at LSE South Asia Centre

LSE’s connections with Pakistan go back more than a century when its Founders – Beatrice and Sidney Webb – visited Lyallpur, Peshawar and Lahore in 1911-12.

LSE has welcomed some of its best students from Pakistan, and every year applications and admissions continue to rise. In 2017-18, we have had 105 Pakistani students.

Prominent alumni include Ali Jameel, Ahmad KamalKhan Abdul Qayyum KhanMakhdoom Ali KhanMaleeha Lodhi, Shireen Mazari, Barrister Salman Safdar and Justice Dorab Patel amongst several others.

We have a total of 872 active alumni on our database (with more than 150 in London alone), one of the highest in the world.

Events on Pakistan 



Pakistan: COVID-19 in South Asia: A Comparative Perspective

22 April 2020

Speaker:  Haroon Sharif (@SharifHaroon) was Minister of State & Chairman of the Board of Investment, Government of Pakistan (2018-19), Islamabad.

Chair: Mukulika Banerjee (@MukulikaB) is Director, South Asia Centre, and Associate Professor in Anthropology, LSE.

Watch a recording Haroon Sharif's talk here, and to watch the full event click here.




New Perspectives on Pakistan's Political Economy

15 November 2019

Matthew McCartney and Akbar Zaidi set out to look at the consequences of the widespread take up of Alavi’s concept of the overdeveloped state on how scholars have understood the political economy of Pakistan. The volume is a welcome reminder that scrutiny of the giants, upon whose shoulders we sit, is healthy and can be productive. Everyone concerned with society and the state in Pakistan will no doubt have read Alavi’s overtly Marxist sociohistorical analyses and will have taken away some key concept for use in their own work.

Participants: Adnan Khan is Professor in Practice in the School of Public Policy, LSE & Natalya Naqvi (@natalyanaqvi) is Assistant Professor in International Political Economy, LSE. 

Chair: Mukulika Banerjee (@MukulikaB) is Director of the South Asia Centre, and Associate Professor in Anthropology at LSE. 

To listen to the podcast, click here.

This event was in collaboration with Bloomsbury Pakistan.




Friends, Enemies, or just Neighbours? The Afghanistan, Pakistan and India Triangle

5 June 2019 

Panel discussion with Sarah AshrafMukulika BanerjeeElisabeth Leake and Avinash Paliwal examining the Afghanistan-Pakistan-India triad, the geopolitical and economic motivations for an increasing Indian role in Afghanistan, the effect, if any, of this on Pakistan’s foreign policy towards Afghanistan, whether the triangle is a reason for continued instability in the region, if India is simply exploring economic opportunities with a neighbour or, as some in Pakistan fear, is India attempting to ‘encircle’ their rival?

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Photo Credit: Pixabay_Charly_7777 -


Bacha Khan

Annual Bacha Khan Lecture

Experiments with Education for Peace in Pakistan's History 

9 March 2019

The South Asia Centre hosted a public lecture with Bloomsbury Pakistan to Remember the beleaguered legacy of 'Frontier Gandhi' – Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. 

Participants on the night included Khadim Hussain (Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan), Rahmat Shah Sayel (Poet), Ziauddin Yousafzai (Chairperson, Malala Fund) and Mukulika Banerjee (LSE, South Asia Centre).

Watch the Youtube video here.



Ajoka: The Protest of Drama

Remembering Madeeha Gauhar (1956-2018)

20 July 2018

Dr Adnan Khan (LSE), Sanjoy Roy (Teamwork Arts), Elizabeth Lynch (Arts Catalyst) and Shahid Mahmood Nadeem (Ajoka Theatre) came together to celebrate Madeeha Gauhar's life and work. The session was chaired by Dr Nilanjan Sarkar (LSE). To listen to the podcast, click here.



'Eventually things will have to get better.' 

Remembering Asma Jahangir (1952-2018)

21 June 2018

Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard) along wtih Ibn Abdur Rehman (Human Rights advocate), moderated by Amber Darr (UCL), came together to celebrate Asma Jahangir's life and work. This event was in collaboration with Bloomsbury Pakistan. To listen to the podcast, click here.


David Gilmartin

Pakistan and the Grand Narratives of 20th Century History

4 December 2017

Professor David Gilmartin (NCSU) explored the different understandings of Pakistan produced by competing narratives of 20th century world history. Listen to the podcast here.



