Hassan Abbas

Former senior Pakistani government official and scholar of Middle East politics and a leading expert on South Asia and the terrorist organizations based in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region.

  • Hassan Abbas is an accomplished scholar of Middle East politics, media commentator, and author.
  • He has been a Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, a Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) and an Associate of the Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU), University of Bradford, in the UK. He was recently named the Quaid-i-Azam Chair by New York’s Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His research interests are Pakistan’s nuclear program and the Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan controversy; religious extremism in South and Central Asia, and Islam and the West.
  • Prior to his present academic endeavors, he served in staff positions in the administrations of President General Pervez Musharaf (1999-2000) and Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (1995-6) in Pakistan. He also served as a senior police officer in the North West Frontier Province, bordering Afghanistan during 1997-8.
  • Spent a year at the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, where he worked on his book Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army and America’s War on Terror, which has been on bestseller lists in India and Pakistan and widely reviewed internationally including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Far Eastern Economic Review, and The Hindu.
  • He has also appeared as an analyst on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS, and as a political commentator on VOA and BBC.
  • His forthcoming book is titled: Letters to Young Muslims on Science, Sufis and Sovereignty. He also runs Watandost, a blog on Pakistan-related affairs.

Although it is a political history, parts of Abbas’ new book…read like someone whispering family secrets. Instead of the crazy old aunt or the secret adoption, Abbas speaks intimately about the dizzying array of generals deposing presidents and presidents plotting against prime ministers that have whirled through the country’s 57-year existence.

- The Boston Globe

…is an engaging, quirky book on terrorism's largest growth market: Pakistan.

- The New York Times