Within two years, PIPS has now become one of the leading forums for research and analysis on matters of strategic policy. During 2007 PIPS has been able to produce quality research work in all of the Institute’s mandated areas, especially terrorism, Pakistan’s madrasa system and on radicalization of Pakistani communities abroad besides its regular work on database, archives and periodic conflict reports. It has also developed institutional linkages and professional ties with a number of prestigious international organizations during 2007.
At present, the Institute has a competent and sizeable team of field researchers, office researchers, correspondents, analysts, an editor, a database administrator, an IT professional, an archives’ administrator, an accountant and an office administrator besides other office staff. In mid-2007 PIPS shifted its head office to Islamabad. Our Europe office is going to be operational in March 2008 in the UK.
In October 2007, PIPS entered into collaboration with the Department of Political Science at Lund University, Sweden. Department’s Asian Studies programme headed by Catrina Kinnvall, an experienced researcher working on several projects related to India, Pakistan and China, leads the University’s side in its joint research programmes with PIPS.
Many joint research ventures in Pakistan with the help of foreign partners were also launched. PIPS has already undertaken projects with support from the British High Commission (BHC), NEFA and other donor organizations. Work is underway on a number of other projects of common interest with a range of other think-tanks and universities.
Research and Advocacy: During 2007 the Institute accomplished various research and analysis studies in its core thematic areas. The research work was carried out either independently or with the help of local and international partners. Besides long-term research initiatives, PIPS has carried out numerous short-term research studies, surveys and analyses on various issues. Some of the important PIPS research projects accomplished during 2007 were as follows:
A. Outcome: Understanding British-Pakistani Community in United Kingdom
Areas in Focus: 1. Salient Features of the British-Pakistani Community
2. Native Towns of British-Pakistanis
3. Socio-Economic Structures and Trends
5. Social Dynamics, especially a study of:
a. Social Evolution of British Pakistanis
b. Cultural Evolution
c. Domestic Life
d. Barriers in Social Interaction
6. Social Trends, focusing on:
a. Social Problems of British Pakistanis
b. Generation Gap
c. Identity Crisis
e. Role of the Media
f. ‘Clash of Civilization’
7. Religious Trends (with special reference to radicalization)
B. Outcome: Balochistan: Conflicts and Players
Areas in Focus: 1. Balochistan’s History and Conflicts (A Vertical Mapping)
2. Constitution, Administration, Law and System
3. Politics and Political Parties of Balochistan
4. The Economy and Economic Conflicts
5. Strategic Importance and Security Concerns
6. Conflicts and Players
7. Policy Recommendations
C. Outcome: Role of Arab Mujahedeen and Arab Charities in the Afghan Jihad
Areas in Focus: 1. Arab Arrivals, Training Camps and Operatives
2. Mapping the Native Countries of the Arab Mujahedeen
3. Saudi Arabia’s Role in the Afghan Jihad
4. Profiling the Arab Charities and Studying their Role
5. Preparing the Profiles of Arabs and Afghans killed in
Afghanistan and Pakistan between 1980 and 2000
6. Al-Qaeda Suspects arrested in Pakistan since 2001
D. Outcome: The Crisis in the Northern Areas and its Future Implications
Areas in Focus: 1. History and Background of the Northern Areas
2. Political and Religious Trends; Political and Religious Parties
3. Major Conflicts and Players
4. Impact of the Afghan War
5. Understanding the Economy and Economic Conflicts
6. Strategic Importance (the New Great Game, Inter-state Conflicts, Post-9/11 Scenario)
7. Policy Recommendations
Surveys and Reports: PIPS conducted a comprehensive survey on public acceptance and perception of the political and religious parties in Pakistan during last quarter of 2007. Primary information and questionnaires from 10,000 respondents were collected and compiled. A pre-election analytical report based on this survey was launched on January 31, 2008.
