I just stumbled upon this article and it was a wonderful read! I am fairly new to Medium, just published my first article and am getting ready to publish another one on extremism in Pakistan. Although my academic focus is on countering violent extremism, my broader background is in conflict and dispute resolution. I was drawn to the point raised in this article about peace not simply being defined as the absence of violence and war. This is very true!
Pakistan, as a nation and society, is rich and diverse, with a lot to be hopeful and optimistic about. Unfortunately, however, the ugly specter of violent religious extremism, among other obstacles, hampers the great potential of the nation. The work that organizations like Acumen are doing is important for many reasons, one of most important being that they work tirelessly to establish the peace needed for a society to truly flourish. Countering the violent extremism that I, along with countless other scholars, government organizations, and NGOs work and write about is important. However, without the work that Jacqueline Novogratz and Acumen are doing, the establishment of peace would be impossible.