Intezaar: Stories from Pakistani gallows


Justice Project Pakistan, Ajoka Theatre Pakistan, Highlight Arts and Complicite staged Intezaar – The Wait today at Givernment College University Faisalabad, an immersive theatre piece built upon the real-life accounts from Pakistan’s 8000-strong death row. The play was staged on April 11, 2017.

The play has been directed by Dina Mousawi of Complicite, produced by Ryan Van Winkle of Highlight Arts and written by Shahid Nadeem of Ajoka Theatre.

According to JPP’s research, a condemned prisoner will spend an average of 11.41 years on death row in Pakistan. This theatre piece traced the impact that wait can have on not only the prisoners but their families too. The characters of Intezaar walked the audience through their miserable existence and how their resilience and courage help give a purpose to their otherwise meaningless lives.

Intezaar also demonstrates the structural flaws inherent to Pakistan’s criminal justice system that remains inaccessible, beholden to power, mired in red tape and usurped by influence and wealth.

The stories of Intezaar are based on actual stories of many of JPP’s clients, whose names have been changed to protect their privacy. Many of them continue to be on death row, while others were executed after the Government of Pakistan lifted the moratorium on the death penalty in Dec. 2014.

Intezaar is a unique project which has brought together four organizations from Pakistan and the United Kingdom, all committed to the cause of human rights and socially meaningful art.