The Center for Peace Studies in South Asia – The Peace Center
The University of Sialkot has set up a Center for Peace Studies in South Asia to
promote academic dialogue around peace options and conflict resolutions. The Peace
Center conducts a number of activities in collaboration with other partners and
stakeholders to promote peace dialogue. The Peace Center invites academics, policy
experts and social activists to interact with each other, explore easy options for conflict
resolutions and present solution and recommendations to the Governments of South
Asian countries through ministries concerned.
We live in South Asia and daily consume news like bomb blasts, Kashmir conflict, water
war, foreign invasion, suicidal attacks, protests by separatists, surgical strikes, and
frequent killings. It is hard for a human being to stay normal and healthy under the
bombardment of such news. Pakistan and India recently changed the flavor of news
from hate to love by opening Kartarpur for Sikh community. There is a need to have
permanent journey towards conflict resolution and peace in South Asia for regional
prosperity, poverty alleviation and well-being of the people.
The University of Sialkot proposes to drive peace process and facilitate conflict
resolutions in collaboration with other academic and non-academic stakeholders in
- To promote post graduate research on peace and conflicts in South Asia
- To offer a platform for discussion and exchange of idea
- To conduct collaborative funded research
- To arrange various peace building activities
Functions of the Peace Center
- Regular studies and research projects
- Networking of stakeholders and interactive dialogue
- Annual conferences on peace in South Asia
The Entrepreneurial Role of Academia
Should universities stick to their traditional role of teaching and scientific discoveries, or
they should actively participate in the development process? DELGADO, Mariana
(2008) raises this question and then answers as “A socially committed university should
put knowledge and research to the disposition of development, coexistence, peace
building and reconciliation, and also its ethos should impulse it to become an active
actor in such processes”.
Professor Henry Etzkowits coined the term of Entrepreneurial University for such
institutions. These universities added the third mission of research application and
knowledge exploitation for economic and social impact. There are numerous examples
and success stories of university impact on the town, region, country and at the global
scale too (Etzkowitz,1998).
Oregon State University developed a regional economy of Ashland by initiating Oregon
State Festivals (Etzkowitz, 2013). The summarized article titled as “Can a university
develop the economy of the town? Yes, if it is an entrepreneurial” can be seen on
The University for Peace — The Case of Columbia
Columbia was known for armed conflict and crisis for a long time. Life was impossible to
live due to rising conflicts by various armed sects and forces. University de Bogotá
Jorge Tadeo Lozano (UJTL) was neither assigned nor instructed to play any role in the
war-like situation. However, the entrepreneurial zeal emerged in UJTL and volunteer
activities, peacemaking, were started by the university leadership. This is called third
mission of the university after teaching and research in the entrepreneurial university
framework. UJTL assigned International Relations Faculty to develop liaison with
Studies Institute for Development and Peace- INDEPAZ to plan some activities and
interventions to reduce conflicts among fighting groups. It started various academic
activities like seminars, lectures, awareness sessions, negotiation meetings among
conflicting groups and exchange of ideas and alternative thoughts. The UJTL, being an
independent and neutral platform, brought fresh ideas to the conflicts and proposed
different solutions to deep-rooted disputes. UJTL was able to reduce conflicts up to a
significant level and initiated a peacemaking process in Columbia. Academia in South
Asia also can play a similar role to reduce the intensity of long-standing conflicts
(DELGADO, Mariana, 2008).
Significance of The Peace Centre, USKT
The University of Sialkot (USKT) is located in South Asia and has taken a lead to set up
“The Centre for Peace in South Asia”. This entrepreneurial role of the USKT will lead
the engagement of peer academia for conflict resolutions. The academic debate will
bring fresh ideas for peace, innovative thinking for conflict resolutions and a scholarly
flavor for the heated debate. This academic process will continue to give new proposals
and evaluate existing measures until disputes get settled and resolved. The university is
known as an independent place for intellectual’s debate beyond the patrician lines and
hard-knitted policies. The academics and research students also possess the ability to
bring out of box ideas on the table.
Joint Studies by the South Asian Universities
Joint studies by the authors of conflicting countries will be launched by this center for
peace in South Asia. These studies will, jointly, present the depth and breadth of
conflicts and also be published. The studies may present opposing ideas by different
authors in a single book so that readers of the conflicting countries, could understand
each other’s perspective. The authors will present solutions according to their
independent thinking and analysis of the situation. These studies will help the
policymakers to have a more in-depth analysis of the situations and variety of solutions
presented by academic scholars.
The peace center will attract research grants and funding on regional peace and
conflicts for dedicated and independent studies.
The Alternative Perspectives of South Asia Conflicts
The conflicts mostly reside in the narrowed perspectives of conflicting parties. The
parties stick to their historical and deep-rooted interests without putting much effort to
explore alternative options for peace. The academics having strength in research and
analysis can bring new alternatives on the table for negotiation. These new alternatives
can be further studied and consulted with stakeholders. The analysis of alternatives can
help policymakers to have more options for discussion.
The Exchange of South Asia Graduates
There are disputes in South Asia inherited by the second generation and likely to be
passed to the third generation too. This can be limited by involving the younger
generation in healthy debates about conflicts and peace. The academic forum is the
best one for such engagement. The universities may plan an exchange of postgraduate
students to interact with counterparts of other countries and jointly discuss conflicting
issues. They will find a scholarly forum of dialogue to understand each other’s
perspective and bring innovative thinking and fresh ideas on the table. These future
leaders may develop the ability to resolve conflicts and make peace when taking charge
of national affairs.
The peace center will facilitate exchange of students of various universities to interact and exchange.
The Academic Conference on South Asian Conflicts and Peace
The Center for Peace in South Asia has planned annual conferences on peace and
conflicts in South Asia. The academics from all over the world will be invited to present
their thoughts and research on how to resolve conflict and make progress for peace.
This conference will be an independent forum of connectivity, exchange of ideas,
understanding of opposite views and promoting mutual understanding. This conference
will be an opportunity for multiple stakeholders from thinkers to policymakers and
executives to have an informal interaction and learn from each other.
The Scholarly Networks in South Asia
The scholarly networks of academics and experts connect the professionals of the
same subject with each other. The Center for Peace in South Asia will develop networks
and forums of experts in peace studies and conflict resolutions. The regular interaction
through these forums and networks will help a better understanding of conflicts and
bring forward a variety of options to resolve them. The regional networks inspire
positivity and promote good news in the media, society and public domain that help to
The Summary- Academic Window for Peace and Conflict
The Center for Peace in South Asia will be a history-making endeavor by the USKT as
the entrepreneurial university of the region. This will become an academic window open
for discussion even in times of serious crises and conflicts. This academic window for
peace will be a scholar-to-scholar contact that can grow as an instrument of conflict
resolution in South Asia.
Peaceful South Asia can make the 21 st century as “The Century of Asia”
DELGADO, Mariana (2008) “The role of universities in peace building processes in
contexts of armed conflict: The experience of the University de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo
Lozano in Colombia”. Proceedings of the 4th International Barcelona Conference on
Higher Education, Vol. 5. The role of higher education in peace building and
reconciliation processes. Barcelona: GUNI. Available at http://www.guni-rmies.net.
Etzkowitz, H. (1998). The norms of entrepreneurial science: cognitive effects of the new
university–industry linkages. Research policy, 27(8), 823-833.
Etzkowitz, H. (2013). Can a teaching university be an entrepreneurial university? Civic
entrepreneurship and the formation of a cultural cluster in Ashland, Oregon.