Keynote Speakers


Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani

Invited Speaker: Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani

Profile: Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani son of Syed Afzaal Ali Shah Gillani was born on April 30, 1975. After acquiring his early education from Aitchison College, Lahore, he graduated in 1995 from Government College, Lahore and obtained M.Sc. degree in (Textile Marketing) in 1999 from Philadelphia University, Philadelphia.

He served as Nazim, UC 110, Hujra during 2000-01; as Member of Punjab Assembly during 2002-07 and functioned as Minister for Housing Urban Development & Public Health Engineering during 2003-07. An agriculturist, who has returned to the Punjab Assembly for the second term in general elections 2008.

He has extensively travelled abroad and visited USA, Australia, UK, Turkey, and UAE and has attended various National & International Seminars/Conferences.

He has been made provincial Higher Education Minister in December, 2016 in the cabinet of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. Since then, he has taken many beneficial steps for enhancing the performance of Higher Education Department and introduced sustained reforms-process to improve the overall standards of higher education institutions, especially the public sector universities.


Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad

Invited Speaker: Rector University of Management and Technology (UMT)

Profile: Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad Rector, University of Management of Technology (UMT), Lahore, is a distinguished National Professor and eminent scholar of philosophy, organizational science, management, and policy. Besides his entrepreneurial success in the shape of University of Management and Technology (UMT), he holds 25 silver years of practically diverse experience as he has strived to build world class business support units in the areas of Finance, Sensitive and Defense Technology, Mobile Technology, Leadership, Supply Chain, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Town Planning, Micro and Macro Level Academia. Before the inception of UMT, Dr. Hasan served as the Director General, Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) from 1992 to 1999. In accumulation to his current position, he also acts as Chairman for ILM Colleges, The Knowledge School project, MIZAB Engineering, I-Ways International, First IBL Modaraba and Association for Academic Quality, (AFAQ).

Dr. Hasan has been the President of Association of Management Development Institutions in Pakistan (AMDIP) for four years. He is the Member Executive Board and Executive Council of Association of Management Development Institutions in South Asia (AMDISA), and Asia Academy of Management respectively. Dr. Hasan is also the Member, Board of Governors of Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Tricastmedia (Pvt) Ltd and International Business Forum, Turkey


Rev. Robert Chase

Invited Speaker: Director of Intersections International,
at Collegiate Church, New York.

Profile: In September 2007, the Rev. Robert Chase was called to be the Founding Director of Intersections International, a global initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York, the oldest corporation in North America, dating back to 1628. Intersections is an interfaith venture that brings people together across lines of difference to forge common ground and build outcomes-oriented strategies that address peace, justice and reconciliation in the world. From 1999-2007, Chase served as Director of Communication for the 1.2 million member United Church of Christ.

He is an award-winning video producer with more than 100 productions to his credit. At the United Church of Christ, he was responsible for directing and providing vision for the denomination’s communication efforts in public relations; marketing and education through radio, video and emerging electronic technologies. He also served as Executive Director of the UCC’s Office of Communication, Inc., the denomination’s historic media justice agency that has worked on behalf of the public interest in broadcasting for almost half a century.

He was responsible for the UCC’s web-based ministry and served as publisher of United Church News, the church’s national newspaper, which upon his departure had a circulation of more than 200,000.

For 15 years, from 1982-1997, Chase was founder and President of Creative Connections in Media, a full-service communications company based in Rhinebeck, N.Y.  There, he produced promotional and interpretive resources in a variety of media, primarily for a not-for-profit clientele.

His work took him from the northern slope of Alaska to the black townships of South Africa, from rural Chinese villages to the urban favellas of Brazil.
Chase is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He served as congregational minister in Presbyterian and UCC churches and as co-founder and Associate Director of Willowbrook Ministries, an inter-faith shopping center ministry in Wayne, N.J. Rev. Chase earned a Master of Divinity Magna cum Laude from New Brunswick (N.J.) Theological Seminary, and a B.A. with honors in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He is married to Blythe and they have two adult children and three grandchildren



Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad (late)

Invited Speaker: (Memorial Lecture) To be delivered by Dr. John Esposito

Profile: Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad (late) was a renowned Pakistani social scientist and scholar who trained generations of young Muslim scholars across the world. During his association with the International Islamic University (IIU) in Islamabad, he also served as the Vice President and President of IIU. He was a key partner and close associate of Intersections International New York, and under his guidance Intersections phenomenally expanded our peace building efforts in Pakistan through the US-Pakistan Inter-religious Consortium (UPIC). He was serving as Executive Director and Professor of Political Science at Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD) at the time of his death. He was serving as Executive Director and Professor of Political Science at Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD) at the time of his death. Dr. Ahmad made remarkable contributions to the discourse on Islam – researching and writing widely on contemporary Islamist social movements, the political sociology of religious groups and political developments in South Asia and the Middle East. Dr. Ahmad taught also taught Political Science at Hampton University in Virginia for twenty years, and mentored countless students.

