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Spring/Summer 2010






Let’s Do No Harm In Afghanistan and Pakistan The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding has seen 50 people based in Afghanistan and Pakistan come through its doors for education or training in the last 15 years. CJP succeeded in contacting half of these people and getting their input for this issue of Peacebuilder. The resulting report may come as a surprise: Despite the NATO-Taliban war in part of their country, the Afghans expressed more optimism than our friends and colleagues in Pakistan, who are dealing with deteriorating social conditions linked to fighting and anger in their border regions.

Lynn Roth

One message came through clearly from peacebuilders in both countries: Decades of warfare and sabre-rattling, much of it fueled by outside powers, have produced much suffering and no progress. “First do no harm” – a maxim taught to physicians since Ancient Greece – would make an excellent guiding principle for all who feel they have an interest or stake in Afghanistan or Pakistan. It’s certainly a good guiding principle for peacebuilders, as Sue Williams (now SPI director) and Hamidullah Natiq found when they produced the 2006 research report “Do No Harm in Afghanistan: A Study in Cycles” for Collaborative for Development Action. This does not mean “do nothing” for fear of making mistakes. It means taking the time to consider the kind of impact a proposed intervention or type of aid will have on relationships – basically, whether it will divide people or connect people. In other words, we need to consider all the possible consequences of an action beforehand, consulting as much as possible with everyone who might be affected, and doing our best to support local capacities for peace and local peacebuilders. If we all lived this way, if private and public decisions were made this way, Afghanistan and Pakistan might not be in the turmoil that they are today. If the stakeholders start now, the futures of these countries will be different, for there is much promise in the region, as the stories of the remarkable, courageous people in this magazine show.

Lynn Roth Executive Director

Spring/Summer 2010



PEACEBUILDER is published by the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University, with the collaboration of the Development Office: Kirk L. Shisler, vice president for advancement; Phil Helmuth, executive director of development; Phoebe Kilby, CJP associate director of development. Loren E. Swartzendruber President Fred Kniss Provost


History Matters

Change starts with understanding the past........ 2

Ten Steps To End Chaos

Ahmed Rashid’s easy-to-grasp conclusions........ 7


Updating Jirga with Ali Gohar

New purpose in Pakistan for old tradition ......... 8

Building Schools with Suraya

Lynn Roth CJP Executive Director Susan Landes Beck CJP Marketing/Recruitment Director

Spreading hope to 120,000 Afghan children..... 10

Mapping a Better Future



suraya sadeed, ma candIdate at cJP Executive director & founder, Help the Afghan Children Current location: Fairfax, Virginia Homeplace: Kabul

Formerly coordinator for USAID Project in Mazar, now political analyst for Swedish embassy Current location: Kabul Homeplace: Mazar-i-sharif

Home location: Peshawar

hassan m. yousufzaI, ma ’03

nIlofar sakhI, ma ’07

saeed murad rahI, ma ’07

Senior rule-of-law advisor USAID Rule of Law Stabilization Program Current location & homeplace: Kabul

M a z a r- i - s h a r i f



Wa h C a n t t


kamal uddIn tIPu, ma ’04

mohammad farshId hakImyar, sPI ’09

For more information or address changes, contact: Center for Justice and Peacebuilding Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (540) 432-4000 Contents ©2010 Eastern Mennonite University. Requests for permission to reprint are welcomed and may be addressed to Bonnie Price Lofton at Cover photo Suraya Sadeed. Story on page 10. Photo by Jon Styer.


theo sItther, ma candIdate

Former social worker in Afghanistan Now planning to work in conflict transformation Current location: Harrisonburg, Virginia Homeplace: Herat

Washington D.C.


sue WIllIams,

Our Afghan alumni feel cautiously hopeful....... 16


12 Waseem anthony, sPI ’06 Executive director, CPHD (Commission for Peace and Human Development) Current location: Lahore

16 15

sadaqat nIl sardar, sPI ’07& ’08

dr. khola Irum, sPI ’04 & ’06

Coordinator, Caritas Pakistan Faisalabad Current location: Faisalabad

hamId arsalan, ma candIdate at cJP

Former UN worker with refugees Also pursuing graduate degree at UVa Current location: Charlottesville, Virginia Homeplace: Herat

ruth zImmerman, ma ’02

MBA grad student at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Current location: Philadelphia Home location: Rawalpindi




Mennonite Central Committee administrator Head liaison with MCC’s Afghanistan partners Former co-director of CJP Kolkata, India

14 syed abrar hussaIn, ma ’05

Fa i s a l a b a d To b a Te k S i n g h

nadeem masIh, sPI ’09 Executive Director, Human Welfare Organization Current location: Toba Tek Singh

ramIn soroosh nouroozI, ma candIdate at cJP

Legislative Associate for International Affairs Mennonite Central Committee

Summer Peacebuilding Institute Director Consultant, policy specialist, trainer, researcher in conflict matters Harrisonburg, Va.

Director, Christian Study Centre Current location: Rawalpindi



Washington K U WA I T Officel

mehboob francIs sada, sPI ’01


alI gohar, ma ’02 Founder, Rehbar (guide), JustPeace International Current location: Peshawar

Nation Building Is the Answer I R AQ


Ra wa l p i n d i

13 farIshta ghulam sakhI, ma candIdate at cJP Former staff member at Women’s Activities & Social Services Association Current location: Harrisonburg, Virginia Homeplace: Herat

Deputy Inspector General, Islamabad Police Current location: Islamabad


Office manager/political researcher Afghanistan Analysts Network, Kabul Current location: Kabul



Pe s h a wa r


abdul latIf salem, ma ’09

Graduate student at Clinton School – University of Arkansas Former UN employee in Afghanistan Current location: Little Rock, Arkansas Homeplace: Herat

lIsa schIrch, Phd

Peacebuilding Consultant & Trainer Home location: Wah Cantt

Program Coordinator, Norwegian Church Aid Current location: Islamabad



JennIfer chrIstIne Jag JIvan, ma ’06

James John, sPI ’98 & ’06

Plans to return to working with traumatized Afghan women Semester location: Harrisonburg, Virginia Current residence: Kabul

3D Security Initiative Director Professor of peacebuilding, EMU Washington D.C. & Harrisonburg, Va.



JennIfer adams, ma candIdate at cJP

David R. Brubaker Barry Hart Maria J. Hoover Janice M. Jenner Lynn Roth Sue Williams CJP Leadership Team Members

Former Administrator, District Management Group in NWFP and FATA Now Commercial Counselor, Pakistan’s Embassy in Germany Current location: Frankfurt, Germany Home location: Peshawar

Country Director, Open Society Institute, Afghanistan Founder & chairperson of Women’s Activities & Social Services Association Current location: Kabul Homeplace: Herat


Jon Styer Designer/Photographer

Gender Advisor,JustPeace International

TA J I K I STAN Current location: Bradford, UK 26




farkhanda Jabeen, sPI ’02

ParWIz hakIm, ma ’08


Bonnie Price Lofton Editor/Writer




CJP-linked peacebuilders in their places.......... 12 Mapping A Better Future The People on the Map Ranging from pacifist to police work................ 14

11 saJad ahmed abro, sPI ’09

Principal Advisor, Gender-Responsive Policing Project German Technical Cooperation Current location: Lahore


yasmIne JosePh, sPI 08 & 09

Director, SHADE (Society for Human Advancement and Disadvantaged Employment) Current location: Balochistan

Diocesan Executive Secretary, Caritas Pakistan Faisalabad Current location: Faisalabad


razIa JosePh, sPI ’09

President, Women’s Shelter Organization Current location: Faisalabad

Persisting Despite Despair Map Explanation

The 26 people on the map at right have all been to CJP for short-term training or for graduate education pertaining to some aspect of conflict transformation. For more information on their backgrounds and current work, turn the page. Their numbers on the map correspond to their numbers on pages 14 and 15.



shama mall, sPI ’04 & ’05

Deputy Director, Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan Current location: Karachi


Our Pakistani alumni want to turn the tide........ 18 OMAN

12 ■ peacebuilder SAU D I A R A B I A spring/summer 2010



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Peacebuilding Wheel

How everyone’s work fits together .................. 20

More Peace, Fewer Crises

Recommendations sent to Capitol Hill.............. 21


The First D: Development

Efforts at economic stability in Afghanistan.... 24

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) is rooted in the Mennonite peace tradition of Christianity. CJP prepares and supports individuals and institutions of diverse religious and philosophical backgrounds in the creation of a just and peaceful world. CJP is based at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and offers a masters-level degree and certificate, as well as non-degree training through its Summer Peacebuilding Institute and its Practice and Training Institute. The latter also offers expert consultancy. Donations to CJP are tax-deductible and support the program, the university that houses it, scholarships for peace and justice students, and other essentials. Visit for more information.

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HISTORY MATTERS Afghanistan’s attractiveness as a battlefield for others. Pakistan’s quest for power and security. The hunger of people in both countries for a different future. What peacebuilders are doing.

UNDERSTANDING AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN today starts with grasping the basics about their interconnected histories, including the roles other powers have played in this region. The situations we see today have deep roots. Some of the story lines are sadly familiar, with mistakes and tragedies repeated. This issue of Peacebuilder is dedicated to those inside and outside the region who want to learn from the mistakes of history, who are creating paths to peace, justice and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (These two countries are, of course, as distinct as the United States and Canada – in covering them in a single


peacebuilder spring/summer 2010

magazine issue, we don’t mean to imply that they are one and the same.) The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) has conferred MA degrees in conflict transformation on four Afghan students – Parwiz Ahmad Hakim, Saeed Murad Rahi, Nilofar Sakhi, and Abdul Latif Salem – and five Pakistani students – Ali Gohar, Syed Abrar Hussain, Jennifer Jag Jivan, Kamal Tipu, and Hassan Yousufzai. All nine of these alumni studied at EMU on Fulbright scholarships. Seven are currently in their home countries working for peace in their different professional sectors. Of the remaining two, Hussain is

On a post-earthquake relief trip to Pakistan in 2005, Benjamin J. Myers ’05 photographed these boys in a camp for displaced persons.

getting an MBA at the Wharton School in Pennsylvania and Yousufzai is transitioning to a four-year assignment with the Pakistani diplomatic corps in Germany. Four students whose work is based in Afghanistan are currently earning masters degrees in conflict transformation at EMU. CJP is linked to 36 more people with work experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some are CJP faculty or staff members, but most are people who took CJP classes for non-degree purposes. These students attended CJP’s annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) or took Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR).

