THE government seems quite serious in implementing decisions taken under the National Action Plan, which appears to be a regurgitation of Gen Musharraf’s ‘Enlightened Moderation Programme’ with some slight changes.
No one would deny the fact that taking steps against radical elements in Pakistan is the need of the hour. Moreover, it is important to mention here that radicalisation and extremism are not just limited to madressahs. Such negative ideologies are present in the formal education system as well.
I have done some research recently in this regard. I found that more than half of the content of Islamiat (Islamic Studies) textbooks promote intolerance of other views and sects.
The contextualisation of some of the (perceived) negative terms is debatable. A number of reports by non-governmental organisations along with some scholarly articles have dwelt upon such phenomenon, as it directly affects the overall social fabric of this country.
It is appreciable that this government has decided to bring the education sector back under federal control, which was transferred to the provinces under the 18th amendment. However, it is necessary to revitalise the entire content of this particular subject which is contributing to radicalisation.
The government must ensure that such negativity is not encouraged and promoted, otherwise the NAP decisions would be an exercise in futility.
Javed Ali Kalhoro
Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2019