Oxford University Pakistan Society
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|Oxford University Pakistan Society|
|President||Rinchan Ali Mirza|
Oxford University Pakistan Society is a student society in the University of Oxford for Pakistani nationals, people of Pakistani ancestry and everyone interested in Pakistan. It was founded in the 1950s and is one of the oldest Pakistani societies in the United Kingdom. The society is renowned for its cultural events and talks by well-known and influential figures from Pakistan. It is widely considered to be one of the most powerful and influential student-run Pakistani societies in the world.
The Oxford University Pakistan Society aims to promote the heritage and culture of Pakistan and provides a social platform for Pakistani students to get to know each other and form strong relationships. The society not only serves as a medium of cultural exchange with student societies of other countries, it also aims to promote awareness about Pakistan’s internal and foreign affairs while engaging the students in debate regarding important issues. As part of a small and privileged group of Pakistani students to get the opportunity to study at this hallowed institution, the society also aims to be at the forefront for a positive change in Pakistan and lay the intellectual grounds for the formation of a progressive, democratic Pakistan.
The Society is renowned for its educational and high profile speaker events. It has hosted speakers from all walks of life including politicians, journalists, celebrities, academics and sportsmen among others. These speaker events are almost always free for members of the public. The society is not affiliated with any political party or movement, which allows it to host speakers of great diversity.
Guest speakers for the society have included former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, politician Imran Khan, former ambassador Maleeha Lodhi and renowned Kashmiri leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq among others. A full list of speakers and performers for the society may be found from the society's official website.
The society recently became the centre of controversy when there was a ruckus by some attendees during a talk by Former Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza in November 2011. The disruptors were removed from the venue and the society later issued a formal press release condemning the disruption and assuring future speakers and attendees of their safety and security.
The Society holds a series of cultural and educational events annually. An annual cultural event in collaboration with the Oxford Indian Society to celebrate Eid called the "Eid Milan Extravanganza" is held every year in Michaelmas Term which involves a buffet dinner and several performances from society members. Debates on sensitive topics such as blasphemy, secularism and Kashmir have also been held every year in Hilary term and these debates are chaired by the leading academics in the relevant fields.
The Oxford University Pakistan Society also annually hosts Pakistan Future Leaders' Conference, a leadership development program that aims to bring together outstanding young people from around the country and help them build critical leadership skills that will help them groom in to successful leaders of the future. Former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chairman of Senate Farooq Naek have both been keynote speakers for the conferences hosted by the society in Oxford.
The Society is also renowned for its Annual Mushaira held in late February each year, which is one of the largest gatherings of leading Urdu and Punjabi poets in the United Kingdom. Renowned Urdu writers and poets such as Akbar Hyderabadi, Saqi Farooqi and Khalid Yusuf have all been regular guests and performers at the society's Mushaira
- "OUSU Society List". Oxford University Student Union.
- "Pak Snaps". Eid Milan Extravaganza Clips.
- "PFLC 2012". Pakistan Future Leaders Conference.
- "The News International Report". The News International Report on PFLC Oxford.
- "Nation Article". Farooq Naek in Oxford.