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Political Oppression, Resistance and Leadership Change: The Rise of Nasim Wali Khan as a Leader

By: Hassina Bashir1, Muhammad Ayub Jan2

Abstract
Turbulent political situations have often facilitated the rise of women leaders
in South Asia. Such leaders courageously confronted the testing times and
expressed their agency through efficient political manoeuvring; consequently,
prolonging their stay in politics. This is particularly the case with a Pakhtun
woman leader, Nasim Wali Khan. In this paper, we explore how Nasim Wali
Khan emerged as a leader in face of ferocious political suppression such as
imprisonment and torcher, perpetrated by the regime of Z.A. Bhutto and how
she retained her position through political manoeuvring. The arguments in
this paper are based on data collected through secondary and primary
sources. Interviews are conducted with the various political workers,
academicians, journalists and the family members of Nasim Wali Khan to gain
valuable insights. The paper finds out that despite patriarchal social
structures and politically menacing regime, Nasim Wali Khan undertook the
leadership responsibilities and struggled to occupy and retain a crucial
dissenting political space during 1970s.
Keywords: Political Leadership, Oppressive Regime, Resistance, Nasim
Wali Khan, Pakistan.