Ultimately, Dr. Ahmad was committed to the Islamic value of human dignity as it informs both private and public life. That value informed his views on critical issues such as Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and their misuse to justify attacks against non-Muslims alleged to have insulted Islam His love for the United States (where he spent a significant proportion of his life) was embodied in his passionate dedication to teaching and mentoring American students.

Dr. Ahmad was not only a committed educator, but he was a model scholar and public intellectual of the highest integrity. Those who knew him – fondly remember him as a brilliant scholar of Political Science, an intellectual giant and a man of innumerable talents. His witty, generous and incredibly compassionate nature made him loved by all. His bravery, honesty and critical incisiveness also made him popular and well respected among numerous government and private circles.



Dr. Abdullah al-Ahsan

Invited Speaker:Professor, Comparative History,
Department of History and Civilization,
International Islamic University Malaysia.

Profile: Dr. Abdullah al-Ahsan is a renowned Muslim academic and professor of Comparative History in the Department of History and Civilization, International Islamic University Malaysia. He is known for his academic work documenting the Organization of Islamic Conference and addressing crises in the post-colonial Muslim world through study of the relationship between the contemporary Western and Islamic civilizations.

Abdullah al-Ahsan completed his Bachelors and Masters in Pakistan from University of Punjab in General Studies and Quaid-i-Azam University in History respectively. He then proceeded to study in McGill University, Montreal, Canada, doing a Masters in Islamic Studies and finally gained his Ph.D in History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the USA. 

Al-Ahsan has published books, monographs and articles on the relationship between contemporary Islamic and Western civilizations with specific focus on education, politics, science and good governance.


Dr. Amjad Saqib

Invited Speaker : social entrepreneur

Profile: Dr. Amjad Saqib, a medical graduate from King Edward Medical College, was selected for the nation’s topmost bureaucratic institution, the elite Civil Service of Pakistan in 1985. Having stood out as a public servant, right when his career was about to move towards higher echelons, he resigned in 2003 with the intent to dedicate himself to becoming a social entrepreneur and make a difference in societal change through Akhuwat –

In 1993, Dr. Amjad Saqib completed Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship and took his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the American University, Washington D.C., USA. He terms his stint in the US as most inspiring period of his academic and professional career. He also studied at LUMS, where he completed the one-year LUMS - McGill University Program in Social Enterprise & Management. He served in top management positions throughout his career in public service and was recognized as a diligent, outspoken and highly competent civil servant.


Dr. Basit Bilal Koshul

Invited Speaker Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Profile: Dr. Basit Bilal Koshul is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, where he has taught since 2006. He previously taught for four years at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. His interests include the relationship between religion and modernity, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, the sociology of culture and the contemporary Islam-West encounter. He authored The Postmodern Significance of Max Weber’s Legacy (2005) and co-edited Scripture, Reason and the Contemporary Islam-West Encounter (2007). Koshul received his PhD in 2003 from Drew University, specializing in the sociology of religion, and in 2010 earned a second PhD from the University of Virginia. .


Dr. Charles Amjad-Ali

Invited Speaker: Ph.D. studies, contemporary philosophy,
at Frederich Wilhelm University, Bonn.
Doctorate in theology, University of Uppsala, Sweden.

Profile: Dr. Charles Amjad-Ali joined the Luther Seminary faculty in 1997 as visiting professor of Christian mission and social justice after a series of international lectureships reaching back well over a decade. In May 1997 he received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chair of Justice and Christian Community. Before Luther Seminary, he has lectured at Princeton, Notre Dame, St. Thomas and Temple Universities as well as at Princeton, and Union Theological Seminaries, he has also served on the faculties in South Africa, Sweden, England, Germany, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and his native Pakistan. 

He also holds a post-doctoral certificate in Islamic Law and History from Columbia University (1985) and has done Ph.D. studies in contemporary philosophy at Frederich Wilhelm University in Bonn, Germany.He received an honorary doctorate in theology from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, in 1995. 



Dr. Deborah Mullen

Invited Speaker: Associate Professor, American Christianity and Black Church Studies.
Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Columbia.

Profile: Dr. Deborah Mullen is an Associate Professor of American Christianity and Black Church Studies, is the newly appointed Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Columbia Theological Seminary. Dr. Mullen served for six years (2010-2016) as Dean of Faculty and Executive Vice President. Dr. Mullen was called to Columbia Theological Seminary from McCormick Theological Seminary where she completed 21 years of service including as Dean of Masters Level Programs, Associate Professor of Ministry and Historical Studies, and as the founding director of The Center for African American Ministries and Black Church Studies.

She has taught in South Korea, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Dr. Mullen received her PhD in History of Christianity from the University of Chicago and her Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Among her published works are Ordination: Past, Present, Future (co-editor), articles in Presbyterian Survey, The Journal of Presbyterian History; and book chapters in Out of the Ashes; Ending Racism in the Church; Shaping Beloved Community: Multicultural Theological Education; Renewing the Vision: Reformed Faith of the 21st Century. Dr. Mullen is a member of the Association of Theological Schools Board of Directors and the Wabash Center Advisory Committee.