We at Peacebuilder tried to contact by e-mail all 49 of these people, seeking their input for this issue. Thirty of them – 10 from Afghanistan, 15 from Pakistan, and five who travel to the region for work purposes – responded to our e-mailed questionnaire or otherwise provided their views. They and their work are briefly described on pages 8-20 and page 24. Many of these respondents do their work under difficult, sometimes dangerous, circumstances. Yet all gave permission for their names to be used. I am deeply grateful. Bonnie Price Lofton, MA ’04, editor/writer

PHOTO by Benjamin J. Myers PHOTO by Jon Styer

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From Early Times without overt intervention by the Soviet Union. On December 24, From the days of the Persian Empire (circa 500 BC) – through 1979, Soviet forces landed in Kabul. Soviet aid to Kabul’s commuconquerors Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane nists totaled over $1 billion in 1980 alone. – right through today, war parties have flowed over what is now Having foreign, non-Islamic troops on Afghan soil inflamed opknown as Afghanistan in their quest to dominate Central Asia. position to the central Afghan government. The Soviet intervenIn 19th century Afghanistan, the British Empire and czarist tion also prompted Saudi Arabia and the United States to line up Russia maneuvered against each other, sometimes fighting directly with the resistance. In Colin Powell’s official autobiography, My and sometimes through proxies, in what historians often call American Journey, he says: “Our choosing sides in conflicts around “The Great Game.” In the late 1800s, a Russian governor-general the world was almost always decided on the basis of East-West encouraged a Sunni-Muslim of Afghan origins, Abdur Rahman competition.” Khan, to challenge the British in Afghanistan. The British pulled The U.S. supplied massive amounts of arms and money to leadback and recognized Khan as emir, though they retained control ers of the rural-based fighters known as the mujahedin. To avoid of Afghanistan’s foreign policy. a direct clash with the Soviet Union, the U.S. sought to channel Khan positioned Afghanistan as a buffer between the Russian its “aid” through Pakistan. The CIA bought weapons from China, and British-Indian empires. To keep the British at bay, he agreed Turkey (selling WWII vintage rifles, machine guns, pistols and to a 1,610-mile border called the Durand Line in 1893. The line ammunition), Poland and Egypt (both pawning old Soviet-suphad no ethnic or geographical basis – the Pashtun and the Baloch plied weapons), and other non-U.S. sources to disguise the U.S. peoples, among other tribes, sprawled across vast territories. In role and make the build-up look like Pakistan’s work, according 1947, when India ceased being a British colony, Pakistan was to Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin carved out of the Muslim-majority areas in the eastern and north- Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.1 western regions of India. The northwest part is now Pakistan; the Pakistan cooperated with passing along the CIA’s weaponry and east is now Bangladesh. funding for its own reasons. Two years before the Soviet invasion To this day the people living on either side of the Durand Line of Afghanistan, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq seized power. tend to live as if there is no border. Indeed, current life in this “Af- Putting Pakistan under martial law, he fostered the Islamization Pak Tribal Belt” is akin to the Wild West in pioneer America. This of Pakistan’s political and cultural life. “Many of today’s probis where terrorist groups, notably al-Qaeda, run training camps lems – the militancy of the religious parties, the mushrooming of that attract Islamic extremists from all over the world. madrassas and extremist groups, the spread of drug and Kalashnikov culture, and the increase in sectarian violence” took root and flourished during the 11 years that Zia was in control, wrote Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid in his 2009 edition of Descent Into Chaos – The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, a New York Times bestseller. “Zia’s longevity as a ruler was made possible by the unstinting support he received from President Ronald Reagan and the U.S. administration after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan,” Rashid added. “Zia offered the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence – Pakistan’s combined military version of CIA and FBI] to act as a conduit for the arms and funds the CIA wanted to supply to the – Colin Powell Afghan mujahedin.” In the process, massive sums were skimmed off for the bank From Khan’s death in 1901 until 1978, a succession of Afghan accounts of Pakistan’s elite, for Pakistan’s nuclear program, and for royal rulers worked to establish Afghanistan in the family of mod- ISI-backed insurgencies to spread Pakistan’s influence into Central ern nations. They got control of Afghanistan’s foreign policy from Asia and to weaken India.2 Britain on August 19, 1919 (celebrated as Afghanistan’s Independence Day.) These rulers abolished the traditional Muslim veil for 1 This Pulitzer-winning 2004 book was written by Steve Coll, who reported and edited for The Washington Post while producing this work. It is based women, began to give women educational opportunities, and set heavily on interviews with officials who operated in this arena, supported by up a two-chamber legislature underpinned by a constitution. documents released through the U.S. government’s 9/11 commission. Coll Some of the social changes challenged the cultural and religious now works for the New America Foundation. He is also author of The Bin practices of the majority of the population living in rural locaLadens – An Arabian Family in the American Century. tions, along with the stature of their leaders. Resistance grew. The 2 India was (and is) a particular sore spot for Pakistan, dating back to the majority of Afghans saw no improvements to their lives, which decision of the British to allocate most of Kashmir (a largely Muslim region fed the resistance. Most Afghans lived in extreme poverty, with between Pakistan and India) to India (largely Hindu) when dismantling their high infant mortality rates and non-existent government services. colonial empire. Pakistan and India have fought several wars and countless skirmishes over control of Kashmir. The dispute has also had an impact Instability reigned. on Afghanistan, with India and Pakistan always choosing opposite sides Into the breach moved a Russian-backed political party, the to support in that country. India has been backing the so-called moderate People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. This party came Muslims and secularists in Afghanistan, while Pakistan has been backing the Taliban and its fundamentalist Islamic allies. to power in a coup in 1978. But it was unable to retain power

“Our choosing sides in conflicts around the world was almost always decided on the basis of East-West competition.”


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Fanning Islamic Extremism

“Between 1982 and 1990 the CIA, working with the ISI and Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service, funded the training, arrival, and arming of some 35,000 Islamic militants from 43 Muslim countries in Pakistani madrassas to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan,” said Rashid, who is also author of the non-fiction bestseller Taliban. This “was to sow the seeds of al-Qaeda and turn Pakistan into the world center of jihadism for the next two decades,” he added. Under domestic and international pressures, the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, leaving a shattered country. Rashid estimates that up to 2 million Afghan civilians were killed, while over 5 million fled their country to Pakistan, Iran and other parts of the world. (The families of CJP scholars Nilofar and Farishta Sakhi and Ramin Nouroozi, pictured on pages 14 and 15, were among those who then fled to Iran; the Sakhis later took refuge in Pakistan. All have since returned to Afghanistan.) Following the Soviet withdrawal, the United States lost interest in Afghanistan, leaving heavily armed groups at large, led by autocratic strongmen, with no functioning government or economy to re-channel the fighters into peaceful pursuits. The various militarized sects, based heavily on tribal allegiances in Afghanistan, fought each other for control. (There are more than a dozen ethnic/linguistic groups in Afghanistan.) By the mid-1990s, much of the Afghan population was prepared to support any group that could establish law and order, thereby permitting them to plant crops, market their goods, raise their children, and find a way to survive. Backed by Pakistan’s military establishment, the Taliban seized power, promising a rejection of the decadence of the modern world and the re-establishment of strict, traditional Islamic practices. Upon installing themselves in Kabul in 1996, the Taliban declared the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The group was draconian in every respect. Women were forced to conceal themselves from head to foot and to remain cloistered in their homes, unable to work or to attend schools. People who dissented were stoned or otherwise killed in public. Thieves had a hand or foot amputated. Minority groups, such as Afghan Christians and the Hazara3 were ruthlessly oppressed. Internationals, even the ones staffing non-governmental aid groups, were not welcome.

After 9/11

Then on September 11, 2001, the Taliban’s allies, al-Qaeda led by Osama Bin Laden, launched attacks on sites in two U.S. cities. In Ghost Wars, Steve Coll said Bin Laden chose to keep the attacks secret from Taliban leadership until afterwards. The groups were structurally and ethnically separate for the most part. Though the Taliban benefited from huge amounts of money funneled to them by al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia, the Taliban remained mostly Afghan, drawn largely from the Pashtun tribe, and had a nationalist agenda, while al-Qaeda, with its influx of Arab fighters 3 The Hazara are a racially, religiously and culturally distinct ethnic group believed to be descended from the intermarriage of indigenous peoples with Mongolian invaders. The majority of the Hazaras belong to the Shi’a Islamic tradition, whereas Afghanistan’s other ethnic groups are mostly Sunni Muslims.

from many countries, had worldwide ambitions. President George W. Bush’s first response to 9/11 was to order U.S troops to rout the Taliban from its seat of government and to hunt down Bin Laden. The first was done in short order through bombings, but the second never happened, probably because it was relatively easy for Bin Laden and his followers to disappear into the lawless Af-Pak Tribal Belt (the U.S. felt it could not militarily encroach upon Pakistan, a country viewed as a U.S. ally).

“Security in Afghanistan was handed over to warlords and drug barons, who were supported lavishly by the CIA and the Pentagon.” -- Ahmed Rashid In Descent into Chaos, Rashid wrote that there was opportunity after 9/11 for the world to recognize and deal with “the social stagnation and state failure in South and Central Asia.” To accomplish this, Afghanistan had to be rescued from itself. Autocratic regimes in Pakistan and Central Asia had to change their repressive ways and listen to their alienated and poverty-stricken citizens. Iran had to be made part of the international community. The West had to wake up to the realities and responsibilities of injustice, poverty, lack of education, and unresolved conflicts such as those in Kashmir and Afghanistan, which it had ignored for too long and which could no longer be allowed to fester. The West and democratic-minded Muslims had to help each other counter this new and deadly form of Islamic extremism. Instead the United States abandoned impoverished, war-torn Afghanistan to nothingness, leaving only the Islamic extremists to fill the vacuum. It was a repeat of what was done 20 years ago, after the Soviets were forced to withdraw. “Security in Afghanistan was handed over to warlords and drug barons, who were supported lavishly by the CIA and the Pentagon,” said Rashid. Meanwhile in Pakistan, the United States embraced an autocratic, unelected ruler and a powerful military, viewing both as allies in keeping tabs on Afghanistan. “Ninety percent of the $10 billion in aid that the United States has provided Pakistan with since 9/11 has gone to the military rather than to development,” wrote Rashid.

Development Needed

Afghanistan contains some of the worst living conditions in the world. In its November/December 2009 report, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission noted that around 42 percent of its citizens are unemployed and more than 36 percent earn less than the equivalent of one U.S. dollar per day. Seventy percent lack access to safe drinking water. In a 2004 report, the UN Development Programme ranked peacebuilder ■ 5

Afghanistan 172nd out of 178 countries listed. The country had the highest rate of infant and toddler mortality in the world, with 250 out of 1,000 dying before they reached the age of five. If, along the lines of the Marshall Plan, the United States and its allies had combined their knowledge and funds to rebuild Afghanistan beginning in 2002, the current war probably would not have developed. But Bush administration officials showed no interest in this approach, preferring to turn their attention to invading Iraq. Moreover, the United States had (and has) no agency or group with the expertise and mandate to help shattered countries to their feet.

“I will never give up. I will never give up on hope.” -- Suraya Sadeed In a post-9/11 report, the Council on Foreign Relations noted: The stark reality is that the United States does not have the right structural capability to stabilize and rebuild nations. Responsibility is diffuse and authority is uncertain. The proper roles of the military and civilian agencies have not been articulated. And civilian players desperately need a ‘unified command’ structure to align policies, programs and resources. While Washington poured billions of dollars into military efforts, it allocated pennies, by comparison, to development. And these pennies went into small “quick-impact projects,” such as digging a well, rebuilding a small bridge, or repairing a brokendown school building. These failed to persuade the Afghan population that their future looked brighter without the Taliban, especially since such projects often were done without asking the community if this is what they wanted and needed. Actually, the Afghan government needed pooled donor funds for building roads and power plants and other expensive infrastructure. Such pooling can also minimize duplication of donors’ pet projects.

