Search Operation Gayari:
2 more Jasde Khaki have been recovered at Gayari during last 36 hours.
- So far 131 bodies have been recovered. Search for remaining 9 bodies continue.
Search Operation Gayari:
2 more Jasde Khaki have been recovered at Gayari during last 36 hours.
The term extremism is generally used to elucidate the activities or ideologies of individuals or groups outside the perceived political centre of a society. It may be political, social, religious or a combination of all. Social scientists are of the view that extremism is a product of inequality, injustice and a variety of discriminations. When all these ingredients get together they induce frustration, create an unconventional, extraordinary and unconstructive mode of thinking. 9/11 is indicative of frustration coming to an extreme juncture, thus reaching its critical mass and exploding in the form of terrorism. Extremism with its twin sibling, terrorism, is perceived hand in glove together. Pakistan is trapped in a vicious circle of ethnic and religious extremism used both for political and personal motives. Indeed it is frightening to realize that idealism, which laid the foundation of Pakistan is being overtaken by extremism and violence; which can demolish the pluralistic civil society and our founding father's vision of a tolerant and democratic state in Pakistan.
The current state of instability in Pakistan is a result of a series of direct intercessions in Afghanistan by USSR and the United States. Until the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Pakistan was a country where most citizens could leave their homes unlocked and go to sleep without any fear. Terrorism, extremism, violence and suicide attacks were virtually unfamiliar for Pakistani society up until 2002. Analysts narrate emergence of extremism in Pakistan as an outcome of US discriminatory policies for the region and the US led invasion of Afghanistan post 9/11.
As a result of Soviet invasion, state structures in Afghanistan broke down thus creating a void which was quickly filled by groups and individuals who took it upon themselves to continue the lost battle. The subsequent emergence of a puppet regime in Afghanistan completed the equation by creating an internal conflict in addition to the one against the invading army. In this scenario, the case of Pakistan is rather odd. It has not directly been invaded by the Soviet Union or the United States, yet it has quickly become a battlefield of sorts because of its alliance with Western block under United States.
Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, US needed Pakistan to organize proxy war against its rival Communist Soviet Union, by promoting Jihad culture through religious outfits that were showered with weapon, money and other resources. All this gave rise to a trained work force comprising mainly of unemployed citizen of the society and thus the Jihad culture acquired roots here in Pakistani society. Pakistan's geo-political location rendered it appropriate to be used as a centre of all activities directed by West against former Soviet Union.
Traditionally Madaris were a centre of excellence from the early days of Islam for their valuable research and education. Advent of secular education in 20th Century led to the decline of Madaris, till the time these resurfaced after Soviet occupation when these Madaris were made a usable commodity during the so called Afghan Jihad. Students of these Madaris acted as a religiously motivated force to fight against former USSR. Madaris have a failing in the course they teach which usually includes books advocating any one sect as true Islam and others as false . This insufficient education makes these students amateurs and quacks, fodder for the ever increasing disharmony among sects.
Upon successful accomplishment of desired results in the form of Soviet disintegration, West withdrew leaving behind a Jihad culture, unchecked flow of drugs, massive arms, sectarian rip and ethnic cataloguing; all having potentials of promoting unrest, instability and eventually extremism in the traditionally peaceful society of Pakistan. In the post cold war era, Jihadi elements used against former Soviet Union were involved in the civil war/ factional fighting within Afghanistan. In mid 1990s, Taliban emerged as a strong and well organized force. Upon capturing 90% territory of the country; Taliban established peace in Afghanistan for the first time ever since 1979. Osama Bin Laden along with his Arab and non Arab accomplices remained in Afghanistan till US piloted attack following the incident of 9/11.
