[skip to content]

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Mr Ayaz Qureshi

BA (Punjab University, Lahore) MSc MPhil ( Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)


Ayaz Qureshi
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Mr Ayaz Qureshi
Email address:
Office Hours:
Term 1 - Thursdays 4-5pm (room V215)
Thesis title:
Bureaucrats, business and the (bio)politics of HIV in Pakistan
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


I trained in Anthropology at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, and taught MSc Anthropology for three years at Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi before starting a PhD at SOAS in 2009. I have ten years of field experience as an anthropologist in Pakistan, working on academic and applied projects relating to public health and development. My most extensive work to date has been in the field of sexual and reproductive health, and particularly HIV/AIDS. In 2004-5 I was the lead field researcher for 'men on the move', a study of the sexual practices of rural-urban migrant men in Pakistan, which was carried out with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2007-8 I was anthropologist on a study of 'high-risk groups' (hijras, commercial sex workers and injecting drug users), again with the LSHTM. Later work investigated the reception of mass media messages relating to reproductive health. This research gave me an interest in the politics of HIV/AIDS policy and on the discursive construction of 'risk groups', which I am following in my PhD.

PhD Research

HIV/AIDS in Pakistan provides a window to explore governance in a context dominated by the international aid architecture, often propounding a roll-back of statutory provisions to give way to public-private partnership regimes - thus turning the developmental state into a flexible bureaucracy capable of delivering new public goods. My research explores developments in Pakistani bureaucracy so far unexamined by anthropologists– (i) the ‘hybrid bureaucracy’ of a donor-driven vertical health programme (ii) directing interventions to ‘risk groups’ deemed illegal in this Islamic state-society. The confluence of neoliberal logic and rhetorics of liberal ‘civil society’ are explored through six inter-related arguments on entrepreneurial governance, flexibilisation of bureaucracy, ‘civil society’, HIV networks and biological citizenship, and the role of NGOs leaders in operationalising and refiguring global templates. Overall, the thesis argues for the notion of a transnational HIV apparatus which is, rather than ‘assembled’ in places like Pakistan, ‘hybridised’ as much in its global form as in its local manifestations.

I completed fifteen months of fieldwork in Pakistan involving an internship within the government departments; participation in events related to HIV/AIDS; participation in policy work across government, donors agencies, NGOs, and CBOs; and interviews with donor officials, bureaucrats, NGO/CBO bosses and staff, HIV positive people, activists, counsellors and treatment in-charge, and freelance consultants. I also collected a comprehensive archive of policy and news features on the HIV/AIDS response in Pakistan.

PhD Publications

  • A. Qureshi (2013) ‘Structural violence and the nation state: HIV and labour migration from Pakistan to the Persian Gulf’, Anthropology and Medicine. 1-12. doi: 10.1080/13648470.2013.828274.
  • A. Qureshi (forthcoming) ‘Up-scaling expectations among Pakistan’s AIDS bureaucrats: enterprising selves and precarious jobs in a hybrid bureaucracy’, Special Issue of Global Health Policy on ‘HIV Scale-Up and the Politics of Global Health’.
  • A. Qureshi (forthcoming) ‘Uncivil society: the politics of HIV activism in Pakistan’,Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
  • Collumbien, M, A. Qureshi, J. Chow (2009) ‘Multiple risks among male and transgender sex workers in Pakistan’. Journal of LGBT Health Research 4(2):71-79
  • Collumbien, M, S. Mayhew, A. Qureshi (2009) ‘Understanding the context of male and transgender sex work by using PEER qualitative methods’, Sexually Transmitted Infections 85(Suppl II):ii3-ii7.
  • Mayhew, S, M. Collumbien, A. Qureshi (2009) ‘Protecting the unprotected: drug-use, sex work and rights in Pakistan’s fight against HIV/AIDS’, Sexually Transmitted Infections 85(Suppl II):ii31-ii36
Book chapters
  • A. Qureshi (2013) ‘The marketization of HIV governance: vertical health programming, public-private partnerships and bureaucratic culture in Pakistan’, chapter submitted for L. Bear and N. Mathur (eds) Flexible Bureaucracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

PhD Conferences

  • A. Qureshi (2013) ‘A moment of uncertain transition: AIDS activism, roll-back and devolution in Pakistan’, Annual SAAG (South Asia Anthropology Group) Conference, Sussex University, 11-12th September 2013.
  • A. Qureshi (2013) ‘Devolution of powers to the provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment: effective affect in Pakistan’s AIDS bureaucracy’, Annual Pakistan Workshop, Lake District, 10-12th May
  • A. Qureshi (2013) ‘Structural violence and the nation state: HIV and labour migration from Pakistan to the Persian Gulf’, Annual BASAS Conference, Leeds University, 3-5th April
  • A. Qureshi (2013) ‘The office, enterprise and the dera in Pakistan’s AIDS bureaucracy’, seminar at Edinburgh University Centre for South Asian Studies, 28th February
  • A. Qureshi (2012) ‘The politics of authenticity and resistance: a study of an association for HIV positive people in Pakistan’, UCL workshop, ‘Structure Inside Organizations’, UCL, 3rd July
  • A. Qureshi (2012) ‘The marketization of HIV/AIDS governance: travelling rationalities and bureaucratic cultures in Pakistan’, Annual Pakistan Workshop, Lake District, 11-13th May
  • A. Qureshi (2012) ‘The marketization of HIV/AIDS governance: vertical health programming, New Public Good: Affects and Techniques of Flexible Bureaucracies’, Cambridge, 23-24th March
  • A. Qureshi (2011) ‘Sending them our best: HIV and labour migrants from Pakistan to Persian Gulf countries’, RAI first annual postgraduate conference, Durham, 20th September


GTA Anthropology- Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS (2011-12)
Lecturer in Anthroplogy-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan (2005-08)


Medical anthropology, development, ethnography of aid, anthropology of organisations, bureaucracy, HIV/AIDS and global health policy.