Afghanistan at the Brink

By 2008 – when the U.S. presidential election was in full swing – the Taliban were working their way back to controlling Afghanistan. “[I]n the summer of 2008,” wrote Rashid, “Afghanistan witnessed its heaviest bout of fighting and the highest death toll for United States and NATO troops as well as the Afghan police and army since 2001.” He continued: In the first four months of 2008 thirty businessmen were kidnapped in Kabul alone and some ransom demands were as high as U.S. $3 million…. In the first nine months of 2008 twenty-three World Food Program convoys were attacked and eight hundred tons of wheat lost…. The educational system – the country’s biggest success story – was also hit hard. Eightyeight schools were attacked by the Taliban, while six hundred and forty closed their doors after receiving threats. While Afghanistan was spiraling downward through 2008, Pakistan was stable in comparison. The Islamic extremists operating 6

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out of the border regions kept their eyes focused on: (1) Afghanistan, (2) the battle with India over Kashmir, and (3) in the case of al-Qaeda, the wider world. This appeared to suit those leading Pakistan at that time, since little or nothing was done to cause the extremists to leave Pakistan or to put down their arms. On the contrary, Ahmed Rashid, Steve Coll and other informed observers said that Pakistan’s ISI continued to provide arms and funding to the extremists.

Shift in Pakistan

The 2008 elections in Pakistan brought two non-military men into the roles of president and prime minister. In 2009, after the new Obama administration had assessed the situation, Washington began to put pressure on Pakistan to quit permitting the Af-Pak Tribal Belt to be a hiding and training area for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Once President Obama endorsed a U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan, he did not want to see the Taliban disappear across the border to Pakistan, where it could regroup and later return to Afghanistan, as had occurred earlier. By late 2009, Pakistan had demonstrated a shift in policy by moving troops and police into some of the border regions in an effort to assert control over them and to make the border with Afghanistan less porous. As a result, there has been a backlash in Pakistan, with terrorist attacks increasing throughout the country. It appears that Pakistan’s own version of the Taliban, rooted among the Pashtun living along the border, has shifted its attention to de-stabilizing Pakistan itself.

View from CJP

As this issue of Peacebuilder went to press in March 2010, it was clear that there was some difference in the outlook of our Pakistani alumni and our Afghan alumni. In the wake of recent changes in U.S. foreign policy, the Pakistanis were expressing alarm at the increased violence in their country, while the Afghans were expressing cautious optimism for the future of their country. (The Afghans’ views are explored on pages 16-17; the Pakistanis’ views on pages 18-19.) Most of the Afghans had a favorable view of President Obama’s decision to commit more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan, boosting the NATO force there to 86,000 this spring, 55% being U.S. They saw this step as a necessary temporary measure, though they stressed that only nation building – that is, economic development coupled with reinforcing Afghan systems for establishing and maintaining justice and democracy – could drain the swamp supporting Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other autocratic groups, including those led by tribal-based warlords. Almost all of our alumni are demonstrating in words and deeds their personal commitment to stopping the cycles of violence that have rolled across their nations. Some are working with the schools to reach young people. Others are working to lay an economic base for a peaceful society. Many are working with the media and with government agencies (sometimes at very high levels) to bring about positive, lasting changes. When in the United States, they often join EMU professor Lisa Schirch to urge the U.S. government to shift to “do no harm” (but do help) policies. As Suraya Sadeed, founder of Help for Afghan Children, expressed it: “I will never give up. I will never give up on hope.” 

Ten Steps Toward Ending the Chaos These are excerpted, sometimes paraphrased, from the concluding chapter of Descent Into Chaos – The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid.

1 2

Take a multi-prong approach: No single military, development or political solutions.

Involve every entity with a stake in this matter: Pakistan, India, United States, European Union, NATO, UN, Iran. All of these powers have been interfering in Afghanistan for their own reasons, but all also have a stake in stabilizing the region.


Talk to the insurgents: Seek a political solution that wins the cooperation of as many Afghan and Pakistani insurgents as possible. Enlist their cooperation against al-Qaeda, which has a global agenda that may be different than their more local, community-based interests.


Commit to a multi-year, long-term international development aid package for regional economic integration, education, and job creation programs in the borderlands between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia. Quick fixes look cheap initially, but they aren’t, because they don’t work and just leave people feeling more angry and hopeless.


Pakistan: Pakistan’s strategic goals in Afghanistan place it at odds not just with Afghanistan, India, and the United States, but with the entire international community. Yet the UN Security Council has hardly discussed Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan. The Pakistani army has to put to rest its notion of a centralized state based solely on defense against India and an expansionist Islamist strategic military doctrine carried out at the expense of democracy.


Iran: The United States needs to talk directly with Iran, a Shiite Muslim nation. Iran has reacted to threats by aiding insurgents in Afghanistan (who are not Shiites) in order to signal how much damage it could do in response. However, Iran’s real interests lie in seeking cooperation with the United States and the international community against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Landmines, often from former wars, remain a threat.


India/Pakistan: To avoid military stratagems, establish a permanent way for the Indian and Pakistani governments, including their military and intelligence personnel, to consult with each other over complaints and conflicts.


Russia/China: To reduce jockeying for influence, address the legitimate concern of Russia and China that the United States and NATO are seeking a permanent Western military presence in countries on the borders of Russia and China.


Afghanistan: The Afghans need to evolve a system of governance capable of delivering services to the people and relatively free of tribalism, sectarianism, and corruption. They need to tackle the drug problem themselves and show the world that they will assume responsibility for their nation in the quickest possible time.


Central Asian Republics: Peace in the greater region requires stable neighbors – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. All five countries sit atop vast energy reserves, offering the potential for their peoples to emerge from poverty. Yet all are ruled by repressive regimes whose policies have fueled militant Muslim resistance groups, reminiscent of the Taliban. China, Russia, and the United States are waging a “New Great Game” for influence in Central Asia. It is time to stop repeating the historical tragedies seen in Afghanistan and to learn from them: the best guarantee of security for all concerned is laying the groundwork for satisfied citizenry in these countries, as is true elsewhere.

PHOTO courtesy of Mennonite Central Committee/Matthew Lester

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Provincial police leader Malik Naveed addresses a community-wide meeting on Feb. 2, 2010, organized by Ali Gohar, MA ’02 (standing behind).

Updating Jirga New Purposes for Old Tradition Ali Gohar, MA ’02, is working to update the traditional system of jirga in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He believes passionately in the core function of jirga, whereby certain elders are recognized in their communities for their wisdom and ethics; these elders gather to make community-wide decisions, resolve problems, and dispense justice. Gohar has been encouraging jirga’s elders to incorporate current principles of human rights, conflict resolution, reconciliation, and restorative justice into their deliberations. Part of updating jirga, says Gohar, is building a relationship between its members and government officials, so that they work in a complementary way rather than being at odds. These photos, taken in Mardan, 45 kilometers from the provincial capital of Peshawar, show such relationship building. Malik Naveed (pictured speaking above), is the top police official for the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), one of the border areas gripped by the “war on terror.” Naveed not only appeared at this Gohar-organized public gathering on February 2, 2010, he announced that “reconciliation committees” would be meeting regularly with community elders at each of the 17 police stations in Mardan. Naveed expressed 8

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hope that “fear and terror about police officials in the hearts of the people would be eradicated and trust and brotherhood restored in society,” according to a report in a Pakistani newspaper. This large public meeting – notably attended by women – reflects Gohar’s efforts to see that all parties have a common understanding of the principles of conflict transformation, jirga and restorative justice. Each reconciliation committee is mandated to include three women, an unprecedented step. Gohar, co-founder and director of JustPeace International (, is on familiar ground working in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. His ethnic-linguistic group is Pashtun, whose members are distributed widely on both sides of the border. In Pakistan, he has worked mainly in NWFP, Punjab, and Baluchistan. In Afghanistan, he has worked in Kabul and Jalalabad. Gohar has organized trainings for more than 1,000 community elders, 500 police officers, 350 civil society members, 300 women activists, and 100 non-governmental organization workers. He also works through TV, radio and print. He has developed: more than Ali Gohar 20 TV and radio shows dealing with conflict issues; a dozen booklets on aspects of restorative justice, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding, which are distributed widely at the grassroots; and three books, including one on jirga and another on restorative justice, co-authored with EMU professor Howard Zehr. He has played key roles in 40 national and international seminars, including organizing Pakistan’s first international symposium on restorative justice seven years ago.  PHOTOS courtesy of Ali Gohar

This community meeting took place within Pakistani territory targeted by the “war on terror.”

Ali Gohar (standing) joins community leaders in prayer.

Ceremony centering on reconciliation.

On another February day, the police filled a Gohar-led workshop.

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Students in the “Read Afghanistan” program enjoy HTAC-produced bilingual storybooks while improving their literacy skills.

Building Schools Spreading Hope to 120,000 Children The two-hour car trip from her home in a suburb of Washington D.C. to graduate classes at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in Harrisonburg, Va., is a minor inconvenience for Suraya Sadeed, an Afghan-American woman who has spent days on horseback and foot to oversee the delivery of relief supplies to destitute Afghans, who has donned a burqa (shrouding herself head to foot) to navigate through Taliban-controlled Kabul, and who has seen bombs exploding before her eyes. Sadeed, founder and executive director of Help the Afghan Children (HTAC), officially began the MA program in conflict transformation at EMU in January 2010. Sadeed hopes to learn more about development, trauma healing and peacebuilding, while exchanging insights with others doing similar work. It takes imagination, though, to see how Sadeed could be more effective than she has been – over the last 18 years, her organization has touched the lives of more than 2 million Afghan children and their families. Sadeed said she feels “young again” as a 57-year-old graduate student. “It is never too late to learn about peace – it’s a subject that is not going to ever be outdated.” Sadeed was born and educated through the undergraduate college level in Kabul, where her father was the governor at one 10

peacebuilder spring/summer 2010

point. She left Afghanistan with her husband for graduate studies in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1977. Two years later the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, causing her to opt to stay away from her home country. Sadeed moved with her family to the United States, became a U.S. citizen, and concentrated on building a successful family business. After the death of a family member, Sadeed returned to her native country as part of her grief process. Seeing it for the first time in 15 years, Sadeed was shocked at what she found – the people of Afghanistan were suffering from deprivation, illnesses, violence, and illiteracy. In 1993, Sadeed launched Help the Afghan Children ( with the ambitious goal of providing food, medicines, tents, blankets, clothing, school supplies, hygiene kits, and other necessities to the millions of Afghans displaced and otherwise affected by war. Sadeed spent months raising money in the United States for HTAC-supported health clinics, orphanages, refugee settlements, and schools, returning repeatedly to Afghanistan to ensure that the money and supplies were being properly dispersed where most needed. In 1998, for example, Sadeed was part of a delegation that spent 11 days traveling by horseback and foot to bring relief supplies to a remote area of Afghanistan where an earthquake had taken 7,000 lives and left as many injured and homeless. During the Taliban’s brutal rule from 1996 into 2001, women were expected to remain cloistered in the home, even in the capital city of Kabul, and to be fully covered in a burqa if they had to step outside for any reason. So Sadeed donned a burqa PHOTO courtesy of Help The Afghan Children (HTAC)

