Shrinking Civic Space in Pakistan: Response and Strategies of the Civil Society


  • Anwar Shaheen


This paper focuses the issue of shrinking civic space in Pakistan. The study presents civil society activists’ responses on this issue, highlights their perception, present and future strategies to address this issue, and their effectiveness, as such, as well. Pakistan presents a unique case due to its involvement in the ‘war on terror’ and the consequences being faced by both the state and society at large. Present shrinking of civil society action is directly linked with it. In an attempt to grapple with the problems emerging from ‘war on terror’, the overgrown state is encroaching upon citizens’ space, thus denying the civil society to play its due role which can provide safety for the state as well. The preferred strategies of the NGOs include lobbying with parliamentarians and mobilizing the citizenry about the situation.