Peacebuilding in Pakistan

Prof. Dr Murtaza Jafri and Haris Qayyum sign the memorandum of understandingThis year started on a very positive note for our Pakistan team with a new partnership with the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, one of Pakistan’s leading academic institutions.

On 21 January, NCA’s Principal, Prof. Dr Murtaza Jafri, together with the school’s head of department for film and television, met with our National Coordinator in Pakistan, Haris Qayyum (pictured right with Prof. Dr Jafri), to discuss issues of mutual interest. At the meeting the two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding, which envisions a long-term strategic partnership designed to improve social cohesion and peacebuilding in the country.

A variety of ideas were discussed at the meeting, including the importance of strengthening cultural identity and plurality as instruments of peace in Pakistan. Both parties also identified the needs of people in the remote areas in making their day-to-day life conflict-free and avoiding disagreements.

NCA will be collaborating with us on our ongoing ‘Creating safer districts for women’ project funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. NCA will design training for community participants and develop information, education and communication materials. The college will also train local theatre groups in how to enrich their public messaging techniques and script writing, which we hope will improve these groups’ contribution to peacebuilding.

We also recognise the hugely positive role that NCA can play in strengthening our own expertise in media planning, script writing, and developing documentaries and films that can inspire and contribute to peacebuilding.

This memorandum of understanding is the first ever contract that NCA has signed with a non-governmental civil society or peacebuilding organisation. This relationship has developed as a result of mutual consensus between both parties.

NCA has a long history of achievements to its credit and has been educating top architects, artists and designers in Pakistan for over 130 years. Their world-class curriculum and educational approach brings together theory and practice, nurtured by experienced faculty, who are all reputable practitioners.

Find out more about our work in Pakistan here.