(also called a chadri) and continued to bring desperately needed aid. To 750 children living in Kabul Orphanage, for example, she conveyed blankets, clothing, shoes, toiletries and writing supplies. Sadeed also led the delivery of 21 tons of medicine and medical supplies to three Kabul hospitals that were primarily serving women and children. She backed 17 home-based schools, where girls forbidden to go to school could be secretly educated. In October 2002, a year after allied troops routed the Taliban, Sadeed gave an interview to the Pioneer newspaper in North Central Minnesota, where she observed, “Schools need to be built, and the infrastructure of the country and its government must be rebuilt for peace to reign. If the country is left in a weakened state… terrorist groups could regroup there.” As explained on pages 4 through 6 of this magazine, Sadeed’s prediction quickly came true. Even so, Sadeed does not believe in military solutions. She has long believed that educating the Afghan people is the best “weapon” against the Taliban and the ignorance on which they feed. “The groups that are behind terror in Afghanistan are more frightened about the thought of millions of Afghan children growing up educated than they are of the U.S. military.” HTAC has built or renovated 14 model schools in three Afghan provinces since 2002. The Taliban destroyed one of HTAC’s schools and threatened to kill teachers trained and supported by HTAC. “The girls and women are particularly targeted,” says Sadeed. “I have been in awe of the bravery of the students and teachers in persisting at education.” All HTAC schools teach therapeutic peace skills, with the boys particularly encouraged to replace aggressive behaviors with respectful, cooperative ones. The schools also offer environmental lessons and computer training. About 120,000 students have come through HTAC schools – more than 50 percent being females – including 2,700 in computer classes and 12,000 in a literacy program with HTAC-created picture books called “Read Afghanistan.” In addition, 3,500 teachers have been trained and passed teacher competency tests. “We are trying to help build Afghanistan’s educational infrastructure in a way that will lead to permanent security and sustainability,” says Sadeed, whose work has been covered in Reader’s Digest, People magazine, the Los Angeles Times magazine, and in a documentary by Oxygen Media. She has appeared on Oprah and on NBC’s Weekend Today Show. Sadeed also has been to the White House to be recognized by George W. and Laura Bush and has testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Near East and South Asia. Greg Mortenson, bestselling author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, has called HTAC one of his favorite charities. Sadeed first heard about EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) from a staff person at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., who told her CJP is “cream of the crop” and “respected worldwide” for its graduate-level peace studies. Sadeed inquired further and came to realize that CJP is rooted in the same peace-church tradition as Mennonite Central Committee, which has been providing funds to HTAC for eight years, and which worked with her to provide food and shelter to over 45,000 destitute Afghans during 2001, disregarding the danger posed by the raging NATO-Taliban war. 

Suraya Sadeed and her work have been featured in major U.S. media outlets, such as Oprah, NBC’s Today show, and the Los Angeles Times magazine. Supporters of her schools include Oprah’s Angel Network, AmeriCares, and Mennonite Central Committee.

In 2002, Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga (grand assembly) recognized Suraya Sadeed (right front) for her work, one of ten women it honored.

PHOTOS by Jon Styer (above) and courtesy of Suraya Sadeed (below)

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Mapping A Better Future

Executive director & founder, Help the Afghan Children Current location: Fairfax, Virginia Homeplace: Kabul

6 SAEED MURAD RAHI, MA ’07 Senior rule-of-law advisor USAID Rule of Law Stabilization Program Current location & homeplace: Kabul

1 JENNIFER ADAMS, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP Plans to return to work with Afghans in trauma healing and resilience Semester location: Harrisonburg, Virginia Current residence: Kabul Herat

8 FARISHTA SAKHI, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP Former director of Women Activities & Social Services Association Current location: Harrisonburg, Virginia Homeplace: Herat

CENTRAL ASIA NETWORKERS LISA SCHIRCH, PHD 3D Security Initiative Director Professor of peacebuilding, EMU Washington D.C. & Harrisonburg, Va.


5 RAMIN NOUROOZI, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP Former NGO official in Afghanistan Now planning to work in conflict transformation Current location: Harrisonburg, Virginia Homeplace: Herat

THEO SITTHER, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP Legislative Associate for International Affairs Mennonite Central Committee Washington Office KUWAIT Washington D.C.

2 HAMID ARSALAN, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP Former UN worker with refugee agency Also pursuing graduate degree at UVa Current location: Charlottesville, Virginia Homeplace: Herat

SUE WILLIAMS Summer Peacebuilding Institute Director Consultant, policy specialist, trainer, researcher in conflict matters Harrisonburg, Va.

RUTH ZIMMERMAN, MA ’02 Mennonite Central Committee administrator Head liaison with MCC’s Afghanistan partners Former co-director of CJP Kolkata, India


Map Explanation The 25 people on the map at right have all been to CJP for short-term training or for graduate education pertaining to some aspect of conflict transformation. For more information on their backgrounds and current work, turn the page. Their numbers on the map correspond to their numbers on pages 14 and 15.



peacebuilder SAU D I A R A B I A spring/summer 2010






ABDUL LATIF SALEM, MA ’09 Graduate student at Clinton School – University of Arkansas Former UN employee in Afghanistan Current location: Little Rock, Arkansas Homeplace: Mazar-i-sharif

Gender Advisor,JustPeace International Current location: Bradford, UK Home location: Peshawar



PARWIZ HAKIM, MA ’08 Formerly coordinator for USAID Project in Mazar, now political analyst for Swedish embassy Current location: Kabul Homeplace: Mazar-i-sharif

25 HASSAN M. YOUSUFZAI, MA ’03 Former Administrator, District Management Group in NWFP and FATA Now Embassy Commercial Counselor Current location: Frankfurt, Germany Home location: Peshawar

9 NILOFAR SAKHI, MA ’07 Country Director, Open Society Institute, Afghanistan Founder & chairperson of Women’s Activities & Social Services Association Current location: Kabul Homeplace: Herat

Mazar-i-shar if


16 JENNIFER JAG JIVAN, MA ’06 Peacebuilding Consultant & Trainer Home location: Wah Cantt

17 JAMES JOHN, SPI ’98 & ’06

K abul


Program Coordinator, Norwegian Church Aid Current location: Islamabad

Wa h C a n t t Pe s h a wa r




Office manager/political researcher Afghanistan Analysts Network, Kabul Current location: Kabul

Deputy Inspector General, Islamabad Police Current location: Islamabad

Ra wa l p i n d i




ALI GOHAR, MA ’02 Founder, Rehbar (guide), JustPeace International Current location: Peshawar

Fa i s a l a b a d

MEHBOOB FRANCIS SADA, SPI ’03 Director, Christian Study Centre Current location: Rawalpindi


To b a Te k S i n g h

MBA grad student at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Current location: Philadelphia, Pa. Home location: Rawalpindi

21 NADEEM MASIH, SPI ’09 Executive Director, Human Welfare Organization Current location: Toba Tek Singh

11 WASEEM ANTHONY, SPI ’06 Executive director, CPHD (Commission for Peace and Human Development) Current location: Lahore

23 SADAQAT NIL SARDAR, SPI ’07& ’08 Coordinator, Caritas Pakistan Faisalabad Current location: Faisalabad

14 DR. KHOLA IRUM, SPI ’04 & STAR ’06 Principal Advisor, Gender-Responsive Policing Project German Technical Cooperation Current location: Lahore





Diocesan Executive Secretary, Caritas Pakistan Faisalabad Current location: Faisalabad

Deputy Director, Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan Current location: Karachi

18 RAZIA JOSEPH, SPI ’09 President, Women Shelter Organization Current location: Faisalabad




peacebuilder ■ 13

The People on the Map AFGHANISTAN

used by European decision-makers for “choosing the right strategy for achieving development, security, justice and democracy in Afghanistan.” More info at

1. JENNIFER ADAMS, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP: While living in Herat with her husband and teenage daughter from 2003 through 2006, Adams worked with women being treated in a burn unit, who often had self-immolated to end their unhappy marriage and living situations. Four or five women, typically in their teen years, were admitted to the unit each week. Many died, but those who survived “walked out without any discussion of their psychological trauma or way to re-center their lives.” To better help these young women and to equip practitioners, Adams came to CJP to concentrate on trauma and post-trauma resilience. Her husband, Philip, has a staff position at Kabul University. Adams plans to re-join him in Kabul when she finishes her degree at CJP.

5. RAMIN NOUROOZI, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP: Has more than seven years of work experience with international and national organizations, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Norwegian Refugee Council, Hewad Reconstruction Services, and Women Activities and Social Services Association. Was an associate professor for two years at Herat University, where years earlier he had earned his undergraduate degree in economics. For four years, led the Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society in western Afghanistan, which aimed to build the capacity of civil society organizations and provide them with small seed grants.

2. HAMID ARSALAN, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP: From 2002 to 2006, worked for the United Nations on repatriating and reintegrating over five million Afghan refugees. Now pursuing two graduate degrees: one at EMU (conflict transformation), another at UVa (public policy). During 2009, as the Obama Administration was considering policy changes regarding Afghanistan, Arsalan traveled an average of once or twice a month to Washington D.C. for policy briefings. Has offered his views on Afghanistan inside the White House, Pentagon, State Department, USAID, and many Congressional offices, among other locations.

6. SAEED MURAD RAHI, MA ’07 (on Fulbright): Senior rule of law advisor who works for the USAID-funded Rule of Law Stabilization Program. Oversees 16 field offices and 11 provincial advisors across country. Author of Mediation Skills in Conflict Resolution (in Persian & Dari) and editor of a 4,000-entry legal glossary, the first published in Dari and Pashto in Afghanistan. Founder and chief editor of FARYAD, a political and cultural newspaper published in Dari. Has a bachelors degree in Sharia and Law from International Islamic University in Islamabad. See (use Internet Explorer).

3. PARWIZ HAKIM, MA ’08: Political analyst for the Swedish government, based in its embassy in Kabul. During the 2009 Presidential Elections in Afghanistan, Hakim organized separate meetings for the 11 presidential candidates at the Swedish Embassy, which were attended by the Kabul-based ambassadors of European Union countries. Hakim offers cultural counsel to Swedish diplomats, as well as to the Provincial Reconstruction Teams staffed by the Swedish military in northern Afghanistan. He also serves as the embassy liaison to many political and coordination gatherings. Previously, Hakim was a coordinator for a USAID project, working at improving local governance and community development in his hometown of Mazar-i-sharif.

7. SURAYA SADEED, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP: Executive director and founder of Help the Afghan Children (, founded in 1993. Lives in a suburb of Washington D.C., but spends extended periods in Afghanistan. Married to Aziz R. Qarghah, director of Afghan Health and Development Services, which supports 65 health clinics in Afghanistan. He serves on HTAC’s board. More on pages 10-11.

