s from Karachi University, Anam has done various theatrical training courses with Grips Theatre in Berlin, Germany. As part of a core team responsible for translating and adapting over 100 episodes of Open Sesame of Children’s Television Workshop into Urdu—he was solely responsible for translating and re-recording the songs of all episodes. A founding member of Grips Theatre, Pakistan, he has performed in both children’s and regular theatre all over Pakistan, India, UAE, and Germany. In recognition of his services to children’s theatre and education, Anam has been conferred the Goethe-Institut Award of Merit. Author of “Bachon kay Geet” (OUP, 2014), he is also an ambassador for the Children’s Literature Festival. He has been awarded the President’s Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan.
A former fighter pilot from the PAF, Khalid Banuri holds two decades of expertise in arms control and diplomacy. He has been part of Pakistan’s official delegations for bilateral dialogues and multilateral negotiations for several years. He has taught at public sector universities, published on diverse topics; and has been decorated with a Sitara-i-Imtiaz for policy analysis, and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz (military) for services rendered in the PAF. Banuri has been teaching ‘Use of Force and International Law’ at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad since 2017.
Khayyam Mushir is a columnist for ‘The News’, he has contributed articles on various themes including art, literature, politics, and current affairs. Khayyam has also worked in national and international development with Action Aid and Plan International in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and with the charity sector in the UK. He is trained as a Chartered Accountant and currently works for an international accounting firm.
One of the best-known feminist poets of Pakistan, her first collection of poems, ‘Lab-i-Goya’ (1968), won the prestigious Adamjee Prize for Literature. Founder of Hawwa (Eve), an organization striving to empower women financially, Kishwar Naheed has also served as the director general of Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA). A recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2000. Her poems have been translated into many languages including English, French, and Italian. Oxford University Press has not only published her works in Urdu (‘Intikhab-e-Kalam: Kishwar Naheed’ and ‘Pakistan ki Tehzeeb-o-Saqafat’), but also English translations of her works (‘The Distance of a Shout’ [poetry]; ‘A Bad Woman’s Story’ [memoirs]; ‘The Culture and Civilization of Pakistan’).
Maham Khan’s poems can be found in ‘The Aleph Review’, ‘Behenchara Magazine’, ‘Somewhere in Pakistan’, and ‘Jaggery’, among others. She also co-edits ‘The Missing Slate’.
Mahnaz Yazdani is a Tehran-based renowned Irani cartoonist. A protean artist with a varied range of achievements, she is also a film director, animator, and scriptwriter. Her career commenced as a professional artist in 2002, while still a student. Ms Yazdani worked for many years with the Irani Press as an editorial cartoonist, her favourite subjects being social, economic, and environmental issues, becoming the recipient of numerous awards. Gaining a master’s in animation from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, in 2014, she additionally began to work on animation projects in different roles, where she has fulfilled such varied roles as director, animator, scriptwriter, character designer, and story board artist. She has so far directed five animated shorts and an animated TV series, again winning a number of awards, both national and international. Ms Yazdani has also worked as a book illustrator since 2017.
Maleeha Lodhi is Special Adviser for International Affairs to Pakistan’s largest media conglomerate, the Jang/Geo Group. She has twice served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US (1993–1996; 1999–2002) and as High Commissioner to Britain (2003–2008). She has served as a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs from 2001 to 2005. A Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington in 2010, Dr Lodhi was also a Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School in 2008. She is the author of two books, “Pakistan’s Encounter with Democracy” and “The External Challenge” and is Editor of the volume, “Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State”. She is the recipient of the President’s Award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz for Public Service in Pakistan.
Maria Rashid completed her doctorate in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in 2018. Her book “Dying to Serve, Militarism, Affect and the Politics of Sacrifice” was published in 2020 by Stanford University Press and was shortlisted for the IPS-International Political Sociology Book Award, 2021. Also, a psychologist by training, Maria has worked with various national and international NGOs in Pakistan for over twenty years. She continues to be involved in research around violence, gender, and militarism, and is associated with a number of networks and collaboratives both in Pakistan and the UK. She is a post-doctoral scholar at the Thomas Coram Research Unit at University College London, UK.
Marion Molteno is a prize-winning author of four novels, which reflect the unusual range of a life lived across countries and cultures. She grew up in South Africa where she was active in opposition to the apartheid regime. She has worked in education in Africa, with refugees in the UK, and around the world with Save the Children. She has long-standing connections with South Asian communities in the UK, and learnt Urdu from the eminent scholar Ralph Russell. She is now his literary executor, editing his books for publication, and his translations of Ghalib’s ghazals feature in her most recent novel, “Uncertain Light”. Her new book, “Journeys Without A Map: A Writer’s Life”, interweaves encounters with the people and cultures that have inspired her with reflections on the creative process—what fiction does for us, and the vital relationship between writers and readers.
Mavra Bari is a sociologist, journalist and writer with a special focus on human rights, gender, and inter-sectionality, sustainable urbanism and resource equity, climate change and innovation particularly in the Global South. She is also a social innovation and communications specialist. She has worked on several diverse projects that empower communities economically, politically and socially. Mavra writes academically, journalistically and creatively exploring themes of social justice, existential crisis, right to space and identity as well as mental health. Academically she has contributed to journals for University of Amsterdam. Journalistically she writes for ‘Deutsche Welle’, ‘Express Tribune’, ‘The News’, ‘Phaser Magazine’ to name a few. Words and stories are Mavra’s passion, she has been writing stories and poetry since she learned how to write. She is currently working on two new poetry collections, “Any Place But Here” and “Wishbone and Other Broken Bones” and moonlights as a stand up comedian feminist comedy troupe Auratnaak. Mavra self-publishes her poetry on social media and is part of several poetry collectives internationally. Her poetry has been published in the ‘Aleph Review’ (Pakistan), ‘Colouring Covid’ (Canada), ‘Sarajevo Times’ (Bosnia). Some of her collections are forthcoming.
Mehboob Zafar is a poet in Urdu and Punjabi; he also writes in Sindhi and Hindi. Recipient of the Bahadur Shah Award in Delhi, he has translated many English and Sindhi writings about the great Sufi poet of Sindh, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. Mehboob Zafar has also translated modern Urdu short stories and poetry, which have been published in various literary magazines. He is President of Islamabad based literary organization Zawiya. He is the anchor and editor of ‘Afkaar’, a literary programme aired from Radio Pakistan, Islamabad. He has a master’s in Urdu literature and has been working with the Pakistan Navy.
Mehreen Jabbar is an award-winning and critically acclaimed director and producer with an extensive two-decade-long career. She has 2 feature films, 18 TV/Web series, 11 TV films, and multiple shorts and medium-length films for television to her credit.
