Anti-terrorism Legal Regime of Pakistan and the Global Paradigm of Security: A Genealogical and Comparative Analysis
Syed Sami Raza
Pakistan is often criticized for its anti-terrorism legal regime—which institutionalizes preventive indefinite detention, special courts, and speedy trials. Pakistani officials, on their part, rebut this criticism by pointing to the Anglo-American anti-terrorism legal regimes, and generally to “the global paradigm of security.” Interestingly, should we trace the genealogy of the anti-terrorism legal regime of Pakistan, we find rich historical-juridical linkages between the Pakistani and Anglo-American regimes. These linkages converge on, or at least begin from, the British law of high treason. This law was adopted in certain colonial regulations in the early 19th century. In this article I demonstrate how the legal form and substance of the high treason law and of certain other colonial regulations traveled through colonial and post-colonial security laws, such that they have recently come to converge with the global paradigm of security.