Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Opportunities and Obstacles for Civil Society

Launch of our latest report on Pakistan, hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center

Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Opportunities and Obstacles for Civil Society

Thursday February 26, 2015



A Strategic Plan to Empowering Pakistans Civil Society to Counter Violent Extremism

The December 16, 2014, school massacre in Peshawar is a sobering reminder of the still-potent threat of militancy in Pakistan. Encouragingly, nongovernmental organizations have been developing grassroots initiatives to counter violent extremism (CVE) – from candlelight vigils to anti-Taliban protests.  However a number of challenges remain ahead to transform this momentum into a nationwide campaign against terrorism. What does Pakistani civil society hope to achieve with its anti-extremism movement? What can be done-by Pakistan and the United States-to help strengthen Pakistani civil society in its efforts against violent extremism? And what role can or should foreign assistance play? This event, on the heels of the White House’s Summit to Counter Violent Extremism, marked the release of “A Strategic Plan for Empowering Pakistan’s Civil Society to Counter Violent Extremism,” published by WORDE, and  featured presentations by researchers and activists on the front lines of civil society’s anti-extremism efforts in Pakistan.



  • Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia, Woodrow Wilson Center


  • Waleed Ziad, Director of South and Central Asia Programs, WORDE
  • Mehreen Farooq, Senior Fellow, WORDE
  • Nadia Naviwala, Visiting Faculty at NDU (Islamabad), former Country Representative, USIP Pakistan
  • Jibran Nasir, Lawyer, Human Rights Activist, Independent Politician and Co-Founder Pakistan For All (via Skype)
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