A three-day seminar on deradicalisation kicked off in Swat on Monday. The seminar, organised by the army, aims to address the causes of radicalisation and highlight contemporary deradicalisation strategies in the area. Several national and international scholars are attending the event, where they will address the audience and listen to their queries on the issue.
Addressing the inaugural session of the seminar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar, said Pakistan was passing through one of its toughest times in its history. “Today our country is being swept by extremism, which is totally opposite to the vision of Quaid-i-Azam,” he said.
Referring to the Swat operation, the governor lauded the role of the local people saying that the operation could not have been successful without their cooperation. “We need to focus on systematic efforts to promote tolerance and sustain peace in the region,” he remarked.
The first session of the seminar, whose theme was ‘genesis and causes of radicalisation’, was chaired by Prof. Rasul Bakhsh Rais. The session was addressed by Dr Farrukh Saleem, Professor Mairajul Islam, Ghazi Salahuddin, Khalid Aziz and Babar Sattar.
“This is the first effort by the army to debate on development and counter insurgency policy, which the country lacks at the moment,” said Saleem.
The second session, titled ‘contemporary counter de-radicalisation’ was chaired by Dr Maria Sultan. During the session, Dr Zebulon Taintor from New York University addressed the audience on global perspective of de-radicalisation, while Dr Sara Savage from Cambridge University discussed the Saudi de-radicalisation model.
Professor Malkhanti presented the Sri Lankan model in detail, while the strategy of United Kingdom was discussed by Prof Tahir Abbas of Ankara University. Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies Director Amir Rana also addressed the session in which he highlighted suitable measures for Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.