A holistic approach to countering extremism


The radicalization of minds, evolving into ever-expanding extremism and terrorism, requires a new holistic approach to counter and overcome this menacing problem. It is a well-established fact that the radicalization of human minds points to the failure of educational and religious institutions as well as society and the country as a whole. What began as a Jihad in Afghanistan in 1979 at America’s behest, turned into a global war on terror after the 9/11 incident; this time led by the United States duly supported by all NATO allies and others against erstwhile jihadist friends branded as terrorists. The 20-year war on terror has resulted in the total annihilation of Afghanistan, in addition to the devastation of other Muslim countries under false and concocted pretexts, e.g. Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Somalia , Yemen, Syria and Sudan. However, both times the situation in Afghanistan had serious ramifications for Pakistan which rightly or wrongly remained on the side of the United States from 1979 to 2021. Today, Pakistan as a country and as a that society is facing social, political, ethnic, sectarian and economic challenges despite the greater kinetic and non-kinetic success of the Pakistan Armed Forces in former FATA and Balochistan and at a heavy human, social, economic and political cost .

However, Pakistan is not alone in its suffering; today, the United States and its allies also face a similar phenomenon of radicalism, extremism and terrorism in reaction to its international policies, as discussed in “Revisiting Newton’s Third Law”. On January 6, 2021, the real consequences of this deception and delusion became clear when thousands of pro-Trump rioters launched a violent assault on the US Capitol, intent on preventing the certification of Trump’s victory. Joe Biden. Currently, there is greater awareness that the United States needs a new approach to prevent the far-right violence that has rocked America. According to US experts, the Capitol Hill siege reflects two important trends that will continue to shape US politics for years to come. The first is the mainstreaming of right-wing extremism; the majority of the rioters were ordinary Americans who had only recently embraced radical ideas due to propaganda, influence from social, print and electronic media, and due political exploitation. The post-9/11 era was fertile ground for the far right, when law enforcement and intelligence agencies focused almost exclusively on the jihadist threat, and fear of Muslim terrorists played into the hands of the xenophobes, white supremacists and Christian nationalists.

Sharp minds in Pakistan can see a lot of similarities in the rise and growth of extremism in society and politics through the manipulation of radicalized minds, mostly under the guise of unfounded religious, ethnic and sectarian fault lines or misguided by hostile forces as well as power-hungry indigenous stakeholders. The upheavals created in Pakistan’s recent past by various parties and politico-religious groups in collusion with the main political parties have made violent extremist movements less coherent and more unpredictable than ever. As in the United States, these groups have generally been defined by relatively clear ideological tendencies that align with specific intelligence and law enforcement strategies, training needs, and areas of expertise. But tactics such as control, surveillance and infiltration are more difficult to apply in an environment that is more spontaneous, fragmented and characterized by rapid evolution and surprising coalitions. Simply put, the tools used by authorities to fight extremists become less useful when the line between the periphery and the center begins to blur. In the face of this type of extremism, a number of other countries are far ahead of the United States. They recognized that the only way to approach the integration of extremist ideas is to focus on the integration itself. For example, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Norway have all adopted multi-sector approaches, drawing on the resources and expertise of a dozen federal agencies, including not only the security and intelligence, but also the ministries of education, labour, health and health. human services, youth and family, social services, and culture and arts. They have committed billions of dollars to efforts to build community trust, increase equity and social inclusion, fight racism, and improve media literacy and civic education so that citizens are more likely to recognize and resist propaganda, disinformation and conspiracy theories.

It is well established that Pakistan is likely to remain the target of hybrid or fifth generation warfare. The Government of Pakistan must build on the successes achieved by the Pakistani armed forces, law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies by making supreme sacrifices without further delay through a comprehensive approach under the direct supervision of the National Security Committee and a holistic approach as adopted by the aforementioned developed countries.


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