Mehreen’s first feature film titled Ramchand Pakistani premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. It was awarded the FIPRISCI Prize by the International Federation of Film Critics, the Satyajit Ray Award at the London Film Festival and was also screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her second feature film Dobara Phir Se filmed in New York and Karachi had a successful theatrical release in December 2016.
Mehreen has been a founding member of the KaraFilm Festival in Karachi, Pakistan, and a
founder member of the NGO WAR (War Against Rape). In 2012 She was invited to the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda – a non-profit training lab founded by director Mira Nair to be a directing mentor. She has served as a jury member in many local and international film festivals. Mehreen lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Mehvash Amin is an English language poet based in Lahore. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her poem titled ‘Karachi’. Her poems have been published in various literary journals, such as ‘Vallum’; ‘New International Poetics’ (Canada); ‘Sugar Mule’ (USA); ‘One Hand Clapping’ (UK); ‘The Missing Slate’; and books such as ‘A Khanna’s Capitals’ (Bloomsbury) and ‘The Stained Glass Window’ (Liberty Books), amongst others. Mehvash has a publishing house, Broken Leg Publications, and is publisher and editor-in-chief of ‘The Aleph Review’, a yearly anthology of creative writing and art. She has also compered sessions for the Islamabad Literary Festival and ‘EShe’ magazine (India) amongst others.
Michael has worked in Pakistan since 2018 as Director Sindh and Balochistan and is now leading the British Council’s work in Punjab as Acting Director. He is a strong believer in the work the British Council does in Pakistan, supporting young people, including women and girls, to access the education and opportunity they need to reach their full potential. Michael has worked in Beijing, Cairo and Kabul, leading the British Council’s work on education, research partnerships and civil society.
Michael Kugelman is the Deputy Director of the Asia Program and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. He is a leading specialist on Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan and their relations with the United States. The editor/co-editor of 11 books, he has written for ‘The New York Times’, ‘Foreign Policy’, ‘Foreign Affairs’, and other publications, covering topics ranging from US policy in Afghanistan to terrorism to water, energy, and food security in the region.
A Pakistani political commentator and TV journalist. He currently works as Director World Affairs and lead anchor person for PTV News. He also hosts the popular talk show ‘Sochta Pakistan’. He previously worked with Dunya News TV channel as Director World Affairs and hosted the current affairs talk show ‘Dunya Today’. He has also been a columnist for the ‘Khaleej Times’. His columns have appeared in Pakistani newspapers, including ‘Dawn’, ‘The News’, ‘Daily Times’, and ‘The Friday Times’. Pirzada is a member of the Prime Minister’s Education Task Force that collaborated with British Council to produce the Next Generation Report. He has also contributed policy papers to Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).
A journalist, researcher, historian, and fiction writer, he has eleven books and innumerable articles to his credit and his writings have been translated into, English, Urdu and Gurumukhi and published in reputed magazines, both in Pakistan and abroad. He has also worked for the electronic media and is currently doing a radio programme on the history of Lahore. A number of awards such as World Punjabi Forum Award, PILAC literary Award, and Masood Khadar Posh Award, have been conferred on him. Bashir’s experimental Punjabi novel, ‘Kaun’, has just been awarded the finalist (runner-up) prize for the prestigious Dhanan Prize—an International Punjabi Literature Prize—at Vancouver, Canada.
Muhammad Izhar ul Haq
Muhammad Izhar ul Haq (b. 1948) is a poet of Urdu language, a columnist and analyst, and a renowned intellectual from Pakistan. He was awarded the federal government inter-wing fellowship under which he did his MA Economics from Dhaka University. Later, he did MA in Arabic from the Punjab University as an external candidate and also learnt Uzbek from Afghan Uzbeks. In 1972, he joined the Civil Service of Pakistan. Muhammad Izhar ul Haq is considered a trendsetter in modern Urdu ghazal. His first book, “Diwaar-e-Aab” (1982) won the Adamjee Literary Award. His two subsequent books in Urdu poetry, “Ghadr” and “Paree-zaad” hit the stalls in 1986 and 1995, respectively. His fourth book, “Paani Peh Bichaa Takht”, was conferred yet another honour, the Allama Iqbal Award, in 2003. A fifth book of poetry is soon to be published. Two books of prose “Talkh Nawaai” and “Meri Wafaat” have been published and the third is forthcoming. Muhammad Izhar ul Haq has been writing columns on socioeconomic, political, and literary issues in major dailies of the country. He writes in English with equal ease. His columns are published in ‘The Nation’, ‘The News, ‘The Bangladesh Today’, and ‘Holiday International Dhaka’. He also contributes occasionally to Australian print media. His articles are published in ‘The Age’ and ‘Eureka Street’. On 23 March 2009, Muhammad Izhar ul Haq was awarded the Pride of Performance in Literature by the President of Pakistan.
Muhammad Sheeraz Dasti
A literary scholar, he received his PhD from the International Islamic University (IIU), Islamabad, in 2014. He has taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, the QAU, Islamabad, the Air University, and the IIU, where he is the Chair of the English Department. From January to June 2016, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. He is the co-editor of two academic journals, ‘Me’yar’ and ‘Journal of Contemporary Poetics’. His publications include his Urdu novel, ‘Saasa’, and three books of literary and academic translation.
Muhammad Ziauddin is a senior Pakistani journalist, with a 45-year career behind him. Ziauddin served as President, South Asian Free Media Association, and Executive Editor, ‘The Express Tribune’. He has been associated as a senior analyst and guest contributor for several leading local and foreign media publications. He has written extensively on the economic and business climate in Pakistan. He was also part of the Expert Group on ‘Economy of Tomorrow’ initiated under auspices of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
A leading journalist, analyst, and commentator, Mujahid Barelvi has been appearing on television without a break, for the last two decades. He has written articles for political journals and newspapers, and has authored books on Afghanistan and Balochistan, as well as a book in memory of Habib Jalib. An avid globetrotter, he has also penned a travelogue “Khuwahish-e-Safar main Rahay” about his traveling experience with all the heads of state and participation in numerous conferences. Currently he is hosting program ‘Live with Mujahid’ on GTV News.
Chair of the Department of English and Director of Critical Thinking Forum (CTF) at the International Islamic University, Islamabad. She is author of ‘Nurturing Creativity in Literature Classrooms: Cognitive Teaching Model for Developing Creative Thinking’ and ‘An Introduction to Pakistani Women Writers (1947–2017)’ and has had numerous research papers published in national and international journals. She has also edited the book ‘Muslim Women Writers of the Subcontinent (1870–1950)’. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship from the University of North Carolina, USA in July 2016, and two short fellowships from University of New York in 2014, and University of Queensland, Australia in 2019.