4. MOHAMMAD FARSHID HAKIMYAR, SPI ’09: Office manager/political researcher at the Afghanistan Analysts Network in Kabul, part of a non-profit think tank headquartered in Germany. “Part of my job is management, but most of my time is invested in doing research. I focus on collecting data via interviews, media monitoring, participating in meetings and conferences, going to Parliament and watching the plenary sessions on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.” He provides “impartial analysis” that can be


peacebuilder spring/summer 2010

8. FARISHTA SAKHI, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP: MBA-holding executive director of Women Activities and Social Services Association, 20052008, continuing on the board. Was a fellow of the Transitional Justice Program and intern at the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in South Africa. Joined the United Nations Assistance Mission after the collapse of the Taliban as political assistant and regional coordinator for the first presidential elections. During three years of service, she participated in numerous national and international conferences advocating for socioeconomic justice for the people of Afghanistan. 9. NILOFAR SAKHI, MA ’07: Country director of the Open Society Institute in Afghanistan, which works to increase the capacity and leadership of Afghan citizens in five thematic

areas – rule of law; good governance; human rights, including transitional justice; women’s rights; and the media. Also the founder and current chairperson of Women Activities and Social Services Association in Herat, now expanding into Kabul. 10. ABDUL LATIF SALEM, MA ’09: (on Fulbright) Graduate student at Clinton School – University of Arkansas, concentrating on economic development and social policy. Spent seven years working sequentially for three UN agencies (UNICEF, World Food Programme, and UN Special Mission to Afghanistan). Monitored and evaluated projects in health, education, child protection and environmental sanitation, while training hundreds of other Afghan officials to do this as well. Coordinated the training of 4,800 teachers, helped establish 1,400 schools for girls in rural locations, and worked with demobilizing and reintegrating 3,000 former child soldiers and war-affected children.

PAKISTAN 11. WASEEM ANTHONY, SPI ’06: As executive director of the Commission for Peace and Human Development (consisting of eight staff members, including three women), Anthony is trying to see that peace education is part of all secular and religious schooling in Pakistan, starting with schools in Lahore. Part of having peace is for youth to accept pluralism and to tolerate diversity, rather than discriminating against or threatening those Pakistanis who have religious or social practices that the mullahs oppose. 12. ALI GOHAR, MA ’02 (on Fulbright): Founder and Rehbar (guide) of JustPeace International. Relies on peace teachings drawn from Islamic scripture to work for interfaith harmony. Specializes in highlighting and celebrating best practices and beliefs drawn from his own Pashtun traditions in the border area of Pakistan. Believes in restorative, community-based policing. Wants to see juvenile cases handled in the community, not judicial system, for resolution and rehabilitation. Prolific organizer of educational and community meetings. Producer of printed and visual materials for conflict transformation. More about him on pages 8-9 and at 13. SYED ABRAR HUSSAIN, MA ’05 (on Fulbright): MBA student at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. Wants to become a successful businessman, return to Pakistan, and help develop its economic base and increase its social equality through micro-lending, especially loans to impoverished women to start small businesses.

14. KHOLA IRUM, SPI ’04 & STAR ’06: Physician and public health expert who is principal advisor to the Gender-Responsive Policing Project, funded by German Technical Cooperation. Aims to reduce violence against women. “We face a lot of resistance… The general public is not in favor of women rights or gender equality because of the patriarchal mindset. So our work is quite difficult since we deal with attitudes and behavior change.” 15. FARKHANDA JABEEN, SPI ’02: Gender advisor to JustPeace International, founded and led by her husband, Ali Gohar (see entry no. 12) -- they have one son and three girls. Views herself as a peacebuilder working to support the most disadvantaged half of the Pakistani population. 16. JENNIFER JAG JIVAN, MA ’06 (on Fulbright): Consultant and trainer, leading well-attended educational sessions on such topics as “introduction to conflict and peacebuilding.” Developed a media and peacebuilding curriculum for university-level mass communication students, which started as a three-credit course in Pakistan FC College and is now being considered at other Pakistani universities, as well as some in Afghanistan. Works to ensure that the voices and recommendations of educators at the grassroots are heard by government policymakers. 17. JAMES JOHN, SPI ’98 & ’06: Program coordinator for Norwegian Church Aid, an organization that has worked for long-term development in Pakistan since 1981 and that supports the intra/interfaith initiatives of civil society organizations. It is active in the World Council of Religions, Pakistan’s first national-level grouping of leaders and scholars from Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Sikh communities, all committed to dealing with national and global issues of religious intolerance, extremism, violence, and human rights discrimination. 18. RAZIA JOSEPH, SPI ’09: President, Women Shelter Organization. Works with women who are victims of sexual harassment and rape, offering legal support and trauma healing. Her organization provides literacy, work and leadership skills to marginalized women, including those in prison, irrespective of religion. Author of a book on building Christian-Muslim relationships, published in Pakistan’s national language, Urdu. 19. YASMINE JOSEPH, SPI ’08 & ’09: As diocesan executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan Faisalabad, leads her organization in: caring for, rehabilitation of, and trauma healing with victims of natural and manmade tragedies; giving microloans to help women generate family income; offering women space to talk about their problems. In quest for inter-faith harmony, participates in conflict transformation between Christians and Muslims, organizes trainings on the subject, and joins with other faith-based groups on this work.

20. SHAMA MALL, STAR ’04 & SPI ’05: Deputy director for development and capacity building programs in Church World Service-Pakistan/ Afghanistan, based in Karachi. “We work with lots of committed people in our own institution as well as people from other civil society organizations who are working against all odds to overcome some of the challenges…The greatest hope lies in youth.” Her organization is committed to promoting peace education in both countries, through camps for youth during holiday periods, through the development and introduction of peace curricula for schools, and through training teachers. 21. NADEEM MASIH, SPI ’09: Executive director of the Human Welfare Organization, which is dedicated to serving needy, distressed and poor people, as well as people in emergencies and in long-term medical care, who need nutritional rehabilitation, educational opportunities, and vocational training in Toba Tek Singh (Punjab Province). 22. MEHBOOB FRANCIS SADA, SPI ’03: Has been director of Christian Study Centre in Rawalpindi for last nine years. Works on Muslim-Christian understanding and relationships through trainings, seminars and programs. Edits a bi-annual theological journal that often explores similarities between Islam and Christianity. 23. SADAQAT NIL SARDAR, SPI ’07 & ’08: Coordinator of Caritas Pakistan Faisalabad, who describes himself as a “peacebuilder and interfaith harmony promoter.” Focuses on working with traumatized communities, including rehabilitating victims. Works on resolving conflicts between Muslim and Christian communities. 24. KAMAL UDDIN TIPU, MA ’04 (on Fulbright): Deputy inspector general of the police in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city, with about 1.7 million inhabitants. This position puts Tipu on the front lines of the struggle to have a safe city, free of terrorist attacks, as well as the internal police struggle to eliminate the widespread practice of taking bribes. Previously was general manager for the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority in Punjab province, overseeing satellite TV channels, FM radio stations, and cable TV operators. Before that, he was district police officer in the Frontier Constabulary based in Peshawar. 25. HASSAN M. YOUSUFZAI, MA ’03 (on Fulbright): An economist who for the last 10 years worked in various administrative roles along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, known as the North West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Has particular experience and training in supporting the management of small industries. From March 2010 through 2014, he is tasked to be a commercial counselor in the Pakistani Embassy in Frankfurt, Germany. Has

strong interest in the positive roles that can be played by the traditional jirga systems in tribal areas. Is developing a peace education curriculum for government-run schools.

CENTRAL ASIA NETWORKERS 26. LISA SCHIRCH, PHD: EMU professor of peacebuilding and director of the 3D Security Initiative ( 3D is a policy voice for civil society and conflict prevention, offering a fresh approach to human security. It works at connecting policymakers with global civil society networks, engaging in civil-military dialogue, and increasing investment in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Schirch made two fact-finding trips to Afghanistan in 2009. In recent years, the meeting rooms of Washington policymakers have been visited weekly by Schirch or 3D delegations made up of students, alumni and others with expertise in Afghanistan and Pakistan, among other countries. Read a new brief Schirch co-authored on pages 21-23. 27. THEO SITTHER, MA CANDIDATE AT CJP: Legislative associate for international affairs at the Mennonite Central Committee Washington Office on Capitol Hill. The office encourages “prophetic witness to the way of Christ on matters of U.S. public policy.” MCC’s work in Afghanistan is in the areas of relief (food and school supplies), development (education and health) and peacebuilding (training, research and advocacy). MCC carries out its work through local Afghan partners, with whom Sitther regularly consults and occasionally visits to ensure coordination and mutual accountability. 28. SUE WILLIAMS, SUMMER PEACEBUILDING INSTITUTE DIRECTOR: Consultant, policy specialist, trainer, researcher in conflict matters. Has been to Afghanistan or border area of Pakistan six times since the 1990s. Author of a 2000 evaluation of Cooperation for Peace and Unity in Afghanistan. Co-author of a 2003 study on how the Jaghori district of Afghanistan partially nullified the brutality of Taliban rule through a form of community-wide non-violent resistance. Co-author of “Do No Harm in Afghanistan: A Study in Cycles” (2006). 29. RUTH ZIMMERMAN, MA ’02: Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) administrator living in Kolkata, India, and chief liaison with MCC’s Afghanistan partners, such as Help the Afghan Children (pages 10-11). Ensures that the partners receive core funding necessary to pay staff, because “it is usually easier for NGOs to raise money for projects that show an impact, than it is to get money to keep the home office functioning.” Co-teaches the organizational leadership course offered at CJP’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute.

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The Afghans

Nation Building Is the Answer Not War

Experience shows that use of armed force results in more violence and resistance. — Saeed Murad Rahi, MA ’07 Senior Advisor Rule of Law Stabilization Program

the country. But we cannot defeat the Taliban through military means only. Development and diplomatic efforts also must be made. The solution must be a political one.” Hamid added that he recognizes the necessity of reconciliation with some parts of the Taliban, involving their re-integration into community and political life. “But I don’t see reconciliation with al-Qaeda, which has no interest in the well-being of Afghanistan. The leaders of al-Qaeda are not Afghans; they just ended up in Afghanistan.” Jennifer Adams, a graduate student who is married to a U.S. citizen teaching at Kabul University, brought back these observations after spending last fall in Kabul: If you stop people on the streets of Kabul today and ask what they want, you will find real ambivalence. Most don’t want the foreign troops to leave yet. They don’t agree with those who say, ‘Pull out the troops tomorrow and let the Afghans sort it out for themselves.’ They think Afghanistan is not yet strong enough not to implode if NATO troops withdraw. But they don’t want an international force in Afghanistan forever. They want an Afghan national army that is able to secure the borders and keep neighboring countries from interfering in Afghanistan. They will tell you they were living in the Afghan version of a concentration camp in 2001, where they literally saw the Taliban string their neighbors up on street lights. Where schools were closed down. Where the educated were selected for execution, and women had no rights at all. With an iron fist, the Taliban imposed tribal codes not shared by most Afghans.

