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Pakistan Studies, like most area studies, came into being at a time of national crisis in Pakistan. The separation of East Pakistan in 1971 brought into focus various aspects of national life in Pakistan. The tragedy led the ruling elite and the intelligentia to the conclusion that there was an urgent need to study Pakistani society in a manner that would contribute to national cohesion and strength. The first off-shoot of such thinking was the establishment, in 1973, of a Department of Pakistan Studies at the country's premier university, the University of Islamabad(now Quaid-i-Azam University). Interest in Pakistan Studies increased and by 1976 a comprehensive programme for its promotion was chalked out. Great interest was shown at the highest political level and a parlimentary act provided for the establishment of several Pakistan Studies in various universities of Pakistan. At the same time much effort went into the development of curricula for Pakistan Studies at the secondary level. In 1978, the Government declared Pakistan Studies a compulsory subject at all levels of education up to the first degree, including professional degree.


In April 1983,the Government of Pakistan established the National Institute of Pakistan Studies at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. It started functioning from 01 July, 1983.The Institute is an autonomous organization and is a part of the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Its academic programmes are subject to the approval by the Academic Council of the University which awards degrees to the students of the Institute.
The Director is the academic and administrative head of the Institute.

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