September 26, 2009 (The Frontier Post)
The first question to answer is whether we are fighting against terrorists or extremists? And secondly if terrorism is defeated so can it cause defeat of extremism? Extremism is state of mind while terrorism is the practical manifestation or expression of it. Today Pakistani and American forces are killing these perverted young people. Some analysts argue that this killing is not random but selected few are targeted. But no matter what is the truth, it is claimed that terrorists are crushed and they are running away. But next day a suicide bomber attacks the selected target and wipes out the claims of the army.
This panorama continues since eight or ten years. From time to time moderate Taliban are requested to come into national stream and sometimes agreements are signed with Taliban and selected areas handed over to them. Suppose we accept this as true that these terrorists are defeated but is it an absolute solution? Because the troublemaker – extremism is yet here to breed and grow up a new crop of terrorists.
Military operation is not the only solution to this problem but it is only a tool and means to make available the required environment for the political, economical and social solution to this problem. In Malakand, Swat and southern districts of Pakhtonkhwa the required environment is achieved. But people are still waiting for the establishment of those institutions which can help to eradicate extremism politically, socially and economically. Thirty years back we had created these radical organizations on short notice of western powers. But the same spirit and strength are missing in eliminating them. These days Rehman Malik is swollen with pride to announce that Taliban split into seven groups and they are slaughtering each other. Very recently we have experienced in Afghanistan the same type of divide and contradictions in Jihadi militants. But in presence of extremist and fanatical ideologies and joblessness their new generation again attracted towards these perverted people. Are we going to repeat the same mistake of Afghanistan?
At this moment of temporary success we must sketch an arrangement for opening institutions of jobs oriented programs of study in these warring zones and industries must be established to provide jobs to these young men after completion of their education. So that new generation of these tribal areas can become a part of national stream. If North Wazirsitan is still not suitable for these activities so the nearest stable zone is Bannu. At the moment all the Banks and some departments of North Wazirsitan are shifted to Bannu because it is easily accessible from all parts of North Wazirsitan.
For South Wazirsitan the same project can be started in D.I.Khan. Vice Chancellor of Gomal University has offered a complete sketch for this project. Leaders of South Wazirsitan and moderate Taliban trust him in this regard and he is requested to set up a sub campus of Gomal University in South Wazirsitan. He is tribal and educated from an American University and also enthusiastic for this indispensable project. Tribal leaders have suggested him to accumulate the required funds from national and international donor agencies. The Vice chancellor of Bannu University of Science and Technology must seek an advice from him to initiate a project on the same footings in North Wazirsitan.
But it is very essential that in near future an industrial base is needed in this area to utilize the educated young men by providing jobs to them. But the current scenario indicates that national interests of various global powers are creating stumbling blocks in the war against terrorism. Every nation defines terrorism and strategy to curb it, in its own way. Instead of fighting the war against terrorism and its causes, the clash of interests of various powers has set this region for another great game.
Recently the government has announced its new educational policy. Peoples Party, Awami National Party and Mutahida Quami Movement, all these coition partners are secular political parties. But their educational policy is the continuation of Zia regime’s educational policy. Impartial analysts are of the view that this policy will not pave the way to eradicate extremism from the grass root level. Our government over and over again announces that military operation is not the only solution to curb terrorism but practically it is not cutting the roots of extremism and radicalism that rest in our educational system. Religious education system of Dini Madaris is not merely to be blamed for promotion of Jahadi culture but our government schools are also functioning as nurseries for spreading extremism. Extremism and terrorism can only be overcome by changing our outlook towards its origin. If government can face the media on the issues of death sentence, judiciary crisis, power generation, sugar crisis, 17th amendment and Musharaf trial, so it must be bold to revolutionize the educational policy and curriculum for the 21st centaury. We have devoted liberal and moderate religious scholars that can defend the new educational policy of government and know how to convince Pakistani public.