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Institute of Historical and Social Research


(As Approved by the Board of Governors of the Institute of Historical and Social Research on 28 January 2019)

Name and Status

The name of the institute would be the ‘Institute of Historical and Social Research‘. its abbreviation would be ISHR.

The institute has been created through a resolution of the S.M. Sohail Trust. It will be a separate and distinct entity of the Trust, which may have academic relationship with other organizations set up by the S.M. Sohail Trust. It is a non-profit, academic and research organization, whose researches would also serve the purpose of a think tank.

Rationale and Objectives

Institute of Historical and Social Research (IHSR) is a Karachi (Pakistan) based research organization with a very vibrant progressive and pro-people vision. It would undertake researches on historical and socio-political issues particularly with reference to Pakistan. The research conducted by the Institute will cover different disciplines independently as well as in multi-disciplinary manner. In the area of historical research it will deviate from traditional modes of historiography. It will address and view history from below, encompassing the common people, their sociopolitical contribution, ethos and values, and creative pursuits, as the major determinants of historical evolution. The Institute on the one hand will preserve the sources of peoples’ history, retrieve the relevant historical documents, and conduct original research, dealing with the ways of life and thinking and the movements reflecting the concerns of the common people at a given point of time in the past. On the other hand, the Institute will disseminate its historical research in the form of books, monographs and occasionally held seminars and conferences. Preservation and publication of the political literature of Pakistan is of special interest for the Institute.

In the domain of social research, the Institute will focus on contemporary socio-political issues of the country, again with the common people as the central point of reference. These researches will be done and projected in a manner that these may be made use of by the policymakers, planners, political parties, and civil society representatives. These researches will be based on relevant official and un-official primary sources, interaction with the informed individuals and technical experts, consultation with opinion-makers, and amassing information through field work. Such researches of the Institute will be disseminated through its publications, policy briefings, seminars, and press conferences and will be made available at the Institute’s website.


To create through its researches, publications and other academic activities an insight into, and awareness about a peoples-centered understanding of past, present and future of Pakistan


The Institute of Historical and Social Research seeks to promote a vision to look at the past, present and future through the lens of the people. It seeks to promote democratic way of thinking and seeks to see it developing both at the levels of the state and society. A direct corollary of the democratic vision is the ideal of social justice and equality of citizens before law. The Institute works to highlight and promote the values of enlightenment, tolerance and pluralism. The BoG will be entitled to suggest activities it might deem necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the Institute.


Board of Governors (BoG) would be the governing body of the Institute. It will provide the overall guidance to the Institute, evaluate its programs and progress, and approve the budget. It will meet twice a year. It will appoint the Director of the Institute. It will be the final authority on matters of discipline. It will comprise 14 members. The quorum of the Board’s meeting will be 50% of its total membership. Chairman of the S.M. Sohail Trust will be the Chairman of the Institute and its Board of Governors, hereafter ‘Chairman’. Director of the Institute will be the Secretary of the BoG. The BoG may amend the constitution of the Institute by at least 2/3rd majority. If a new matter comes up for decision during two meetings of the BoG, The Chairman will decide it. The decision will be put up for approval in the next meeting of the BoG.

The Institute will have an Academic and Research Committee (ARC), which will discuss, evaluate and approve the academic programs and research proposals submitted to the Institute. It will also determine the respective cost of the projects and research assignments. The research will have to be approved by two referees before publication.  It will comprise senior academicians belonging to different fields of social sciences, scholars and researchers. The Committee would comprise 20 members and quorum of its meeting would be 25%. It will meet on quarterly basis. The director of the Institute will be the head of the Committee. It will be in the form of pool of member, from whom those members may be invited in a meeting, who are relevant for the research proposals to be considered in the meeting.

The Chairman of the Trust will be the Chairman of the BoG of the Institute. In the absence of the Bog he will make decisions which will be put before the BoG as ‘reported items’.

The director will be the academic and administrative head of the Institute. He will be the in-charge of the functioning of the Institute. He will head Academic and Research committee, or any other Committee which will be formed to fulfill the objectives of the Institute. The Director will be answerable to the BoG.

Service Rules

The institute will adopt the service rules of the Jinnah Medical and Dental College/Sohail University wherever applicable; other than that it can frame its rules with the approval of the BoG.


The S.M. Sohail Trust will provide annual grant to the Institute that will cover the recurring and the research budget. The Institute may get into joint research projects with universities and other research organizations, provided these projects come under the purview of the objectives of the Institute. The Institute may also receive project-specific individual or institutional financial support from those who support Institute’s objectives.