In view of recent developments in Pakistan, OxSAS is organising a panel discussion on the law and politics of sedition in Pakistan.

Our distinguished panellists will cover the historical context of the initial promulgation of these laws, how they have been used to clamp down on dissent in the colonial era, as well as how they have recently been used to silence criticism of state action by the Pakistani government. In particular, this discussion to draw attention to the recent arrests of WDF, AWP, and PTM activists in Islamabad on the January 28, 2020 and how one of the charges they were initially booked under was 124-A of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Mr. Mohsin Dawar
Mr. Dawar started his political career as a student, in the youth wing of Awami National Party. He is a founding member of a grassroots political movement against ethnic profiling and state violence, the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM). Mr. Dawar is also a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa
Dr Siddiqa, is a Pakistani military scientist, a political commentator and an author who serves as a research associate at the SOAS South Asia Institute. She previously served as the inaugural Pakistan Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center between 2004 and 2005. She holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London and has authored 2 books including the internationally acclaimed Military Inc.

Dr. Mahvish Ahmad
Dr. Ahmad is an Assistant Professor in Human Rights and Politics at the London School of Economics. She began studying state violence in Pakistan 10 years ago as a journalist and co-founder of Tanqeed | a magazine of politics and culture. Her academic research investigates the shifting methods of destruction states use to dismantle alternative ideas of political community, for example through the charge of treason.

Mr. Asad Jamal
Mr. Jamal is a is lawyer (Lahore High Court) and a human rights activist. He is part of a group of lawyers that have filed a challenge to sedition law in the Islamabad High Court (February 2020). He is an expert on issues related to Freedom of Speech, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Family Law, Religious Freedoms, Right to Information, etc. He worked with institutions such as American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) for Pakistan, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), World Organisation against Torture (OMCT), South Asians for Human Rights, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, International Commission of Jurists etc.