While engaging in research and presenting my findings in different cities around the globe, I came to be in Islamabad, Pakistan in this mid-December. My actual purpose to jet off to this South Asian country where live the people of spell-binding Urdu accent was to present my research findings on civil war, statelessness and community initiatives for alternative livelihoods in Nepal. It was my research conducted in a rural hinterland of Nepal which consisted of lessons for other similar countries experiencing notorious war. The presentation became thought-provoking with numerous participants from different countries and universities who showered me with interesting questions on my research, its methodology and the applicability of the derived results. More interesting was there when I saw Pakistani news agencies and papers mentioning my name in their coverage.
|Dr Dibyesh Anand, the young and|
eloquent geo-political analyst in the left.
I visited Rawal Pindi, the nearby shopping city in one of the days of my stay there. Pakistani leather is especially known around the world for their originality and longevity. It was a main attraction for my fellow participants too. I became able to get acquainted with some Nepali friends. They were: Seema Karki, who is involved in REDD+ program in ICIMOD, Sushma Joshi, a prominent Nepali writer, Eak Bahadur Rana and others. Some South Asian friends who made the stay memorable were: Gayathri Lokuge from Sri Lanka, Saleh Khan from Bangladesh, Prakash Chandra Tiwari from India and the ever-helpful Rana Amir and Muhammad Luqman from Pakistan. The most interesting panelist for me was Dr Dibyesh Anand, Assistant Professor from the University of Westminster, the UK. I was mesmerized to listen to him especially because of the two reasons. One, he was a young researcher and eloquent too; the other, he had the grasp of knowledge on my field of interest (international relations) and he was speaking on Sino-Indo-Pak geo-politics in Asia. The other interesting person I met was Dr Sabina Alkire from Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiatives. Actually, she is the proponent of the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index to calculate Human Development from multiple angle. She has recently challenged many government around the globe on their 'faulty' calculations and analysis over poverty.
|Rawal Lake, as seen.|
After I got stuck for two more days in Islamabad because of the bad performance (the corrupt executives made it) of PIA, I roamed around the city with my Nepali fellows. So, that also became a merit for my visit. I went to Rawal Lake, an astonishing place to visit, to roam around, to hang out, and also, to date. [ :-p ]. We went to Daman-eh-Koh, viewed Faisal Mosque from there, reached Pakistan Memorial Park where there was a lotus-like memorial shape was constructed with the figures of Jinnah and others, the Pak freedom fighters. And came back to the hotel where we were residing, The Hotel Best Western, Islamabad. There I got an opportunity to watch live Qawwali and Sufi performance for the first time in my life. That day an inner respect emerged from my heart for the Islamic culture. I really hated the so-called 'big media' in the international arena which mostly depict the suspicious nature of Islamism before us. Even if I am a non-believer residing in a Hindu country, we all human beings around the globe are our brothers and sister who differently have their own beautiful lifestyle and adorable cultures.
For this all opportunities for international exposure of my research findings and all the logistic arrangements, I must thank Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)-Nepal, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)- Pakistan and respected Abid sir (Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri) for his cordial assistance. Thanks also go to Dr Babar Shahbaz, Associate Professor at the University of Faisalabad and Dr Bishnu Raj Upreti, South Asia Regional Coordinator of the NCCR North-South for their generous effort to promote young South Asian researchers. Indeed, these all experiences for me will remain as an asset for me to proceed energetically in my research future.
Thank you all!