Understanding Pakistan Project Team May 29th, 2007
The Origin and Motivation of the Idea
A few months ago, a few of us began contemplating upon an idea of writing–and hopefully disseminating–a collaborative history of Pakistan . We were motivated by a number of factors. At some level, our new found passion to read and research about various events in our history had made us acutely aware of the inadequacies of our own “formal” education in this area thus making us want to write a more complete (and perhaps unbiased) history of Pakistan. As we read more, we were also fascinated by the twists and turns–the numerous challenges and missed opportunities–in our country’s history and felt motivated by our desire to share our learning (and to learn from others) as we navigated our course through Pakistan’s 60 year old history.The two recent and upcoming events–namely the Elections of Oct. 2007 and the ongoing Judicial Drama– have only hightened the urgency for this endeavor. We absolutely believe that without learning from our past, we cannot hope not to make the same mistakes that we, as a nation, have made again and again throughout the course of our history.
This is an attempt to write a Truly Collaborative People’s History of Pakistan in in following ways:
1. Commentaries and Critiques Present and Promote Diversity of Opinions: While each week’s discussion would be anchored around a larger piece outlining the significant events and debates during a particular period in Pakistan’s history, we will also publish a series of critiques and commentaries that may agree, disagree, or add to it. These critiques and commentaries are written by a panel of experts and enthusiasts belong to diverse areas of interests, namely, public policy, political science, law, international relations, media etc. By doing so, we hope, we will develop a more holistic understanding of our history and learn to examine and appreciate it through multiple perspectives.
2. Guest Articles and Opinions bring out Unique Perspectives on Issues: In addition to the more regular commentaries and critiques, the project will also feature, whenever appropriate, guest authors who may have a special perspective on a particular issue or an era. An effort will be made to bring “on-the-ground” experience or in-depth knowledge on specific issues to the debate by inviting these on a fairly regular basis.
3. Provide a Platform for Substantive Discussion and Contribution: Finally, readers will be provided an opportunity to comment and critique the each of three kinds of contributions (i.e. the anchor piece, the commentaries, and the guest opinions). An effort, however, will be made to ensure that the comments posted on the website reflect substantive contributions to the discussion (see posting guidelines for more). Please feel free to post comments and refer this website to others you know.
While considerable work has gone into the preparation for this work and securing commitments from key contributors, we are looking for Guest Writers and Commentrators who may write one (or more) piece (~1000-2000 words) over duration of the exercise on an era or issue in which they might have a particular interest, a unique perspective, or a first-hand experience.
Should you have an interesting story to tell, a first-hand experience to relate, or an opinion to voice, we encourage you to please share with us and the rest of the world. Also, if you’d like to nominate somebody, please do so as well. Write to the Understanding Pakistan Project Team at email@example.com.
We’re hoping to make this a truly participative process of learning and discovery for all us.
The Understanding Pakistan Team.