Muneeza Shamsie is the author of a literary history “Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English” (2017). She is an Area Editor of the online Literary Encyclopedia. She received the Gold IPPY and the 2008 Bronze Foreword prizes in the US for the American edition of her anthology “And the World Changed: Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women” (2008). She is Bibliographic Representative (Pakistan) for ‘The Journal of Commonwealth Literature’ and is on the international advisory board of ‘The Journal of Postcolonial Writing’ and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She has served as a jury member for the latter and for several literary awards in Pakistan too. She was the regional chair Eurasia of the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2009 and 2010. She lives in Karachi and contributes to ‘Dawn’ and ‘Newsweek Pakistan’.
Munir Fayyaz is a poet, translator, critic, educationist. He is Assistant Professor (English) at Federal Government Colleges Department, Islamabad. Served as joint secretary and secretary of Halqa Arbab e Zouq, Rawalpindi from 2003 to 2007. He has been composing poetry in Urdu (ghazal and nazm) and English for over twenty years. He recently edited a special issue of ‘Pakistani Literature’ (Contemporary Short Stories of Pakistan) containing works in translation from Urdu and eight other local languages published by Pakistan Academy of Letters. He has been translating Pakistani poetry and fiction in English for ‘Pakistani Literature’ since 2009. His poetic works have been published in leading Urdu literary periodicals for almost twenty years.
Munizae Jahangir is an award-winning TV journalist and documentary filmmaker, currently freelancing at India’s leading news channel, NDTV, while simultaneously anchoring and reporting for Pakistan’s leading media news network, Express TV; she also writes for the daily newspaper, ‘The Express Tribune’. Jahangir is presently anchoring a prime-time current affairs show called ‘Pakistan Poochta Hai’. She has also anchored an audience-based debate show, ‘Siyah Sufaid’; a show on Afghan Pakistan relations, ‘Sarhad keh Uss Paar’; and ‘Face Off’: an interview-based show tailored after BBC’s ‘Hard Talk’. Jahangir has focused on conflict areas and her documentaries for ‘Express’ include ‘Battling the Taliban’; ‘Gangs of Karachi’; and ‘Smuggling racket of South Asia’. Some of her documentaries aired on NDTV include ‘The Baloch Battlefield’; ‘Pakistan: The War Within’; and ‘The Day the Earth Shook’, a special on the South Asia earthquake 2005. Independently, Jahangir has produced and directed other widely acclaimed documentaries. She holds a BA in Political Science from McGill University and an MA in Media Studies from the New School University in New York. She is an alumnus of Harvard’s Executive Programme.
Mushaal Hussein Mullick
Mushaal Hussein Mullick is the Chairperson of Peace and Culture organisation an NGO that works for Global Peace and Harmony. It also campaigns for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir Conflict and its main objective is to support all kinds of peace and nonviolent activities around the world. Born in Lahore and brought up in Islamabad, Mushaal is the scion of an intellectual family and is driven by a passion for art and philanthropy. Her late father was the internationally renowned economist, Professor M.A. Hussein Mullick; her mother, Rehana, is currently the vice chairperson Peace and Culture organisation and is a strong advocate of women rights, she is also the former secretary general, women’s wing, PML. Her husband Mohammad Yasin Malik is a world-renowned liberation leader and chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and is currently incarcerated in a death cell in Tihar Jail. They have a 7-year-old daughter Raziyah Sultana.
An avid painter she sells her artwork for charity to aid women development (particularly the widows and orphans of Kashmir conflict). Apart from this she is actively advocating the rights of women and children in war zones and conflict zone through seminars, conferences, public rallies, protests, media etc. She is also a very active female freedom fighter for the liberation of people from Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir. She is also working on the Craft and Heritage revival in Kashmir and raising the problems that the helpless artisans and craftsmen suffer due to the conflict. She aims at raising an awareness of the remarkable skill and talent of handicraft artisans as well as highlight the importance of handicraft as a tool for poverty alleviation. various competitions. Besides art she is interested in political economy.
Nadeem Hussain is an education economist and activist for reform. He has a decade’s experience in the design and implementation of programs for multilateral and global development institutions, including World Bank and UNDP projects for governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; not-for-profit organizations – TCF, YCR, IBA-NTHP, and rehabilitation work for urban slums. He has worked with the State Bank of Pakistan leading a team of research enumerators to collect and analyze data on consumer expectations and confidence. Nadeem writes on a range of subjects relating to social issues, poverty, public finance, and urban planning. He is a co-author of a book on Pakistan’s sub-national governance and provincial policy reforms, “The Economy of Modern Sindh” (OUP, 2019) for which he engaged with nearly 100 business leaders in Pakistan and beyond.
A writer, poet, and academic, she has authored twelve books and fifty research papers, published in national and international journals. Currently, she is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Urdu at the International Islamic University, Islamabad. Dr Arif was the founder co-editor of the research journal ‘Meyār’, and the Guest Editor of ‘Bunyād’, the research journal of LUMS. She is also the editor of the first indexation agency of Urdu journals in Pakistan.
Nasim Zehra is a prominent expert on national security and consults on development issues. She writes, teaches, and is a TV host. As an analyst on Pakistan’s political experiences and international security issues, she has written and lectured widely, nationally, and internationally. She has written as a syndicated columnist for Inter-Press Services (IPS) and for national dailies and journals including ‘The News’ and the ‘Defence Journal’. In the Arab world, she has written regularly for the ‘Gulf News’, ‘Khaleej Times’ and ‘The Arab News’. Nasim Zehra gives lectures at the National Defence College, Command and Staff College, the Air War College, the Institute for Strategic Studies, Islamabad, and the National Institute for Public Affairs. She has also been a fellow of Harvard University Asia Center and has taught at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), as an adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She has served, pro bono, on Pakistan’s Presidential Advisory Committee on Foreign Policy and National Security from 2000–02 and on the Kashmir Committee. She was also appointed as Pakistan’s Special Envoy on UN Reforms in 2005.
Nasir Abbas Nayyar
A scholar, author, and short story writer, he is currently Director General of the Urdu Science Board, Lahore. Dr Nayyar’s research interests include modern and postmodern literary theory, linguistics, modern Urdu literature, and post colonialism. He is the author of award-winning books such as ‘Urdu Adab ki Tashkeel e Jadid’ that won the best Urdu Book Prize, KLF 2017 and Baba-e-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq Award 2016 for Urdu prose from the Pakistan Academy of Letters. Another of his books, ‘Us Ko Ik Shakhs Samjhna to Munasib hi Nahi’, was awarded the UBL Literary Prize for the best Urdu book in the non-fiction category in 2019. He regularly writes on literary issues in ‘The News’ and occasionally in ‘Dawn’.
