Pakistan’s Strategy of Countering Violent Extremism: Need for Soft Power

Abstract

In Pakistan’s context, there is a dire need to evolve a strategy to counter violent extremism. This paper argues that Pakistan, along with hard power, should also consider the elements of soft power to counter violent extremism. As soft power is meant to win hearts of the people by applying non-violent procedures, therefore to countering extremist ideology a combination of both hard and soft powers is need of the hour. This will strengthen national integration process, enhances community resilience against extremism and accelerates the process of rehabilitation and reintegration of militants in to the society. In order to understand the elements of soft power would prove effective for a particular society also requires a clear understanding of political, cultural and religious settings of that society. In this regard, to counter terrorism and violent extremism in Pakistan, this paper will focus on approaches of soft power. While accepting the importance of de-radicalisation programmes, this paper will also try to infuse elements of soft power in addition to the existing strategies of countering violent extremism and terrorism in Pakistan.

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