The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) materialized recently as a non-violent social movement for justice and civil rights for the Pashtun community in Pakistan. While this movement has been largely sidelined in mainstream media, it has gained quite the momentum among the younger generation of Pashtun activists who are now mobilizing supporters all across Pakistan. As a part of this panel, we aim to discuss the formation of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, its social and political implications and the central government’s role in aggravating the conflict. Our panelists will address these issues from both a foreign policy and cultural anthropology perspective and provide critical insight into the future of PTM while also advising on possible policy solutions to this pressing debate.
Dr. Muhammad Zubair
Independent Expert on issues relating to Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM).
Dr. Muhammad Zubair has recently graduated from the Center of Constitutional Democracy at the Maurer School of Law, Indiana University. He also has an LLB, LLM and MA Political Science from the University of Peshawar. Before receiving Fulbright scholarship of for PhD studies in 2011, he served as assistant professor of law for ten years at the Khyber Law College, University of Peshawar.
He specializes, and has an academic and research interest, in areas that include ethnic conflict, social movements, design of the constitutional instruments, the history of constitution making, federalism, democracy and human rights – with specific reference to Pakistan. He regularly writes for ConstitutionNet (IDEA) on important constitutional developments in Pakistan. He is currently authoring a book: ‘Consociational Democracy: A Key to Resolving Ethnic Discord in Pakistan’
President of American Pakistan Foundation (APF), International Affairs Analyst, Senior South Asia Fellow at New America, Former Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the National Security Council
Shamila N. Chaudhary was appointed President of the American Pakistan Foundation in August of 2019. Chaudhary is an international affairs analyst specializing in U.S. foreign policy with a focus on U.S.-Pakistan relations, Pakistan internal politics, and regional issues in South Asia.
Her work is regularly cited and published in Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, the New York Times and she has frequently appeared on CNN, BBC News America, NPR, Fox News, and other outlets. She also writes on American socio-economic and political issues, including immigration, civic engagement, refugee resettlement, and identity politics.
She is a Senior South Asia Fellow at the Washington D.C.-based New America think tank and a Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she previously served as Senior Advisor to Dean Vali Nasr from 2013 until August 2019.
She worked at the political risk firm Eurasia Group from 2011-2013 and has twelve years of experience working in the U.S. government, including at the White House as Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan on the National Security Council from 2010-2011.
Prior to her tenure at the White House, she served on the U.S. Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where she advised Secretary Clinton and the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Chaudhary also served on the State Department’s Pakistan Desk from 2007-2009; Indonesia desk from 2004-2007; and worked on democracy and governance issues at the U.S. Agency for International Development from 2000-2004.
Chaudhary earned an M.A. in International Affairs from the American University’s School of International Service and a B.A. in English Literature and Women’s Studies from the University of Toledo. She served twice on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Pakistan and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Chaudhary was born in Punjab, Pakistan and moved to the United States when she was two years old. She is a native of Toledo, Ohio and has been a proud resident of the District of Columbia since 1999.
Independent Journalist, Founding Editor of Tanqeed
Madiha R. Tahir is an independent journalist reporting on conflict, culture and politics in Pakistan. Her work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Al Jazeera, Vice, The National, Guernica, The New Inquiry, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Herald (Pakistan), The Friday Times, Caravan, as well as on Democracy Now!, PRI and BBC’s The World, Global Post and other outlets. She is the director of the short documentary Wounds of Waziristan, focusing on Pakistani survivors of drone attacks. She holds a masters degree in Near Eastern Studies from NYU and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Tahir has traveled extensively throughout Pakistan from Balochistan to Swat as well as to rural areas to report on the floods, Sufi music, the Baloch separatist movement, the salience of nationalism and religion, Islamist organizations and national electoral politics. She is co-editor of a volume, Dispatches from Pakistan with historian Vijay Prashad and editor Qalandar Bux Memon and a founding editor of Tanqeed, a magazine of politics and culture.