Nayab Jan is an entrepreneur, an activist and a feminist organiser. She currently heads Business Development and External Relations at Community Support Concern- a microfinance company that extends enterprise development loans to low income women. The company currently has an active client base of 40,000 female entrepreneurs. Apart from her role at CSC, she partners with various organisations and media outlets to raise awareness on women’s issues, children’s rights, religious freedom and tolerance, and youth related issues. She routinely appears on different tv and digital platforms to speak on various social issues. She makes vlogs for several progressive digital media platforms that receive wide engagement on social media.
Associate Professor of Sociology in the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS. She is also Faculty Director of the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative. With a PhD in Sociology from the University of Manchester, Dr Kirmani has published widely on issues related to gender, Islam, women’s movements, development, and urban studies in India and Pakistan. Her book ‘Questioning the Muslim Woman: Identity and Insecurity in an Urban Indian Locality’ (Routledge) was published in 2013. Her current research focuses on urban violence, gender, and insecurity in the area of Lyari in Karachi.
Nigar Nazar is the first woman cartoonist of Pakistan and of the Muslim world. She is the CEO of Gogi Studios. She received the Government of Pakistan’s Fatima Jinnah Award for her contribution to Art. Her character, Gogi, has appeared in different newspapers and magazines and at present the cartoon strip appears regularly on her official Facebook page (GogiStudios). Four children’s hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been decorated with Gogi cartoons and health messages. These have made the hospitals child friendly. Nigar has also authored and illustrated twenty-seven books for children. Nigar Nazar is twice a Fulbrighter and was the first to be nominated for the programme, Visiting Fulbright Specialist to Colorado College. She is also one of the founding members of the Asian Youth Association for animators and cartoonists (AYAAC), China. She was nominated by BBC for ‘100 Global women who have made a difference in 2014’; NHK, largest TV channel of Japan, has produced a 28-minute documentary which was aired on 19 and 20 February 2015. Recently the President of Pakistan launched her book on corruption. She was recently voted for ‘50 Power Women of Pakistan’ a survey conducted by ‘The News’.
Lahore-based Nusrat Baquee is an educationist and a trainer. With a Master’s in Economics, she has taught at Punjab University and has been involved with the City School System. She presently works as an independent Trainer and Facilitator
Omar Mukhtar Khan
Omar professionally trained as a doctor and joined the Civil Service in 2000 and worked with Pakistan Customs for some time before doing his master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University. On return, Omar worked with department for International Development (now Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, UK) as Governance Advisor for eight years. Besides Pakistan, he has undertaken assignments in several countries including United Kingdom, Tanzania, Turkey, Austria, France, Ukraine, and Slovenia. currently he is advising on economic and public sector reforms in Pakistan. Born in Lahore, Omar has lived in many cities of Pakistan and is a proud Abdalian. Trekking and exploring Pakistan is a passion for Omar and he has written extensively on sustainable tourism and heritage.
A former host of ‘Newshour’ on BBC and BBC correspondent in many countries for over thirty years, Owen Bennet-Jones is a freelance British journalist with first-hand knowledge of South Asia. He has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi, and Beirut. He has written for ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Independent’, ‘The Financial Times’ and ‘The News’ and was the Commonwealth journalist of the year in 2009. His books include “The Bhutto Dynasty: The Struggle for Power in Pakistan” (2020) and “Pakistan: Eye of the Storm” is now in its third edition. “Target Britain”, a thriller set amid the war on terror is available in paperback. In 2004, he contributed to the Lonely Planet guide, “Pakistan & the Karakoram Highway”. His writing for the London Review of Books has concentrated on Pakistan, the Iranian militant group MEK (also known as the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran), the Deobandi movement and Northern Ireland. His columns for Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper ‘Dawn’ cover Pakistani and international affairs. Owen graduated from the London School of Economics in 1983 and obtained an MPhil in politics from St Antony’s College Oxford in 1985. In 2018, he was awarded a PhD by publication by the University of Hull.
Parveen Tahir received her education from the Lady Anderson High School, Sialkot; did her F.Sc. from Govt. College, Sialkot; B.Sc. from Lahore College for Women, Lahore; M.Sc. from the Punjab University; MA in Urdu from the NUML, Islamabad. She started writing poetry from childhood but started publishing her work in magazines during the 1990s. Her first book “Tinkay Ka Batin” was highly appreciated by critics and contemporaries. Her second book “Neel Goo’n Kai” was published in 2021. She has also done work on modern poetry and has written criticism of poems by eminent poets of nazam.
Rafiullah Kakar is a public policy and development professional with specialization in public policy reform and governance, institutional development, conflict resolution, and political economy analysis. Mr Kakar has provided technical assistance and policy advice to the Government of Pakistan, Government of Balochistan, and member countries of the Commonwealth. Mr Kakar has published papers and book chapters on the political economy of ethnic conflicts in Pakistan. He also writes commentaries on politics and development issues for leading English dailies in Pakistan.
Rashid Masood Alam
Rashid Masood Alam is a chartered accountant by profession, and has more than twenty years of professional experience at strategic positions within the global banking and corporate sectors, and audit/financial services. A former host of TV programmes at Dawn TV and Sun TV, mainly on economy, political issues, and current affairs. Alam also writes on music, art, and human rights, and volunteers his time to teaching and supporting The Citizens Foundation education drive for underprivileged children by mentoring them.
Ravish Nadeem is an Islamabad-based scholar, poet, academic, and editor. With a PhD in Manto’s fiction, he is Professor of Urdu Literature and Head of Department at GC, Rawalpindi. A faculty member of the International Islamic University, Islamabad, for more than a decade, Dr Nadeem has written ten books of criticism, history, fiction, and poetry. He has published more than fifty research and literary articles in scholarly journals. His major area of interest is socio-political based critical analysis. “Manto ki Aurtein”; “Tissue Paper pe likhi Nazmein”; and “Dehshut ke Mausm mein Likhi Nazmein” are some of his books.
