Dr. Adnan Rafiq is USIP's country director for Pakistan. He is a senior development practitioner with a focus on public policy design, analysis, and implementation.

Dr. Rafiq has multiple years of experience leading research and development initiatives for a range of organizations, including the U.N. Development Programme, DAI, U.N. Women, and the British Council. Adnan is also an established author. He co-edited a book titled "Pakistan's Democratic Transition: Change and Persistence" published by Routledge in 2016. He has also published a journal paper in Telecommunications Policy. He frequently contributes opinion pieces for national and international newspapers such as Dawn, The News, Express Tribune, Daily Times, and Huffington Post.

He holds a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford and focuses on political economy, governance, security, peacebuilding, international relations, and strategy.

Publications By Adnan

Pakistan’s New Government Struggles to Consolidate Control

Pakistan’s New Government Struggles to Consolidate Control

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

By: Cyril Almeida;  Colin Cookman;  Adnan Rafiq;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Jumaina Siddiqui

Pakistan’s current government, an unwieldy multi-party coalition led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party, faced a new setback in July after losses in mid-month special elections for 20 constituencies in the country’s heartland province of Punjab. Although the PML-N coalition attempted to retain control of the provincial government through manuevers in the provincial assembly, a Supreme Court ruling on July 26 overturned earlier precedent and ordered the election of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, an ally of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, to the position of chief minister.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceEconomics

Pakistan Senate Election Upsets Government Efforts to Solidify Power

Pakistan Senate Election Upsets Government Efforts to Solidify Power

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

By: Colin Cookman;  Ambassador Richard Olson;  Adnan Rafiq;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Jumaina Siddiqui

Pakistan held indirect elections on March 3 for the Senate, its upper house of Parliament, which is elected by sitting legislators in the National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) and each of the provincial assemblies. Given the typically party-line vote, Pakistani Senate elections tend to be mundane affairs, with the results often preordained. However, in last week’s elections the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, despite having a numerical majority in the national and provincial assemblies, failed to forestall defections among some lawmakers and in doing so failed to take control of the Senate from the opposition.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Coronavirus Pandemic Puts Police in the Spotlight in Pakistan

Coronavirus Pandemic Puts Police in the Spotlight in Pakistan

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

By: Zoha Waseem;  Adnan Rafiq

Police in Pakistan have found themselves in an unprecedented situation since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. Under-resourced and poorly trained, they have struggled to ensure compliance with public health restrictions—such as lockdowns and social distancing—against a backdrop of Pakistan’s overarching governance challenges. With only outdated legal frameworks and conventional training and education to rely on, the police have largely responded to violations with corporal punishment, detentions, and arrests—actions that have been reported by the media and widely condemned.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health

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