The Taliban and al-Qaeda are major threats to the stability of Afghanistan. But no military can solve this problem once and for all. The long-term answer lies in building up the economic base of Afghanistan,1 empowering “civil society” (i.e. everyday folks like teachers, farmers, business people, clergy, women’s groups, health workers, journalists), and reinforcing democratic governance. In short, nation building. When queried for this issue of Peacebuilder, eight Afghans Given this recent history, many Afghans will find it difficult linked to CJP, along with a U.S. graduate student based in to reach out to the Taliban – even those elements of the Taliban Afghanistan, concurred on the points above. They did not all agree, however, on whether it was advisable for NATO troops to who are willing to depart from the past – though reconciliation of be fighting Islamic extremists in Afghanistan, even temporarily. some kind undoubtedly will be necessary for lasting peace. Suraya Sadeed, executive director of Help the Afghan Children, Some respondents mentioned they had lost close family memsaid: “I can assure you the United States and NATO will never bers to war on Afghan soil. Two brothers of Farshid Hakimyar win this war.” were killed. Farishta and Nilofar Sakhi’s grandfather, a respected Saeed Murad Rahi, MA ’07, agreed: “Experience shows that use mullah, was killed, plus two uncles. The Sakhi family knows that of armed force or the introduction of armed intervention to fight one of the killers remains in their home community, but they opponents makes the situation worse and has resulted in more are not focused on retribution. “We need to address the past to violence and resistance.” Rahi would like the Afghan government restore and repair relationships in order to build a better future,” to set up a national reconciliation commission to start negotiating Farishta said, adding that vengeance would perpetuate the cycles with its opponents. Sadeed, too, wants negotiations that are open of violence. to all parties in the conflict. Ramin Nouroozi said that the Taliban re-emerged in the last The other respondents, however, reluctantly lent their support decade, in part, because of “air strikes that kill civilians, causing to the military’s role in Afghanistan. “I have to be realistic,” said their people to seek revenge.” He also pointed to anger at corFarishta Sakhi, a current MA student. “Our Afghan troops cannot ruption, both large scale – as when foreign energy companies pay yet deal with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other extremists, espepoliticians huge sums of money to back the company’s interests cially since the extremists get a lot of support from outside our – and local, as when citizens have to bribe people to get anything country.” done, even to pay their electrical and telephone bills. Hamid Arsalan, another MA student (pictured on facing page), Respondents frequently mentioned the harmful role played by said: “Most Afghans were in favor of the troop surge – you have outside powers – notably Pakistan, the United States, Russia and to realize that the fighting is not all over the country; the Taliban India, with China now entering the picture – in encroaching on is present in about 40 districts in the south and east out of 400 in Afghanistan (often through proxies) for their national interests.2 1 EMU professor David Brubaker points to efforts to develop Afghanistan’s economy in his article on page 24.


peacebuilder spring/summer 2010

2 See pages 4-6 for more on the role of outside powers.

Hamid Arsalan will return to Afghanistan with two graduate degrees – a master’s in public policy from the University of Virginia (where he is pictured) and a master’s in conflict transformation from EMU. He feels his country is “moving in the right direction,” adding “we Afghans are serious about doing our part to turn things around.”

Afghan peacebuilders are: Using assistance from outside sources to build up Encouraging Afghans to recognize the strengths of their own Afghanistan, so that it can govern itself, provide health care traditions and local practices and to build on these. Abdul and other services, educate its youth, enable women to emerge Latif Salem, MA ’09, said: “We have ‘jirga’ [a tribal assembly from the home, safeguard human rights, and permit people of men who make decisions by consensus] which despite not to support themselves and their families. This is often called being democratic, is an effective conflict resolution mechanism “capacity building” and “nation building.” All look forward to in rural communities where government presence is barely the day when Afghanistan no longer needs foreign aid. felt.” In a handbook he wrote on Mediation Skills, Saeed Murad Rahi, MA ’07, referred to the positive role that can be played by Advocating for “mega economic” projects enabled by pooled “shura,” an Islamic council of consultation practiced in many funds, such as a national network of highways and major Sunni Islamic societies. power plants, for long-term sustainability, rather than donors’ tendency to invest in cheap, “quick-impact” solo projects. Politely demanding to be heard and respected. As Farishta Sakhi explained: “Development money [from donors] is not Increasing awareness of why women need and deserve equal being used effectively, [partly because] Afghans are not being rights. First steps are better education for both girls and boys consulted about it. They are not involved in how it is used and (in part, to change attitudes), better legal protections, and monitored.” Sakhi comes from an accomplished family – her micro-loans to jumpstart women’s businesses. grandfather was a respected mullah, her father and mother college-educated, as well as her siblings – and she knows many Spreading the skills of conflict transformation through families like hers. She wishes the international NGOs would their society. For instance, all 14 of the model schools funded funnel their aid through Afghans who have proven themselves by Help the Afghan Children include therapeutic peace education as part of their curricula. Most of CJP’s graduates in in civil society, such as “the leaders who stayed through the wars, the good people in political parties, professors in universities, Afghanistan conduct training workshops or seminars on aspects religious people on the ground, and all those working to of peacebuilding. Through these efforts, thousands of teachers achieve reconciliation between warring factions.”3 and others have directly learned about ways to promote lasting peace, and they are influencing tens of thousands more.  3 The importance of local input and ownership is stressed in “Advancing Peace and Mitigating Crises” on pages 21-23.

PHOTO by Jon Styer

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The Pakistanis

Persisting Despite Despair

We need to change the psyche and attitudes of people. — Nadeem Masih, Executive Director Human Welfare Organization The 15 Pakistanis who responded to a January query from Peacebuilder did not mince words: Conditions in their country are spiraling downward. “If a day passes by without a bomb blast or a suicide attack, that becomes a day of hope,” said Hassan M. Yousufzai, MA ’03, on the eve of leaving Pakistan for an embassy post in Germany. “Under the circumstances, we obtain satisfaction from relief work, or we focus on trauma healing for ourselves, our children, and the victims of violence.” Few Pakistani respondents showed the glimmers of optimism in the messages received from the 10 Afghan respondents, who seemed to feel that Afghanistan possibly would turn a corner in five years or so, maybe even emerging as a viable nation for the first time in decades. On the contrary, Pakistan’s fortunes seemed to be on the opposite end of the seesaw from Afghanistan’s. Pakistan has come under international pressure to stop harboring Islamic extremists, who are accustomed to flowing back and forth between Pakistan and Afghanistan, swimming freely in the tribal areas along the border. But official attempts at controlling these border areas have fueled the ire of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters and led to brash attacks, both suicide and otherwise. It seems that nobody in Pakistan is feeling safe these days, faced with “grown-up men who believe that gun toting and blowing up barber shops is the ultimate service of God,” to quote one respondent. Another sent his wife and school-aged children to live safely in another country two years ago, while he has continued to do risky peacebuilding work along the border. “Unemployment is growing on an alarming scale. Industries and businesses are closing as a result of electricity shortages and there are non-stop increases in taxes and prices of food commodities, fuel, and utilities,” wrote James John, who attended EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) in 1998 and 2006. “Governance and corruption are other issues which are affecting the lives of the ordinary people,” he added. “Such a situation has a negative impact on the ongoing development, peacebuilding work, and economic activities in the country and threatens the survival of common people.” 18

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This dire picture was confirmed by Kamal Tipu, deputy inspector general of police in the capital city of Islamabad. Tipu is an MA ’04 alumnus of CJP, who came to EMU on a Fulbright scholarship. “The spillover from Afghanistan and the local Taliban in the tribal areas has stretched the policing capacity to the limit,” he wrote on January 23, 2010. “The police is taking the brunt of the terrorist onslaught of suicide bombings, etc., and I am telling you this from personal experience.” Perhaps most surprisingly, one Pakistani respondent working for a peace-rooted, faith-based organization wrote that the only hope he is feeling these days is that “the government is determined to kill the terrorists.” Though trained as a police officer to kill if necessary, Tipu disagreed that hope lies in slaughtering the terrorists. On the contrary, Tipu argued that the United States’ use of “coercive tools and drone attacks on the [extremist] targets in Pakistan” has been counterproductive. “[Obama’s] policy shift of initiating educational and social development schemes in the tribal areas and focusing on addressing the root causes of terrorism are recent steps in the right direction,” he added. Shama Mall, who attended SPI in 2004 and 2005, said that “from 2002 to 2008, 12.3 billion dollars were spent by the U.S. in Pakistan, 70% of which went towards military support. But the security situation has only worsened.” The six female respondents tended to focus much of their energy on ending discrimination against women, especially enabling women to be educated, earn their own incomes, and not be forced into marriages. Two spoke of the continued practice of “honor killings,” such as occurred in the Balochistan district in 2008 when five women were beaten, shot and buried alive after three of them expressed a desire to choose their own husbands. Given that less than 2% of Pakistan’s population is Christian, the respondents to Peacebuilder’s questions were disproportionately Christian – 60%. Though all respondents expressed anxiety, the Christians carried a double burden of fear. As members of a religious minority group in Pakistan, they feel targeted for persecution in everyday life. They may walk into a barber shop or restaurant and see a sign that says, “Non-Muslims are not provided services.” In 2006, a Christian Pakistani stonemason was nearly beaten to death after he made the mistake of drinking water from a public facility using a glass chained to the facility. Local Muslims beat him for “polluting the glass.” Last August (2009), six Christians, including four women and a child, were killed when Muslim militants set fire to Christian houses in the town of Gojra, accusing the Christians of blasphemy, a crime under state law. For the Christian Pakistanis, then, promoting protection of “human rights” and “tolerance for diversity” was high on their list of priorities and hopes for their greater society. Mehboob Francis Sada, who edits a bi-annual theological journal that often explores the relationship between Christianity and Islam, explained that “the holy manuscripts of both major religions contain messages of peace, love, harmony, tolerance and acceptance, but the application of these fundamental principles in daily interfaith and social interaction is real challenge for peacebuilders.”

Yasmine Joseph, diocesan executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan Faisalabad, faces personal and professional challenges in dealing with these burning issues in Pakistan: discrimination against women and against members of religious minorities, including Christians like Joseph; laws that uphold such discrimination; and extremists who feed on hatred.

Sources of hope:

Policy shifts by the government and military. They appear to be moving away from using radical groups as proxy fighters and political pawns, which has backfired. Policymakers are showing awareness of the need to establish a stable and just society through such measures as appointing ministers who care about human rights and improving the legal system. Yasmine Joseph, head of Caritas Pakistan Faisalbad, pointed to the November 2008 appointment of a Christian human rights activist, Shahbaz Bhatti, to the federal cabinet as minister for minorities. Bhatti has increased job opportunities for minorities and discussed changes in the blasphemy laws. Increased activism by members of civil society, informed by responsible media. “The independent electronic and print media, judiciary and vibrant civil society movements in Pakistan are raising awareness and highlighting issues of human rights, discrimination against minorities and women, corruption, and governance,” wrote James John. Cultural and educational exchanges that permit more Pakistanis to get to know people who are different from themselves. Four respondents recommended that such exchanges be stepped up, especially to enable traditional Islamic leaders to visit countries where they might gain an appreciation of different cultures.

