Need for Forming Soft Army of Nation

(Ali Alvi, Rawalpindi)

The think-tanks and mainstream intelligentsia have been stressing upon the need of eradicating the sources of terrorism, but its identification has been different. No adequate arrangement on educational level and well thought out plan on policy level has been made to take the menace of terrorism – not terrorists, extremism – not extremists, Talibanization or Talibanism – not the Taliban – head on. An army force is a group of men who physically fights an enemy; but think-tanks, intelligentsia, academics, scholars, columnists, writers – and above all the ulema are meant to take this fight to intellectual levels. Rah-e-Haq, Rah-e-Rast, Zarb-e-Azb, etc., are the successful operation that helped eradicate the terrorists, but nothing has been done on the society’s, as well as governments’ levels, to cope with the ideologies of hate and despondency.

Recently, probably on the initiations of army, this task has been taken in hands involving mainstream scholars of various categories. I would like to invite them to take into consideration famous jurist Sherwani Mustafa’s conclusion. He says while it is not so easy to give an exhaustive analysis of the prevailing menace of terrorism, as it has varied phenomena, offshoots and ramifications, but still it has two general sources: one, ruthless western intervention in almost every part of the world, especially the Muslim lands, and, to achieve the nefarious designs of hegemony, creating, promoting and patronizing different terror groups; two, sectarian hatred within the Muslim society, spread through a sustained campaign, over decades or even centuries – so much so that each sect considers other sects as nothing short of heretic or infidel, and the bitterest enemy of Islam.

There is a need to launch a nationwide program, as part of deradicalization process, of educating the masses through mosque-loudspeakers, student gatherings, seminars and workshops. For this purpose the government needs to show its keen interest and deep involvement in order to train the trainers first, facilitate them to be able to deliver lectures and chart out backup plan in order to assess the positive results of this national campaign. This can be called the soft army of the nation.

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