Other than full-size reports, issues of urgent importance were addressed on immediately. During and after the Lal Masjid debacle (July, 2007) PIPS produced a series of analyses as and when events unfolded. Similarly, after the promulgation of a state of emergency in Pakistan and assassination of Benazir Bhutto, PIPS provided prompt and timely analyses on the ensuing political crises and security concerns. Most of these analyses are also available on our online web journal, SouthAsiaNet.
PIPS launched its annual security report for 2007 in January 2008 that got worldwide recognition.
Within a short span of time PIPS has made its presence felt at international fora of security, peace and strategic studies. It has established collaboration and joint ventures with various international universities, related organizations, think-tanks, research institutions and individuals.
During 2007, PIPS also established collaboration with the Department of Political Science at Lund University, Sweden. PIPS will collaborate with the Department’s Asian Studies programme headed by Catrina Kinnvall, an area specialist for India, Pakistan and China.
Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Director ICPVTR, visited PIPS offices in Lahore in May 2007. The purpose of visit was to share his research experience and enhance mutual understanding. He was accompanied by an ICPVTR research scholar Ms Nadika Withana.
An MoU has also been signed with EMGDRI of the Development Research Center of State Council, China, to start a scholars’ exchange programme. Mr Zhao Shuqing, Director of EMGDRI, and Ms Wang Hong, Deputy Director, visited Pakistan in February 2007 on PIPS’ invitation. In their meetings with PIPS directors, Mr Zhao and Ms Wang agreed to strengthen the working relationship between the two think-tanks, and after hours-long brainstorming, they sorted out areas for future joint ventures. The Chinese scholars also discussed various strategic issues, especially the Sino-Pak relations, the situation in Afghanistan and peace initiatives in the region.
Mr David Hansen, a research fellow at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo, Norway, visited our Lahore office on April 17, 2007 and delivered a lecture on “The Pakistani Diaspora and Potential for Terrorist Acts”.
A 12-member delegation of British nationals, including some prominent British-Pakistanis, visited our Lahore office on May 1, 2007. Their visit was a part of the ‘Projecting British Muslims’ programme, supported by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The visit of the delegation was aimed at sharing their experiences as Muslims in Britain today and to initiate a constructive dialogue and debate. Led by Mathew Forman, Political Officer at the British High Commission, the delegation members included Dr Shazia Malik, an obstetrician and gynaecologist and an activist in community work; Dr Tahir Abbas, a Founding Director of Birmingham University's Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture; Mr Jahangir Malik, UK director of the Charity Islamic Relief; Dr Rabia Malik, a psychiatrist and an activist in the City Circle Group; Dr Shaaz Mehboob, who has written extensively on Muslim issues and is involved with the Muslims for Secular Democracy Group.
In September 2007, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) brought together over 300 senior government officials, leading researchers, and many of the Institute’s members from around the world to discuss and address some of the world’s most critical issues at the 5th IISS Global Strategic Review (GSR) in Geneva. PIPS Director Muhammad Amir Rana was among the scholars who presented their papers in the seminar. His paper titled “Frontiers of Extremism: The Radicalization of Borders” was well received and widely discussed at the seminar.
In October 2007, Mr Rana visited the Department of Political Sciences at Lund University, Sweden, to discuss further strengthening of bilateral cooperation. During his visit he also delivered a lecture on 'Pakistan: Radicalization of Islam and the Upcoming Election' and visited South Asian Studies Network (SESNET), the leading South Asian research network in Europe.
Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) and Institute of Ethnic Minority Groups Development Research (IEMGDR) jointly organized an international symposium on “Religion and Security” in Beijing, China, from October 16 to 18, 2007. A significant number of international scholars from diverse backgrounds attended the symposium. They discussed the different aspects of the issue and gave their recommendations about how to deal with security threats in the perspective of religions.
PIPS arranged a dialogue with Mr Stig Toft Madsen, a renowned Danish researcher associated with the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, on December 17, 2007 in Islamabad. The participants of the session included Mr David Hansen (Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo, Norway), Danish journalist Mrs Seemi Jan, Shabana Fayyaz of the Department of Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, local journalists and PIPS team members. Mr Madsen discussed Pakistan’s image in the West and recounted his experience in the country