Sensitising youth against extremism

GHQ did well by organising, in collaboration with Higher Education Commission, a day-long seminar on Thursday on the crucial subject of ‘Role of Youth in Rejecting Extremism’. The most prominent aspect of the event was that important personalities dealing with the issue in the field and at policy level shared their experiences and thoughts with the youth and representatives of civil society and hopefully the questions raised by the youth would have served as a food for thought for planners.
In his key-note address, Army Chief Gen Qamer Javed Bajwa explained to the audience how the armed forces achieved remarkable successes in the war against terror and how they intend to proceed further to stabilise the gains. There are no two opinions that what our valiant armed forces did in the unconventional war against terror is unparalleled and its success is quoted the world over. However, our performance in stabilising the gains and fighting the war on other fronts has not been satisfactory. The government relying on coalition partners and being continuously pressurised by the opposition unfortunately could not dare take bold and revolutionary steps. Therefore, it is duty of all state institutions and organs to strengthen government hands and extend sincere cooperation in taking the campaign to its logical end at the soonest. A durable change can take place if the youth is on board and conditions are created where they do not become vulnerable to exploitation by negative forces as we have witnessed in the case of Mashal Khan. Social media is a strong and effective tool and its proper and correct use can bring about a positive change but so far this media is being misused not only by our enemies but our own people as well for their petty interests. Gen Bajwa, who himself had been a victim of malicious propaganda on social media, rightly pointed out that faceless and nameless hostile forces were polluting the mind of youth through social media. This is happening since long but our ministries and departments seem to appear helpless. This is mainly because jobs in these ministries and organisations are not filled on merit but on the basis of recommendations (sifarish) and capable/properly qualified but dejected youth is leaving for other destinations. PEMRA is trying to enforce code but it is receiving threats and the culprits remain unidentified. Parliament is supposed to play a lead role in devising practical strategies but it is somewhat paralysed as some political forces are bent upon playing foul. Latest example is the FATA reforms, which have been made football by some parties with apprehensions that we might miss a historic opportunity for mainstreaming of the region. Political stability and economic progress are the answers to prevailing situation but would we allow this to happen?

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