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  December 08, 2012


In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty

HEC Funded Research Project Launched in Chitral

The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, under its Thematic Research Grants—Phase II, has awarded a research grant to the Aga Khan University’s Professional Development Centre in Chitral (AKU-PDCC) to study the “role of civil society institutions in developing appreciations for cultural diversity and promoting pluralism in Chitral district of Khyber—Pakhtunkhwa”. The research project was launched at a seminar organized by AKU-PDCC on Friday, December 7, 2012. A large number of people representing an array of civil society institutions, educational institutions, media, and local leadership attended the seminar.

Dr. Mir Afzal Tajik, Head Graduate Programs and Outreach, AKU-IED, welcomed the participants and shared with them the nature, purpose, and expected outcomes of the research study. He on behalf of the Aga Khan University, civil society institutions, and people of Chitral thanked HEC for providing financial support and facilitation to promote a culture of research in Pakistan. He mentioned that this award was given to AKU-PDCC through a competitive process undertaken by HEC. He expressed that there is a dire need for empirical research in Pakistan, particularly in Chitral and appreciated HEC for realizing this need. He shared that this study will help construct a piece of evidence-based authentic knowledge and understanding about the role of civil society institutions in promoting peace and pluralism which are prerequisites for socio-economic development in the region.

Mr. Mohammad Khan, Ali Nawab, and other faculty of AKU-PDCC made a detailed presentation on the design of the study. Followed by the presentation, an open discussion was initiated where the participants shared their comments, suggestions, and excitements about this study. The data collection tool was also piloted and feedback from the participants was received. Amongst the participants, Major (retired) GD Langland (Principal of the Langland School and College), Mr. Islamuddin (Ex-Bureaucrat and Principal Pamir School and College), Mr. Abdul Wali Khan (Advocate), Mr. Zahiruddin (President Press Club and Principal City College) and others lauded HEC for awarding this project to Chitral. They mentioned that Chitral is fortunate to have a wide range of civil society institutions which provide the much needed services in education, health, environment, energy, water and sanitation, disaster management, micro finance, infrastructure, and capacity building. These institutions have not only contributed to the socio-economic development and cultural revitalization of the region but they have also developed appreciations for cultural diversity, peace, and pluralism through creating structures for social cohesion, harmony, and unity at grassroots level. This study will further inform the policies and practices of these institutions, policy makers, and development agencies.

M. Afzal Chitral



mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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