Monday, December 21, 2009

Countering violence, promoting peace in South Asia



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Countering violence, promoting peace in South Asia

Pritam K. Rohila, Ph. D.

Growing intolerance, extremism, and violence in South Asia, but particularly in Pakistan & Afghanistan, must be a source of great concern to all those who desire peace and prosperity in South Asia.

Just condemning these evils or arguing with their perpetrators will not help stem them. However justified, blaming foreign interventions, colonialism, inept governments, and unfair social structure will not work either.  Participating in peace rallies and vigils, cross-border peace delegations and conferences will also be ineffective, since the major source of these threats lies within rather than from across our borders.

While our governments try to put out the wildfires of hate and violence which are engulfing our nations, peace workers need to urgently adopt a long-range, but sustained strategy to safeguard the rest of our assets and to protect the future our nations.

In each nation, we need to help build a culture of peace. We should train our children to become good members of their families, schools and neighborhoods, and good citizens of their countries. We should teach them respect for the rights of others, cooperative ways to solve problems, and the art of empathetic negotiation to settle difference. We should help them learn to respect for nonviolence, tolerance, harmony, peaceful coexistence.


Dr. Rohila is the Executive Director of the U.S.-based ACHA, the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia and he can be reached at

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1 comment:

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