Franklin Regional student wins statewide National History Day competition, heads to nationals

On May 8, Franklin Regional seventh-grader Humna Anzaar became the district’s first student to win the statewide National History Day competition and move on the national level.

Anzaar, 13, entered a paper on the history of water allocation from the Indus River Basin between the countries of India and Pakistan, and she will now advance to the National History Day’s National Competition, set for June 12-18.

While it is typically held in Washington, DC, it will take place virtually because of covid-19 restrictions.

In the run-up to the competition, Anzaar continued to edit her paper and seek additional interviews from experts in the field of Indo-Pakistani relations. She spoke with the Trib recently about her research and the national competition. This interview has been edited for length.

Q: What got you interested in exploring this particular topic for National History Day?

A: Each year, National History Day chooses a different theme for its projects; this year’s theme was “Debate and Diplomacy.” Water is essential for life, so international water allocations have the potential to cause mass conflict. After the partition of British India into India and Pakistan, the division of their shared Indus River Basin caused a decade-long conflict that was eventually resolved by the passing of the Indus Waters Treaty. I wanted to learn more about this.

Q: What were some of the sources you used to put your presentation together?

A: I utilized lectures, dissertations and books to gain an understanding of my topic. As my research progressed, I focused more on finding the original correspondence between the two countries, newspaper articles and oral histories.

Q: Did you come across anything surprising in your research?

A: The most surprising thing I came across was knowledge of the role other countries played in the dispute between India and Pakistan. Without the financing they provided, the Indus Waters Treaty would have never been possible.

In the history of Indo-Pakistani relations, there has been only one example of agreement: the Indus Waters Treaty. In fact, the countries have fought three wars and are still feuding over Kashmir. The Indus Waters Treaty has survived these hostilities for over 60 years. It provides hope for future peace between the countries, so I titled my project “Hope on the Waters: The Debate and Diplomacy of Indo-Pakistani Water Allocation.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: