Pakistan: Briefing Manual on Current Affairs

Open Minds project is an IWPR initiative in Pakistan which addresses the extremist propaganda that fosters discord and negative impressions of the West, by offering a fact-based, analytical approach to discussing and disseminating information on critical social issues.

Only around 50 per cent of Pakistani pupils go on from primary school to middle and higher secondary schools. These young people are a prime target for recruiting efforts by terrorist organisations.

Open Minds is focusing on young people aged 16 to 19 who are susceptible to the influence of those who wish to spread violent, extremist propaganda. The project is intended to help them develop independent thinking skills and a greater ability to analytically assess information that they receive from others.

In this context, a briefing manual on current affairs has been designed for vulnerable adolescents in Pakistani public and private schools and madrassahs (religious schools), to offer them a different perspective from that offered by conventional modes of learning. This briefing manual sets out to help them improve their skills in articulating their views.

This briefing manual covers contemporary issues such as economic development; democracy and rule of law, human rights, the role of Islam in an effective state, and the causes and consequences of extremism.

Production of this briefing manual was supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.

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