The development of more schools with better curricula to replace the madrassas where young males in rural areas learned a highly rigid, violent, intolerant form of Islam. Three respondents spoke of working to introduce improved curricula in schools. Students need to taught “the universal values of peace, respect, tolerance, responsibility, cooperation and freedom,” said Waseem Anthony, executive director of the Commission for Peace and Human Development. Nadeem Masih, who attended SPI 2009, agreed: “We need to bring about change in the psyche and attitudes of people, starting with the young people.” Re-discovering heros who advocated for peace and social equality, notably Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father, who told the first constituent assembly on August 11, 1947: “We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another... [W]e are all citizens and equal citizens of one state.” And Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Pashtun man who was a friend of Gandhi’s, had over 100,000 followers (including an army of nonviolent warriors), and spent a total of three decades in prison for his beliefs during the 1900s. Khan told his followers that a Muslim never hurts anyone by word or deed but instead works for the benefit and happiness of God’s creatures. 

PHOTO by Jon Styer

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Peacebuilding Wheel This “peacebuilding wheel,” a model created by EMU professor Barry Hart, helps us to see the variety of factors required to move toward a stable, peaceful society. One individual cannot work with all these factors, but each of us can and should cooperate

with others doing complementary work. All of us are necessary to roll the wheel forward on its “tire” of shared values. The names of CJP-linked people working in Afghanistan and Pakistan, described on the preceding 12 pages, have been added to the wheel, based

on their reports. The peacebuilding wheel is one of many models referenced in CJP classes. No model is definitive. Barry Hart welcomes suggestions for improvements to his wheel, such as those contained in the note at bottom. STABLE SOCIETY

Hamid Arsalan (AF), Abdul Latif Salem (AF), Ali Gohar (PK), Dr. Khola Irum (PK), Kamal Uddin Tipu (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)

Jennifer Adams (AF), Ramin Nouroozi (AF), Farishta Sakhi (AF), Ali Gohar (PK), Dr. Khola Irum (PK), Farkhanda Jabeen (PK), Razia Joseph (PK), Yasmine Joseph (PK), Sadaqat Nil Sardar (PK), Kamal Uddin Tipu (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)

Parwiz Hakim (AF), Ramin Nouroozi (AF), Farishta Sakhi (AF), Saeed Murad Rahi (AF), Abdul Latif Salem (AF), Jenny Jag Jivan (PK), James John (PK), Nadeem Masih (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)

RELIGION/ SPIRITUALITY Understanding & Practice

LE Pr AD Ca incip ERS pa le H ble d & IP –A ll L ev els

E SPACical s y h l P tiona Emo tional Rela

Waseem Anthony (PK), Ali Gohar (PK), James John (PK), Razia Joseph (PK), Yasmine Joseph (PK), Shama Mall (PK), Mehboob Francis Sada (PK), Sadaqat Nil Sardar (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)

s Le ve l


IEW RLDV Y/WOg & T I T IDEN rstandin Undecations Impli

JUS Dist TICE & Reributive stor , Tran ative sitio na

N IO T MAT ies LIC R teg NF SFO tra CO AN sis, S TR aly s An Skill &

Hamid Arsalan (AF), Ramin Nouroozi (AF), Farishta Sakhi (AF), Saeed Murad Rahi (AF), Waseem Anthony (PK), Ali Gohar (PK), Dr. Khola Irum (PK), Jenny Jag Jivan (PK), James John (PK), Razia Joseph (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)

Ramin Nouroozi (AF), Farishta Sakhi (AF), Sajad Ahmed Abro (PK), Farkhanda Jabeen (PK), Jenny Jag Jivan (PK), Mehboob Francis Sada (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)

E M DU ul C tip AT le IO Ty N pe s&

HUM ASSI ANITARI DEV STANCE AN Strat ELOPME & egies N & Init T iative s

TRAUMA HEALING Individual, Collective


, ity TY ur RI Sec & CU n n, ng SE ma ctio rni Hu rote Wa P arly E

Jennifer Adams (AF), Ali Gohar (PK), James John (PK), Shama Mall (PK), Mehboob Francis Sada (PK),

Parwiz Hakim (AF), Ramin Nouroozi (AF), Farishta Sakhi (AF), Saeed Murad Rahi (AF), Abdul Latif Salem (AF), Suraya Sadeed (AF), Waseem Anthony (PK), Ali Gohar (PK), Farkhanda Jabeen (PK), Jenny Jag Jivan (PK), James John (PK), Razia Joseph (PK), Shama Mall (PK), Nadeem Masih (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)


Saeed Murad Rahi (AF), Ali Gohar (PK), Razia Joseph (PK), Kamal Uddin Tipu (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)

Hamid Arsalan (AF), Mohammad Farshid Hakimyar (AF), Ramin Nouroozi (AF), Farishta Sakhi (AF), Saeed Murad Rahi (AF), Suraya Sadeed (AF), Sajad Ahmed Abro (PK), Waseem Anthony (PK), Ali Gohar (PK), Farkhanda Jabeen (PK), Dr. Khola Irum (PK), Jenny Jag Jivan (PK), James John (PK), Yasmine Joseph (PK), Sadaqat Nil Sardar (PK), Hassan M. Yousufzai (PK)


NOTE: Some respondents were not sure where some of their concerns fit on this wheel. Ali Gohar, Khola Irum, Jenny Jag Jivan, James John, and Shama Mall specifically cited the positive role that mass media can play in conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Jabeen


peacebuilder spring/summer 2010

Farkhanda wondered where her work on behalf of women and gender equality fits. Abdul Latif Salem suggested economic development as a possible category, as did Jenny Jag Jivan, who also looked for a spot for human rights (under Security before violations? under

Justice after violations?). Briefly responding, Barry Hart says that he will add the media component to the next version of the wheel and that gender issues, along with culture and context, apply to all sectors of the wheel and need always to be taken into consideration.

ADVANCING PEACE & MITIGATING CRISES Dr. Lisa Schirch, director of the 3D Security Initiative and EMU professor of peacebuilding, and Chic Dambach, president and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, prepared this summary for Peacebuilder of their extensive list of recommendations for policymakers considering changes to the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act in 2010. A robust commitment to and investment in peacebuilding to advance peace and mitigate crises is essential for U.S. foreign assistance goals to succeed. Without a safe and stable environment, all other development efforts are vulnerable. Civil wars and regional violence have destroyed development projects, costing tens of billions of dollars. There are long-term costs to foreign assistance guided by short-term goals and chronic underfunding of civilian agencies. Too many resources go to short-term, crisis-response strategies. Too few are appropriated to long-term sustainable development strategies that advance peace and help mitigate crises. A more robust commitment to and investment in peacebuilding will save money and lives. It will help establish secure foundations for more effective long-term development.

Peacebuilding as an Essential Element of U.S. Foreign Assistance


Definitions: Peacebuilding includes a wide range of efforts by diverse actors in government and civil society to address the root causes of violence and protect civilians before, during, and after violent conflict. Before conflict becomes violent, preventive peacebuilding efforts– such as diplomatic, economic, social, legal and security sector reform programs – address potential sources of instability and violence. This is also termed “conflict prevention.” In the midst of a violent crisis, a range of peacebuilding efforts aims to manage, mitigate, resolve and transform central aspects of the conflict through official diplomacy, as well as through civil society peace processes and informal dialogue, negotiation, and mediation. In the post-crisis phase, a range of peacebuilding efforts addresses root causes of violence and fosters stabilization, reconstruction, and reconciliation to prevent the return of instability and violence.

Photo above: At EMU, professor Lisa Schirch and U.S. Army Col. John Agoglia speak with two CJP alumni, Ali Gohar of Pakistan and Abdul Latif Salem of Afghanistan. The colonel was assigned to Afghanistan.


Peacebuilding costs less than expensive, complex military operations after a crisis emerges. In comparative studies, researchers find peacebuilding programs to prevent violent conflict cost far less than waiting to intervene after conflicts turn into crises and violence. Research shows that, on average, one dollar spent on preventive programs compares with approximately sixty dollars of program costs to respond to crises once violence erupts. For this reason, governments, inter-governmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations are making serious commitments to advancing peace and mitigating crises through effective peacebuilding programs.


A U.S. capacity for peacebuilding requires a comprehensive rethinking of U.S. foreign assistance and security interests, but it does not require a radical overhaul of infrastructure or costly new programs within U.S. foreign assistance. Proportionately small increases in U.S. foreign assistance budgets could have dramatic effects in mitigating crises and advancing peace, and should correspond with reductions in the military budget. Effective peacebuilding requires effective early

PHOTO by Jon Styer

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warning systems, flexible funding for rapid response and organizational capacity to coordinate strategy and operations.


Given the complex nature of most violent conflicts, peacebuilding requires a systemic, comprehensive approach with multiple stakeholders actively partnering with other sectors. Effective peacebuilding requires coordination among the U.S. government and other actors including: the United Nations; regional organizations like the OSCE, the African Union and ECOWAS multilateral partners of the U.S.; national governments in the crisis regions, and international and local NGOs involved in development and conflict prevention. Coordinated conflict assessment, strategic planning and program implementation for peacebuilding among diverse government agencies and civil society actors is imperative. In spite of efforts to coordinate the newly established governmental programs in peacebuilding at the Departments of Defense, Justice, State and USAID, little communication occurs between these governmental bodies and wellestablished peacebuilding programs in civil society. A comprehensive approach requires a better infrastructure for communication and coordination.


Peacebuilding requires recalibrating civilmilitary roles and relationships and developing a clearly articulated shared mission of building global human security consistent with national interests. Global perceptions of a militarized U.S. foreign policy hamper U.S. foreign assistance goals aiming at long-term development, human rights, and good governance. Currently there are severe imbalances between civilian and military actors’ resources, capacity and expertise. This requires new measures to fund, identify, recruit, train and deploy civilian experts in both government and civil society at both the strategic planning and operational planning levels. Strategic planning for civilian missions requires knowledge of and experience in the areas of civilian-crisis response, such as strengthening police, the rule of law, civilian administration and civilian protection.


The sustainability of peacebuilding efforts rests on local ownership, leadership, and capacity that upholds the dignity of men, women, boys and girls. Peacebuilding should first and foremost identify and strengthen existing social capital and sources of community resilience that can and do withstand and mitigate violence and promote peace and social cohesion. Foreign assistance has an important role in supporting local government and civil society efforts. Too often, however, foreign assistance is not connected to local peacebuilding initiatives and ends up inadvertently undermining these through shortterm, quick-impact projects implemented by consultants


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who do not understand the local context and language and who fail to earn the respect and support of local people. Foreign assistance supports peacebuilding when it exhibits understanding of and respect for local history and culture, while appreciating the dynamic ways cultures and conflicts change over time. The principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and more recent international laws should inform U.S. foreign assistance, ensuring that traditionally marginalized social groups (e.g., women, youth, minorities) are fully respected and included in all processes -- in ways that they themselves determine most appropriate.


