Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Pakistan - COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Pakistan. 

Rubab Mehdi (LGBTI)

Email: rubabmehdiathotmail [dot] com

Rubab Mehdi is the Chair of International Imam Hussain Council based in the UK and Pakistan, Chairperson International Human Rights Association; lawyer, interfaith campaigner, and a human rights defender. Rubab belongs to a philanthropic background and was the Chief European Co-Ordinator/Spokeswoman Ministry of human Rights Pakistan. She is a qualified British lawyer and was taught at BPP Law College and Holborn College of Law. In Pakistan she assisted Barrister Wasim Sajjad (Acting President of Pakistan, Chairman Senate & Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan) in formulation of Federal laws and also took on cases ranging from civil litigations to criminal prosecutions involving family disputes, regulatory compliance, corporate frauds and contracts. Over the years, she worked systematically and quietly on a number of significant human rights issues in Pakistan: ranging from female education, orphan care/rehabilitation, disability equality, domestic violence and police torture. Her passion and confidence to speak out regarding the country’s misnomers and taboos has been stated by many as the catalyst through which they themselves entered political/campaigning life. ​

Claudio Franco

Email: c [dot] francoatmac [dot] com

Claudio Franco worked in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a journalist between 1999 and 2007 for a variety of international publications. In 2007, he set up a consultancy firm with offices in London, Kabul and Peshawar and has since focused on in-depth research and ad-hoc consultancy work for institutional clients, think-tanks and academic clients serving as consultant on terrorism in these regions for ABC Television. He also collaborated with Jane’s-IHS, an online resource for information on defense and security, the Hudson Institute, Integrity Watch, GIZ, USIP and the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). In 2006, Mr. Franco produced a documentary for the BBC focused on radical Islamism in the UK. His main interests include radical Islamism, international migration flows and security in areas affected by low-intensity conflicts. 

Waheed Ahmad

Email: waheed2000atyahoo [dot] com 

Waheed Ahmad is a Pakistani lawyer willing to answer questions by legal representatives of refugees on Pakistani law, especially pertaining to refugee and immigration matters. He can answer short factual questions and confirm the authenticity of documents issued in Pakistan.

Dr Gil Daryn 

Email: darynsasiaatgmail [dot] com

Dr Gil Daryn is a social anthropologist (Ph.D. Cambridge 2002) and published scholar with expertise on the culture, society, history and politics of South Asia. Since 1989, and until he left in June 2011, he has visited, conducted research, worked and lived in the region for a total of almost ten years. In addition, he became professionally involved with Pakistani asylum seekers and refugees while working in UNHCR’s Kathmandu office as an Associate Durable Solutions Officer during 2008-9. In this capacity he went through UNHCR’s archives, read in detail many private refugee files, and became familiar with Pakistan’s Country of Origin information and the RSD process. In addition, he also conducted focus group discussions and interviews with many refugees and held detailed discussions with them. Since 2005, Dr Daryn has served as a consultant and expert on asylum and human rights issues in Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan India and Bhutan. 

Imran Khan Laghari

Email: imran [dot] laghariathra [dot] org [dot] pk

Over the last decade, Imran Khan Laghari has worked on Human Rights, advocacy, legal assistance/legal aid, protection, democracy and Rule of Law projects in Pakistan, Thailand, Nepal and Afghanistan with the UN, international and national organisations. Imran is also a practicing refugee lawyer in Pakistan. He has been engaged in advocacy, awareness and training of different communities and civil society members and has been part of different civil society forums to work for refugee protection in Pakistan. With a particular focus on key protection issues, his main areas of interest are refugees’ legal aid and international humanitarian/human rights law. At present, Imran is a CEO at Human Rights Alliance HRA Pakistan. Recently, Imran completed a Nonviolent Action advance course at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. Further, Imran has an MA in Human Rights from the Mahidol University Thailand, an LLB from the University of Sindh Pakistan, and a BA (Hons) in Political Science from University of Sindh, Pakistan. He did his MA thesis on honour killing and the role of the criminal justice system in Pakistan. He speaks fluent English, Urdu, Sindh, Hindi, Siraiki, Punjabi, Dhatki and little Dari, Pashto and Thai.

Dr. Matthew J Nelson

Email: mn6atsoas [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr Nelson is member of the Department of Politics at SOAS. He has spent several years conducting research in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, focusing on the politics of Islamic law and the politics of Islamic education. He has conducted extensive research on the relationship between shari‘ah and democracy in Pakistan. His current work concerns the politics of sectarian and doctrinal diversity in the context of Islamic education. He has provided both oral and written testimony regarding Pakistan for the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the British House of Commons.

Dr. Kelly Pemberton

Email: kpembertatgwu [dot] edu

Kelly Pemberton is a professor of religion and women' studies at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Prof Pemberton specializes in the study of gender, Islam, and Muslim communities in South Asia and the Middle East, with in-country experience in these regions, and command of several of the major languages for these regions. Prof Pemberton is experienced in preparing a variety of research-based and evaluative reports, including expert witness reports, white papers, institutional analyses, concept designs, program evaluations, and guidance documents. 

