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.

Read More

“Teachers can practice and preach empathy to promote tolerance”

Teachers can show the seeds of tolerance in society, if they practice and preach the values of empathy – putting one-self in another’s shoes. Empathy can open them to divergent understanding of same problem, producing a society that is more tolerant of differences and diversity. Teachers should be sensitized how to undertake this mental activity, and universities should regularly host events promoting empathy.

These are some of the findings of the “Academic and Intellectual Dialogue on Social Harmony, Tolerance and Education”, a study by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think tank, on six dialogues held with teachers of Pakistan’s higher-secondary school and colleges from all over the country. Leading scholars and intellectuals led these dialogues.

Any country’s education system should end social cleavages. Unfortunately, the report noted, Pakistan’s system widens those differences. Different schooling systems cater to different segments of society; children are made to imbibe those differences.

The report however warns that whenever authorities speak of ending those differences, they tend to speak of a “uniform” education system, by which they mean centralizing the system. This is not the way out. Diversity should be upheld. What is required is a proper understanding of what is allowed in terms of diversity in education, and what is not. Our debates are in black and white terms.

Read more

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.

Read More

“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.

Read more

Youth Engagement in Pakistan: Baseline Evaluation and Way Forward

This report is an empirical account of the nature and scope of youth engagement in Pakistan and how it can be improved to yield better results and impact. It also explores, based on a comprehensive survey, Pakistani youth’s emerging thinking patterns and sociocultural, political and ideological-religious standpoints, as well as challenges like violent extremism and ideological radicalism. One section, in particular, explains the ways and strategies that can be employed in effectively engaging the youth for the purpose of promoting peace and harmony and reducing the appeal of violent extremism in the youth. Finally, this report lists a range of recommendations for improving the existing programs of youth engagement, investing into less explored and relatively new avenues of engagement, and better strategizing methodologies, themes and frameworks for engaging the youth.

PIPS believes that the report will contribute in improving empirical knowledge base on the best possible ways and strategies of youth engagement. It also anticipates that the report will increase the focus and ability of the state institutions and civil society organizations to unfold and their potential and energies for improving determinants of socioeconomic and political development and a positive social change.

Read More

Research and Analysis


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.

Past and present partners

MoUs and collaborations