Intellectual infrastructure needed to fight extremist mindset: Farhatullah Babar

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ISLAMABAD : Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator, Farhatullah Babar has said that more than military operations, extremism will be defeated by creating an intellectual infrastructure and space for freedom of expression and tolerance for dissent to defeat extremism.

Taking part in discussion on an adjournment motion on extremist ideology in the Senate on Friday, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that distortion of history had undermined the building of intellectual infrastructure in the country.

He said that a military dictator quietly deleted from the Objectives Resolution in the Constitution the words ‘freely’ with respect to right of minorities to profess their religion. Diaries of the Quaid were forged to make people believe that the Quaid wanted a Presidential and not a parliamentary form of government. History books teach children that history of Sindh began with the arrival of Muhammad bin Qasim and that Sultan Mahmood Ghaznnavi is eulogized as a great ghazi driven by religious zeal to destroy Hindu temples, he added.

The PPP Senator said that falsehood and distorting history had undermined our educational and intellectual infrastructure. It was no surprise that so called educated persons were involved in cases of Mashal Khan, Noreen Leghari, attackers of opposition leader in Sindh Assembly and Safoora Goth incident.

When armed conflict is glorified in the name of religion the result is violence in the name of religion, he said.

Farhatullah Babar said that we need to promote freedom of expression for building a genuine intellectual infrastructure and creating an alternative narrative to that of the militants and extremists.

He said that Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act had been used to punish bloggers and political activists dissenting with the state narrative but had not been used to stop hate speech and sectarian violence.

The PPP Senator asked that the bi annual report of FIA on the implementation of the law be placed before the Parliament. He pointed out that although the interior minister had promised over a month ago to lay it before the House but it had still not been done.

Originally published by INP

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