Agha Khan Rural Support Program: A Critical Analysis
Author: Hamza Murad


The concept of rural development encompasses a wide range of issues, both in terms of practice and theory. Overwhelmingly, development organizations and practitioners throughout the globe are engaged with it. In the 1960s and 1970s, rural development became more popular. The current research aims to measure and analyze tools of social engineering and analyses of the existing situation of Aga Khan Rural Support Programs (AKRSP) in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The qualitative research methodology was followed and depth -in interviews, with the help of a semi – structured interview guide, along with one Focus Group Discussion were conducted. In addition, Research Articles and Government Reports were also included in the data. The researcher analyzed the data manually by open and axial coding leading to themes. Data shows that the integration of AKRSP in society is the result of the community’s involvement with development projects. Furthermore, the bottom-up approach of the AKRSP team paved the way for sustainable development. Almost all projects of AKRSP remain successful and they also implemented various Western development models yielding effective results. Similarly, the founder of the program also played the role of charismatic leader which, further, established the values of development in the region. In addition, as the program firstly was introduced in the valleys dominated by the Ismaili community, so, they responded eagerly. The ideology of Hazir-o-Nazir (everywhere present) and other theological factors are responsible for the initial takeoff of the project. The research recommends, though there are theological, geographical, and social peculiarities, nevertheless, that such policies should be extended across the country for equitable development.

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Keywords : AKRSP, Hazir-o-Nazir, Ideology, Rural Development, Sustainable Development
Supervisor: Fahad Zulfiqar

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