EXTREMISM IN PAKISTAN

  • “EXTREMISM’’

     

     

    INTRODUCTION

    1. Extremism in its core essence means, "the quality or state of being extreme" or the "advocacy of extreme measures or view. In prevalent socio-political environment the term is mostly used in political or religious realm, to refer to an ideology that is considered (by the speaker or by some implied shared social consensus) to be far outside the (acceptable) mainstream attitudes of society.

    CONCEPT OF EXTREMISM

    1. According to Oxford dictionary, the word extremism means political, religious and social ideas or actions that are extreme and not normal, reasonable or acceptable to most people. Though there is no consensus over the definition of extremism among scholars but they have agreed over the reasons which lead towards extremism. These include ideological and cultural inclinations, distortions and/or inhibitions; perception of political deprivation; lack of even playing ground for socio-economic development; and external intervention. In the regional context, common factors leading to extremist inclinations may be poverty and exploitation; natural calamities; inter-state tensions and non-resolution of core disputes; hegemonic policies of external state actors leading to intervention; and threat to sovereignty of smaller nation states.

    CAUSES OF EXTREMSIM

    1. Pakistan courtesy of its geographical location has always been an active participant in regional / international affairs. Superpowers have always tried to utilize geo – political location as a buffer zone for their personal interest. Pakistan is amongst those Muslim nations which is severely affected by this negative phenomenon. Salient aspect of extremism is that it is always enforced / superimposed on a particular society or nation through manipulation of ideology for hegemonic gains by external / extra state actors. Following few important objectives which a particular country / extra state actor may endeavor to gain:-
    2. Changing of geographic boundaries through pseudo independent sub                         national organizations.
    3. Use internal violence as a propaganda means to humiliate a                                           particular country / nation internationally.
    4. Create ripple effect in a country to target economic gains.
    5. Using Information Operations (4th  Generation Warfare or Hybrid                                Warfare) to disintegrate a country through effective media                                            campaign.

    IMPERATIVES TO COUNTER EXTREMISM

    1. Pakistan is a heterogeneous society with diverse ethnic communities and multiple denominations of Islam practiced in different parts of the country. It is important to keep in mind that the process of extremism takes place against a contextual background. So, the different counter violent extremism initiatives under the national counter violent extremism policy should be context-bound and case-specific according to local traditions and believes. These extremist elements use these media outlets for numerous purposes including the celebration of their successes and to inspire vulnerable minds by sharing the stories of their heroic acts in the battlefield. The propaganda also includes the pictures of carnage and martyrdom of ‘Musalmaan Bhai’ (Islamic-Brothers) to grab more sympathies from their potential recruits. In this regard, their propaganda cells use fake pictures and videos with emotional background Jihadi songs. This propaganda campaign was very intensive in nature during the early months of ‘Operation Zarb E Azb’ in 2014.

    RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

    1. In Pakistan, many international funded agencies are waging wars and violence including     sectarian violence. Many extremist agencies are successfully brain washing neglected teenagers and adults against other sects resulting in sectarian violence which is gradually damaging the country and giving birth to hatred for each other. C.T.D government organization is made to arrest such religious extremists who are motivated by antagonism toward the target’s sect.

    PAKISTAN’S EFFORT AGAINST EXTREMISM

    1. Pakistan has divided its strategy into two parts to fight the menace of extremism and militancy.
    2. Military Operations. It has launched numerous military operations in militant infected areas, trying to prevent terrorist threats from reaching urban centers. Meanwhile, the government had tried to approach some TTP factions for negotiations. The negotiations process lasted for four months but failed because of the inflexible attitude of the militants and their continued acts of terrorism. In fact, the dialogue was used by the militants as a tool to regain time to regroup. Many local level agreements and commitments were broken by the militants as and when they felt strong enough to do so. Therefore, military operations remained the last resort against those militant outfits. Pakistan also believes that extremism should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization. Moreover, after experiencing more than ten years of counter and violent extremism, Pakistan is ready to share its experience with international community to curb extremism and all its forms. Pakistan is also focusing on strong engagement with the members of local communities to counter the violent extremist narratives that can incite acts of terrorism and address the conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism, including empowering youth, women, religious, cultural and educational leaders, and members of all other concerned local communities to countering recruitment to this kind of violent extremism and promoting social inclusion and cohesion. Pakistan has achieved great success in countering violent extremism. Therefore, on the basis, of the experience that Pakistan has so far gained and the success it has achieved in its efforts towards containing and defeating the scourge of violent extremism, the country is prepared to contribute to all genuine and comprehensive efforts at the bilateral, regional, and global levels. Cooperation at all these levels is imperative for defeating violent extremist organizations including TTP, Daesh, Al-Qaeda, and their affiliates, because they represent a global threat that jeopardizes not only local communities but also those located far from the centers of these crises. Last but not the least, operations by Pakistan Army like Rah-e-Rast, Rah-e-Nijat, Al-Meezan and Zarb-e-Azb were of great success and helped the people of Pakistan to live freely and specially for the people of FATA and NATA. Pakistan Army has so far done wonders in securing Pakistan and it is hoped that our martyrs will always be remembered.
    3. Political – Civic Measures. Successful military operation is only 20% of the total gains. Remainder 80% is achieved through active political and developmental programs. Basic objective of civil arm is :-

                (1)       Reintegrate.

                (2)       Rehabilitation.

                (3)       Reconstruction.

    SUBMITTED BY: SYED SHAH RUKH ALI

    CMS: 23271

    CLASS: M.SC MASS COMMUNICATION

    SEMESTER: 3RD