Dr. Ejaz Akram

Invited Speaker Specializations: Religion & Politics and Comparative Political Philosophy

Profile:Dr. Ejaz Akram joined the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS in August 2005. He holds a Ph.D. in World Politics (Specializations: Religion & Politics and Comparative Political Philosophy) from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He also holds two M.A. degrees; Master of Arts in Comparative & Regional Studies (Middle East & South Asia) from the School of International Service at American University in Washington D.C., and Master of Arts in International Relations from CUA, Washington, D.C. Before joining LUMS, Dr. Akram was at the American University in Cairo and he has also been a part of the summer faculty of Franklin College, Switzerland.

Dr. Akram's research and teaching focuses on Islam and the Muslim world, but also the religio-political issues and political philosophies of Judaism, Christianity in the Western Traditions and Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism from among the Eastern Traditions.


Dr. Hans Kochler

Invited Speaker: Professor Emeritus of Philosophy,.
at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.
President, International Progress Organization (I.P.O.).

Profile: Dr. Hans Kochler is University Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He is the founder and President of the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.), an NGO in consultative status with the United Nations; co-ordinator of the Vienna Center for Global Dialogue; Co-Chair of the International Academy of Philosophy; and member of the Advisory Council of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Malaysia. Köchler is the author of numerous articles and books on issues of cultural hermeneutics, inter-cultural dialogue and political and legal philosophy.



Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani

Invited Speaker Doctorate in Political Science from MIT

Profile:Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani holds a doctorate in Political Science from MIT and is a specialist in public opinion research. He pioneered the field of opinion polling in Pakistan and established the Pakistan Institute of Public Opinion, the Pakistani affiliate of the Gallup International Association in 1980. He is currently the Chairman of PIPO.


Dr. Jasmin Zine

Invited Speaker: Associate Professor of Sociology,
at Wilfred Laurier University.
Lecturer at the Ontario Institute for Education Studies,
at the University of Toronto.

Profile: Dr. Jasmin Zine is an associate professor of Sociology at Wilfred Laurier University and a lecturer at the Ontario Institute for Education Studies at the University of Toronto. She teaches on social inequality, social justice, and education, and has conducted research on homelessness among Muslims and Latin Americans in Toronto.

She also writes on anti-racist education and inclusive methodologies. Her publications include Canadian Islamic Schools: Unraveling the Politics of Faith, Gender, Knowledge and Identity (2008) and Removing the Margins: The Challenges and Possibilities of Inclusive Schooling (2000, as co-author), as well as numerous journal articles.


Dr. John Esposito

Invited Speaker: Professor, Religion and International Affairs,
and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University.
Founding Director, Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian,
at Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Profile: Dr. John Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, John L. Esposito is Founding Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Esposito’s more than 45 books include: The Future of Islam, Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (with Dalia Mogahed), Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Islam and Politics; Makers of Contemporary Islam and Islam and Democracy (with John O. Voll), What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, Asian Islam in the 21st Century (John Voll & Osman Bakar), World Religions Today and Religion and Globalization (with D. Fasching & T. Lewis), Geography of Religion: Where God Lives, Where Pilgrims Walk (with S. Hitchcock), Islam: The Straight Path; Islam and Democracy and Makers of Contemporary Islam (with J. Voll); Modernizing Islam (with F. Burgat) Political Islam: Revolution, Radicalism or Reform?, Religion and Global Order (with M. Watson), Islam and Secularism in the Middle East (with A. Tamimi), Iran at the Crossroads (with R.K. Ramazani), Islam, Gender, and Social Change and Muslims on the Americanization Path and Daughters of Abraham (with Y. Haddad), and Women in Muslim Family Law.

Esposito’s books and articles have been translated into more than 35 languages.  A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Dr. Jeanette P. Esposito. 


Dr. Martin Wilhelm Lau

Invited Speaker Dean & Professor in the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law - (SAHSOL)

Profile: Dr. Martin Wilhelm Lau is Dean & Professor in the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law - (SAHSOL). Dr. Lau holds a PhD. in Law from University of London and Masters of Arts in Area Studies (South Asia). He completed his undergraduate studies in South Asian History from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Before joining LUMS, Dr Lau was a Professor in South Asian law and Deputy Head of Law School at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He was Chair of the Law School from July 2002 until August 2005 and Director of the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law at SOAS from April 1995 to March 1998. He is the Chief Examiner for Islamic Law for the LLB. Program of University of London. Dr Lau has held visiting appointments at Harvard Law School and Nagoya University and has also worked as a Consultant in relation to legal assistance projects in Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran.

As a Barrister at Essex Court Chambers, Dr Lau regularly advises on South Asian, Middle Eastern and Islamic law in the form of expert opinions and advice on commercial law, criminal/human rights law and family law with regard to proceedings before national courts and international arbitration proceedings.


Dr. Salman Sayyid

Invited Speaker: Director of the International Centre
for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding,
at the University of South Australia.

Profile: Dr. Salman Sayyid teaches at University of Leeds. He was the Director of the International Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding, at the University of South Australia. He taught at the Universities of East London, Manchester and Salford. His numerous publications explore culture and politics and the effects of the postcolonial condition on so-called “mainstream” socio-political processes and structures.

