Lahore, Nov 26 : Human rights and social activists in Pakistan have said that though several laws have been promulgated in the past to counter terrorism, but steps taken by the Punjab government to ensure security in the province couldn't be effective unless the entire nation evolved a comprehensive strategy against extremism.
They aired these views at a one-day media workshop on the 'Radicalisation in Pakistan', here last evening. The workshop was organised by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS).
Human Rights Commission on Pakistan (HRCP) Director Hussain Naqi said the word "radicalization" should be understood properly, and added that there was a world of difference between a 'radical change' and 'radical extremism', reported the Daily Times.
He added that usage of the word "radicalization" should be understood from all angles before actually using it.
PIPS Director Muhammad Amir Rana said that there were around 150 madrasas in 1947, and that the growth was mind-blowing as more than 20,000 madrasas were currently operating in the country.
He said that the Afghan War played an important role in the growth of these religious centres. He further said that since 1987, there had been 1353 incidents of sectarian violence, and that 964 people had been killed and 2963 injured as a direct result of sectarian violence.
PIPS analysts Safdar Sial and Muhamad Azam said that there was great need to promote harmony and to eradicate radicalisation from society.
Azam said that his research had revealed that radicals were a constant source of pressure for the media, and added that local TV channels had experienced 163 attacks since 1977. He said that the radical groups, organisations and their leaders had been very conscious of the usage of words like jihad, shaheed, militants or terrorists by the media.