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Historians discuss improvements in the discipline

Historians discuss improvements in the discipline

ISLAMABAD: At the Historians Moot, on Thursday, organised by the National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), historians lamented that history is an important discipline which remains neglected in Pakistan.

Over 100 prominent historians and university and college teachers from Islamabad and Rawalpindi region attended the one day moot. Historians Professor Dr Khurram Qadir, Dr Rafiq Afzal, Dr Naeem Qureshi, Dr Riaz and Dr Javid Haider Syed were among those who attended the moot.

Participants passed a resolution and vowed to establish a forum for Pakistani historians to collaborate for research and development in the discipline of history.

QAU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Javed Ashraf, who was the chief guest at the moot, said that QAU is carrying out high quality research at the M.Phil and PhD levels. He said that he would play a role in promotion of teaching and research in history.

Senior research fellow Dr Sajjid Mehmood Awan told Dawn there is a serious need to promote history as a discipline. “Pakistan has produced several progressive writers such as Mubarak Ali, Dr Mubashir Hussain and Tariq Ali but unfortunately, they have not received recognition at the official level. These writers are not mentioned in any national historical narrative,” he said. Dr Awan added that there is a dire need for the documentation of regional history.

Earlier, in his welcome address NIHCR Director Professor Dr Syed Wiqar Ali Shah said the moot was the first step towards the promotion of the discipline of history. “The purpose is to offer a platform to historians and history teachers of the twin cities to offer their views on the current state of the discipline,” he said.

Dr Shah said the moot was aimed at discussing the role of historians in the currently changing environment, strengthening the discipline of history, identifying research areas and facilitating research and development in the domain of historical research.

He said the proposals of the participants would help advance the discipline of history in the larger national interest and ultimately pave the way for exploring new avenues in historical research.

A platform would be offered to historians to share their knowledge for the greater benefit of historians, teachers, scholars, researchers and students alike.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2015

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