UPIC’s seventh trip to Pakistan in April 2017, brought together 30 delegates from 12 countries. It was an opportunity to reflect on what UPIC has achieved since 2011. Having stressed interpersonal connections as a tool for creating a bridge between seemingly divided communities, Intersections carried out this mission by nurturing new and old relationships. University of Management and Technology’s co-hosting of UPIC this year highlights the recognition that over 65% of Pakistanis are under the age of 30, making collaborations with universities and youth based centers a crucial link to this next generation.
In terms of honoring established relationships, an unparalleled moment in Pakistani history occurred when three different religious leaders- an imam, priest and rabbi- prayed over Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad’s grave. They recognized his legacy as an early contributor to UPIC and dedication to working for interfaith harmony. By sharing personal stories and religious experiences, UPIC 2017 opened eyes to ease tensions and deal with perceptions and misperceptions in all their complexities.