Intelligentsia’s role in countering extremism

TALKING to a delegation of poets and writers Thursday, President Mamnoon Hussain once again reminded the intellectuals of their responsibilities towards promoting tolerance in the society and building counter narrative against extremism. At a time when our security forces are engaged in a comprehensive campaign to drive terrorists out of their sanctuaries, it has become all the more imperative for different segments of the society especially writers and poets to use stoke of their pens to enlighten minds of the people and counter those forces which are spreading the message of retrogression, obscurantism.
In fact our land has produced such revolutionary poets and thinkers who through their masterpieces forcefully infused the spirit of freedom amongst the masses against oppressors of the time. This is what we gather from great works of Allama Iqbal and Josh and given the current situation it is need of the hour that writers and poets while keeping an eye on current situation craft such work which inculcate tendencies of tolerance and hope amongst the people while abhorring extremist mindset. It is encouraging to see that present government realised the importance of changing narratives through education and literature and has taken many steps under the guidance of Irfan Siddiqui, PM’s Special Assistant, to address the concerns of writers and artistes. It was also in the same context that 2017 is being observed as year of Zarb-i-Qalam and many literary and culture festivals are being organised to promote soft image of the country. Moving to realism, we also hope that our intelligentsia while depicting the real picture in their literary work will instil spirit of tolerance and optimism amongst the youth — something that is vital to choke fuel supply to the terrorists.

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