FAZAL-UR REHMAN (AFRIDI)
Editor, expert on the Middle East, and co-ordinator for Israel.
IRESK is a Paris-based non-profit and nonpartisan membership organization and think-tank with a mission of improving the understanding of the central and South Asian region coupled with the analysis of international affairs through high quality research and liberal exchange of ideas between scholars, academics and researchers from East and West for better understanding. Providing innovative and practical solutions to the issues faced by the region and helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis for regional governments and International community. AF-PAK) region, South Asia and the world requires a dynamic and pro-active research-oriented approach to deal with the evolving challenges on regional and international level. Solutions based on thorough research and analysis of the whole range of issues with which the AF-PAK region is confronted with, are the only choice. This viable alternative for sustainable research-based solutions is what we offer at the Khyber Institute for Research & Strategic Studies.
The rapidly changing geo-political environment in the Afghanistan-Pakistan (AF-PAK) region, South Asia and the world requires a dynamic and pro-active research-oriented approach to deal with the evolving challenges on regional and international level. Solutions based on thorough research and analysis of the whole range of issues with which the AF-PAK region is confronted with, are the only choice. This viable alternative for sustainable research-based solutions is what we offer at the Khyber Institute for Research & Strategic Studies.
The Pashtun People, who are the largest part of the population of Afghanistan, and who comprise one seventh of the population of Pakistan, have been faced with unprecedented challenges to their survival and their continued existence over the last four decades. With the not too distant rise to power of religious extremists and terrorists darkening our horizon, groups which are supported by factions in Pakistan, and the governments and religious establishments in Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf states, the very foundations of Pashtun culture are at stake as these terrorists are bent upon systematically destroying the Pashtun symbols of culture and traditions. We are also pained to note that Pashtun society is afflicted with both man-made and natural catastrophes of grave magnitude.
At The Khyber Institute for Research & Strategic Studies (IRESK) we focus on inviting the attention of the international community towards the grave problems and the genuine demands of Pashtuns for the preservation and protection of their secular values, traditions and culture. International support in the field of education, economic development and preservation of the old traditions of Pashtuns can help eradicate or minimize the damage done to Pashtun society by the extremist and terrorist elements in AF-PAK region. We deem this to be one of the most effective ways to defeat fundamentalism and terrorism. The militaristic approach adopted to date has brought us many deaths, but no solutions.
Countering the Salafist ideology of hate and killing by promoting Pashtun traditions and nationalism for creating unity among Pashtun to fight against these evil forces is an approach that will bring us the blessings of success. IRESK is fully committed to encouraging and promoting Pashtun culture, language and the inherent values of Pakhtunwali, the traditional set of Pashtun traditions which have guided our people for millennia and which will provide us with a path to peace, security and stability in the region. We can achieve all these above mentioned goals by mobilizing Pashtun intellectuals in the AF-PAK region and in the West. IRESK is committed to create a better democratic and secular society through non-violent means – such as modern state-of-the-art education, sustainable economic development, human rights advocacy and political education programs.
At this critical juncture, Pashtuns are at loggerheads with the Taliban, some ethnic groups in Afghanistan, the Pakistani establishment, and international powers, in fighting a war for their very survival. The situation is further complicated in the wake of departure of NATO and US forces from Afghanistan, which we expect will further strengthen the anti-Pashtun elements on both sides of the disputed Durand Line which divides the Pashtun nation.
In their checkered history of wars and conflicts with regional and international superpowers, Pashtuns have never been in such a great need of unity and solidarity. IRESK invites all the Pashtuns to unite and express solidarity with their brothers who are frontline warriors against terrorism and extremism. Unity and solidarity can save us. Regional and international peace and stability will not be possible without resolving the issues which divide the Pashtuns on both side of the Durand Line and helping them establish a united Pashtun entity in the heart of central and South Asia.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES OF IRESK:
The main aims and objectives of IRESK are enumerated as set forth below:
- To undertake research projects covering a broad spectrum of topics like education, health, political and geo-strategic affairs, poverty alleviation, human rights (focusing particularly on the women’s and children’s rights), empowerment of women through the development of and promotion of gender equality, and though building of NGOs which pursue these aims in central and South Asia.
- To provide up-to-date information and expert analysis on the events in the region, to support research oriented scientific studies by publishing the books, articles, reviews & interviews, research papers & reports on different topics of public interest.
- To support the role of individuals and organizations in presenting solutions and directing the dynamics of change towards empowerment and prosperity of the people at large.
- To open up lines of communication between Pashtuns and French people at all levels. Pashtuns are misunderstood here in France. There have been almost no contacts between the two peoples. So, both the peoples have developed opinions of each other mainly based on stereotypes and prejudices propagated by their respective media. Lack of motivation on the part of both the peoples in understanding the fears and hopes of the respective communities has further distanced them. All these fears, baseless propaganda and misunderstandings will be removed through people to people physical contacts, dialogue and communications in the fields of culture, language, education and human rights. This initiative will enhance mutual understanding and trust, which is badly lacking now.
- To organize workshops, seminars and International and regional conferences on hot topics of the region and organize training sessions and refresher courses for the development of research skills for those who have the potential to be researchers.
- To facilitate the exchange of singers, poets, intellectuals and journalists between France and the AF-PAK region.
- To use this organization to take the cause of Pashtuns as oppressed people to the international community and organizations like the European Union, and United Nations, and to nation states such as the United Kingdom, theUnited States ofAmericaand the Dominion of Canada.
Enough is enough!
We have to put an end to the mind-set of using Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s Pashtun areas as a Global Military Academy for real-time-training of military personnel from around the world. We turn to you, fellow Pashtuns, and people of good will to help us achieve the greatness our people can accomplish at long last.
We Pashtuns are the descendants of the Northern Tribes of the Children of Israel (Bani-Israil), a large number of us coming ultimately from the loins of Joseph (Yusof A.S), the viceroy who saved Egypt from famine nearly four millennia ago. Like our fabled ancestor, we can do great things. He rose from a jail, and with God’s help, interpreted dreams, and then provided solutions to the crises those dreams warned of.
He saved two nations –Egypt and Israel.
With God’s help, we, working together, cannot fail to save just one – the Pashtun Nation! It’s time to get to work!
Institut de recherche et d’études stratégiques de Khyber (IRESK)
Khyber Institute for Research & Strategic Studies
Member of International Alliance against Terrorism
Registered in Paris-France under the French Law of Associations 1901.
Copyright ©, IRESK, 2012