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May 8, 2016
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Regime change part of migrant problem,not solution: Prof Zaman

Islamabad

May 8, 2016

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Islamabad

The only solution to the worst of migrant crisis Europe is going through right now is for it to stop meddling in internal affairs of the states where the migrants are milling out from, remarked Prof Dr Muhammad Zaman, head of the Department of Sociology, Quaid-i-Azam University.

He stated this in an interview, coincide with the recent huddle of US Secretary of State John Kerry and German Chancellor Angela Markel. A graduate from Germany, he has been a frequent visitor to European capitals participating in projects on social issues and presenting his papers in various research conferences. 

Sharing his experience, he said recently he went to Germany and was looking for a house to rent. “People have turned weary of non-Germans”. 

He said the trouble finding a house on rent was unmatched in the past. Nobody was willing to give house to outsiders and house rents had skyrocketed. After considerable effort, he finally found a man who had overcome his fears of the other and was ready to rent out his house to an outsider. 

Prof Zaman said that the house owner was an atheist turned Christian. “Religion has a role to play in modern Europe, we like it or not,” he said. He said the house owner had grown out of his fears of beards and burqa after his encounter with Muslims on the street. 

A mayor in Germany used to send all migrants to Brussels telling them that Chancellor Markel, not him, will arrange for their living despite the fact that the government had announced an open-door policy for migrants. “This,” Prof Zaman said, “is the level of concern among Europeans about the migrants. You cannot rule out the power of culture as well as religion.”

He said it goes both ways. “I went to Switzerland last year to work on a research project and faced the same difficulties in finding a house. You would be astonished to know that a man in Jewish neighborhood agreed to share with me a room,” he said. 

“It was my turn to be frightened now. All with flowing beards and wearing kippah! I was not sure if I made a right decision to live with them or not. But as time went by, I failed to find any cause of fear. They are as normal as other human beings,” he said. 

He said cross-cultural environment helps a lot for the masses to learn how to coexist. He said Europe should shun its confrontational policies for the sake of peace in Middle East. 

“No more regime change bids be made in that region. It has failed. It has failed in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. So how can anybody think it will bear a different result in Syria? It is illogical (to think so),” concluded the professor. 

Prof Zaman is one of the rare brains in social sciences in Pakistan. Since he established the Department of Sociology at QAU, it has pulled the highest number of students in the faculty.

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