Pakistan calling: Engaging British Pakistanis

Some charitable organisations say “we find Pakistan too difficult,” this projects aims to show them it isn't.


Web Desk October 03, 2013
Anwar Akhtar, director of The Samosa. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)and Anwar Akhtar, director of The Samosa describe the aims, ambition and thinking behind the Pakistan Calling Programme.

They discuss issues in Pakistan, such as social enterprise and international development, as well as British identity and engagement with communities, diversity and community cohesion within Britain. The Samosa is an online news and culture site that links South Asia and Britain.

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Pakistan Calling – A new way of thinking



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Anwar said that the RSA and the Samosa have been working together to “try and bring stories from Pakistan about work in Pakistan that civil and cultural organizations are doing into Britain and raise awareness in Britain about that work”

He added that time and time again, he has heard major organizations, some the largest developmental organizations on the planet, have said “We find Pakistan too difficult, we don’t even know where to begin.” This project aims to show that there are ways to engage Pakistan.

For Matthew, this project is about “contributing to a more positive and more informed, more nuanced conversation about Pakistan and Britain… away from the idea of Pakistan in terms of issues to do with extremism and terror.”

He also said that is it very important to engage British Pakistanis. Matthew said “showcasing social entrepreneurship, initiatives in Pakistan which are seeking to make society better and linking those kinds of examples… to social enterprise, social initiatives within the British Pakistani community,” is important to generate a much richer dialogue between the two communities.

Lots of British Pakistanis are involved in social work in Pakistan. Anwar feels that this work should be connected to larger scale activity that the Foreign Office is involved in. He added that attempts should be made to engage organisations like the British Council to get involved in this work.

PAKISTAN CALLING FEATURES

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Theatre group Ajoka has been part of the struggle for a democratic, humane and egalitarian Pakistan for the last 25 years.
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Pop up mobile cinema Karachi style with the Tentative Collective. Imagine if a rickshaw pulled up into your neighbourhood and started projecting videos on a boundary wall.
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A documentary on a Pakistani-British cultural exchange exploring how we think of Pakistan- a nation of pride and promise? Or a nation of prejudices
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Mr Ali Shah talks about his life both in Britain, where he has set up several successful businesses, and in Pakistan. It also interviews his son Cuream about his identity.
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How the Association Development Of Pakistan provided clean water in Charsadda District.
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Thess films are a part of Pakistan Calling!  www.thersa.org/pkcalling #pkcalling  The RSA and www.thesamosa.co.uk launched  Pakistan Calling  www.thersa.org/pkcalling a film project to challenge perceptions of today's Pakistan and to promote constructive cross-cultural dialogue between Britain and Pakistan. The films depict Pakistani civil society organisations, social entrepreneurs and individuals who are attempting to tackle the country's many pressing social problems and the many links between Britain and Pakistan

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COMMENTS (7)

islooboy | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend @MSS: americans pakistanis are ashamed of there heritage and religion while british pakistanis honour there country and religion us pakis are just burgers gone yanki
islooboy | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@Ali: well americans pakistanis are mostly karachites while british pakistanis are from rural pakistan and more attached to there roots travel pakistan often and help the local economy

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