Nawaz Sharif on counter-narrative.


Who would stick out his neck without the government’s patronage and protection?


In the midst of unending foundation laying ceremonies, functions to distribute health insurance cards and belated visits to Sindh, Nawaz Sharif was suddenly awakened to the need of seeking the cooperation of the ulema to expose the extremist narrative of religion. The need to have a counter-narrative to fight the extremist thinking has been voiced again and again since the announcement of National Action Plan in December 2014. It was also being pointed out that  to be  more effective  the counter-narrative  should come from the ulema .  With its longstanding contacts with clerics belonging to different sects the PML-N leadership was in an ideal position to get the work done.  The government had helped some of them get elected to Parliament, accommodated others in the cabinet, and handed over chair of Kashmir Committee to one and the post of Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology (CIII) to another.  What the government singularly failed to do is to make the beneficiaries of  its munificence produce a document to disabuse the ignorant of false notions about  Islam that were being instilled in their mind by the extremists. .


A handful of well-known clerics   in sync with the spirit of the times have spelled out a counter narrative but received neither the government’s patronage nor protection. Allama Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi, who issued an edict against the terrorists, was killed. Javed Ahmad Ghamdi who pioneered the preparation and propagation of a well-thought out counter-narrative remains on the terrorists hit list.


The government has little realisation of the urgency to prepare a convincing interpretation of Islam that can attract those who otherwise fall prey to the terrorists’ propaganda. There is a perception that while the Prime Minister’s attention remains  riveted on measures that can help him win the elections, uncertainty surrounding the outcome of  the Panama-gate case leads to him to indulge in calls to the nation not to allow any attempts to derail the democratic system and to religious scholars to back his efforts to fight terrorism.



  1. maadarchood juhthay aur makkaar bshrnchood awam jo inn ko vote datay hain aur yeh dukaandaar mazay laytay hain.

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