Over the last three decades, a growth in radicalization has made it even more difficult for Pakistan to consolidate its democratic gains. But religious extremism is perceived primarily as a security issue, rather than part of a broader societal shift. Rivets Learning, with support from USIP, has recently published a book of seven essays, “Pakistan Here and Now: Insights into Society, Culture, Identity and Diaspora,” that attempts to decipher the interplay of external discourse and local narratives of diversity and inclusion to help reshape the discussion around combating violent extremism in Pakistan. 

On January 17 USIP hosted the book’s editor and several contributors for a discussion on the context and development of extremist narratives in Pakistan, as well as how they can be countered by a focus on inclusion and tolerance. Looking beyond the short-term security concerns, the speakers addressed how to build a more democratic, inclusive and tolerant Pakistan by drawing on the country’s own traditions and history.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #PakistanHereandNow.


Harris Khalique 
Poet and Editor of “Pakistan Here and Now”

Fatimah Ihsan
Head of Gender Studies Department, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad; Contributor, “Pakistan Here and Now” 

Hasan Zaidi 
Editor for Magazines, DAWN Group; Contributor, “Pakistan Here and Now” 

Adnan Rafiq, moderator
Country Director, Pakistan, U.S. Institute of Peace

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