Episode 114 – Political Parties and Violence

Political violence has been a major issue facing Pakistan’s flawed and floundering democracy for decades. From Karachi to South Punjab, political actors have overtly and covertly deployed violence to gain influence, votes, and power. But why do political actors use violence to achieve these goals? And what are ways to deal with this issue?

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Nilofer Siddiqui about political parties and violence. Dr. Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor at the University of Albany. She is also a Nonresident Fellow at the Stimson Center and a Fellow at the Mahbub ul Haq Centre at LUMS. She is author of the book Under the Gun: Political Parties and Violence in Pakistan, which examines why political parties engage in violence and the variation in violence strategies that they employ.

Reading Recommendations:

– We crossed a bridge and it trembled by Wendy Pearlman

– No good men among the living by Anand Gopal

– Bring the war home by Kathleen Belew


0:00 Introduction

1:40 Why do political parties use violence?

17:00 How to deal with political violence?

24:40 The TLP phenomenon

32:10 Ongoing polarization

39:20 How should policymakers deal with this?

44:40 Reading recommendations