Join us as we bring to the forefront, voices from the forgotten province of Balochistan. Our panel, “Balochistan: The Forgotten Province” aims to critically reflect on the insurgency that has plagued the region for decades, particularly focusing on the Baloch separatist movement and the central government’s counter-response. The conversation will trace Pakistan’s history to understand the underlying causes of this violence while also discussing human rights abuses and media censorship of this salient struggle for justice. We are proud to introduce our panelists, who boast a wide range of experiences in journalism, academia and politics. Leveraging their experiences, our panelists will seek to provide critical insight on this urgent and widely overlooked international conflict.
Malik Siraj Akbar
Journalist, Political Analyst, Author
Malik Siraj Akbar is a journalist and a political analyst from Balochistan currently based in Washington D.C. He has written on the Balochistan conflict for more than a decade once as the Balochistan Bureau Chief of the Daily Times and then as the editor-in-chief of the Baloch Hal, Balochistan’s first online English language newspaper.
As a journalist, Akbar has interviewed senior government officials and prominent leaders of the Baloch resistance movement. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the BBC, Foreign Policy, the Chicago Tribune, Asia Times, the Friday Times, the Times of India, Dawn, and several leading South Asian publications.
Akbar was a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at Arizona State University, a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and an Edward S. Mason Fellow at Harvard University. He has served on the Board of the South Asian Journalists Association and currently serves as a member of the Online News Association and Pen America.
Akbar is the author of The Redefined Dimensions of the Baloch Nationalist Movement and Pakistan: A Broken Democracy.
Akbar holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Adjunct Fellow, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute
Sahar Khan is an adjunct scholar in the Cato Institute's Defense and Foreign Policy Department, and a founding member of the American Pakistan Foundation's Leadership Council. She specializes in state-sponsored militancy and civil-military imbalances in South Asia, with an emphasis on Pakistan, along with U.S. foreign policy in South Asia, restraint as a grand strategy, and counterterrorism practices. She has written for The National Interest, The Diplomat, The Hill, amongst others, and is a regular contributor to Axios. She completed her PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine, where she wrote extensively on Pakistan's antiterrorism laws, counterterrorism strategies, and ongoing counterinsurgency operations. She also has a Masters in Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and completed her bachelors in economics and politics at Ohio Wesleyan University.