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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Blue Dust: Unveiling Taboos

Apr 23

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

SDPI Seminar Hall, 38, Embassy Road, G-6/3, Islamabad, Pakistan

SDPI Book Launch/Panel Discussion 

About the Novel:

Ayesha Salman’s
debut novel Blue Dust spans three generations of a Pakistan family. The
focus of the novel is on the stories of three women, each going through
her own trials and tribulations, each trying to live in a world
constructed out of her own insecurities and fears. Ultimately Blue Dust
is a sensitive and intricate exploration of the many taboos we face
today. Among these is pedophilia, sexual abuse, religious discrimination
and mental abuse. Ayesha’s novel was published by one of India’s
largest publishers Roli Books and is now on the top ten selling list of
both India and Pakistan. Blue Dust was first launched at the Karachi
Literature Festival this year, where she spoke on a panel with
co-speakers Mohsin Hamid, Shehryar Fazli and H M Naqvi. She also had a
book launch at Kuch Khaas in Islamabad. Ayesha’s book has been displayed
at many book fairs including The Delhi Book Fair and the London Book

The seminar will
begin with Ayesha reading out a few key excerpts of Blue Dust- those
relevant to issues of class discrimination, religious discrimination and
mental abuse. The purpose of the seminar will be to discuss the
“issues” that she explores as a catalyst to change.  Experts on child
abuse, gender and religious discrimination will then talk about their
views and this will lead to an open discussion with a view for policy
reform. We hope that this seminar will add to our understanding of the
ramifications of prejudices and discrimination of all kinds and how we
can work together to eradicate all sorts of abuse by engendering open
debate and discussion on them, thereby leading us to look at these
issues with a lens that removes the “taboo” factor from them.  

Some Reviews of Blue Dust

“Ayesha Salman’s
voice is remarkable and original… at once sensual and sublime, stark
and surreal. Blue Dust is a compelling and agonising personal account –
but beyond all, uplifting.”

Dave Ward, Poet and Editor, Smoke, Liverpool, UK

“With her poetic
debut novel, Blue Dust, unfolds love’s many moods. Ayesha Salman joins
the list of exciting new novelists from Pakistan”.
Maniza Naqvi
Author, Mass Transit; On Air; Stay With Me; A Matter of Detail; Sarajevo Saturdays

“A narrative of
passionate characters and many strands skillfully woven together in this
engaging debut novel. Blue Dust is a surreal, poetic and complex
work that handles difficult issues with courage”.

Bapsi Sidhwa

“The novel ‘Blue
Dust’ was woven with a passion to understand the complexity of existence
…the prose is highly imaginative and the expression is humane and

Harris Khalique

“Seldom does one see
a fresh author come out of their shell ‘guns blazing’ so to speak.
However, Ayesha Salman’s debut novel, Blue Dust, is one of a kind;
passionate yet realistic, while dealing with some of our greatest fears”

Daily Times

“Ms Salman has in
this book raised issues which as a “Muslim-majority country” we are not
supposed to have… The land of massive contradictions is opened up in
Blue Dust, and Ms Salman’s honesty is refreshing indeed”.

The Friday Times

“Although this is
her debut novel, Salman has launched high into the world of Pakistan
literature with a bang of a start at the Karachi literature festival
where she was part of a panel with the likes of Mohsin Hamid”.


“Ayesha Salman’s
debut novel ventures into taboo territories, injects elements of fantasy
in the way the characters see the world and unveils shocking
contradictions in the life of a Pakisani family… Blue Dust is a must-
read to experience the unveiling of private emotions and sequestered
incidents that are often not seen or spoken of”.


This novel in not
about terrorists or other populist themes… In fact it traverses themes
which are not commonly found in literature emanating from Pakistan. Here
dysfunctional families, sexual abuse, sexual discrimination and
alcoholism define the mindscape… Her novel celebrates human frailties
and failures and seldom passes judgment.”


About the Author:
Ayesha Salman was born in the UK and grew up in the Middle East. She
did Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, Norwich UK after which
she settled to Pakistan. She is a writer and poet. Her poems have been
published in several literary journals in the UK including Smoke and
Splizz and she continues to write poetry. She is currently working on
two more works of fiction and remains committed to experimental fiction
and the complex relationship between private and public domains in terms
of meaning and comprehension. This is her first novel. She works as a
writer and editor in the development sector in Pakistan.


Chair: Ms Mome Saleem, Research Coordinator, SDPI


  • Dr Fouzia Saeed, Writer and Women’s Rights Activist
  • Ms Maria Rasheed, Program Director, ROZAN
  • Mr Ahmad Salim, Writer and Senior Advisor, SDPI
  • Ms Ayesha Salman, Author of Blue Dust