Monday, December 3, 2012

Global Intellectuals Call For Movement Through Social Sciences Inside Pakistan

Waleed Tariq / youthjournalism.org
The conference audience included journalists, activists and others.

 By Waleed Tariq
Correspondent
KARACHI, Pakistan – Thinkers, speakers, and academics met recently to discuss social sciences at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST).
The one-day international conference, “Social Sciences in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities,” brought together addressed issues faced by academics, government and society, and proposed solutions with respect to social science.
Dr. Saleh Yucel, a Turkish academic from the Monash University in Australia, explained how social sciences research can be used to explain intolerance. He said that though extremists claim to use earlier and “pure” versions of Islam, if one was to steal a look into history, it would be possible to find peaceful coexistence among faiths.
“Racism comes from ego. ‘I am right and everyone else is wrong’ sets boundaries," Yucel said. "Greed, too, has a part in causing internal conflicts."
Waleed Tariq / youthjournalism.org
Dr. Saleh Yucel, a Turkish academic from the Monash University in Australia,  spoke at the conference.

Dr. Tilo Klinner, Germany’s consul-general in Karachi, highlighted how the German consulate uses research from the social sciences to frame policies relevant to Pakistan.
The middle class is the backbone of any country, Klinner said, and determines whether a nation will become prosperous or not.
Waleed Tariq / youthjournalism.org
Dr. Tilo Klinner, Germany's consul-general 
in Karachi
Historian Mubarak Ali regretted that today’s educational institutions are not forming historians or social scientists.
“We are surrounded with issues dealing with before and partition. We are still pondering whether we want Jinnah’s Pakistan or Zia’s Pakistan. We need to move beyond Jinnah and Iqbal, and make our own country and form our own ideology,” Ali said.
The conference, organized by the SZABIST Social Sciences Department on its Karachi campus, served as the gathering place for academicians and professionals from social sciences to come together and learn from each other.


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