Extremism
Op-ed Uncategorized

Extremism: Reasons and Solution

Azhar Thiraj

Extremism is a critical problem faced by Pakistani society today leading to social, economic, cultural, political turmoil and humanitarian crises. It has nurtured due to internal and external factors. Internal factors are the prevalence of social injustice, inequality, illiteracy and exploitation in the society. External factors are the involvement of Pakistan in the regional and international power game and proxy wars. Modus operandi of extremism is the expression of a fanatic behaviour by individuals and groups, who are not able to convey their will in the society, through prevalent social mechanism. The people who cannot exert their influence, in the decision making process, go for violent means to express their opinion. As a result we see anarchy in the society. This situation fuels the flames of poverty, terrorism and social distress. Extremism can be of different types, it can be ethnic, linguistic, narrow nationalism but the most severe kind of extremism faced by our society is religious extremism.
The dilemma of using religion in Pakistan’s politics for political gains intensified during the Zia period from 1977 to 1988, once he was enforcing his Islalmization policies. The Zia’s era coupled with start of Afghan War not only encouraged the rise of ethnic and religious parties on sectarian lines under varying interpretations of Islam, but also ultimately gave rise to Sunni-Shea confrontations that further polarized the society. A network of Madaris emerged and flourished throughout the country. They provided a breeding ground for the Jihadi elements under the backing of Saudi Arabia, other Arab countries and west led by US. The trend thus set, got the boost from the success of the Jihad and the Islamists around the world considered religion as the decisive factor in their struggle against oppression and political injustice.
There are many factors which contribute to this madness.
US policies are one of the major causes of extremism in Muslim world especially Pakistan. US interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs has provoked extremism. US policy of do more and drone attacks aggravated extremism in Pakistan. Since September 2001 till today, that is, just within nine years the US has lost much of its good will.
The slow economic and human development process, with the rise in population and unequal distribution of resources has created a large deprived and unemployed class. The rising unemployment, particularly among the students of religion, is creating a dangerous situation. The rising poverty is creating suicide bomber. Illiterate people do not fairly understand the essence of the teachings of Islam due to lack of adequate knowledge of religion. They listen from religious teacher or from poorly educated Mullahs about Islam in local languages without a chance of even verifying at later stage owing to lack of sufficient knowledge of local language. Hence, they start following it and don’t worry about its ethnicity.
Some Logical Consequences of Growing this Menace are the religious harmony was the first causality of the extremism.2.Infrastructure has destructed due to extremists and terrorists activities. No foreigner is ready to invest in Pakistan due to law and order situation. Growth rate is declined to 2.4 and foreign debts are increased to 55 billion dollars. Due to instability and insecurity brain drain has increased at maximum level. Whole nation is under depression and feel insecure even to go to markets and Mosques. There is no security of common person’s life and wealth.3.Though Pakistan is victim of extremism and terrorism yet it is labelled as sponsoring terrorism in the world.
Pragmatic Solutions to Convert This Hell into Heaven are there must be a strong parliament to tackle this issue. There should be modern syllabus in Madrassas along with religious curriculum. Madrassas should be under the command of government. Pakistan should revise its policy towards war on terror. UNO should play effective role in solving international disputes. Global media should play constructive role. There should be positive mind set up against terrorism and extremism. Social justice would provide base for uprooting of terrorism. US should revise its policies towards Muslim World. Pakistan must be emphasized on education at maximum level.
Though Pakistan is victim of extremism and terrorism yet it is labelled as sponsoring terrorism in the world. Though Pakistan has suffered a lot in the wage of terrorism yet World Community see Pakistan as safe haven of terrorism. Suicide bombings in shopping malls, hotels, common business centres and on roads not only affected local economy but also drained foreign investments from Pakistan. Pakistan has suffered the colossal financial losses of more than $68 billion or Rs 5036.8 billion in the so called war on terror since 2001 while human loss is around 40,000. The war spread like a contagion into rural and urban areas of Pakistan that has so far, cost the country more than 35,000 citizens, 3500 security personnel, destruction of infrastructure, internal migration of millions of people from parts of north-western Pakistan, erosions of investment climate, nose diving of production and growing unemployment and above all brought economic activity to a virtual standstill in many part of the country.

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Mian Bilal

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