This is how Pakistan can Tackle Extremism

What will it take for Pakistani society to end the vicious cycle of violence and terror?


Members of Pakistani political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Karachi. Credit: AP

On June 8, a suicide bomber killed 23 Shia pilgrims in Taftan, a district on the border with Iran. Islamist terrorist also attacked Pakistan’s largest international airport in Karachi, leaving 23 dead.

The vicious cycle of monstrous butchering goes unabated as the enemy in the disguise of the militants using sledgehammer tactics has gradually expanded its force countrywide shuddering every sphere of life with death and terror.

With every strike, it seems, the enemy appears with more refined strategies, more brutality and greater ferocity.

The religious zealots while cold-hearted to the consequences upon humanity and with zero knowledge for what is the true message of Islam, are assigned with the sole objective of sabotage.

Ironically, an overwhelming majority of illiterate Pakistanis stand exposed to the illusory approach of the militants.

Societies give them shelter and provide them with fanatics who are ever ready to wreak havoc in the name of religion. Above all, societies generously raise funds for the militants to accomplish their divine task. Many ill-fated devotees register their naive children in a bid to win the race for paradise. These divine fighters have unleashed the barbarism that finds no traces of such brutality in the history of the region.

Fairly speaking, the ill-educated or illiterate societal sympathizers legalize everything for the militants. Where the society fails to raise funds, there militants earn through the means of abduction and extortion.

Besides this, another alarming factor is the dying consciousness of the people. Provinces standing for the suffering of the other province are a very rare case in Pakistan. Cries of one province often go unheard and the people of other provinces let the grieves of their countrymen ignored without a scintilla of pain for their brethren. They only cry when they experience a similar treatment at the hands of the death traders. This mushrooming insensitivity has bolstered the perpetrators to exploit the divisions to their favor.

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The harsh reality is that many national and provincial institutions have fallen under the influence of fundamentalism with emotionally sympathizing inclination toward the militants. This murderous loyalty is digesting the efforts and resources of the state to combat escalating militancy.

If a serious purge is required then it must start from the national institutions coming down to the strongholds of the militants and for that, solidarity of committed measures along with harmony between the army and the executive is the pre-requisite.

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Jameel-ur-Rehman Zaib has a masters in International Relations from National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. Read other articles by Jameel.