An independent think-tank

Who we are

The PIPS Displacement & Migration Studies Centre (DMSC) was founded in mid-2021. Its establishment was the evolution of a core area of focus for Pak Institute for Peace Studies.

Pakistan has been home to millions of refugees, almost exclusively from Afghanistan. Over the last two decades, Pakistan has also faced extensive internal displacement, mainly on account of armed conflict and natural disasters.

The Center was borne out of a realization of acute lack of an independent, dedicated and credible research organization focused on forced displacement and migration despite a near omnipresent context of internal and cross-border forced displacement at least over the past four decades.

The Center came into being at a time of great uncertainty for the large existing refugee population in Pakistan—which was bound to impact voluntary repatriation choices—as well as serious apprehensions of a fresh exodus of population from Afghanistan amid deteriorating security in that country.

What we do

Through in-depth research, the Center aims to build a knowledge base and understanding – as well as a comprehensive database – of forced displacement, its causes and consequences. Through empirical studies, the Centre examines areas as diverse as anticipating the impact of arrival on both dislocated and host communities, safety and treatment issues, considerations for destination decisions and coping strategies of refugees and the internally displaced.

Based on research, the Centre strives to push for introduction of appropriate policies as well as inform existing ones to prevent involuntary dislocations as well as improve management of affected populations to ensure their access to human rights.

Other areas of the Centre’s focus—with varying degree of overlap with forced displacement—are migration and human trafficking. Pakistan is a country of source, transit and destination not only in terms of forced displacement, but also migration and human trafficking.

The Centre’s research also focuses on assessment of risks for repatriated individuals as well as their situation post-repatriation.

The Centre publishes an annual report (Forced Displacement and Trafficking Monitor or forced displacement and migration monitor).


Muhammad Amir Rana is a founder member of Pak Institute for Peace Studies. He has worked extensively on issues related to counter-terrorism, counter-extremism, and internal and regional security and politics. He also writes regularly for Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English newspaper.


Najam U Din is a lawyer and a former journalist. He has an LLM in international human rights law, with a particular focus on forced displacement. Najam is a former director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Safdar Hussain is a research analyst at Pak Institute for Peace Studies. His work focuses on conflict, insecurity, and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and regional political, strategic and security issues.

Arooj Mumtaz has done her MPhil in Development Studies from NUST Islamabad. She has worked with multiple organisations in Hong Kong and Pakistan including the Rock Foundation based in Hong Kong and the Watoto organization that works for women and children in Uganda.

Hazrat Bilal looks after IT and technical planning, logistics, and implementation for PIPS projects. He also supervises the organization’s digital database on ‘Conflict & Security’.