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Causes of Radicalization and Extreme Behaviors

Radical and extreme behaviours are positions taken by individuals, not in line with traditions or accepted norm/behaviour in a society. It is a product of frustration, deprivation, social injustice and absence of rule of law. In Pakistan, it springs from following.

  • Poor governance. Inefficiency, incompetence and corrupt govt and governing bodies fail to meet the needs of the masses as opposed to elite/powerful people, and or groups in a society, hence causing frustration.
  • Social Injustice. People or a person do not get what they believe is their due share/right in comparison to others. Economic inequalities and absence of equal opportunities viz nepotism and bribery in our society are one of the main causes of radicalization, which ultimately leads to extremism in behaviours leaning towards violence.
  • Poverty. The Capitalism marked by excessive advertisement of luxurious life are alluring people to adopt unfair means to achieve those end. Few people are even tempted to do anything for monetary benefits. Such mercenaries also resort to highly radical and extremist activities which otherwise don’t reflect the true image of any society.
  • Illiteracy. Stability, prosperity, respect for the rule of law and good citizenship can only be achieved if the society is literate. Unfortunately, the literacy rate in Pakistan is low. As per Wikipedia, Pakistan’s overall literacy rate stands at 65%. Rural areas are especially very low on the education index of the country.
  • Political Ideology. As a result of above factors and host of other reasons coupled with a sense of frustration, people now firmly believe that our prevailing systems will take very long to reform, hence some radical measures need to be taken, may it be at the cost of challenging the writ of the state.

A very comprehensive and detailed planning is required to evolve a strategy to overcome the causes of such behaviours involving think tanks, intelligentsia, luminaries and other stakeholders. As there are no quick fixes to problems of these nature and magnitude. Nevertheless, some measures to overcome radicalization and extreme behaviours are as follows.

  • Improved Governance. Provision of public goods to its citizens at minimal and manageable costs.
  • Social Justice. Social justice is the equal distribution of resources and opportunities to overcome the emergence of a sense of deprivation and inequality.
  • Role of Intelligence Agencies. Must be effective in identifying money trails of criminals and crooked people sponsored by enemy and guilty of radical/extremist activities in our society.
  • Educational Reforms. A wholesome approach aimed at improving the educational system with uniform syllabus at the national level is essential. The paper setting, exam taking and degree awarding institutions must be controlled by the government including those for madrassah.

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