The staff at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) gave me a farewell party on Friday (September 21st). I had technically completed my Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellowship in July but they had agreed to extend my stint for two more months.
I was greatly honored at the farewell by the presence of Mr. Carl Gershman, the President of NED. Besides, Marc F. Plattner, vice-president for research and studies at NED, Dr. Sally Blair, the Senior Director of the Fellowship Programs, Brian Joseph, Senior Director for Asia and Global Programs at NED, Don Podesta, Manager and publications editor at the Center for International Media Assistance (formerly an assistant managing editor at the Washington Post) and several other staff members attended the farewell.
The NED fellowship was one of the best professional experiences of my life. It provided me a wonderful opportunity to conduct research on the important topic of “threats to defenders of democracy in Balochistan“. The entire NED staff was very helpful to me throughout this period. I was the first journalist from Balochistan to receive this fellowship.
Yet, it was not my last day. I will spend one more week at NED until next Thursday, September 27th. Before I leave, I will be on my last day on a panel for an upcoming discussion on the Challenges for Independent News Media in Pakistan.