Taliban and Youth of Pakistan

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A recent study by a Pakistani scholar published by the Washington-based Brookings Institution points out there are high chances of ‘youth radicalization' in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Indeed, Taliban expanding in this state, it is becoming amply clear that the menace of radicalization that leads to religious militancy must be targeted at the roots. Moreover, the US missile attacks in Northern areas surely at extremist hide out but killing the innocent civilians also impacting positive for radical groups as wings of the Taliban or Bin Laden.

The alarming decline in socio-economic conditions continues unabated giving rise to new frustrations every day. Social and economic inequities, limited access to education and other basic facilities, unemployment and growing poverty have combined to produce an atmosphere of despair in which the youth, impressionable and deprived of opportunities, are an easy prey for those seeking to propagate their ideological agendas. In terms of numbers alone, there are plenty of young victims especially males to choose from. In a population of more than 160 million people, about 75 million are 24 years or below the formative period of life when a person's worldview is shaped. With a population growth rate of almost two per cent, the coming years will see youth numbers grow. It will be an explosive situation if the currently poor socio-economic conditions remain the same or decline further.

Threat of youth radicalization must be warded off. The key lies in greater employment opportunities and poverty reduction. However, most important is better education including civilization and correct religious points of Islam. A predisposition to extremism already exists in the way we as a society tend not to restrict religion to our private lives but allow it to govern and thus limit our opinions on a variety of subjects. Unfortunately, with the Religious schools so-called ‘madressah' system going strong and likely to exert even greater influence on young minds if public-sector schooling continues to decline and private education becomes unaffordable.

There is a very real danger that ultra religious tendencies among the youth will receive a boost. This will lead to the formation of dogmatic mindsets at a considerable distance from the pillars of logic, reason, humanism, and unable to tolerate divergent opinions. Years of wrong political moves might have made the country a breeding ground for militancy, but things need not have been so bad had we followed sound education policies. It is imperative to make corrections to the system before extremism strikes deeper roots.

Feroz Ahmed Bawany goal is to increase my knowledge and to understand the only civilized creations of Almighty Lord are HUMAN. He is a regular contributer to TRCB.com.

 

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