Islamabad, Dec.17 (ANI): Jihadis will continue to proliferate unless Pakistan and its ruling classes re-examine and correct their current practices, says an expert.
According to Dr. Manzur Ejaz, if Pakistan had fulfilled its responsibilities, there would be no space for people like Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed
"The proliferation of jihad in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab, is not just induced by Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Rather, rapid socio-economic changes have played a major role in the propagation of jihadi culture," the Daily Times quotes him, as saying in his Washington Diary.
He says that more often than not the truth gets lost in the media hype because journalists that only seek thrillers occupy intellectual space.
"News about jihad, Al Qaeda and the Taliban sells in the media market, and therefore, no one is ready to talk about the fundamental realities," Dr. Ejaz claims.
As far as the attacks on Mumbai are concerned, he says that the fact remains that other than one from Dera Ismail Khan - an overwhelmingly Hinko-Punjabi speaking area - all other nine terrorists belonged to central Punjab.
"They came from Multan, Okara, Faisalabad and Sialkot - some of the more prosperous areas of Pakistan. But if one looks deeply into the causes behind the creation of jihadis in these areas, it becomes clear that this region is ripe for anti-status quo movements," he adds.
He says that the poor socio-economic circumstances of these purveyors of death are a key pointer to why they took up the mission.
Take Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist. He just wanted new clothes which his father could not afford. He could not swallow that deprivation and ran away from his home to try to fulfill his dreams through wage labour, then robbery, and a jihadi training centre.
"This boy is the victim of a socio-economic system that has changed fundamentally in the entire sub-continent, and more so in Punjab - both Pakistani and Indian," says Dr. Ejaz.
"Villages have been transformed into ghettos for cities. As the new generation of artisans and other working class people has brought money from the Middle East, the class arrangements that had prevailed for centuries have been uprooted. In this new set-up, the individual's role has been transformed as well. Societal roles have become more fluid," he says.
Amid loot and plunder, sections of the middle and lower classes have taken refuge in religion and embraced jihad, he concludes. (ANI)