He is the author of 'A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentism and the Emergence of Islamism', a book that was banned by the Malaysian government in 2006. Dr Sayyid is the co-editor of 'Thinking through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives and A Postcolonial People Britain'. He is also a joint editor of the monograph series 'Postcolonial Horizons/Decolonial Studies'.



Dr. Shabana Mir

Invited Speaker: Ph.D. Education Policy and Anthropology.
Visiting Researcher, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding,
Georgetown University

Profile: Dr. Shabana Mir taught Anthropology at Millikin University (2012,2014), and graduate and undergraduate courses in Qualitative Research Methods, Education, Anthropology, and Literature at the University of Southern California online (2014-2015), Oklahoma State University (2008-2012), Indiana University (1999-2001), and Eastern Illinois University. She taught English at the International Islamic University, Islamabad (1991-1993).

Dr. Mir earned her Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies and Anthropology, with a concentration in Comparative Education, from Indiana University, Bloomington. She received the Outstanding Dissertation Award for her doctoral dissertation from the American Anthropological Associations Council on Anthropology and Education (2006).



Dr. Syed Noman-ul-Haq

Invited Speaker General Editor of Oxford University Press’ Studies in Islamic Philosophy series

Profile: Dr. Syed Nomanul Haq teaches at University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this, Dr. Haq held professorial positions at Rutgers, Tufts and Brown Universities, and this followed his postdoctoral appointment at the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He is General Editor of Oxford University Press’ Studies in Islamic Philosophy series, and serves on the editorial boards of several international journals, including Islamic Studies, and the Journal of Islamic Science. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the UN sponsored Forum on Religion and Ecology, and of the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Science and Technology, Islamabad; he is an advisor and honorary professor of Hamdard University, Karachi, and a visiting scholar of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.Dr. Haq has published widely and in diverse areas. The American History of Science Association’s official journal Isis, the Journal of the American Oriental Society, and the Harvard Middle East and Islamic Review are among the numerous international scholarly journals in which Dr. Haq has been published. The prestigious periodical of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Daedalus has recently published his paper on Islamic environmental philosophy written by him. In 2001, he published in the journal Nature a review of Stepehen Jay Gould’s Rocks of Ages, discussing the question of science and religion; Nature has published Dr. Haq’s articles also in the past.


Dr. Zahid H. Bukhari

Invited Speaker: President, Islamic Circle of North America.
Director,  American Muslim Studies Program.

Profile: Dr. Zahid H. Bukhari is the former National President of Islamic Circle of North America. He is also Director of the American Muslim Studies Program and Fellow at the Center for MuslimChristian Understanding at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Previously, he served as Director of Pew Project entitled “Muslims in American Public Square.” Dr. Bukhari has a Masters in Economics from the University of Karachi and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. 

His research interests have focused on religion and public policy in the United States. He has vast experience in all aspects of survey research. During 1993-1995, he participated in a national study of the Islamic centers/mosques across North America conducted by the Islamic Resource Institute, Los Angeles, CA.


Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid

Invited Speaker:Author, educator, and an Imam.
President, Sound Vision.

Profile: Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid is an award-winning author, educator, and an Imam. He is Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World’s Religion. He is President of Sound Vision, a foundation that creates multi-media educational materials with “content that helps to build bridges of understanding among neighbors.” Imam Mujahid also chairs Burma Task Force USA a coalition of 19 Muslim organizations to stop genocide in Burma.

He served as an elected member on the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Convention in 2008. In 2006-2009 he served on the Independent Task Force on Civil Liberties and National Security of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Task Force of the initiative “Educating Religious Leaders for a Multi-Religious World,” a collaboration of fifteen theological institutions. He conducts diversity training programs for Muslim leaders and youth, and develops ethnically diverse coalitions to take action on social justice issues.



Honourable Justice Jawad Hasan

Invited Speaker Incumbent Justice of the Lahore High Court

Profile: Honourable Justice Jawad Hasan is an incumbent Justice of the Lahore High Court. He was appointed to his office on 26th November 2016.

Justice Jawad also serves as a Professor of Society and Law at Kinnaird College of Law. .


Melody Fox Ahmed

Invited Speaker: Assistant Director for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
at Georgetown University, Berkley Center

Profile: Melody Fox Ahmed joined Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs in 2006 and serves as the Assistant Director for Programs. She oversees a variety of curricular and co-curricular programming and outreach such as the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, the Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs Certificate, interfaith dialogue and service outreach work, and the Center’s program on religion and global development with the World Faiths Development Dialogue.

She leads Georgetown University’s participation in the White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, a program to increase and deepen interfaith dialogue and service work on campus and in the DC community. She is a member of the US-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium organized by Intersections International, and is a frequent speaker on interfaith issues and Islam in Washington DC.

Previously she worked at the consulting firm Corporate Executive Board and with the Buxton Initiative, an interfaith dialogue organization in Washington, D.C, and has studied and worked in Spain, Mexico, and Brazil.  

