Wilson Center Experts

Farahnaz Ispahani

Public Policy Scholar
Asia Program

T (202) 691-4396 // F (202) 691-4001

Democracy; Democracy Promotion; Democratic Transition; Gender; Gender EqualityHuman Rights; Pakistan; South Asia; Middle East and North Africa;Egypt
Former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Politician, Writer, Women & Minority Rights advocate
“Protecting Religious Minorities in Pakistan & other Muslim Majority Nations”

Farahnaz Ispahani is a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. She is a Pakistani politician who served as a member of Parliament and Media Advisor to the President of Pakistan. At the Parliament she focused on the issues of terrorism, human rights, minority rights and US-Pakistan relations. Ms. Ispahani spent the formative years of her career as a print and television journalist. Her last journalistic position was as Executive Producer and Managing Editor of Voice of America’s Urdu TV. She has also worked at ABC News, CNN and MSNBC.

Project Summary

Pakistan’s religious minorities are widely viewed as embattled and under attack. This project undertakes a comprehensive analysis of Pakistan’s policies towards its religious minority populations, both Muslim and Non-Muslim, before proposing policy reforms Pakistan can undertake to ensure their protection. A historical overview will be taken in the context of expanding Islamaization and evaluate state policy and legal provisions and their impact on the status of religious minorities. It is not only Pakistan where Muslim and Non-Muslim minorities are under attack. This is a phenomenon prevalent in a number of Muslim majority countries and spreading rapidly. The broader aim of this project is to look at Pakistan and other Muslim Majority countries such as Indonesia and Egypt.

Major Publications

Pakistan Peoples Party

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