Senator Mian Raza Rabbani is a Pakistani political leader, constitutional lawyer, and a former Chairman of the Senate (2015-2018). As a legislator, he was responsible for the drafting of the famous 18th Amendment, which restored the original spirit of the Constitution and established a firm foundation for Federalism. He has been elected a Senator from Sindh six times since 1993. A long-standing member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, he was a close aide to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and was appointed the Party’s Deputy Secretary General in 1997 and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate in 2005. Prior to his work in constitutional politics, he was a leading figure on the democratic left and has written extensively on left-wing ideas. Senator Rabbani was awarded the highest civil award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, for his parliamentary services. In addition, he was awarded the Bacha Khan Award for the Defence of Provincial Rights. The Human Rights Society of Pakistan selected him for the 2006 award for his invaluable services for human rights. He was Vice-Chairman of the National Institute of Public Policy and member, Forum of Federations, Toronto. He has represented Pakistan as a delegate and speaker at the UN General Assembly, Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Commonwealth Parliamentary Union.
A policy analyst, journalist, and an author. Raza Rumi is Director, Park Center for Independent Media and teaches in the journalism department. He is also Visiting Faculty at Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. Raza was a scholar in residence at Ithaca College and taught courses in journalism and writing departments as well as at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University. Raza has been a fellow at the New America Foundation and the United States Institute of Peace. He is a member of think tank at Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, Georgetown University; and a non-resident fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Raza was the editor of ‘Daily Times’; ‘The Friday Times’; and a TV broadcaster in Pakistan before he moved to the United States in 2014. He is the author of ‘Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller’; ‘The Fractious Path: Pakistan’s Democratic Transition’; ‘Identity and Faith and Conflict: Essays on Pakistan and Beyond’; and ‘Being Pakistani: Society Culture and the Arts’ and a co-editor of ‘Rethinking Pakistan: A 21st Century Perspective’.
Ricardo Martinez Ortega
Ricardo Martinez Ortega (b. 1956; Santiago) moved to Spain with his family in May 1969. Ricardo began his professional career towards the end of the 1970s. At that time, he was creating illustrations for several publications, advertising agencies, and comic books. In 1981 he went to Miami, where he worked at an ad agency, creating ads for Seven Up, Dr. Pepper, and American Express, among others; and movie posters. Shortly thereafter, he was hired to the staff of the daily paper ‘The Miami News’ as designer/illustrator/graphic artist. After six years there, the paper was sold to Knight Ridder Inc., and Ricardo went on to be Op/Ed illustrator for the ‘Miami Herald’. While still in Miami, Ricardo and writer-childhood friend Nacho published ‘Goomer’ the comic strip continuously since 1987, first in the Spanish daily ‘El Pais’ and since 1990 in ‘El Mundo’. In 1989, Ricardo returned to Madrid with his American wife to form a part of the founding group of ‘El Mundo’ newspaper in October of 1989, as Assistant Managing Editor of Illustration. He formed and headed the Art Department, managing both illustrations and graphics. In May 1990, he began to publish editorial cartoons which he did alongside writer and business partner, Nacho. This was at the same that he was still Art Director, as well as doing the Op/Ed drawing every Sunday. Nacho stopped working on the political cartoon in February 2002 and since then Ricardo has has been writer and artist for this political cartoon. While at El Mundo, Ricardo has done illustrations for Coca Cola, Madrid City Hall, Telefonica, UNICEF, Amnesty International, and Renault, among others. Among celebrities that own Ricardo’s drawings are Kofi Anaan, Juan Carlos I, the King of Spain, Bill Clinton, Juan Antonio Samaranch. Among museums that own Ricardo’s drawings are the Lausanne Olympic Museum, The National Library of Madrid, the Museo de Dibujo del Castillo de Larrés, and the Bill Clinton Library, among others. He has won several awards, among them 8 gold and a ‘Judge’s Special Recognition’ from the Society of Newspaper Design, for his illustrations on the Sunday Op/Ed pages that he did for ‘The Miami Herald’ and ‘El Mundo’. He also received the International Press Award; the prestigious Madrid Premio Tono; The Haxtur Award in Gijón, Spain Comic Festival; the ‘Gat Perich’ given by the editors of newspapers in Barcelona. His works have appeared in the annual collections of The Society of Illustrators in New York, and in several collected works. His comic strip ‘Goomer’ was syndicated in the US by Creator’s Syndicate in 1991 and enjoyed a stint in papers worldwide. ‘Goomer’ was made into a film in Spain in 1998 and was awarded the prestigious ‘Goya’ for Best Animated Feature Length film that year. There are eight published collected works of ‘Goomer’.
Risham Amjad is an environmental policy consultant by day and poet by night. She has been published in the ‘Aleph Review’, ‘Mongrel Book of Voices: Volume 1’, ‘The Missing Slate’ and ‘Pakistani Literature’. She enjoys obscure literary memes, falling down Wikipedia rabbit holes, and the work of Richard Siken.
Rohit Negi is Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Director, Centre for Community Knowledge at Ambedkar University, Delhi. Rohit’s interests are in urban and environmental change, with regional specialization in India and Southern Africa. His new co-authored book is entitled “Atmosphere of Collaboration: Air Pollution Science, Politics, Ecopreneurship in Delhi” (Routledge, 2021). Rohit is the co-editor of “Space, Planning and Everyday Citizenship in Delhi” (Springer, 2016). His writings have appeared in several journals including ‘Geoforum’, ‘Journal of Southern African Studies’, and the ‘Economic and Political Weekly’.
Saba Gul Khattak
Saba Gul Khattak is an independent researcher and holds a PhD in Political Science. She has served in senior positions in the government and non-government sectors. Saba’s research and policy work focuses on the intersections of gender, governance, structural and direct violence, development and human rights.
Sabyn Javeri is Senior Lecturer of Writing at New York University, Abu Dhabi. She is the author of “Hijabistan” (Harper Collins, 2019) and the novel “Nobody Killed Her” (Harper Collins: 2017) and has edited two anthologies of student writing titled, ‘The Arzu Anthology of Student Voices’ (Vols. I & II; HUP, 2019, 2018). Her writing has been widely anthologized and published in the ‘South Asian Review’, ‘London Magazine’, ‘Wasafiri’, ‘Oxonian Review’, ‘Trespass’, and ‘World Literature’, among other publications, and she writes a monthly column for 3Quarks Daily on gender and identity. She has a master’s from the University of Oxford and a doctorate from the University of Leicester. Her research interests include transnational feminism, South Asian literature, and creative writing.
Safinah D. Elahi
Safinah D. Elahi is an Early Learning Years Educator. She has been teaching at Pre School Plus, Karachi since 2015. Her interest in the law and world affairs led her to pursue an LLB degree. A mother of two, she often finds herself juggling many roles.
She is the author of “The Unbridled Romance of Love and Pain” (Markings Publishing, 2019), which consists of short free verse poetry and has earned rave reviews from book reviewers as well as avid readers of poetry. Her novel, “Eye on the Prize” (Liberty Publishing, 2020) has earned many accolades from ‘Dawn’, ‘The News on Sunday’, ‘The Daily Times’ among a few. She also contributed to the pandemic anthology, “The Stained-Glass Window”, which was featured in Arab News as a ‘promising book in Pakistan’s literary landscape.’
