The workshop aims to engage major stakeholders including vulnerable groups particularly youths, minorities and women in a one-day workshop at the University of Karachi in December 2014 on examining the challenge of conflict prevention in Pakistan with a focus on violence and armed conflicts in Karachi.
Conflict Prevention , also called as preventive action, is termed as a path breaking approach to deal with the outbreak of armed conflict in a professional manner. The approach of conflict prevention aims to focus on preventing the outbreak of violence and armed conflict by pursuing the techniques of early warning and early response.
Pakistan is vulnerable to intra-state conflicts maximizing the predicament of human security. The lack of proper awareness and professional expertise to deal with such conflicts provides substantial space to those groups who promote violence at the local level. Conflicts, whether related to resources, ethnicity, sectarian, communal, gender or class can be prevented if a multi-stakeholder (MSH) approach is pursued. MSH approach aims to keep on board all such groups and organizations that have a stake in a particular conflict and without their involvement; it is not possible to take steps for the prevention of armed conflicts.
Karachi with a population of 20 million people and exposed to ethnic, sectarian and resource based conflicts, particularly land, needs a conflict prevention mechanism in order to minimize the risk of vulnerable segments of society facing physical and material damage in a conflict situation. The proposed workshop includes major stakeholders in the field of conflict prevention in Pakistan, particularly from Karachi.
Under the Program on Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution (PPSCR), Department of International Relations, University of Karachi several workshops on conflict resolution, management and transformation were organized since its inception in 2000. The idea to organize a one-day workshop on conflict preventive is to fill the gap in terms of programs held under PPSCR.
Following questions which will be examined in the workshop are as follows:-
- What is conflict prevention and how it can help the process of managing and resolving conflicts in the context of Karachi?
- What is the relevance of multi-stakeholder approach in conflict prevention?
- How vulnerable groups, particularly youths, women and minorities can be engaged in Pakistan for the prevention of armed conflicts?
- How state actors and civil society in Pakistan can play a pivotal role for preventing armed conflicts in Karachi?
- What are the prospects of preventive action in Pakistan in Karachi and what are the impediments in this regard?
- To enter into a meaningful discourse involving vulnerable groups and other stakeholders on examining how armed conflicts in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi can be prevented.
- To come up with innovative ideas and path breaking approaches on formulating preventive action mechanism in Pakistan while focusing on the MSH approach to deal with the predicament of vulnerable groups in a conflict situation in Karachi.
- To examine the possibility of early warning and early response helping to prevent armed conflicts at the grassroots’ level.
- To empower the younger participants of workshop with adequate knowledge and expertise about the approach of conflict prevention, early warning and early response.
- To publish the findings of workshop in the form of a report.
Furthermore, the proposed workshop will propose specific recommendations on effectively dealing with the challenge of conflict prevention particularly in the context of Karachi. The workshop will also help enhance the capacity building of PPSCR and help establish a separate working group on CP.
Workshop participants will be from a cross section of society, particularly, students, teachers, civil society groups and other stakeholders. Civil society organizations like the Human Rights Commission, Aurat (women) foundation and organizations on youth and minorities particularly those based in Karachi will be invited to participate in the proposed workshop. Altogether, it will be a group of 75 participants, including 10 resource persons who shall participate in the proposed workshop.
Chair: Mr. Arif Hasan, renowned writer and expert in urban planning
Address by Prof. Dr. Mutahir Ahmed, Chairman, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi
Address by Prof. Dr. Moonis Ahmar, Program Director & Dean Faculty of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Karachi
Keynote address by Mr. Javed Jabbar, former Senator and a renowned writer.
Address by the Chair, Mr. Arif Hasan.
Address by the Chief Guest, Brig. Retd Abdur Rehman Siddiqi, renowned security expert and patron of the program.
Theme: The Conceptual dimensions of conflict prevention
Chair: Ms. Nighat Saeed Khan, Chairperson, Applied Socio-Economic Research (ASR), Lahore.
1. The conceptual dynamics of conflict prevention by Ms. Maria Saifuddin, Assistant Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, National Defense University, Islamabad.
2. The relevance of Multi-stakeholder approach in conflict prevention by Dr. Moonis Ahmar, Meritorious Professor and Program Director, Program on Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi
3. Preventive action and multi-stakeholder approach: A regional perspective by Ms. Aaranya Rajasingam, Program officer, Regional Center for Strategic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Theme: Conflict Prevention in Pakistan
Chair: Dr. Bernadette Dean
1. Preventing armed conflicts in the volatile regions of Pakistan: Balochistan,
Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Gilgit-Baltistan by Dr. Najam Abbas, East
West Institute's Senior Fellow (Central and South Asia), Brussels.
2. Conflict Prevention Mechanism in Pakistan: Needs and Requirements by Dr. Arshi
Saleem Hashmi, Assistant Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, National Defense University, Islamabad.
Theme: Conflict dynamics and vulnerable groups of Karachi
Chair: Prof. Dr. Mohammad Qaiser, Vice-Chancellor, University of Karachi
Chief Guest: Dr. Farooq Sattar, Member National Assembly
1. Conflict dynamics of Karachi and its implications on the vulnerable groups by Dr. Naeem Ahmed, Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi.
2. How armed conflicts can be prevented in Karachi: A case study of Lyari by Mr. Akhtar Baloch, Board Member Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Karachi.
3. The role of women by Ms. Nargis Rehman, Chairperson, Pakistan Women Foundation for Peace, Karachi.
4. The role of minorities by Dr. Bernadette Dean, Director and Professor, VM Institute for Education
5. The role of youths by Prof. Dr. Fateh M. Burfat, Chairman Department of Criminology, University of Karachi.
Concluding remarks by Prof. Dr. Moonis Ahmar
According to Peter Wallensteen and Frida Moller “the prevention of violent conflicts became important early after the end of the Cold War. Cases such as the genocides in Rwanda, ethnic wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina and state failure in Somalia pointed to the necessity of finding means to avert conflicts from escalating into war, human disasters and regional instability”. Peter Wallensteen and Frida Moller, Conflict Prevention: Methodology for Knowing the Unknown
, Uppsala Peace Research Papers No. 7, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden, http://www.operationspaix.net/DATA/DOCUMENT/5899~v~Conflict_Prevention__Methodology_for_Knowing_the_Unknown.pdf
, accessed on June 18, 2013
PPSCR in collaboration with GPPAC and the Regional Center for Strategic Studies, Colombo had organized a one-day workshop in Karachi on October 1, 2010 on “Early Warning and Early Response: Political and Social Issues.”