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The Other Pakistan: Special Laws, Diminished Citizenship, and the Gathering Storm

Osama Siddique, the Henry J. Steiner Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Harvard Law School, led a discussion on Friday, September 30th at the International and Comparative Law Workshop on the link between failures in legal institutions and the rise of the Taliban in the Swat region in Pakistan. The discussion was based on research Siddique conducted in the region. Instead of focusing on prescriptive models for solutions, the discussion examined problematic tensions between the region’s various interests. Among the conflicting parties were the mainstream Pakistani courts and the traditions of dispute resolution within FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) and PATA (Provincially Administered Tribal Areas), two distinct legal entities in Pakistan. Led by Professor Intisar Rabb and Professor William Alford, the workshop pulled at threads of history, sociology, and economics. Through the discussion, participants drew parallels between other regions’ challenges and considered how different types of research methods can produce more applied findings.