KARACHI - Conflict resolution is essentially if not absolutely a science of peace. Peace is in itself now an established academic field of study and research. These views were expressed by Executive Chairman, Nepal Centre for Contemporary Studies, Kathmandu, Dr. Lok Raj Baral. He was presenting his keynote address at a two-day regional workshop on Conflict Resolution Research organised by the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi, under the Programme on Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution (PPSCR), in collaboration with Hanns Siedel Foundation Islamabad on Tuesday. Dean Faculty of Arts, University of Karachi, Prof. Dr. Shamsuddin, said that the culture of research is in the world of knowledge what respiration is for human body. He highlighted the fact that the Divine message of truth also emphasises peacefulness and universal human brotherhood. Programme Officer, Hans Siedel Foundation Islamabad, Imran Shamim, greatly applauded the Department of International Relations strong initiatives for the promotion of research culture at an academic level. He was of the view that the situation in Pakistan demanded deep insight and scholarly constructive introspection in the causes of the prevailing situation. Chairman Department of International Relations and Director of Programme on Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, Prof. Dr. Moonis Ahmar, presented a paper on The Rationale of Conflict Resolution Research. In his paper he said that it is genuine and objective research that creates ground for eventual settlement of issues and conflicts. Emphasising the need of qualitative research, Dr. Moonis Ahmar said that the research must have constructive and practical consequences for the society. The primary purpose of research, in his view is to demystify the wrongly established myths and then to pave way for societal enlightenment and development. Dr. Moonis was of the view that ideas of peace are universal in nature and can not be viewed parochially. He lamented the fact that most of the conflict resolution research is based in developed part of the world whereas problems and conflicts are largely present in the developing world. Chairperson, Department of Defense and Diplomatic Studies, Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Ms. Rabia Akhtar, said that elimination of terrorism is more important than terrorists. That certainly requires the true understanding of the root cause behind the symptoms of terrorism, she added. Her paper was on Linkages and Gaps in Conflict Resolution Research. She highlighted the fact that human needs require proper fulfilment and only the fulfilment of these basic human needs can be a surer path to a harmonious society. It is important, she added, that Western and Eurocentric academic theories models and ideas should be adapted to indigenous environments and needs. Senior Research Analyst, the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad, Ms. Arshi Saleem Hashmi, said that there has to be an essential difference between a research that seeks to understand and research that seeks to manage conflicts. Effective conflict resolution is largely merging both with utmost resultant utility. Her paper was on Comparative Studies of Conflict Resolution Research in Developed and Developing Countries. She said that rather than looking for ideal conditions to apply conflict resolution tools and techniques the better and more practical thing is to find ways to use pragmatic insights into a given situation. This means generating indigenous solutions for indigenous problems. Project Manager, Communication for Effective Social Services Development (CESSD), Peshawar, and Director, Global Collaboration, Ivan Somlai, said that human affairs should be understood in their proper contextual milieu. His paper was on The Advantages of Relationships with Weak Peripheral Groups in Environment of Conflict. Ivan threw light on the rising utility of inter-disciplinary approaches and inputs. He said that there was a need to expand the horizon of conflict resolution research which means greater understanding of the society in terms of social, political, economic, psychological and historical dynamics. He stressed the importance of weak ties by which he meant informal contacts and acquaintances which can play a meaningful role in dilution and transformation of conflict ridden environments and situations. He strongly advocated the strong power of the weak; the power of the powerless has a meaning of its own. Workshop Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi, Farhan Hanif Siddiqui, presented the welcome address. He introduced the purpose of the workshop and highlighted the academic activities which the Department has been successfully pursuing for several years.