Derailment of democracy resulted in social stagnation, extremism: Kaira


Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Tuesday said derailment of democracy and imposition of dictatorial rulers on the nation resulted in stagnation of society and led to extremism. Addressing a seminar on “Terrorism: reasons, consequences and its remedies”, the minister said the entire nation would have to fight out not only extremist organizations, but also the mindset.
Kaira said when the present government came to power, terrorists had occupied Swat and Benazir Bhutto appealed to the nation in her last speech in Rawalpindi to unite against extremists, but she was martyred only a few minutes. Besides Benazir Bhutto, thousands of army personnel and civilians have lost their life in the fight against this menace, he said. He said extremism was the biggest challenge confronting the nation and conscious efforts would have to be made to reverse the tide. The minister pointed out that extremism was not a recent phenomenon, as its foundations were laid by world powers after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
At that time, Kaira said sustained efforts were made to use religion as a weapon, creating seminaries and changing culture, syllabus and psyche of the nation. The minister said Pakistan was a tolerant society prior to that, but these powers transformed it into an extremist society. Kaira said only the government or security agencies could not eliminate the threat and the entire nation would have to stand against the extremists.
To a question, the information minister said it would not be fair to link terrorism to a particular area or region of the country, adding that terrorism had no religion, rather it was a mindset.
Regarding attacks on minorities, he said terrorists were the enemies of entire humanity and even Muslims were not spared by them.