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Speakers say political extremism has affected youth

By Riffatullah
August 19, 2023

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a conference here on Friday said that political extremism had affected the youth and suggested incorporating a chapter in the educational curricula to promote tolerance.

The one-day conference was arranged by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Centre of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism.According to the organisers, the moot was an effort to promote international collaboration for countering violent extremism and fostering mutual relations to address the challenges posed by it.

They said the conference was aimed at evolving strategies to combat extremism and enhance global cooperation.Some among the speakers were Dr Faisal Kareem Kundi, a Pakistan People’s Party leader from the southern belt of KP and former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Dawood Khan, who has served as Higher Education Department secretary in the past, Prof Dr Usman Ghani, IM Sciences director, Musarrat Qadeem, advisor to the KP Centre for Combating Extremism, and Javed Iqbal.

Secretary Higher Education, Anila Mahfooz Durrani, Dr. Ayaz, and Dr Qasim, welcomed all participants.Anila Mahfooz Durrani said the KP Center of Excellence was one such center in South Asia which was specifically dedicated to countering violent extremism.

She hoped the centre would serve as a think tank to tackle effectively the challenges posed by extremism.Faisal Kareem Kundi talked of extremism in KP and climate change.

He urged the Pakistan government to review policies on Afghanistan due to the shared and long border.A former deputy inspector general, Counter-Terrorism Department, KP, Javed Iqbal, called for putting in place a framework to tackle extremism through dialogues and policies parallel to active anti-terrorism measures. Professor Dr Usman Ghani noted with concern that political extremism had increased and had adversely affected the young generation.

He suggested inclusion of a chapter on countering extremism and promoting tolerance in educational curricula to improve the situation.Dawood Khan, stressed the role of think-tanks in developed countries as policy-making and awareness-raising bodies.

He suggested that the centre should have a similar role by guiding the governments so that the issues are addressed internally and externally. Executive Director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), Khalid Kauser, lauded the establishment of the centre in KP which was highly affected by extremism.

He offered to collaborate with the centre to combat extremism in the region, thus addressing challenges posed by climate change and extremism.

Dr Musarrat Qadeem said the research and dialogue were essential on the international level to combat extremism. She highlighted the need to involve women in countering extremism and encouraged their active participation.

A memorandum of understanding was inked between GCERF and the centre to enhance the collaboration for countering extremism.