She received her B.A. from Vanderbilt University and her M.A. in Global, International, and Comparative History from Georgetown University, with a focus on Latin America and the Muslim world. Her work at the Berkley Center and multifaith, multicultural family background make South Asia a particular area of focus for her research and interfaith dialogue work.



Meredith Smith

Invited Speaker: Project coordinator, at Columbia University,
at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4).

Profile: Meredith Smith works at Columbia University as the Project coordinator at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4). She manages AC4s research grants and supports on the planning and coordination of education and public programming, including the AC4 interview series.

She is an educator and community development specialist with over six years of experience in international and domestic development work in the U.S., Peru and Jordan. Prior to joining AC4, she completed her Master’s degree in Public Administration in Development Practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. For her culminating project, she collaborated with a team to design and assess health related vulnerabilities of underserved urban communities in NYC postHurricane Sandy for Doctors of the World USA.



Mufti Adnan Kakakhail

Invited Speaker leading Islamic educational institutions of Pakistan since 2006

Profile: Mufti Adnan Kakakhail has been teaching various Islamic disciplines in some of the leading Islamic educational institutions of Pakistan since 2006. Till date he has drafted hundreds of Shari’a pronouncements (fatawa) which have been vetted and endorsed by the Head of Ifta Department, many of which are related to Islamic financial contracts and issues. Previously the Shari’a Trainer at the Shari’a Department of Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited (a post he held from 2008 to 2011), he was responsible for conducting 7-8 training sessions per month all over Pakistan. A receiver of the Presidential Award of “Best Debater of Pakistan”, Mufti Syed Adnan Kakakhail is one of the foremost representatives of an emerging cadre of Shari’a scholars continuing to propagate Islamic teachings and expand the frontiers of Islamic finance all over Pakistan and abroad. Well acquainted with six languages, he is a regular columnist for a prominent weekly magazine and a renowned speaker, being frequently invited to deliver lectures at many conferences, seminars, symposiums and public gatherings by national universities and institutions like the Chambers of Commerce and Bar Associations all over Pakistan. Over the years, he has also participated as a debater and panelist in many live and recorded programs for various famous Pakistani TV channels.

Mufti Adnan Kakakhail has authored numerous publications on various Shari’a related subjects, notable among which is an introduction to the books of Qadha, published in prominent newspapers. He has also written more than 400 articles that have been published in eminent magazines and newspapers.


Najam Sethi

Invited Speaker Award-winning Pakistani journalist

Profile:Najam Sethi, an award-winning Pakistani journalist, is the editor-in-chief of The Friday Times, a Lahore-based political weekly, and the Anchor/Analyst of Geo News’ political program: “Aapas ki Baat”. He is the only journalist in S Asia to receive three international press freedom awards in a decade, as well as the Hilal i Pakistan, the country’s highest civil award He was awarded the Golden Pen Press Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers in 2009 for courage in upholding human rights and press freedom.


Nuraan Osman

Invited Speaker Initiated support groups in three different languages for HIV positive

Profile: Nuraan Osman After studying psychology and religion at UCT, Nuraan pursued a career in the field of HIV by working for Positive Muslims based in South Africa, where she was instrumental in launching the Advocacy team at Positive Muslims. She later moved on to Islamic Relief Worldwide where she became the OVC officer in the Western Cape. She initiated support groups in three different languages for HIV positive women in township and slum communities. Nuraan began teaching at a high school in the poorer communities of the Western Cape, and concluded her training of trainers with ‘Bridges of Hope’s’ Peter Labouc here and hosted programs teaching students about HIV and assisting in the creation and implementation of an HIV peer educators program. She returned to Islamic Relief Worldwide to launch the Positive Living Program.

This program equips all of the 40 Islamic Relief country offices with HIV education enables them to deal with HIV related challenges communities. Nuraan has ample experience working with religious leaders and with refugee women. Nuraan now work for the Islamic Resource Foundation of South Africa as the Acting Director. The organization explores the link between HIV and Gender Based Violence. Nuraan is a passionate activist who is encouraging faith based communities to become involved in a positive response to HIV.


Professor Omar Shaukat

Invited Speaker PhD in Religion Studies from University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Profile: Professor Omar Shaukat has a PhD in Religion Studies from University of Johannesburg, South Africa and a Masters in Religious Studies from University of Virginia (2011).

He also has a BA (Economics) from University of Virginia. He has extensive research in Religious studies.


Rabbi Dr. Robert (Reuven) Firestone

Invited Speaker: Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam,
at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles.
Co-Director, Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, Los Angeles.

Profile: Rabbi Dr. Robert (Reuven) Firestone is a Professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, a Senior Fellow of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, and the Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement in Los Angeles. He is also a regular speaker in synagogues, mosques and churches throughout the country.

Author of seven books and over eighty scholarly articles on Judaism, Islam, their relationship with one another and Christianity, and the phenomenology of religion, Rabbi Firestone has lived in Israel and Egypt and lectured at universities in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North America.    

