KARACHI - The research in social sciences must be goal-oriented and aimed to serve humanity by suggesting ways and means to address human’s social problems.

These views were expressed by former Punjab interim chief minister Hasan Askari Rizvi while delivering a keynote address at the Karachi University on Wednesday.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, KU, organised two-day international conference on “new trends in social sciences and humanities in the contemporary world: with reference to world peace order”, at Arts Auditorium.

Hasan Askari informed the audience on day one of the conference that social sciences could evolve mechanisms which would be helpful in coping with the intolerance from the society which is one of the major reasons of extremism and terrorism.

He said that social sciences represent human’s efforts of studying and examine each other and mentioned that modern world technology have penetrated into our system and also being used by developed countries to preach whatever they like to do.

“The social sciences provide diversity of opinion while accessing education as uttermost priority can help in society’s development. Europe is the best example in this regard. The continent was once living in a dark age but with advancement of knowledge and industrial and other revolutions, they are now dominating the world.” 

He informed the audience that research on human issues requires hard work and adoption of scientific methodology.

“The universities are engine of change and societies can be transformed if varsities played their due role. If governments’ spend on betterment of the education system, it is investment of a nation in future.”

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor, KU, Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, informed the audience that knowledge is power and if one wants to be more powerful, he/she should get more education. “A person must have ability to think out of box. Analytic approach while doing a task will excel your performances.”

He observed that if a person cannot relate the research to the society then it is useless as it would not help the humans. The KU VC told the students that methodology and impact factors are essential for good research and stated that taking a side and position are two different things and being a researcher a person must know the difference between them.

He advised the students to talk to scholars present in the conference and others whenever possible as these little discussions would give you new and innovative ideas and approach.

The KU VC Dr Khan said that current age is of social sciences and the role of social scientists is pivotal for national growth. The social sciences play an important role in identifying societal issues and proposing their solutions.

“It gives significant policy advisories to the policy makers and indeed this conference outcomes will be benefit the policy making process of the country. Nobody can deny the significance of social sciences in current era but unfortunately it was not given its due importance in the past. During last few decades a lot of significant and conclusive work is being done on this field which is commendable.”

He observed that the world peace order is one of the most critical aspects of international governance and scholars from different discipline of social sciences can decipher ideas and theories which may be important for the solution of problems relating to conflict and turmoil in the world.

Despite the best attempts of researchers and policymakers around the globe, world peace continues to be hard to achieve. With more conflict-displaced refugees in the world than ever before, it seems as though world peace may be a more distant dream than ever before, Daniel Olson from Brier Crest College, Canada, expressed while presenting his research paper on understanding the need for identity in conflict and peace.

He mentioned that international bodies seek to enforce justice and mediate solutions in conflicts.  The policymakers formulate laws to address structures of injustice in society and the peacemakers educate people, seeking to influence their skills, values, and knowledge to better deal with conflicts as they rise.

He observed that the perceived identity of individuals and societies can often act as a catalyst for conflict, and in order for lasting peace to be achieved, it is sometimes necessary for individuals and societies to come to a different understanding of their own identity and relationship to the world.

Meanwhile, Dr Najimdeen Bakare of NUST University Islamabad, shares his papers on contradictions and rejection of globalization: implications for global order. He mentioned that globalization is a phenomenal process; potential enough to produce multidimensional outcomes. According to him, while contemporary globalization is considered as the harbinger of economic prosperity geared at flattening the world, it is undeniable that same phenomenon has produced multiple outcomes.

“The whole process has generated an alignment of domestic and global identity, responsible for the domestication of global identity and values. While globalization tends to flatten the un-flattened world, it nonetheless raises many questions, rejuvenates and enliven old (social constructed) narratives and grievances and has caused an intersection of domestic and regional actors either as supporters or opponents of global order and system.”

The Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences KU Professor Dr Muhammad Ahmed Qadri delivered his papers on geo strategic importance of Karachi and Gwadar cities: with reference to the China Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC).

He informed the audience that a few years ago the name Gwadar was unfamiliar to the world except to a few scholars who were familiar with it due to its historical importance, as well as the deep sea of Arabia.

“CPEC has become a common tie between Pakistan and China as both countries want to see this project successfully completed in time. Therefore, it seems necessary to introduce Karachi and Gwadar to clarify the topic of the research.”

Earlier, while giving his welcome speech, Dr Qadri expressed that development of peace and harmony remains an important task not only for heads of state but also for the international scholarly community. Scholars and experts from the disciplines of arts, humanities and social sciences have a much more important role to play in the promotion of peace than any other discipline.