She founded Reverie Publishers, to translate her passion of literature and to revive the romance of reading and writing in Pakistan. Reverie’s first title “The Verdict” by Osman Haneef has been applauded for being an important addition to Pakistani literature. Reverie will also be publishing the much-awaited memoir by Aamer Hussain, in collaboration with Ushba Publishing International.
Safinah D. Elahi is an acclaimed writer with many publications for Pakistan’s leading print & digital magazine, ‘Destinations’. She often contributes to online platforms (including www.littlestars.pk) to share her experiences and knowledge on parenting in the present new tech age. Safinah has been featured in various magazines, TV (GEO News), online digital platforms (Vcast etc.) for her contribution as both a writer and an educator. She’s often invited to judge and mediate at poetry and writing competitions across Pakistan. She remains an active member of various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in health and education including Baithak School Foundation and Karachi Down Syndrome Program (KDSP).
Saif Mahmood, author of the much-celebrated Beloved Delhi: A Mughal City and Her Greatest Poet is a New Delhi-based literary personality, poetry and literature critic, commentator, translator, traveller and rights activist. An Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, he holds a Doctorate in Constitutional Law. Saif speaks and writes on diverse issues, ranging from law to literature, and is associated with a number of academic, legal, professional, and literary organizations around the world. He is founder of the South Asian Alliance for Literature, Art and Culture (SAALARC) and his works regularly appear in various prestigious publications and news websites.
Dr. Salma Malik is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. She specializes in the areas of Conflict and Security Studies, and South Asian Affairs. She is an alumnus of Uppsala University, Sweden, the Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies APCSS, Hawaii. Besides being a member of IISS London, she is part of various regional and international fora.
Prior to joining QAU, she worked as a Research Officer at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan from June 1996 to August 1999. Her publications include an edited volume, “Pakistan’s Security Problems and Challenges in the Next Decade,” (October 2015). RCSS Policy Studies titled “Small Arms and the Security Debate in South Asia,” USIP co-authored study on “Mapping Conflict Trends in Pakistan,” besides articles in research journals, book chapters and monthly columns.
An author, art historian, film critic, journalist broadcaster, and expert in Development and Human Rights. He has served as an advisor at the UN on human rights, gender equality, and culture. Asif has written extensively on literature, art, South Asian cinema, and sociology in English, Hindi, and Urdu. He is currently working on his book on women’s rights movement in Pakistan in the context of its literary and contemporary art moorings.
Salman Tarik Kureshi
Salman Tarik Kureshi is a Karachi-based English language poet, author, and newspaper columnist. Born in Lahore and educated at Lahore and London, he has pursued his literary interests alongside a lengthy career as a business executive. Kureshi’s poems have appeared in literary magazines and in anthologies such as “Pieces of Eight”; “Legacy of the Indus”; “The Blue Wind”; “Dragonfly in the Sun”; “An Anthology”; “Journal of Postcolonial Writing”; and a solo volume “Landscapes of the Mind”. Some of his poems and short stories have been published in the annual ‘Pakistan Journal of Literature’. As a columnist, he writes on socio-political topics in the weekly ‘The Friday Times’ and the dailies ‘Dawn’ and ‘Daily Times’.
Salman Zaidi works as Director Programs at Jinnah Institute. He was part of the Institute’s founding team in 2010 and has led its various Track 2 diplomacy initiatives since then, particularly the Indo-Pak Chao Track. In addition, He has also worked with international development agencies and government departments on security sector reform, climate change, deradicalization, and democratic governance. Zaidi has been the author and editor of numerous research publications and holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, UK.
Sania Saeed is a Pakistani television and stage actor and TV host. Sania’s acting career began at the age of ten with the theatre group Dastak, set up by her father and other political activists. In 1992, along with her husband Shahid Shafaat, they formed the group Katha. Sania first appeared on television in 1989 and, for the next two decades, has appeared in numerous plays in key roles. Some of these include ‘Aurat’; ‘Aahat’; ‘Sitara aur Mehrunissa’; and others. She also acted in the feature film ‘Manto’, which was released in 2015. Sania won the PTV Award for Best Actress in 1991 and in 2011. She has received four Lux Style Awards in the Best Actress category.
Sarah is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Orenda, and brings over 10 years of experience in start-ups, multilateral and non-profit organizations in areas including education, sanitation, women empowerment, and microfinance. Previously she led the setup of Generation: You Employed (GYE), a non-profit founded by McKinsey in 2014 in Pakistan. Before GYE, she has worked at Amal Academy, UN Women, UN Global Compact in New York, and Sanergy in Kenya. Sarah is passionate about start-ups, entrepreneurship and creating positive impact in society. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Lahore University of Management Sciences, and a master’s in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University, New York as a Fulbright scholar.
Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan
Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan is a Pakistani-Kashmiri politician who twice served as the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, from 24 July 2006 to 6 January 2009 and from 29 July 2010 to 26 July 2011. He also presides over the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference and served as the leader of the parliamentary opposition from 15 January 2009 to 22 October 2009, and has been elected five times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. He serves as the member of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League.
Sardar Masood Khan
Sardar Masood Khan is currently serving as the 27th President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Before he became President, he was the Director General of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad. Sardar Masood Khan has had a long diplomatic career with the Foreign Service of Pakistan. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he served as Director General United Nations; Director General Nuclear Disarmament; Director General Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and Director General East Asia and Pacific. He was Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations; Pakistan’s Ambassador to China; and Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Headquarters.
Sarwat Mohiuddin is a poet, painter, translator, and prose writer in Punjabi, Urdu, and English languages. She holds a master’s degree in Punjabi literature from the University of the Punjab. She has to her credit a number of papers on the life and works of the great Sufi poets of Punjab, Punjabi culture, and folk tradition. She is the author of eight books: “Kannian” (poetry); “Seik Sunehray” (poetry); “Do Phool Khiley Mahiya” (poetry); “Geet Hayatee Hoey” (poetry); “Raat Ki Dhoop” (travelogue); “Pani ki Kahani” (children’s storybook); “Shehad ki Kahani” (children’s book); “Selected translation of Heer Waris Shah into English” (forthcoming). A visiting lecturer at various national and international institutes and universities, Sarwat has represented Pakistan at conferences and seminars internationally, and has been honoured with various awards both nationally and internationally. A member of the Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board, she is also Vice President of PHFA (Pak-Hungarian Friendship Association); a former Executive Chairperson of the Literary group of ASG (Asian Study Group, Islamabad); and Book Ambassador of the National Book Foundation.
