Published On: May 18, 2017
Extremism is widely debatable issue in the contemporary world. Keeping in view the unprecedented surge in the extremist and intolerant ideas across the globe, the Punjab Higher Education Commission organized a two days conference entitled promotion of peace, Tolerance and Diversity at University Campuses of the Punjab on April 19 and 20, at Avari hotel Lahore.
The Vice Chancellors and Director of Student Affairs of the all public sector universities of Punjab were invited to deliberate on the issue. Dean of the Faculty of social and Behavioral sciences, Dr.Gulam Yasin and Director Student Affairs, Dr.Amir Ali represented the University of Sargodha.
During the panel discussion, Dr. Gulam Yasin raised several academic questions and sought their relevant answers through awareness-raising and an in-depth study of the causes and ramifications of intolerance and extremist ideas prevailing in the Pakistani society and emphasized the need of understanding the issue in its larger context.
He stated'' In order to bring about peace, we must understand its counter parts i.e. extremism/violence''. He said that a specific dimension is required to examine the nexus between peace and extremism.
He drew attention towards following pressing questions and stressed the need for answering these questions:
Is the war actually, a war of ideas fought with the weapons of terror between two paradigms of thoughts, i. e. a) the modernist b) the religious? Is there any connection or coexistence possible. How a balanced society can be developed to bridge the gap between the two bipolar guises what role HEIs can play to bring peace and harmony in the society
Besides drawing attention toward these questions, he highlighted the types of peace theorized and defined in the existing academic circles. He said that positive peace is an optimistic and perennial type of peace and it is such type of peace which can be achieved by means of peace. Positive peace can be achieved through the eradication of structural violance.poverty exploitation, extremism, racism, literacy, economic, jingoism economic and political instability are all manifestation of structural violence. Positive peace can be attained and sustained through effacing all these sort of structural violance.as far as negative peace is concerned, it is a pessimistic and short term peace this type of peace is maintained by instilling fear or threat and violence. All kinds’ threats are based on direct violence. While referring to betty Reardon, who is considered to be the pioneer of the promotion of peace through education of peace , Dr Yasin said that in our academe, we need to cultivate the culture of tolerance and promote the ideal of the acknowledgement of diversity among student
Dr Yasin emphasized that higher education institute must take substantial measures to address the menaces of intolerance, extremism and violence. Dr Yasin apprised the participants about initiative taken by UOS in this regard.UOS has introduces a subject on Peace and Conflict resolution at under-graduate, graduate and postgraduate level in the discipline of social sciences.
“This inspiration and idea to introduce this subject is certainly the promotion of culture of peace among young through interfaith, intercultural, and inter-religious harmony”