Shielding youth against extremism collective duty: DG ISPR

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RAWALPINDI, May 18 (APP): Director General Inter Services Public
Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor Thursday said shielding the
younger generation against extremism was collective duty of the nation.
“It is our collective duty as `state’ and individual duty in our
respective domain to shield our youth against this threat. The process involves identification of threat and response measures. Please know that amongst others, we owe our achievements in ongoing operations to the youth,” he said in his opening address at a day-long seminar held here.
The theme of the seminar was “Role of Youth in Rejecting Extremism” was organized by ISPR in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Eminent academia, vice chancellors of universities, students,
students and mohtamim of madaris, national as well as international
media and civil society attended the moot.
The DG ISPR said the operation Radd-ul-Fassad was aimed at
consolidating gains of all military operations earlier concluded in Kinetic
domain and bringing about an enduring peace and stability.
“One of its strands is to eliminate extremism from our society. The
requirement becomes more pronounced when we see that the nature and
character of this conflict has also changed with ideology of ISIS which focuses on targeting minds of our youth,” he said.
Of all the sacrifices made by the uniformed Pakistanis, he said, 90
percent contributions were by our youth – young soldiers and officers, adding “Let us not allow their supreme sacrifice to go waste and convert our
achievements into an enduring success.”
Commenting on objectives of the seminar, Asif Ghafoor said, it was
intended to have full spectrum analysis of phenomena of extremism that what
was the threat and its fault lines? How students viewed it? How does it look
like from prism of religion and economy and also to suggest response
including role of our education institutions and society.
The DG ISPR said he believed that it was only through free exchange
of ideas and courage to differ that the dream of truly tolerant Pakistan could be realized.
Speaking on the occasion, former IG Police Dr Shoaib Saddal said
direct economic cost due to extremism-related terrorist incidents since 2003
had been colossal, which was estimated at over $ 120 billion (Rs 12.7 trillion).
He said Pakistan’s extremism-related fault lines included terrorism,
sectarianism, regionalism, sub-nationalism and ethnic militancy, adding that
the triggers for extremism were provided internally as well as externally.
“Externally, international power games, geopolitics of the region,
proxy wars through non-state actors and clashing economic interests of
countries provide essential fodder to the cause of extremism. No wonder that
RAW, NDS and several hostile and interested foreign agencies have over time
become principal sponsors of instability and violent extremism in Pakistan.
Internally, he said, there were reportedly some groups found involved
in extremism which needed to be purged of the society.
Another speaker Ms Harem Zafar said in the view of present case scenario of the country, there was the need to discuss that why the nation had come to this breaking point of lava eruption, adding “in the very root cause of it we have to discuss three points : System of Education, Parenting and the Role of youth itself.”
She said extremism groups knew that knowledge was power and
believed in the idea of Vendetta because “ideas are bullet-proof” and that
was the reason they were attacking young minds to kill any ideology other
than their own making radicalization an easy weapon for them to conquer
innocent hearts and minds.
“We need to counter attack them by diverting our youth towards
libraries, theaters, podiums, seminars and youth-speak forums.”
Hareem said she believed that education and good parenting were the
only lights required to absolve any darkness of extremism.