A graduate in graphic design from the Department of Art and Design at the University of the Punjab, Lahore, she has exhibited her woodcuts and portraits in pastel both nationally and internationally. She is also the founder and publisher of the independent publishing house, Ushba Publishing International. Author of short stories in English, she has also translated works from Urdu and English.
Rana Shakeel Asghar, who writes under the nom de plume Shakeel Jazib, is a poet who presently lives in Islamabad. Known for compering Literature and Poetry events and programmes on Pakistan Television (PTV), he is a member of the Civil Service of Pakistan (Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service). Hailing from Chiniot, Punjab, he holds an MBBS Degree and a Master’s in Urdu Literature. His poems have appeared in various literary magazines in Pakistan and India, including ‘Sher o Hikmat’; ‘Biyaz’; ‘Adbiyat’; ‘Dabistan’; and ‘Nazool’. He has also published two books, viz. ‘Har Naqsh Adhoora Hey’ and ‘Jab Sans Mein Girhein Parhti Hein’. He is the recipient of a number of literary awards.
Maxim is the nom de plume of Prof. Dr Shaukat Mahmood. The well-known cartoonist is also an educationist, scholar, and architectural and art historian. Born at Peshawar, Dr Mahmood studied at the famous Government College, Lahore. With a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Dr Mahmood is considered an authority on Islamic Architecture and Art. He has taught at universities in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Prior to these, he headed the Department of Architecture, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, where he later became Dean of Architecture and Planning. He uploads his lectures on Islamic Architecture to his own YouTube channel. Cartooning is his special passion and over 200,000 of his cartoons have been published in newspapers and journals. He is the author of three books of cartoons “Target Killing”, “WMD—The US Weapons of Mass Deceit”, and “Democracy is the Best Revenge”. He is also the author of “Maghrib mein Fun-e-Muswari ki Tehreekain” (in Urdu) and “Islamic Calligraphy: Styles and Techniques”. Two further works are currently under print.
Sherry Rehman is a leading politician, diplomat, journalist, and civil society figure. She is the Founding Chair and serving President of the Jinnah Institute. Vice President of the PPP, Ms Rehman is identified with progressive legislative measures relating to women’s rights and press freedom. Former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States; Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting; and ranking member of the National Security Committee in Parliament, Ms Rehman has also held additional portfolios of Health, Women Development, and Culture as a Federal Minister. An award-winning journalist in both broadcast and print media, she edited the ‘Herald’ newsmagazine and is the recipient of several awards, including the title of Democracy’s Hero; The Freedom Award for her work for media independence; the International Peace Award for Democrats; and the Jeanne Kirkpatrick Award for Women. Identified as one of the Top Global Thinkers of 2011 by ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine, she was awarded the state’s highest civil award, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz in March 2013.
A Rawalpindi-based TV scriptwriter with twentyseven years’ experience. He is also a novelist, storywriter, poet, and actor.
Suhail Bin Aziz
Suhail Bin Aziz is an educationist with more than 21 years experience in education sector. He is a teacher, teacher trainer, Curriculum developer, assessment expert, author of five books and translator of eight books. At present he is working as Assistant Educational Adviser at National Curriculum Council playing a major role in development of first ever Single National Curriculum of Pakistan.
Syed Majid Shah
Syed Majid Shah is a poet, novelist, and columnist, writing in Hindko and in Urdu. Hailing originally from Abbottabad, he has been based in Islamabad for the last twenty-five years and is involved with teaching. He has authored four books in Urdu, viz. “Selected Hindko Fiction” (Urdu translations of selected Hindko works; in collaboration with the Academy of Literature Pakistan, 2016); “Qaaf” (fiction; 2016); Ray (short fiction; 2018); and “Meem” (poetry), presently under print. In Hindko, he has published “Darshahi” (poetry and prose; 2016); and “Orash” (fiction; 2017); “Where are you from?” (Hindko short fiction) is currently under print.
A journalist, author, and editor. Former head of The Express Tribune’s Peshawar city pages and former assistant editor on the opinion’s desk of The News. A law graduate from SOAS, London, Kehar is the author of two novels, Typically Tanya (2018) and Of Rift and Rivalry (2014). He is the co-editor of The Stained-Glass Window: Stories of the Pandemic from Pakistan. Kehar’s essays, reviews and commentaries have been published in The News on Sunday, South Asia magazine, The Hindu, The Literary Encyclopedia and the Delhi-based Equator Line magazine. Two of his short stories appeared in an anthology titled The Banyan and Her Roots, which has been edited by the British writer Jad Adams. He has also guest-edited Equator Line’s issue on Pakistani writing. Based in Karachi, he teaches undergraduate media courses and has recently completed his third novel.
Tahmima Anam’s first novel, “A Golden Age”, won the Best First Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2008 and went on to be translated into 27 languages. It was followed by “The Good Muslim” and “The Bones of Grace”. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize and has been named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She was a contributing opinion writer for ‘The New York Times’ and was recently elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she attended Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University and now lives in London, where she is on the board of ROLI, a music tech company founded by her husband. Her latest novel “The Startup Wife” was released earlier this year (2021).
Talhah Munir Khan
Talhah is the CEO at Knowledge Platform Pakistan. He is an expert in designing learning solutions for corporate and education sectors in Asia and has led many successful learning interventions inside and outside Pakistan during his 20 years at Knowledge Platform. For the last few years, his focus has been on designing and rolling out scalable technology-based solutions for all the key stakeholders in Pakistan’s education system (students, teachers, principals, policymakers). One of the key solutions is a scalable blended learning product that is currently being used by 200,000 students across 1,000 schools in Pakistan. The results have been very encouraging so far in terms of improvements in learning outcomes, teaching quality, and students’ engagement. Under his leadership, Knowledge Platform Pakistan has grown as a leading Pakistani EdTech start-up in the last three years.
Dr Tauseef Tabassum is a senior literary figure and poet in the Urdu language. Born in Budaun, UP, India, in 1928, he migrated to Pakistan with his family after Partition. His poetry has been published both here and in India. In addition to his works of literary criticism, he is also well known for his poems and stories for children. Dr Tabassum wrote the anthem of the Pakistan Air Force. He has won numerous awards over the years, including the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz.
