Experts reactApr 12, 2022
Experts react: A new leader emerges from Pakistan’s political turmoil. Now what?
By Atlantic Council experts
We reached out to several Pakistan-based experts for their thoughts on new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and what comes next in the pivotal South Asian nation.
Farieha Aziz is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and a Karachi-based, All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) award winning journalist and teacher. She is also a cofounder of Bolo Bhi, a digital-rights and civil-liberties group.
Prior to Bolo Bhi, she served as an amicus curiae (friend of court) before the Lahore High Court in a case challenging the ban on YouTube in 2013. She was the petitioner on behalf of Bolo Bhi in a case filed before the Islamabad High Court in 2014, challenging the government’s censorship of the Internet and the powers of the regulator. In 2015, she led the campaign to stop the Pakistani government from enacting the 2016 Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, and worked with other rights groups, business associations, legislators in the Pakistani National Assembly and Senate, and the standing committees on information technology of both Houses to highlight the detrimental impact the act would have had on civil liberties—particularly speech and privacy. She is a petitioner in a case filed in June 2017 before the Sindh High Court against the Pakistani Ministry of Interior and the Federal Investigation Agency’s crackdown on dissent on social media. Since the passage of the law—through articles, policy briefs, and presentations before parliamentary committees—she regularly raises issues regarding the implementation of the cybercrime law, especially the misuse of the law and excesses by the investigation agency. She monitors cases under the cybercrime law and assists with the defense of those charged under it.
She regularly contributes articles to Dawn, the Express Tribune, Aurora, and Newsline. She has a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Karachi. She joined Newsline, a current affairs monthly magazine, in 2007 as an editorial assistant, later rising to assistant editor. At Newsline, she wrote on politics, women’s rights, and social issues. She also previously taught literature to students at the International School in Karachi from 2011 to 2012. She left Newsline in 2012 and founded Bolo Bhi in 2012.