His books include Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims; An Introduction to Islam for Jews; Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam; Who Are the Real Chosen People: The Meaning of “Chosenness” in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as Holy War in Judaism: the Fall and Rise of a Controversial Idea (Oxford University Press, 2012). He received his Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from New York University.  



Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub

Invited Speaker: Director, Jewish Board of Family,
and Children’s Services

Profile: Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW serves as Rabbinic Director of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, one of the nation's premier mental health/social service agencies, serving some 65,000 New Yorkers of all religious, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds through a network of 175 community-based programs, residential facilities and day-treatment centers.

Rabbi Weintraub’s major responsibilities at the Jewish Board are with the NY Jewish Healing Center which integrates Jewish spiritual resources into counseling, support groups, and workshops for the seriously ill, bereaved, and/or survivors of trauma, working with families and friends, caregivers, congregations and clergy, schools and educators, and health care professionals. Rabbi Weintraub is actively involved in Jewish and interfaith efforts related to strengthening intergroup relations and human rights, especially concerning anti-Racism, Muslim-Jewish relations, fighting human trafficking, and more.


Rev. Dr. Bryan Muzas

Invited Speaker M.A. in systematic theology

Profile: Rev. Dr. Bryan Muzas graduated summa cum laude with a B.S.E. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 1996. Supported by a National Science Foundation Fellowship, he obtained an M.S. in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 1998. He then entered seminary and received an M.Div. in pastoral ministry, an M.A. in systematic theology, and two John Paul II Medals for academic accomplishment at Seton Hall University (SHU).




Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm

Invited Speaker: Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Member, Central Committee of the World Council of Churches,
Vice President, National Council of Churches, U.S.A

Profile: Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm was born in Indiana and raised in Florida. He returned to Indiana to attend Butler University (B.A. Religion, 1970) and Christian Theological Seminary (Dr. of Ministry, 1974). Dick is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and served congregations for 25 years in Indiana, Kansas and Missouri.

He received the "Model Minister" Award from the Indiana Region in 1990. He has served in rural, exurban, urban and suburban settings and has been an associate minister, founding pastor of a new church, and senior minister of a multiple staff. He has twice been recognized for mediating settlements in school districts and thus averting teachers' strikes. Dick is a former member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and a former Vice President of the National Council of Churches in the U.S.A.

He has preached from Brisbane to Beijing and Geneva. He holds eight honorary degrees (Bethany College, Butler University, Chapman University, Christian Theological Seminary, Eureka College, Lynchburg College, Phillips University, and Transylvania University). In 2000, he participated in the Jubilee Celebration in Rome at the invitation of Pope John Paul II.   


The Rev. Michael Livingston

Invited Speaker: Executive Minister at the Riverside Church, Manhattan.
Former IWJ National Policy Director, IWJ's Washington, D.C.

Profile: The Rev. Michael Livingston is the Executive Minister at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. He is the former IWJ National Policy Director and served as the Director of IWJ's Washington, D.C. office from 2012 until 2014. During his tenure with IWJ, he was instrumental in echoing values-focused voices as underpaid workers in our nation’s capital called for a raise as a part of the Good Jobs Nation campaign.

He helped organize within the faith community across the country to stand with workers against corporations that are not people and a Congress that refuses to legislate for the common good.He served as IWJ's voice in the halls of Congress and with coalitions advocating for national policies that advance the rights of working families.    



Professor Samina Yasmeen

Invited Speaker: Director, centre for Muslim States and Societies.
University of Western Australia (UWA).
Vice-President, Australian Institute for International Affairs.

Profile: Professor Samina Yasmeen is Director of the Centre for Muslim States and Societies and lectures in Political Science and International Relations in the School of Social and Cultural Studies, the University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth. Professor Yasmeen is a specialist in political, and strategic developments in South Asia (particularly Pakistan), the role of Islam in world politics, and citizenship among immigrant women. She is the author of Understanding Muslim Identities: From Perceived Relative Exclusion to Inclusion (2008).



Sardar Masood Khan

Invited Speaker Presidency of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)

Profile: Sardar Masood Khan assumed the Presidency of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) after a long and distinguished diplomatic career. He was Pakistan’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations and Pakistan’s ambassador to China and other International Organizations in Geneva for six years, he was Pakistan’s chief negotiator for nuclear security summits. Mr. Sardar Masood Khan has worked with the UN in New York, Geneva and other multilateral forums, for more than twenty years. He became President of the UN Security Council in January 2013.

He was Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Geneva, where he also represented as Chairman of the Group 77 and China, 131 developing countries in various international organizations.

Masood Khan has a track record of effective international leadership in diverse matters encompassing peace and security, nuclear diplomacy, prevention of proliferation of biological weapons, social and economic development, Internet governance, migration, and international humanitarian law. Areas of his specialization include Kashmir, South Asia, Pak-China relations, and Pak-US relations. He is a respected diplomat and negotiator of international standing in the UN, the Islamic world, the Western countries and China. He is known in the international community for his refined and result-oriented diplomatic skills. He is an accomplished speaker both in English and Urdu.s.


