Issue Brief on “De-radicalisation of Youth through Education”

The Pakistani state and society have been affected immensely by the menace of terrorism and one of its concomitant is radicalisation. The country’s tolerant culture and religious ethos have been severely damaged by it. Pakistan faces an existential threat at the hands of growing radicalisation. The deaths of more than 130 school children in the terrorist attacks in Peshawar on the Army Public School in December 2014, and the recent terror attack in Lahore on 27 March, 2016 are sobering reminders of that threat.  With over-whelming revolution in communications and technology, Pakistan, as a state and society, needs to ask the question: why is Pakistan under constant threat of violence and radical elements?

Unsettling socio-political and economic structures, out-dated education system and weak governance system provides a perfect breeding ground for radical ideas to grow. The roots of radicalisation in Pakistan can be traced back to the Afghan war of the 1980s when Pakistan’s strategic engagement in Afghanistan introduced radical elements in Pakistan. Later on, the Iranian revolution of 1979 triggered yet another ideological war in the region. As a result, radicalisation was further fanned in Pakistan. Beginning of the 21st century saw the onset of Global War on Terrorism. This war intensified the thrust of radicalism in Pakistan and, as a consequence, the cumulative effects of religious sectarian violence increased.

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