Citizenship and Law: Pakistan at 70

9 October to 3 November 2017

A gallery exhibition co-curated by Dr Nilanjan Sarkar (LSE) and Dr Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld), orrganised in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and the High Commission of Pakistan, London, to commemorate Pakistan's 70 years of independence.


Lucy Chester

The Radcliffe Boundary Commission and the Geographical Imagination of Pakistan

16 October 2017

Speaker: Dr Lucy Chester (Colorado) wrote Borders and Conflicts in South Asia: The Radcliffe Boundary Commission and the Partition of Punjab (2009), which is the only modern study of the drawing of the Radcliffe Line. Listen to the podcast here.


leaf of SAC logo

Can Intelligence Services do Good? A Conversation between Indian and Pakistani Former Chiefs

6 October 2017

Amarjit Singh Dulat (ex-RAW), with Ehsan ul Haq (ex-ISI), Aamir Ghauri (SAFF), and Rahul Roy-Chaudhury (IISS), chaired by Dr Mukulika Banerjee (LSE), explored the nature of intelligence services in India and Pakistan, their challenges, limits and potentials towards domestic and international security issues. Listen to the podcast here.




Pakistan at 70

10-11 April 2017

'Pakistan at 70' was the first ever LSE Pakistan Summit, which took at the Institute of Business Administration - City Campus, Karachi. The event comprised of four panels: on philanthropy and institution building, art and modernity, the constitution, and development and its dividends. To learn more click here.


Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali in conversation with Professor Javed Majeed (KCL) on Muhammad Iqbal's philosophy and thought.

27 February 2017

Listen to the podcast here.


Artwork 'Not a Bug Splat'

Art as a Protest Device in Pakistan

23 February 2017

Ali Rez with Assam Khalid discussed the art installation 'Not A Bug Splat' which featured a gigantic portrait of a girl laid out in North West Pakistan to peacefully protest against drone warfare. Read the South Asia @ LSE blog post.



19 November 2016

High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK H.E. S Ibne Abbas attended the LSESU Pakistan Development Society's first 'Future of Pakistan' conference on 19 November 2016.


Arif Hasan at LSE

Urbanisation Trends in South Asia: The Case of Karachi

17 November 2016

Arif Hasan (KURC) in conversation with Philipp Rode (LSE) on the major urban related changes that have taken place in Karachi which are similar to those of other South Asian mega cities. Listen to the event podcast here, and read the interview with Mr Hasan here.




Youth bulge or bomb? Harnessing the potential of Pakistani Youth

28 April 2016

Marc-André Franche (UNDP Pakistan) and Emrys Schoemaker (LSE) moderated by Dr Mahvish Shami (LSE) discussed a new UNDP report on the challenges and opportunities of Pakistan's youth bulge. To read more, click here.


Book cover The Prisoner

18 March 2016

Omar Hamid (writer) with Huma Yusuf (LSE) discussed two of his novels, The Prisoner (2013) and The Spinner's Tale (2015).


leaf of SAC logo

16 February 2016

The High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK, H.E. S Ibne Abbas visited LSE to meet Pakistani students and alumni, and had wide-ranging discussions on contemporary issues in Pakistan of importance to the academic community.



21-27 February 2016

The first-ever LSE Delegation visited Pakistan in 2016 led by then LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun and Centre Director Dr Mukulika Banerjee. They met the then Hon'ble Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, as well as several business and community leaders. Read the full report here.


leaf of SAC logo

November 2015

LSE welcomed the Hon'ble Chairman of the Senate, Mr Raza Rabbani who spoke to an invited audience about building a strong, democratic and prosperous Pakistan over the coming decade. 


LSE SAC visit to Pakistan, February 2016


21-27 February 2016

The first-ever LSE Delegation visited Pakistan in 2016 led by then LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun and Centre Director Dr Mukulika Banerjee. They met the then Hon'ble Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, as well as several business and community leaders. Read the full report here.


The Pakistan Programme

There is currently no academic research programme focused on contemporary Pakistan in the UK. The South Asia Centre is committed to develop a dedicated research agenda and a community of researchers to examine issues of concern in modern-day Pakistan, making the Centre the hub for Pakistan-related events and research in the UK & Europe.

Read the South Asia Centre's White Paper on Pakistan to learn more about the Centre's engagement with the country and the wider region. This White Paper was written in 2016, and will be updated soon.


Banner image credit: 'Luxurious Lorries' by Carol Mitchell (CC BY-ND 2.0)