Simha Rosenberg

Invited Speaker:Coordinator for a partnership,
Joint Distribution Committee, UJAFederation of NY,
and the Israeli government

Profile: Simha Rosenberg has worked for over 40 years in the non-profit community. Highlights include developing a transitional residence for homeless senior adults, working with a broad range of Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic groups to expose a network of fraudulent reproductive health clinics, and directing multi-million dollar grants programs for HIV/AIDS care. Simha served as the NY coordinator for a partnership between the Joint Distribution Committee, UJAFederation of NY, and the Israeli government to improve Israel’s system of services for children and youth at risk.



Syamsu Madyan

Invited Speaker: Doctor, interreligious Studies.
Executive Director, INTERNA (Indonesian Interfaith Network on HIV&AIDS).

Profile: Syamsu Madyan is a doctor in interreligious studies. He studied islam in al-Azhar university in Cairo Egypt and studied comparative religions in the ICRS (Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies) Yogyakarta-indonesia.

Madyan is also an activist for HIV &AIDS. He has been an executive director of INTERNA (Indonesian Interfaith Network on HIV&AIDS) his research concerns Islamic studies, multicultural society, marginalized communities, and social justice. Recently he represents a Muslim scholar who exclusively serves for his Muslim community “Nurul Qolby” as he builds Islamic schools, pesantrens and madrasahs in East Java.

He also serves as a faculty member and head program in Islamic studies at Malang Islamic Multicultural university (UNISMA) –Malang city -East Java-Indonesia.



Tim Frakes

Invited Speaker: Principal Videographer,
Evangelical Lutheran Church, America.

Profile: Tim Frakes is an award winning videographer, video producer, script writer and editor. A 1984 graduate of Harding University, his videos have been broadcast on major television networks and distributed worldwide through DVD sales. From 1993 to 2007 Mr. Frakes served as the Principal Videographer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

In March, 2007, he launched Tim Frakes Productions which produces documentary and image video for non-profit, faith-based, broadcast and corporate clients.

This includes experience in twenty countries across Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Europe and the Middle East as well as many productions in the United States. Frakes’ videos are viewed widely at Vimeo, You Tube and through client websites and he makes his home in suburban Chicago.


Ambassador Zamir Akram

Invited SpeakerPakistan Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Profile: Ambassador Zamir Akram is Pakistan Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. Ambassador Akram has served as the Pakistan Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva from October 2008.

Ambassador Akram joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in July 1978 and has held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistan Missions abroad, including in Moscow, Geneva, New Delhi and Washington and served as Pakistan's Ambassador to Nepal from August 2002 to March 2005.

Ambassador Akram has also served in a variety of positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. He holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from London School of Economics and Political Science.

Rapporteur Committee – Department of Political Science, SSS&H, UMT


Chief Rapporteur


Dr Muhammad Shoaib Pervez

Associate Professor, Chairperson Department of Political Science

School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Department of Political Science

 :     : 3540   

Profile:Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Pervez joined the University of Management and Technology in April 2016 as an Associate Professor of Political Science. He is also the Chair of the Political Science Department in the Faculty of Social Science at UMT. Previously he has worked as Assistant Professor at the Lahore School of Economics (2012-16) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Punjab University, Lahore (2011-12). Pervez did his PhD (International Relations) from Leiden University, Holland in the year 2010. He has won the prestigious Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan Overseas Scholarship for PhD studies abroad (2007-2010). His PhD dissertation is on 'The socially constructed security dilemma between India-Pakistan: an exploration of norms for a security community'. His monograph, 'Security community in South-Asia: India-Pakistan' has been published across the globe by Routledge (2012, New York). This book has also been awarded the 'National Outstanding Research Award for the best book in Social Science category for the year 2012' by the Higher Education Commission, Government of Pakistan in March 2015. In this book he has argued for a normative understanding of a India-Pakistan security community, which is precursor to peace in this most volatile nuclear region of the world. He has also written articles in foreign peer reviewed journals like Contemporary South Asia, Religion Politics & Ideology and International Affairs (Chatham House UK). He has presented his papers in numerous conferences both local and abroad. 



Dr. Fatima Sajjad

Assistant Professor,
Dept. of Political Science UMT.

Profile: Fatima Sajjad has a PhD in International Relations from Punjab University, Lahore.  She completed her MPhil in IR from Kinnaird College, Lahore and MSc. in IR from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She was awarded Principal’s Merit Award at Kinnaird for highest CGPA in her batch.

Fatima has an extensive professional experience as a teacher and teacher trainer. Prior to joining UMT in 2012, she worked as a teacher and trainer at Lahore Grammar School for 8 years. She was awarded Intel Education Award from Intel Education and Ministry of Education for her work as a Teacher Trainer in 2008.She is currently engaged in various research projects on critical peace studies. She occasionally writes for a scholarly blog at Emory University’s website



Dr. Abeeda Qureshi

Assistant Professor
School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Profile: Dr Abeeda Qureshi joined the Department of Political Science at the University of Management and Technology (UMT) in December 2016 as an Assistant Professor. Abeeda took her PhD at the University of Nottingham in August 2016. Her PhD thesis is titled: From Multiculturalism to Integration: The Role of Muslim Women in the Implementation of Ethno-Religious Minority Policies in the UK (2001-2014).