Peacebuilding necessitates a balance between strengthening weak and failing states and empowering civil society, which has proven to be an effective moderating force. State capacity to perform its essential functions is important to peacebuilding. Yet often development and peacebuilding efforts to support new governments have excluded and undermined local civil society. In many regions of the world, robust and innovative civil society-led peacebuilding efforts are already underway. Civil society helps to transform non-democratic countries through informing public opinion, mobilizing constituencies for reform, and engaging government and political parties in policy debate. Civil society organizations lay foundations for development, human rights, and foster cross-cultural exchange, often through the arts. They mediate between armed groups or opponents to help reach ceasefire agreements. They facilitate dialogue and promote tolerance between groups. They deliver humanitarian relief to, and foster trauma healing in, war-affected communities. Civil society’s strengths lie in their long-term cultural and linguistic knowledge of and commitment to the local context. Civil society works to ensure governments act on behalf of everyone’s best interests and not just the interests of a few.


Peacebuilding depends upon operational and political space for civil society. Civil society organizations working against extremism by promoting human rights, development, and peacebuilding can be themselves hampered, deterred and unfairly punished under current counterterrorism laws and restrictions. U.S. foreign assistance must recognize and take actions to protect the vital roles of civil society, ensuring they have the political and operational space necessary to fulfil their important missions.


Peacebuilding requires accountability mechanisms for transparency and evaluation. Accountability mechanisms also facilitate local participation, information sharing, and dealing effectively with unintended outcomes. Evaluations should capture lessons learned and best practices and be shared widely to inform future peacebuilding initiatives.

The Relationship Between Development Assistance and Peace


Violent conflict is “development in reverse.” Countries with low per capita incomes and low rates of economic growth are more likely to experience civil war and pose larger security threats to the global community. Violent conflict often channels resources toward war rather than development, creates refugees, fuels traffic in drugs and weapons, causes environmental damage, and destroys livelihoods and lives. Without a safe and stable environment, development efforts tend to be nullified, wasting the investment.


The relationship between poverty, state fragility and conflict is complex. Poverty can contribute to conflicts, particularly those stemming from ethnic dominance and perceived political, social, and economic exclusion and humiliation. Most people who pick up a gun or strap on explosives are motivated by local and immediate issues such as daily security, discrimination, inadequate basic services, pervasive corruption, impunity for well-connected elites, denial of a political voice, inadequate justice, and lack of employment opportunities. They are different from the relative handful of extremists wishing to advance their global ideological agenda through massive destruction and disruption; the locals can be de-coupled from the globally oriented extremists, if positive alternatives are offered. Conflict-sensitive foreign assistance can offer such alternatives.


Fragile and failed states are more likely to experience civil wars that threaten development and undermine global security. Fragile and failed states serve as hothouses for the growth of ethnic, sectarian, secessionist, and other internal wars, as well as sanctuaries, recruiting areas, and havens for drug- and weapons-trafficking, often linked to insurgencies. Peacebuilding helps rebuild failed and failing states.


Conflict-sensitive foreign assistance programs can help to reduce poverty while advancing peace and mitigating crises through peacebuilding programs. Development programs can:

a. Disrupt the patterns of civil war that threaten security and undermine efforts to reduce poverty in a variety of ways. b. Pre-empt the ability of extremist groups to mobilize support from the population in need of basic services. c. Empower local change agents who can make demands on their government for transparency and accountability. e. Discourage violence by addressing perceived grievances and offering better economic alternatives than the incentives provided by armed groups. f. Weaken local support for violence by spreading the economic benefits of peace.

g. Foster middle class and civil society actors who can put a brake on political violence.


Humanitarian and development programs can inadvertently contribute to conflict and violence. The impact of development programs on preventing conflict depends on both the level of investment and the quality of development programs. Underfunded or misconceived programs can worsen problems in four ways: a. When development resources are perceived to benefit some groups but not others, they can exacerbate existing tensions between groups. b. Inadequate funding relative to population size can inflate expectations and lead to competition and conflict over development assistance programs and resources. Lack of consultation and local ownership in development projects can miss important insights into how to address locally identified needs of those sympathetic to terrorist groups. c. When development assistance is suddenly withheld or repeatedly used as a “stick” to punish support for specific groups, it can actually increase support for these groups if they are providing aid and charity in the vacuum of international humanitarian support. d. If external development assistance frees up local resources for war, it can relieve local leaders of their responsibilities to provide basic services and aid to their citizens and thus undermine efforts at building state capacity and legitimacy necessary for stability.


Foreign assistance should include development programs that take into account the impacts of conflict on development projects and the effects of development projects on conflicts. This can be ensured by: a. Identifying the impacts of conflict and violence on humanitarian assistance. b. Avoiding inadvertently worsening tensions or exacerbating conflict. c. Designing programming aimed at both reducing poverty and preventing violent conflict by addressing key divisions between groups and underlying grievances that fuel conflict. d. Supporting local capacities for peace and community resilience to conflict. e. Generating options for improving program quality in planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, so that development efforts address key divisions between groups and underlying grievances that fuel conflict.

The 3D Security Initiative’s and Alliance for Peacebuilding’s full, official document of recommendations for the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act in 2010 can be found at These recommendations represent the views of the authors and their organizations and should not be construed as being the official position of Eastern Mennonite University.

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The First D : Development in Afghanistan 1

By David R. Brubaker I was invited to Afghanistan for a week-long consultancy in June 2009 with an organization funded by USAID to bolster Afghanrun businesses. The organization is called Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED), a program implemented by DAI, based in Bethesda, Maryland. Its more than 75 staff members, drawn from five regional ASMED offices in Afghanistan, gathered in the capital city of Kabul for a retreat aimed at enhancing the functioning of their organization and their work relationships. I came as an associate with the KonTerra Group.2 My role included coaching the retreat planning committee prior to the retreat itself and then leading a workshop on teambuilding and an exercise on developing a vision statement during the retreat. At the conclusion, I joined the retreat planning committee and the ASMED management team to “debrief ” and identify future possibilities for organizational development and teambuilding. I felt privileged to get a glimpse into the impressive economic development work being done by ASMED. This is an organization that has grown from two staff people in Kabul in late 2006 to more than 75 staffers in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-sharif, Jalalabad and Kandahar. While there have been growing pains, the degree of shared vision among the staff and their apparent organizational effectiveness are remarkable. ASMED has assisted aspiring exporters of Afghan products to present their goods – carpets, marble, wool and cashmere, dried fruits and nuts, food processing, gemstones, and handicrafts – at trade fairs in such locations as Tajikistan and India. In addition, the Sabawoon Poultry Feed Mill in Jalalabad, started in 2008 with the help of a grant from USAID, is producing quality feed in demand by chicken farmers. Previously such feed had to be imported. The USAID website pertaining to ASMED activities – – lists the following results for ASMED’s work in the last three years: Provided 550 business skills training sessions throughout the country. Created about 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs since late 2006. Supported 6,370 Afghan businesses and facilitated access to 1 The “D” stands for Development, as referenced by the 3D Security Initiative (, which advocates a 3D “whole-ofgovernment” strategy for security: development, diplomacy and defense. 2 The KonTerra Group ( aims to improve individual and organizational effectiveness by developing key competencies. Its consultants come with expertise on strategy, planning, evaluation, organizational systems, leadership and management support, among other topics.


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David Brubaker, expert in organizational effectiveness

bank loans and equity for 64 of those companies. Established more than 120 (including 27 women-run) business associations and supported more than 230 associations with grants for equipment, capacity building, and improving member services. Provided 137 small grants totaling $3.45 million for market development, value chain improvement, and association capacity building. Established an internship program benefiting 1,025 university students, a quarter being women. Approximately 75 percent of the graduated interns received full-time employment offers from their host companies. Offered 521 professional mentorship opportunities, linking young entrepreneurs with business executives.  Facilitated the sale of more than $30 million of Afghan smalland medium-enterprise products at national and international trade shows. To maintain and improve upon this remarkable record, ASMED and USAID recognize that ASMED must transition from leadership by non-Afghan experts to leadership by capable Afghans who have been given the time, training and support to develop into exceptional leaders. Fortunately, I could already see that such Afghan leaders are emerging in the organization – several played leading roles in the retreat. Clearly, a week-long visit to a deeply complex country like Afghanistan means that any impressions are at best provisional. However, I left Kabul with a deep admiration for the ASMED staff with whom I interacted and a greater sense of hope for the future of Afghanistan. The commitment of Afghan staff to work for a better future for their country, at the risk of serving with a U.S.-linked organization during a time of war, was particularly impressive. David R. Brubaker, associate professor of organizational studies at CJP, has expertise in supporting healthy organizations, leadership, group conflict and change processes. He has trained or consulted with over 100 non-profit or governmental organizations in the United States, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. 

PHOTO by Jon Styer

Thanks to them and many others Marjan and Anas “Andy” Shallal of Washington D.C. are among 625 donors who provide financial support to the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Unrestricted annual donations like theirs ensure that our Graduate Program in Conflict Transformation offers students top-quality instruction and resources. These donations also support scholarships to practicing peacebuilders who attend the Summer Peacebuilding Institute. Marjan was born into an Iranian family; Anas into an Iraqi one. Both families settled in the U.S. as refugees from political turmoil in their home countries. The Shallals own restaurants in the Washington D.C. area, most famously Busboys and Poets.

Support CJP To join the Shallals as donors to CJP, consult or contact Phoebe Kilby at or 800-368-3383. We would appreciate your support in preparing the next generation of peacebuilders.

Marjan and Anas Shallal at Busboys and Poets at 2021 14th Street in Washington D.C.

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EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802-2462 USA

center for justice and peacebuilding 2010 Schedule of Events Graduate Program in Conflict Transformation

Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI)

June 1-9  Environmental Policy & Governance

Contact Janelle Myers-Benner at if you are interested in enrolling in graduate classes.

Short-term intensive courses for professional development/training or academic credit. The following courses have seats available as of this printing (register on-line or email with questions):

 Multi-Party Problems: Negotiation,

May 10-18

 STAR Level I

Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) Seminars focus on breaking cycles of violence in individuals, communities, and societies. June 14-18 or October 25-29  STAR Level I May 10-18  STAR Level II

 Introduction to Conflict Transformation

Conflict Resolution & Consensus-Building

June 14-18

 Transforming Social Narratives to Build Peace

 Developing University-based Peacebuilding Curricula

 Faith-based Peacebuilding  Theory: Frameworks for Peacebuilding  STAR Level II (for those who have taken STAR Level I)

May 20-28  Trauma Awareness & Transformation

 Designing Learner-Centered Training  Philosophy & Praxis of Forgiveness & Reconciliation

Visit CJP’s web-site for upcoming events, such as: “The Poetics of Peacebuilding”: public lecture by John Paul Lederach April 15, 7 p.m. EMU Martin Chapel

CJP aims to be environmentally responsible... Each issue of Peacebuilder is available online at If you would prefer to no longer receive a paper copy of Peacebuilder, please note this in an e-mail to If you would like to receive e-mail reminders of new issues of Peacebuilder online, please note this as well. Peacebuilder is printed on recycled paper. When finished reading or referring to the paper version, we invite you to please pass it along or recycle it.

Peacebuilder Spring 2010 - Alumni Magazine of EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding  

Peacebuilder magazine from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University looks at peacebuilding issues and activi...