Tooba Akhtar is the Director of Programs at Teach For Pakistan (TFP), Islamabad. Tooba looks after all aspects of pre-service and in-service training, and leadership support for fellows and alumni of TFP. Tooba started her career as a TFP fellow teaching English to classes 6, 7, and 8 in a government school in Karachi. She was also part of the founding team of TCF College, Karachi, where she set the foundations for the student curriculum and students’ admissions process at the college. Tooba has also worked with the World Bank. Tooba is a Fulbright Scholar and has a bachelor’s degree from LUMS and a master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
A distinguished economist, Vaqar is a Joint Executive Director at SDPI. A former advisor to the UNDP, he has also undertaken assignments with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank Group, and ministries of finance, planning and commerce in Pakistan. He was a technical associate and member in the task forces constituted by the Government of Pakistan including Advisory Panel of Economists (2008); Task force on Private Sector Development (2009); Planning Commission’s Working Group on Macroeconomic Framework for Tenth Five-Year Plan; and Working Group on Fiscal and Monetary Policy (2018). He is a visiting faculty member and researcher at the University of Le Havre, France; National University of Ireland; IMT Institute of Advanced Studies in Italy; Quaid-i-Azam University; PIDE; and PITAD. He is the convener of Pakistan’s National Network of Economic Think Tanks.
Wajahat Malik lives in Islamabad and Mansehra. By profession he is a documentary filmmaker, producer, and a TV presenter of travel films. He is an avid mountain climber, paragliding pilot, a self-professed social scientist, and a keen connoisseur of absurdity.
Wasim Sajjad is a Pakistani conservative politician and lawyer who served as the acting president of Pakistan for two non-consecutive terms and as the Chairman of the Senate between 1988 and 1999. Born in Jalandhar, British India, Sajjad’s father (Justice Sajjad Ahmad Jan) went on to serve as a judge of the Supreme Court, later becoming Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan. Sajjad studied at the Army Burn Hall before moving to Lahore where he studied law at the Punjab University. As a Rhodes Scholar, he moved to Oxfordshire, where he received his Bachelor of Civil Law followed by a graduate degree in Jurisprudence from the Wadham College, Oxford in 1967. He was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1968. On return to Pakistan, Sajjad was admitted as a lawyer in Pakistan and joined the Punjab Law College where he taught constitutional law between 1967 and 1977.
Xenia Rasul is an independent researcher and writer focusing on historical continuity of colonial policies vis-à-vis Pashtuns in the post-colonial state of Pakistan. Xenia’s writings are centred around the socio-political realities in South Asia with a special interest in the Pak-Afghan Frontier region.
Yaqoob Khan Bangash
Dr Yaqoob Khan Bangash is a historian of Modern South Asia. His current research interests lie in the emergence of Pakistan as a post-colonial state, with broader interests in decolonisation, modern state formation, formation of identities, and the emergence of ethnic and identity-based conflicts. Dr Bangash is the author of “A Princely Affair: Accession and Integration of Princely States in Pakistan, 1947-55” (OUP, 2015). From 2016-18, Dr Bangash was the Director of the Punjab Archives Digitisation Project, which aimed to make accessible the vast archive in the Punjab spanning over 300 years. In 2016, Dr Bangash founded the first academic literary festival in Pakistan, the Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest. Dr Bangash has received several grants and honours including a Research Excellence Fellowship at the Central European University (2019), the Chevening Fellowship to Oxford University (2019), a British Academy Visiting Fellowship at Royal Holloway, University of London (2018), Senior Fellowship at the Religious Freedom Institute (2017), the David M. Stowe Research Fellowship at Yale (2017), and the American Academy of Religion Collaborative Grant (2017), and the Fellowship of the Presbyterian Historical Society (2015). He also regularly writes for ‘The News’, ‘Daily Times’, ‘The Express Tribune’ and other newsmedia. Dr Bangash completed his BA from the University of Notre Dame, IN, USA, and his DPhil from the University of Oxford. Currently, he is Associate Professor and Chairperson, Department of Governance and Global Studies, at Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan.
Founder Director of the Gurmani Centre for South Asian Languages and Literature, Social Sciences Department, LUMS; she worked at LUMS from 2007 to August 2016. Yasmeen Hameed has authored five books of poetry in Urdu. Her book, “Pakistani Urdu Verse” (2010), was awarded the UBL/Jang Literary Excellence Award in 2012. She has compiled and edited “Daybreak: Writings on Faiz” (2013); and “Naya Urdu Afsana”. Her poems have been published in translation in ‘Granta’, ‘112 Pakistan’, and the anthology ‘Modern Poetry of Pakistan’. She was guest editor of ‘Pakistani Literature’ (English), published by the Pakistan Academy of Letters, Islamabad and has edited seven volumes of the journal, including two volumes of a special issue on women writers from Pakistan. Yasmeen Hameed was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (2008) for Literature by the Government of Pakistan.
An award-winning journalist and writer, he is a former correspondent for ‘The Times’ and ‘The Wall Street Journal’. He has also covered Pakistan and Afghanistan for several other international publications and is a regular columnist for ‘Dawn’. Hussain was Pakistan scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, Washington D.C. (2011–12). He has authored two books, ‘Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam’ and ‘The Scorpion’s Tail: The Relentless Rise of Islamic Militants in Pakistan’. ‘The Wall Street Journal’ declared ‘Frontline Pakistan’ as Book of the Year (2007).
Zahra Sabri teaches Indo-Islamic History and Urdu Literature at the Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts at the IBA, Karachi. She received her MA degree from the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University in the city of New York. She has taught History and Urdu Literature at McGill University, Canada, the Aga Khan University, Pakistan, and the University of Karachi’s Pakistan Study Centre. Her research focuses on the influence of the Persianate on Indo-Muslim languages, cultures, and traditions of learning, as well as politics of identity centred around Urdu in South Asia. Her most recent academic publication is an article on the Mughal poet Mir Taqi Mir’s Persian hagiographical/historiographical writing (The Medieval History Journal, 2015). She is the compiler/editor of “Koozah”—an anthology of Urdu short stories by new and little-known Pakistani writers (Oxford University Press, 2015). She is a literary translator, and has translated folk and classical poetry from almost a dozen Pakistani languages for eleven seasons of the popular music programme Coke Studio, Pakistan. She has also worked as a journalist for the ‘Herald’ magazine, winning the Zubeida Mustafa Award for Journalistic Excellence (2013). She has contributed articles to Pakistan’s national press on diverse political and educational issues over the years, and her journalistic writings are archived at ˂https://zsabree.wordpress.com/˃
Zaighum Abbas is a former lecturer, Government College University, Lahore where he taught politics for four years. Currently he is associated with Asian People’s movement on debt and Development as country program officer, based in Pakistan.
Zohra Yusuf is a former Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and continues to be on its Council. She has been associated with HRCP since 1988 and has also served in other positions. Zohra has also been a board member of the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights, South Asians for Human Rights and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. She often writes on issues related to human rights and the media.