Tahir Aziz is based in London, but his work for Conciliation Resources, a think tank supporting local, national, and international organizations seeking to resolve violent conflict, often brings him to Pakistani-administered Kashmir, his native region.
Traveling to both sides of the Line of Control, the frontier separating the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir, he helps Indian and Pakistani nongovernmental organizations identify their role in conflict transformation and resolution, often drawing upon lessons learned from peace processes in other regions.
Before he pursued a master's in peace studies, Tahir worked in Islamabad for the president of Kashmir. As director of a human rights commission, he participated regularly in U.N. Human Rights Commissions sessions in Geneva.
"At that time, the volatility in Kashmir was at its peak," Tahir said, referring to the violent conflict between India and Pakistan in the early 1990s over the disputed province. "It piqued my interest in human rights and engaging with the international community."
Tahir appreciates the varied perspectives of his classmates at the Kroc Institute. "From 20 people I was able to learn about 20 geographical regions in a year's time," he said. "Their points of view have helped me effectively communicate – with organizations, individuals, interlocutors – in the many places I've traveled since then."