Business for Peace
Partner: DAI, Pakistan
Duration: 02 October 2019 – 18 May 2020
Team Members: Dr. Shafqat Munir, Muhammad Awais Umar
Violent Extremism (VE), in its various manifestations, undermines diversity and tolerance by using ethnic or religious grounds. The VE infused intolerance creates fear of being harmed by any violent group or individual. Both people and businesses have the risk of being hit by any sort of violence instigated by any ethnic or religious entity. Acts of violent extremism leading to terrorism cost heavily on people and businesses across the world. In Pakistan, generally corporate sector is not binding by law to contribute to community development.
The usage of CSR funds by corporate sector in Pakistan is quite similar to practice of the development sector and funds are utilized primarily on the physical development of the social sector in the attached communities. In Pakistan, CSR is in its development phase and the utilization of this fund is not structured. The unregulated charitable contributions from industries and business communities may go to the banned outfits, which on the other end could be utilized to community resilience programme to counter conflicts and extremism. The role of business community needs to be rectified to limit the chance of any financial support going to the banned outfits by orienting industrialists and their management staff on their role and responsibilities.
Multan is an agriculture hub in Southern Punjab wherein a number of agriculture corporates are functioning. Their businesses range from production of fertilizers, agriculture implements and seed processing to growing various food and nonfood crops, raring cattle and other agriculture related businesses. Building upon the already existing relationship between the Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture (MMNSUA) and the agriculture industry in Multan, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) will orient the leadership and management of these agriculture corporates about their role towards institutionalizing their donations to the University for the activities promoting peace and tolerance among communities.
- Holding of sensitization sessions and training for management and staff of the selected agriculture companies in Multan on their role in connection with CVE
- Collection of funding from the selected agriculture companies to support two student societies around activities on tolerance and peace building at MNSUAM campus
- Engagement of student societies/clubs on CVE initiatives at target university campuses
All these activities will ultimately help enhance tolerance within and across communities