Rising Extremism In Pakistan


Azhar Thiraj

azhar pupoo

American support to Israeli’s occupation, Indian terrorism in Kashmir, Russian aggression in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and western anti Islamic campaign under “Clash of Civilization” generated savage culture of bloodshed. Extremism in Pakistan is fallout of Russian invasion of Afghanistan (1989), fueled by Shia-Sunni proxy war, aggravated by Pakistan’s assistance to Mujahedeen, finally, accelerated after 9/11. The chain of madressas allegedly funded through ‘dollars’, misinterpreted Islam. Social injustice, illiteracy and chronic poverty added fuel to the fire. US pressure to “Do More” syndrome angered the disgruntled warriors. Above all, General Zia and Musharraf’s solo policy-making made Pakistan “A Front line State”. Resultantly people of Pakistan, painfully suffered by suicide bombings and attack on peace keeping agencies.

Extremism is a critical problem faced by Pakistani society today leading to social, economic, cultural, political turmoil and humanitarian crises. It has nurtured due to internal and external factors. Internal factors are the prevalence of social injustice, inequality, illiteracy and exploitation in the society. External factors are the involvement of Pakistan in the regional and international power game and proxy wars. Modus operandi of extremism is the expression of a fanatic behavior by individuals and groups, who are not able to convey their will in the society, through prevalent social mechanism. The people who cannot exert their influence, in the decision making process, go for violent means to express their opinion[1]. As a result we see anarchy in the society. This situation fuels the flames of poverty, terrorism and social distress. Extremism can be of different types, it can be ethnic, linguistic, narrow nationalism but the most severe kind of extremism faced by our society is religious extremism.

The present bloody scenario presents a gruesome picture of Pakistan Army fighting in South Waziristan. The IDPs have terribly suffered financial, mental and physical losses. The foreign terrorist, indifferent to our national interest, have taken refuge in tribal areas to the utter wrath of US. The uncontrolled drone attacks are killing terrorists along with innocent masses. The liberal personality of Benazir murdered ruthlessly. Minorities are targeted by these extremists. The recent incidents like attack on Christians in Gojra and attack on Qadiyanis in Lahore are the examples of extremism.

The dilemma of using religion in Pakistan’s politics for political gains intensified during the Zia period from 1977 to 1988, once he was enforcing his Islalmization policies. The Zia’s era coupled with start of Afghan War not only encouraged the rise of ethnic and religious parties on sectarian lines under varying interpretations of Islam, but also ultimately gave rise to Sunni-Shea confrontations that further polarized the society. A network of Madaris emerged and flourished throughout the country. They provided a breeding ground for the Jihadi elements under the backing of Saudi Arabia, other Arab countries and west led by US. The trend thus set, got the boost from the success of the Jihad and the Islamists around the world considered religion as the decisive factor in their struggle against oppression and political injustice.

There are many factors which contribute to this madnes.

On 27 December 1979 the Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan and the intervention created great alarm for Pakistan.first,Presently different concepts about Islam and Jihad are floating in the minds of the people. Some hold that Islam is a religion of wars and battles i.e. terrorism; others label it with extremism. In reality Islam neither promotes terrorism nor encourages extremism. It preaches tolerance and moderation. Islam forbids killing without justification. Similarly different concepts of Jihad are also agitating human minds and a distorted concept is being projected everywher.The most common misunderstanding has been created by Muslims themselves. Many Muslim Scholars have declared Jihad synonymous with Qital (war).Second,US policies are one of the major causes of extremism in Muslim world especially Pakistan. US interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs has provoked extremism. US policy of do more and drone attacks aggravated extremism in Pakistan. Since September 2001 till today, that is, just within nine years the US has lost much of its good will.Third,Ineffective Security Council has established American hegemony at the cost of freedom of Muslim countries. The UN charter allows an attack against any aggressor, if it is in the common interest of the members states. Further the peace-keeping forces of Security Council could invade the country. After 9/11, the American resolution was unanimously passed against the Taliban’s regime. But, while invading Iraq, President Bush said, “We will bypass Security Council”. Unfortunately, this world body kept criminal silence over this injustice.The Charter promises that no country can interfere in the internal matters of the member state. In contrast, the SC resolutions on Kashmir have been declared outdated. Likewise, North Korea is only facing sanctions, even after launching successful nuclear tests. Whereas, Iran is continuously being threatened by use of force, as in Obama’s words “Iran’s nuclear programme is against American Security”. American blue eyed, Israel is adamant to implement agreed peace Accord. So, Security Council has been a shameful failure in protecting the legitimate rights of the Muslim world.fourth,The slow economic and human development process, with the rise in population and unequal distribution of resources has created a large deprived and unemployed class. The rising unemployment, particularly among the students of religion, is creating a dangerous situation. The rising poverty is creating suicide bomber.Fifth,Chronic Illiteracy:Illiterate people do not fairly understand the essence of the teachings of Islam due to lack of adequate knowledge of religion. They listen from religious teacher or from poorly educated Mullahs about Islam in local languages without a chance of even verifying at later stage owing to lack of sufficient knowledge of local language. Hence, they start following it and don’t worry about its athencity.sixth,Decline in Tradition of Ijtihad:The decline of the established tradition of jihad interpretation of Quran by Muslim clerics to apply Quranic law to changing circumstances-has lead to rigid and narrow interpretations of religious precepts. The crisis emerged for almost half a century now.seventh,Poor Governance and Unequal Development:

Some Logical Consequences of Growing this Menace are the religious harmony was the first causality of the extremism.2.Infrastructure has destructed due to extremists and terrorists activities. No foreigner is ready to invest in Pakistan due to law and order situation. Growth rate is declined to 2.4 and foreign debts are increased to 55 billion dollars. Due to instability and insecurity brain drain has increased at maximum level. Whole nation is under depression and feel insecure even to go to markets and Mosques. There is no security of common person’s life and wealth.3.Though Pakistan is victim of extremism and terrorism yet it is labeled as sponsoring terrorism in the world.

Pragmatic Solutions to Convert This Hell into Heaven are There must be a strong parliament to tackle this issue.

There should be modern syllabus in Midrassas along with religious curriculum.

Madrassas should be under the command of government.

Pakistan should revise its policy towards war on terror.

UNO should play effective role in solving international disputes.

There must be effective role of OIC and SCO.

There must be sincere interfaith harmony among different religions.

Global media should play constructive role.

There should be positive mind set up against terrorism and extremism.

Social justice would provide base for up rooting of terrorism.

There must be equality so that there would be no inferiority complex.

US should revise its policies towards Muslim World.

Pakistan must be emphasized on education at maximum level.

Though Pakistan is victim of extremism and terrorism yet it is labeled as sponsoring terrorism in the world. Though Pakistan has suffered a lot in the wage of terrorism yet World Community see Pakistan as safe heaven of terrorism. Suicide bombings in shopping malls, hotels, common business centers and on roads not only affected local economy but also drained foreign investments from Pakistan. Pakistan has suffered the colossal financial losses of more than $68 billion or Rs 5036.8 billion in the so called war on terror since 2001 while human loss is around 40,000. The war spread like a contagion into rural and urban areas of Pakistan that has so far, cost the country more than 35,000 citizens, 3500 security personnel, destruction of infrastructure, internal migration of millions of people from parts of northwestern Pakistan, erosions of investment climate, nose diving of production and growing unemployment and above all brought economic activity to a virtual standstill in many part of the country, says Economic.

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