KARACHI: “Conflict remains as constant phenomenon when it comes to political processes but one needs to be clear that not all conflicts culminate into violent movements. This provides us an understanding about manageability of conflicts.”
These views were expressed by Boris Wilke, Senior Researcher, Institute of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld, Germany at a seminar on the issues of “Violence and Development: Options for developing countries” organized by Department of International Relations, University of Karachi on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.
He further said that political violence has to be understood in the context of those social settings in which it is taking place. This is, because culture plays quite a vital role in shaping human behaviour. He further explained that there are different levels involved when it comes to understanding the overall dynamics of political violence.
It involves understanding of social dynamics and different fault lines exist within a society. While elaborating further he said that the main reason of culmination of a conflict into a violent movement lies in the perception held by conflicting parties about each other. This is on the basis of that perception; they organize themselves, which later on decides the intensity of the conflict.
He said that it is quite ironical that most of the political violence takes place in developing countries but most of the scholarly work regarding political violence is produced in the developed world. He mentioned the efforts of University of Bielefeld, Germany to bridge this intellectual gap between scholars from both regions. He explained that how his university is trying to create a network of researchers from different conflict ridden countries to come up with a better understanding of the patterns and processes involved in different form of violence taking place in developing region of the world.
Prof Dr Moonis Ahmar, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi said in his concluding remarks that one needs to take into account the impact of violence on the vulnerable segments of society. There is a need to empower such vulnerable groups which include women, youth and children. While referring to Geneva declaration on armed violence and development, 2010 he emphasized upon the significance of education in tackling the violence situation. While commenting on violence situation in Pakistan he said that it has much to do with incompetence of the relevant institutions and lack of political will on the part of state institutions. The seminar was followed by a lively questions and answers session in which both students and participants contributed.