• “Suitcase Stories” in Georgia: A Storytelling Session on Cultural Immersion in Pakistan

    On August 8, 2022, I had an opportunity to participate in a hybrid event conducted by the American Councils for International Education (American Councils), Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. It was a “Suitcase Stories” session, an event designed for alumni of the FLEX Program. The American Councils FLEX program is a well-known, competitive U.S. State Department-sponsored program that brings high school students from 21 countries to spend one academic year attending American high schools and living with volunteer host families. The underlying objective is to promote mutual understanding between American citizens and those from the 21 countries in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, which includes Georgia. The “Suitcase Stories” is a…

  • Dissertation Acknowledgements and Publication

    Dear all, Previously I shared that I defended my PhD this Summer and graduated on August 21, 2021. A few months ago I received my digital diploma, shown in the featured photo. And I will be participating in the graduation ceremony this week! In October, my Dissertation, “The Network Architecture of Rural Development Interventions: Exploring the Relational Dynamics of Aid-impact in the Fragile and Conflict-Affected States of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” was published on ProQuest. You may find it on the ProQuest Database if you have access through your institution. An excerpt may be available via Google Scholar in a few months if not already. On this post, I would like to…

  • A city Temporarily “Disconnected”…

    For a few days towards the end of this past week (three to be exact), due to the protests against Asia Bibi‘s supreme court ruling, Islamabad was “blocked.” I got up Friday morning for an important meeting with an informant at the World Bank Headquarters, and at that time, my mobile was not working. That morning, I went down to meet my driver, Majid Bhai, and he told me the networks have been blocked by the Government. I thought something was not right with my Ufone account, but all the cell phones in the surrounding area were not working apparently. Majid Bhai mentioned it happens from time to time, when something in…

  • “Black Day” in Pakistan to Honor Kashmiris

    Before the weekend, I noticed people putting up signs and banners all across the federal government area and throughout Islamabad as well as outside the city limits into Rawalpindi as well. I am assuming these signs are all over Pakistan during this time too, given that it is something observed throughout Pakistan. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/385427-pakistan-to-observe-black-day-on-saturday-to-express-solidarity-with-kashmiris https://nation.com.pk/28-Oct-2018/black-day-observed-against-indian-atrocities-in-kashmir https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/386465-black-day-observed-against-occupation-of-kashmir-by-india   They have made October 27th, “Black Day,” in Pakistan. Black Day is a day in which they commemorate the Kashmir Crisis, which is often a forgotten crisis. I believe it is a day to support the Kashmiris fighting for independence in IOK (Indian Occupied Kashmir), and also to acknowledge their struggle and loss of…

  • Fundamentals of the “Balti”: From Personal to Human Development in Pakistan

      Water is the driving force of all nature. -Leonardo da Vinci The water predicament may be a greater threat to Pakistan’s national and human security than terrorism, militancy or violent extremism, which tend to dominate the conversations in the region. Water is one of the most critical issues impacting rural and urban development in Pakistan and other developing countries alike. Rapid urbanization and population growth contribute to the urgency of this matter in Pakistan. Water sector improvement is a primary goal of the 2025 Vision for Pakistan in efforts toward meeting concrete targets for the Sustainable Development Goals, mandating climate change to be prioritized for Pakistan’s national security agenda. Denoted…