Raja Adnan Razzaq

Email: adnanrz99atgmail [dot] comcems [dot] pak47atgmail [dot] com, sms [dot] pak47atgmail [dot] com

Mr Razzaq is a PhD Scholar working on the refugee rehabilitation in the Punjab after the Partition of India in 1947. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the Centre for Ethnic & Migration Studies in Islamabad, and plans to begin a Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies from there. He has established a 'Society for Migration Studies' in Pakistan and has developed two research centres concentrating on migration issues. He has worked in different capacities within the migration sector, working as the Director of Refugee Affairs with the ‘Society for the Advancement of Legal Education’ in Islamabad. He is willing to discuss the validation of documents (legal documents, threats on the basis of which the applicant has applied for the asylum, etc.). He speaks Potohari, Pahari, Hindco, Kashmiri, Saraiki,Punjabi, Urdu and English. (He also understands Pashto and Sindhi.)

Dr. Emma Varley

Email: emma [dot] varley2012atgmail [dot] com

Dr Emma Varley is a Medical Anthropologist. Since 2012, she is an Associate Professor and the Acting Head of the Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (MNCH) Department at the Health Services Academy in Islamabad. Before that, Emma was an Assistant Professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. In 2008, she obtained her Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology at the University of Toronto, and her doctoral dissertation focused on the impacts of sectarian conflict and political instability for health service provision and use in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. She returned to Pakistan in 2010, where she has since been teaching and conducting research. Emma's regional expertise concerns women's and children's health, traditional cultural beliefs and practices, gender and Islam, politics and governance, sectarianism, and conflict. In addition to her extensive research in northern Pakistan, Emma has worked throughout the country on academic projects and development initiatives. She is willing to discuss writing expert reports on asylum seekers belonging to minority communities (including the Christians, Ahmadis, Parsis, Hindus and Sikhs), people accused of blasphemy, people having fears on the basis of religious intolerance, political persecution, etc.

Kanchana Ruwanpura

Email: kanchana [dot] ruwanpuraated [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr Kanchana Ruwanpura is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geosciences. While a dual citizen (British-Sri Lanka), as a native of Sri Lanka, Dr. Ruwanpura's primary focus of research has been on gender, ethnicity and conflict, post-disaster politics, and more recently labour politics, focussing on Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Her research spans three broad themes: a) the diversity of lived and structured spaces which focus on the connections between ethno-nationalism, post-disaster, materiality and the environment; b) the convergence and divergence of global governance regimes as everyday experiences for labour; and c) connections between civil society initiatives and uneven development processes. She has writen about gender in Pakistan in a report: Empowered spaces? Management articulations of gendered spaces in apparel factories in Karachi, Pakistan (2016). 

Prof. Joya Chatterji

Email: jc280atcam [dot] ac [dot] uk 

Chatterji Joya is the Director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Cambrige.He is an expert on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. His research topics are migrants, minorities and citizenship, South Asian history, Muslim migration, secularization, South Asian Diaspora, Refugee in west Bengal and the Bengali Muslims. He authored and published extensively and lectured in different universities around the world especially in the UK, India and the US. He speaks Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Punjabi.

Marvin G. Weinbaum

Email: weinbaumatspeakeasy [dot] net or mweinbaumatmei [dot] edu

Marvin G. Weinbaum is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as analyst for Pakistan and Afghanistan in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1999 to 2003.  He is currently a scholar-in-residence and Director of the Pakistan Center at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC. At Illinois, Dr. Weinbaum served for fifteen years as the director of the Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. He was awarded Fulbright Research Fellowships for Egypt in 1981–82 and Afghanistan in 1989–90, and was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1996–97. Dr. Weinbaum's research, teaching, and consultancies have focused on the issues of national security, state building, democratization, and political economy, and he is the author or editor of six books on these topics. Dr. Weinbaum has also written more than 100 book chapters and professional journal articles, mostly about Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. He is frequent contributor to such popular websites as Foreign Policy, Huffington Post and The National Interest. Among his very recent publications are book chapters in edited volumes dealing with the U.S.-Pakistan relations, Pakistan’s political future, state building and the security challenges in Afghanistan, and the special relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. 

Dr Zubair Iqbal

Email: zubair [dot] iqbal45atgmail [dot] com

Dr Zubair Iqbal is an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute specialising on Pakistan. Dr iqbal has coordinated discussions of the Working Group on Pakistan’s economy and has been writing notes and articles on regional developments, including Pakistan’s economic challenges, factors underlying the democratic movement in the Arab world, and outlook for the future. Prior to joining the MEI in 2008, Dr. Zubair Iqbal worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for thirty five years, retiring in 2007 as Assistant Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department. Before joining the IMF, Iqbal worked as Senior Research Fellow, Department of Economics, Islamabad University, Islamabad, Pakistan. At the IMF, Iqbal held multiple postings ranging from those for the development of macroeconomic and exchange and trade policies for adjustment and growth in member countries, strategies for IMF-member country relations, design of adjustment programs for the balance of payments assistance and technical support. In addition to operational work, Iqbal conducted and guided research in trade policy issues, role and effectiveness of foreign aid, external debt, Islamic banking and finance, regional integration (primarily in the Middle East), and transition from oil dependence to more diversified economies. In the process, he wrote or edited 5 books and over forty articles in the IMF and external research publications.

Ambassador Robin Raphel 

Email: raphelrlatgmail [dot] com

Ambassador Robin Raphel was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, and has served at U.S. embassies in both Pakistan and India.  She has extensive experience with all countries in South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East region, where she served Ambassador to Tunisia. While she spent most of her career at the Department of State, she has also worked in USAID and the Department of Defense.  She was the Assistance Coordinator in Pakistan from 2009-11, overseeing all US development and humanitarian assistance, including for refugees and the internally displaced, and subsequently a senior policy adviser on Pakistan at the Department of State. Until November 2, 2014, she served as coordinator for non-military assistance to Pakistan. 

Reports

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