Speakers suggest ways to counter violent extremism

  • ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative the best tool to deal extremism, intolerance in society’

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a workshop were unanimous on a point that the Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative of the government was the best tool to deal with growing extremism and intolerance in the society and to encourage the youth towards positive and constructive approach.

A two-day training workshop was organised in collaboration with the Intentional Islamic University of Islamabad at the Sahibzada Hall of the University of Peshawar to raise awareness about growing violent extremism in the society and impart training to the participants on countering the menace.

A large number of participants, including university professors, research scholars, civil society members and clerics from different religious schools of thought, attended the first day of the event. In their lectures, IIUI Director Dr Muhammad Zia, Dr Suharwardi of the Islamia College of Peshawar and Mussarrat Qadeem discussed in details various aspects of extremism, its stages and the counter strategies and special focus on roles of the faculty members and the civil society activists in peace building.

The speakers suggested ways for countering extremism by discussing contemporary challenges and their solutions. They said that the basic objective of the initiative was to promote harmony and friendly relations between various segments of the society as well as different religious groups in the country. They stressed the need for a concerted effort to disseminate the message of the Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative among all segments of the society.

They urged the participants to fulfill their human and religious obligation of promoting peace, tolerance, brotherhood and unity. Multiple workshops and programmes have been conducted in the recent months in different universities and educational institutions across Pakistan to train faculty members on countering violent extremism and promoting the initiative.

The Islamic Research Institute (IRI) of the International Islamic University of Islamabad has already established the Paigham-e-Pakistan Centre for Peace, Reconciliation and Reconstruction Studies to conduct research studies on peace, reconciliation and reconstruction.

The government launched the Paigham-e-Pakistan project earlier this year in order to address the challenges posed by extremism and sectarianism through a national narrative which also portrayed a soft and positive image of Pakistan and highlighted Islam as a religion of peace, brotherhood, tolerance and harmony. The initiative was also endorsed by Imam-e-Kaaba and the Grand Mufti of Egypt.