It is our pleasure to welcome you to the fifth annual Soch: Columbia Pakistan Symposium 2020. Since its inception in 2016, Soch has captured the spirit of intercultural dialogue and diplomatic exchange that is present throughout New York City. As one of the few conferences in the US to focus on Pakistan, we aim to foster constructive dialogue that can produce tangible change within Pakistan and the larger South Asian community.
This year, Soch will be highlighting voices from Pakistan that otherwise are not present in the mainstream media: voices of the Baloch and Pashtuns. In Balochistan, an insurgency movement has continuously plagued the region, whereas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a social movement for Pashtun rights is rapidly gaining leverage. This year, Soch would like to amplify the unheard voices of these communities in order to understand what their demands are from Pakistani state. Thus, Soch will be hosting its annual symposium in 2020, titled: “Naya Pakistan, Magar Kiska Pakistan? Unravelling the Claims of the Baloch and the Pashtuns".
Over the course of the conference, Soch hopes to dissect how the ideas surrounding the concept of Naya Pakistan--a Pakistan that is reformed, just, and filled with hope--apply to the Baloch and the Pashtuns. By analyzing Pakistan’s post-colonial history, civil and military institutions, and the impact of journalism on these issues alongside scholars and journalists, Soch hopes to answer the following questions: How has Pakistan’s history, from its partition period to the current era of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf, impacted the present political climate of these regions? If the people of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are indeed citizens of Pakistan, why are their grievances labeled as anti-state or conflated with foreign agendas? Ultimately, Soch hopes to foster constructive discourse on what practical and actionable efforts can be pursued by all Pakistanis to bring political stability to Pakistan.
Soch returns on March 7th, 2020 to Columbia University to once again provide a platform that hopes to ultimately inspire individuals to enact meaningful change among their communities. Our team has been working tirelessly since September in order to make Soch a fascinating and memorable experience for all our attendees. Please browse our website to learn more about Soch 2020 and do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions at email@example.com. We’re excited to see you on March 7th!
Mehrose Ahmad and Sarah Irfan
10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
11:00 AM to 11:10 AM
11:30 AM to 12:45 PM
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
2:15 PM to 3:15 PM
3:30 PM to 4:45 PM
4:45 PM to 4:55 PM
4:55 PM to 5:30 PM
Panel 1: Balochistan: The Forgotten Province
Keynote Speech: Hamid Mir
Panel 2: Protesting Pashtuns: A Closer Look at the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM)