Extremism and Pakistani society
Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan


As reported by media two days earlier that the terrorist organization, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has beheaded fifteen kidnapped soldiers of Frontier Corps. The TTP spokesperson of Malakand division, Sirajudin and central spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan has confirmed this to AFP. As per media reports, “Many of them were killed by bullets, 12 of them as you see have been beheaded, you see 12 heads here, and more heads are on the way.” Though, ISPR has yet to confirm this incident, however, this is not the first incident of its kind.

TTP and other militant groups disguised themselves in religious colour have undertaken such brutal acts against persons of security forces and other innocent civilians in last one decade. TPP undertake these terrorist acts from Pakistani soil as well as from its hideouts in Afghanistan. They escaped to Afghanistan once Pak Army undertook military operations in Malakand and Swat and SWA.

Indeed, nowadays, TTP is carrying out organized attacks from its hideouts in Afghanistan on Pakistani security forces posts along Pak-Afghan border as well as on innocent civilians, who do not accept their ideology or ordain. Reportedly TTP is fully backed by some elements in Afghanistan, especially its intelligence agency.

A few days’ earlier TTP militants “crossed over from Kunar province in Afghanistan” and attacked Batwar village in Bajaur. Pakistani security forces beaten back the attack, killing many of the militants and cleared the village and surrounding areas. Over the years, the TTP with its extremist ideas has increased its network all over the country and has been successful in converting the youth towards its ideology. If TTP is allowed to continue this practice unabated, the day is not far that in another few years, it will have a sizeable portion of Pakistani society, particularly the unemployed youth hostage to it. Can Pakistan afford such a situation? The question has to be addressed by the decision makers of Pakistan. After all, who thought before 2007, that TTP would be so effective and unbridled?

As a whole, Pakistani nation needs to ponder over this gloomy development seriously before it is too late. In the same backdrop, Pakistani Army Chief, General Kayani in his address to the cadets of Pakistan Military Academy on August 14, 2012 said that, we have to fight against this growing menace of extremism and terrorism. Indeed, already we are in a state of war against the extremism and terrorism since last many years. This is a war Pakistani nation as a whole has to fight. No other nation or state is going to fight for us. Ultimately, the security forces of Pakistan and the nation have to tackle this menace; otherwise there will be no safe place in Pakistan for the 180 million peace loving people. Today we cannot say that this is American war or European war. Since we are sufferer, thus we have to fight it out.

Going over the Islamic ideology, we as a nation has to understand that, Islam preaches peace and harmony between the people, societies and nations, rather extremism and terrorism. Quran says, “If someone kills another person, it is as if he had kills all mankind”. Thus, the teaching of Islam is that, ‘a person who kills even a single man indeed commits a crime as if he had murdered all mankind on earth and such people will have a painful punishment’. In no part of the Quran does Allah command believers to “respond to violence with violence”, but rather commands Muslims to ‘respond to evil with goodness’. Since Pakistan was created on the name of Islamic ideology, the belief which teaches peace and love and rejects the hatred and killings, how can we allow intrusion of these brutal forces like TTP in the Pakistani society? The father of nation visualized Pakistan as a modern democratic country having peaceful and tolerant society which will be a roll model for rest of the world. Unfortunately, after the death of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the vision could not be implemented.

This speech of General Kayani remained a focus of our media and analysts, besides the international media and think tanks. Majority of analysts have appreciated the stance and consider that this is the only way forward for Pakistan to come out from its current crises. The main question is how to save the Pakistani society from getting into extremists and terrorists class. Unfortunately, some of the analysts like Khaled Ahmed twisted the statement and interpreted it in his own way. Let us come out from a fixed mentality and a biased approach. Pakistani analysts and media too should project positive points needed for the betterment of the society.