ISLAMABAD, July 15 (APP):Terrorism with its creeping roots in the social fabric has affected educational institutions particularly youth promoting extremist mindset which could be countered by encouraging tolerance and acceptability in the society.
These views were observed by the students and experts from different educational institutes in an interaction session highlighting necessary steps for “Countering Violent Extremism on campuses” organized by National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) here. They said the young generation must be equipped with basic education so that they could differentiate between good and bad.
A large number of students from Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), Punjab University Lahore, National University of Modern Languages, University of Karachi and religious seminaries affiliated with Wafaqul Madaris attended the session.
The main objective of the programme is to engage students and faculty members from prominent universities and madaris for devising a Pakistan specific national strategy for countering on-campus religious extremism.
The initiative will be vital for strategizing coordination, famework within which universities, Higher Education Commission (HEC), and civil society may work in tandem to eradicate extremism on university campuses through programmes that promotes exclusivity and peaceful coexistence.
Sharing his views, a student from (IIUI) M Ishtiaq Khattak said issue of extremism would be effectively tackled through educating the youth at different level.
He said education would enable the youth to understand and differentiate between right and wrong, besides it would keep them away from anti-social and anti-state elements
using immature minds for their nefarious designs.
Another student of Fatima Jinnah University, Salwa Iftikhar was of the view that it was easier to brain-wash a  dull mind, adding it was impossible to exploit an educated mind. She said that mostly young people belonging to lower income households unfortunately were more vulnerable to joining extremist and terrorist organizations and added that the best solution to tackle extremism was only education.
Deputy Director NACTA Zahid Ullah Khan told APP that as a result of efficient achievement of National Action coordination terrorist authority has registered an apparent downstairs inclination in terrorism incidents which have reached 730 in 2017 as compared to 2,070 attacks in 2010, adding that NACTA are taking initiatives to promote the culture of tolerance and acceptability among the students. The Authority is also taking steps to get rid of the factors which promoting the tunnel mentality in the society.
Male and female students from universities from all four provinces attended the conference. During an interaction with universities and madras’s students Zahid Khan said that (NACTA) was making plan with higher education commission to counter the forces of extremism and violence at university campuses.