- Tuesday | 15 Jul, 2014
- Vaqar Ahmed, Safwan A.Khan
- Research Reports,Project Publications
Safwan A Khan , Vaqar Ahmed
Pakistan today seems to be embroiled in a number of conflicts that have both domestic as well as international dimensions. Conflicts of course vary, ranging from household disputes to increasing crime resulting from disparities. However, at an aggregated level, conflicts have a societal connotation that reflects deep-rooted divisions within a society. On a macro-level, these conflicts suppress a country’s potential and inhibit future prosperity. Hence, investor confidence has declined in Pakistan as have market opportunities. The poor law and order situation in Karachi over the last few years, for example, has significantly affected the income of daily wage earners, while investors have taken a back seat. Moreover, entrepreneurial activity becomes even more difficult to pursue for those with less capital or access to financing.
With the rise in conflicts across the country coupled with a bleak economic situation, communities and businesses have suffered alike. Economic disparities often breed sustained conflicts. In this context, what is needed in Pakistan is an economic environment that engenders strategic peace. The two are complementing factors, and neglecting either can seriously undermine the effectiveness of measures taken for the other.
This research study, conducted by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in 2013, undertook an analysis of the private sector’s role in achieving sustainable peace in Pakistan. It is important to note that as far as sustainable peace is concerned, the private sector is just one of many actors. In that, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives by businesses can certainly play an important role. Their main contribution, however, can be to influence public policy in favor of strategic peace across the country. While approaches such as dispute resolution (formal and informal) and CSR are important in terms of conflict mitigation, long-term peace is contingent upon a just and equitable system of economic governance.