Dr. Gull-i-Hina

Invited Speaker: Assistant Professor,
Dept. of Political Science UMT.

Profile: Dr. Gul-i-Hina joined the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences and Humanity in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. She undertook her PhD, M.Phil and Masters in History at the Department of History GC University, Lahore. She has over 15 years’ teaching/administration experience in GCU and UMT. Dr. Hina received prize money from the Punjab Chief-minister as a distinct teacher whose student obtained 1st position in Lahore Board's intermediate examination (History) in 2007. She served as the Editor of college magazine, "Mehmil" in Islamia College, Cooper Road, Lahore in 1996-1997.



Amna Rashid

Invited Speaker: Assistant Professor, Director Center for Human Rights and Justice
School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Profile: Amna Rashid is a faculty member at Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSS&H). She received her LL.B. from University of London (UK) in 2011, and an LL.M from the Columbia University in the City of New York (USA) in 2014. She is a Fulbright Scholar 2014 and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar 2015 at Columbia School of Law.

Her research centers on understanding the state of Human Rights in Pakistan, specifically of women, children and persons with disabilities. She has designed an advocacy strategy to promote and protect the rights of street children (victims of commercial sexual exploitation) in Pakistan and is currently working on advocacy strategies for the protection of rights of persons with disabilities and rights of women. In addition, she is currently researching on UN and its Rule of Law, implications of EU’s interference in domestic policy making of sovereign nations, consequences of the use of foreign jurisprudence by Supreme Court of Pakistan.


Muhammad Owais

Invited Speaker: MPhil and Masters in International Relations at the Department of International Relations

Profile:Muhammad Owais joined the University of Management and Technology in August 2013 as an Assistant Professor. Mr. Owais also worked as the Chairperson of the Department for nine months (Aug 2015-April 2016). He has almost 12 years’ teaching/research experience.

Mr. Owais has currently submitted his PhD Dissertation for review to the University of Karachi. He has undertaken his MPhil and Masters in International Relations at the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi. His PhD Dissertation title is "Afghanistan-India Relations: Implications for Pakistan". Mr.


Mr Sohaib Ali

Invited Speaker: Lecturer in Dept. of Political Science UMT.

Profile: Prior to being appointed at UMT in October 2014 I was a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, University of the Punjab for two academic years (2010-12). I have completed my doctoral research training from the UK by studying for MSc Social Science Research Methods at Middlesex University, London (2012-13). My thesis ( offered a critical evaluation of government intervention strategies for preventing violent extremism – along with a high first-class Distinction Grade, it was awarded the Dissertation Prize (2013) by Middlesex University, London.


Muhammad Usman Askari

Invited Speaker: Advisor of the Department of Political Science

Profile:Muhammad Usman Askari joined the Department of Political Science, University of Management and Technology, Lahore as a Lecturer in October 2012. He is also the Advisor of the Department of Political Science. Before joining UMT, he was working as a journalist and served almost 6 years for different daily national newspapers. As a PhD scholar, Askari is working on China’s Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea: A Regional Response. He has earned his two master degrees in International Relations and English Literature from the Punjab University. He was the Gold Medalist in MA International Relations from the Punjab University. He has completed MPhil in Political Science from the Punjab University and obtained distinction from the Political Science Department.


Muhammad Omer Shabbir

Invited Speaker: Research Assistant in the Department of Political Science

Profile: Muhammad Omer Shabbir joined UMT in 2012, serving as Program Manager MBA in the School of Business and Economics. Since 2014 he is a Research Assistant in the Department of Political Science. Mr Shabbir took his Masters in Diplomacy and Strategic Studies in 2011 at Punjab University Lahore. He is undertaking his Mphil Political Science atthe Government College University, Lahore. He is teaching Pakistan Studies in the Department of Political Science, where he is also the Outreach officer for the Department.

He can be contacted at omer.

Session Facilitators:

  1. Maha Khan
  2. Shizza Masood
  3. Ayesha Rasheed
  4. Noor-ul-Ain
  5. Khushdil Kasi
  6. Muzzamil Bajwa
  7. Tayyab Nisar
  8. Sohaib Khan
  9. Abdullah Waqar

Chief Moderator


Junaid S. Ahmad

Invited Speaker: Director for the Center for Global Dialogue,.
Lahore, Pakistan.
President of the US-based National Muslim Law Students Association (NMLSA)

Profile: Junaid S. Ahmad has a Juris Doctor (law) degree from the College of William and Mary, USA, and is the Director for the Center for Global Dialogue in Lahore, Pakistan. He has been teaching law, religion, and politics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and the University of Management and Technology since 2009. Before that, he was a lecturer and researcher at the University of Cape Town in the Dept. of Religious Studies. He served as president of the US-based National Muslim Law Students Association (NMLSA), and is on the board of the Muslim Peace Fellowship. 

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