After US attack, apparently Taliban regime disappeared from the vista of Afghanistan. This was the time when a number of misguided Jihadis, Taliban and even so called Al-Qaeda persons took refuge in Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Through collaboration with their major elements still trouncing in southern Afghanistan, these elements started attacking US and NATO forces in Afghanistan just a few months after US assaulted Afghanistan in October 2001. Since Pakistani territory was being used, therefore, to sluice FATA from these foreign elements, Pakistani security forces launched a massive military operation in the area. Unfortunately, owing to factors like undefined enemy , desired results could not be achieved from these operations. Rather because of protracted military actions and under the changed scenario of Pak- US joint venture in the global war on terror, these elements turned against Pakistan. From 2003 till date, more than 1500 Pakistani security forces personnel have been killed while fighting against these terrorists. Beside this, bomb blasts and suicide attacks are a constant practice especially during 2006/2007, killing countless innocent masses.
Foreign elements still have significant presence in areas all along Pak- Afghan border. Considering this an apt opportunity, Indian intelligence agencies in collaboration with sympathetic Afghan government have successfully cultured some of the so called Jihadists, who are widely destroying public property and basic facilities like health centres, grid stations and girl schools etc. They are well trained and have sophisticated weaponry to fight against Pakistani security forces in the attire of religion. Some analysts view that these terrorists mostly Afghan nationals from its northern belt are trained in Afghanistan or in India, fully equipped, camouflaged in religious apparel and then launched in Pakistan. Currently, India is investing greatly on these terrorists to cause instability in Pakistan through its six consulates and over fifty offices established in close proximity of Pakistani frontiers in Afghanistan. This is being done by Indian intelligence agencies in retaliation to Kashmiri insurgency, where India incorrectly assumed that Pakistan is behind the indigenous Kashmiri's struggle for their UN mandated right of self determination. In the garb of religion, these foreign sponsored elements have extended their terrorists activities in settled areas of the province like Swat, an international tourists resort. They keep locals under their influence by the force of arms or through financial bribery. They even resort to elimination of all those who stand up to them. Similar disturbances are being caused in various parts of Balochistan through disgruntled local Sardars.
The upshot remains that Extremism either religious or ethnic, takes roots from compelling factors like social injustice, inequality, deprivation, societal rejection or being over ambitious. These and many other factors make these affected a vulnerable target to be enthralled and subsequently exploited by organized foreign powers through their networks of intelligence agencies or through extremist/ terrorist groups. In a bid to achieve all that, which they were denied systematically through wrong practices by government or society, they resort to use such means, which become unaffordable for everyone else. Suicidal attacks, target killings, social ills and intolerance are only a few tangible examples of extremist acts.
Vast network of Madaris can neither be ignored nor abolished. These should be channeled in a manner to make them a contributing organ of the society. There is a need to improve the conceptual application in the light of true Islamic teaching and vision of founding fathers. Interfaith and intersect harmony should be promoted at grass root level through basic Islamic principle of tolerance. For such social changes, religious scholars can provide a forum to propagate true Islamic teachings.
At government level, a plan should be chalked out to absorb students of Madaris by providing them suitable employment, before they are exploited by extremists. Funding of Madaris should be checked and account scrutinized thoroughly under government supervision. Economic prosperity and its just benefits can help check the dispensation of religious extremism. Mainstreaming of rural areas of FATA, Balochistan and even other provinces should be ensured through crash programs and sustained developmental packages. Issues related to unemployment and provision of basic necessities of life should be addressed at government level to remove angst among general masses.
Government should devise a premeditated policy to handle the security issues of NWFP, FATA and Balochistan. Terrorists and extremists both local and foreigners should be detached from innocent masses for eventual destruction of their hideouts without collateral damages. United States, West and international community should be relentlessly harked back that Pakistan's current fatalities at the hands of extremists and terrorists is because of our coalition with them, either against Soviet invasion or being used as a front line state in Global War on Terrorism. Pakistan did not get any thing in return except adding enemies for itself both at domestic and global arena. Restoration of civic facilities, building of communication infrastructure, provision of basic health and educational facilities are some of the measures immediately required to resurrect life in these troubled areas. Money and efforts being utilized to fight this war may be spent for economic well being of the people. All allies specially, US and West should be pursued to share their errands in restitution of normalcy in these troubled spots.