At a time when insecurity and terrorist attacks are occurring frequently, taking the region to the fore of national and international media, a research organisation has taken a much-needed initiative to educate the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on terrorism.
South Asian Centre for International and Regional Studies (SACIRS) will start a three-month certificate course on terrorism studies in Peshawar from the first week of October this year, SACIRS Director Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi stated.
“Research is the main tool in accelerating the evolution of civilised societies and SACIRS can play an effective role in strengthening and enlightening the general public,” said Soherwordi. “Such research institutions are the need of the hour, especially in K-P because of its geo-strategic importance.”
The SACIRS director said the module consists of three parts: in the first part the students will learn about the theories and core issues of terrorism; the second part will include the terrorist modus operandi (approaches and methods of terrorism); and the third will be about the policies of US and Pakistan to counter terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He said the course will be delivered in two sessions: the first will involve two-month scheduled classes and the second will include a thesis. The course will be conducted twice a year and the study material will be provided at its beginning. Soherwordi added that experts from UK, US and University of Peshawar each will deliver lectures, while the fees for the full course will be Rs5,000 for students and Rs8,000 for professionals.
When asked why the institute introduced the course in K-P, he explained that Peshawar and its neighbouring areas were worst hit by the violence, thus the need aroused to alert people of the provincial capital about problems they are facing on an everyday basis. “Increasing public awareness was the primary reason to launch this course,” he added.
Soharwardi said the course is valuable for security forces, students, policy makers and those individuals and organisations that have a remit to protect the people. He added that the course will provide participants with an understanding of the phenomenon of terrorism in the 21st century and the causes and ideologies of today’s terrorist networks.
Talking about SACIRS, Soharwardi said it is an independent, nonpartisan, research institution planning on raising knowledge regarding militancy. The institute’s set of goals include identifying policy problems, conducting and publishing unbiased research to counter regional and global terrorism, preventing and resolving violent international conflicts through peaceful means, promoting post-conflict stability, training local people for developmental projects and peace building, imparting leadership training to legislators, and devising political strategies for settlement of regional and international issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2012.