The Pakistan Workshops in the Lake District were a regular feature for Pakistan and Pakistani Diaspora specialists from 1986 until the global COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel the Workshop in 2020. While it is unlikely that we’ll be able to resume these Workshops in the Lake District in 2021, it may be possible in the future.
In the meantime, we can organise other workshops and conference panels with a Pakistan focus. It will be hard to replicate the Lake District, but I’m sure we can capture some important elements of the Pakistan Workshops in the Lake District.
One of the strengths of the Pakistan Workshops was its inclusive ethos. Regardless of your status or institutional affiliation, participants were always willing to take others’ work seriously and try to help them identify ways to improve it.
The Workshop, while ostensibly a scholarly activity, offered those of us who work in hectic urban environments a chance to get away from the frenetic pace that has become normal. For a few days a year, we were disconnected from our cell phones, our emails and just talk about ideas and get to know others who shared an interest in Pakistan.
While there are many things we can try to replicate in London, one thing we will struggle with is capturing the ambience created by those ancient wood burning fireplaces in the meeting room and the dormitories. One day, we may get back to the Lake District, but for now, the memories of singed fingers and fighting for a place near the fireplace will have to do!