An independent think-tank

Is Pakistan headed in the right direction?

To move forward as a country there is need for holding dialogues on pressing national issues, such as center-province relations, role of religion, the country’s foreign policy – among the most relevant stakeholders, who otherwise do not interact with each other.  Without such dialogues, our debates and answers are no less than clichés, leaving us stuck with the past, even though strides have been made in many spheres of life.

These are some of the major findings of the report on the first-ever “Dialogue Pakistan”, comprising of five different thematic sessions on the critical, intellectual, and policy issues of the country held early this year.

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Pakistan’s achievements in war on terror but at what cost: a special review of the current decade

This report describes Pakistan‘s efforts against militancy and terrorism, the cost and sacrifices it had paid in this campaign mainly being a US ally in the WoT, and the outcome of the war in terms of restoration of peace and security.

National security and regional geo-strategic imperatives had mainly weighed on Pakistan‘s policy choice to join the US-led War on Terror in 2001. While joining the WoT largely meant, at least in the initial phases, to support and facilitate the US war in Afghanistan, but Pakistan took no time to realise that the real war was here.

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“People strongly believe their identities make them vulnerable or favourable”

Any discussion aimed at unpacking identity in Pakistan ends up inviting grievances of how different group of people fare differently, merely because of their faiths, ethnicities, domiciles, and economic statuses. They attribute their day-to-day problems to their beliefs or which part of the country they belong to. Lack of constitutional safeguards further substantiates their grievances.

These are some of the findings of the report ‘Who Am I?’, a study on Pakistan’s identities and co-existence, published by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think tank. The report is based on a series of group discussions with experts, scholars, journalists, students from all over Pakistan.

The report noted that in Pakistan, when an individual is asked about identity, the reference is mostly towards group identity, such as religion, ethnicity, and nationality. There is a reason too: People say how they are discriminated against and others are privileged just because of who they are.

Inside the country, identity-based politics is rising, with people affiliated with religious, nay sectarian, and ethnic parties – clearly showing where the society is headed. This trend of Pakistan is aligned with that of the world.

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Research and Analysis

Activities

Publications on countering violent extremism

               

               

Teachers Engagement

Teachers stand as key pillar in any attempt of reforming education, which is essential to bring about inclusive society. They are the ones who communicate with students in a classroom; a sensitized teacher is open to diversity in the classroom. Realizing this, Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) has been engaging teachers of universities, colleges and higher secondary schools for tolerant, inclusive education, especially in pedagogy and curricula. Key themes that are explored in such engagements are dominant narratives in educational discourse and their implications for peace and social cohesion; problematic areas in university/college curricula, textbooks and teaching; among others. Teachers have come from all over all over the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and from diverse disciplines, including Islamic Studies and Pakistan Studies – two subjects deemed compulsory at all levels of education in Pakistan. The mode of engagement has usually been sensitization workshops, training, and lately, critical discussions and dialogues with learned scholars.