Militancy on campuses

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Centres of learning and scholarship in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world have become breeding grounds for extremism. There are multiple factors behind this spooky phenomenon, including the West’s rabid policies, like deadly drone strikes, regime change and military intervention in many Muslim countries around the globe. This demented view of Islam has enormously contributed to a strong backlash in the Muslim world against the West in general and the US in particular. The situation has prompted educated youth to target Western targets.
In Pakistan, militancy on campuses saw a dramatic rise during the Gen. Ziaul Haq dictatorship. He tacitly supported extremist and obscurantist forces in radicalising university students and other young men. Consequences of his excruciating rule are still haunting us. During his regime, Pakistani students were misled into fighting in Afghanistan against the Soviet forces. Subsequent governments either followed the same policy or failed to curb radicalism in universities. Proper screening of teachers and students, a constructive national debate, appropriate syllabi, administrative reforms, checks on some right-wing parties, workshops and seminars can be helpful in arresting this tendency.
M A KHAN
Hayatabad, Peshawar