THINK TANK CIVIL SOCIETIES AND PEACE-BUILDING OF ETHNIC CONFLICTS : AN ANALYSIS OF THE ROLE OF PAKISTAN INSTITUTE OF PEACE STUDIES
Intra-regional Ethnic conflicts have become the effective challenge to the peace and national security of Pakistan. As these conflicts are intractable and deep-rooted, therefore, the employment of formal diplomacy has failed to resolve them. It created space for the civil society’s engagement. Currently, hundreds of civil societies are involved in the process of peacebuilding. Some of them are think tanks that produce peace-building knowledge for policy suggestion. This study is an attempt to explore the peace-building role of think tanks. The main aims of the research are to understand the approaches, initiatives, functions and challenges of think tanks in peace. The research is qualitative and case study method has been adopted for the thorough and contextual analysis. The Islamabad-based think tank Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies has been chosen as case. The data is collected from personal observation, interviews and the documents. Twelve (12) civil society activists were interviewed while ten (10) activities of the civil societies including the case study have been observed in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Abbottabad and Mansehra. It is argued that think tanks are potential to affect the policy and peace-building with their academic and research-based initiatives. It is claimed that like field organization, think tanks face fewer and non-potent challenges during the course of peace-building.