Pakistani woman creates history by doing PhD In Valley

Nadia Mehrdin is the first woman from the neighboring country to complete doctorate from University of Kashmir.

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A 30-year-old Pakistani student has created history by becoming the first woman from the neighboring country to complete PhD from the University of Kashmir.

Hailing from Kasur in Pakistani Punjab province, Nadia Mehrdin completed her doctorate in Medieval History from the Institute of Kashmir Studies at the University of Kashmir under the South Asia Foundation (SAF) programme of the SAARC.

Nadia did her thesis on `The Development of Science, Technology, Arts and Language during the Sultanate Period in Kashmir’ under the guidance and supervision of Professor Gulshan Majeed.

“Since my childhood I wanted to work on Kashmir. We have read about the beauty of Kashmir. And that is why when I was told by the Punjab University about my selection I jumped with joy. It was a dream come true,” Nadia told dna. However, it was a long battle all the way.  Daughter of a businessman, Nadia had to first convince her family to pursue her dream in Kashmir.  “The first reaction of my family was big no. It was my brother and my sister  — she died back home when I was here — who motivated other family members to grant me permission,” she said.

Then, she had to struggle to get visa. She arrived in early 2010 for the registration of PhD. Later in summer that year, when there was unrest in the Valley, the university was shut and she had return to Pakistan, as there was no place for her stay and she could not work on her thesis.

“Such was my passion to study Kashmir that I did three masters degree before getting enrolled for PhD. I did masters degree in history. Later I wanted to study Kashmir therefore decided to do another masters in Kashmir Studies. But there was a hitch, most of the material on Kashmir was in Persian. So I did another masters degree in Persian,” she said.

Beauty and hospitality of Kashmir has been the biggest motivating factor for Nadia to stay in the Valley despite the crisis. “I cannot forget Kashmir’s hospitality. The people are very warm. When the situation in Kashmir was bad I stayed in the guest house. Now I have been staying in the girls’ hostel,” she said.

Too dear
In the last four years,  Nadia visited her home only twice.  “I lost my sister and I reached just an hour before here burial. Loneliness and some visa issues were painful,” she said.

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