IntroductionThese policy briefs encapsulates findings of the national-level consultations discussing implementing mechanism around specific themes to counter-violent extremism. These themes or entry points were identified in the PIPS-proposed CVE model.
Policy brief-10 Internal security and challenges
• This brief summarizes the findings of the tenth working group’s meeting on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), exploring how to address internal security challenges including those emanating from extremism.
• Pakistan faces a multitude of internal security challenges. The responses to the challenges are reactive and piecemeal, relying overwhelmingly on the exercise of force.
• There is a need to shape a consolidated internal security policy, which suggests the way forward on the challenges at the front of internal security. Members called for adopting institutional framework for dealing with internal security.
Holistic internal security policy need of the hour
Policy brief-9 Education reforms
• This brief summarizes the findings of the ninth working group’s meeting on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), exploring how education in Pakistan can be reformed to curb extremist tendencies.
• Endorsing that reforming education sector is a must to counter extremism, the group underscored that any measure aimed at reforming education should help achieving knowledge-based society.
• The country’s multi-directional educational system itself deepens the social divides, the members noted...
Producing inquisitive, knowledgeable society can help counter extremism
Policy brief-8 Cultural Diversity and Pluralism
• This brief summarizes the findings of the eighth working group’s meeting on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), which examined the spaces for cultural diversity and pluralism in Pakistan and their link to extremism and CVE discourses.
• Cultural diversity is anathema to an extremist body. One of the first acts of militants has been attacking symbols of cultural diversity.
• The group argued faith-based radicalism eroding cultural spaces is partly a transformation of state’s desire to impose Islam over the country’s varied ethnic groups...
Reclaiming cultural spaces can curb extremism
Policy brief-7 Media Engagement Programs
• This brief summarizes the findings of the seventh working group’s meeting on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), which explored how media can be engaged in CVE programs so that it neither glorifies extremists nor propagates radicalizing messages.
• The rise of militancy went parallel to proliferation of media. Media can play a significant role in reducing the appeal of violent extremist ideologies.
• The group also discussed so-called “militant media”, asking to regulate it.
• The trend of “fake news”, factually-incorrect news, and their readily acceptance by many is indicative of the trend of rising extremism... ....
Regulate conventional and new media to check extremism
Policy brief-6 Youth Engagement Program
• This policy brief summarizes the findings of the sixth working group’s meeting on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE). The meeting, which was part of a PIPS-led exercise to strategize response options to CVE in Pakistan, explored how youth can be engaged beforehand so that they are not radicalized in the future.
• Group members underscored that youth radicalization be understood as a social phenomenon which cuts across different divides. However, multi-dimensional accounts of different sets of youth should be considered in the processes of understanding and preventing radicalization in youths.
• Young people are called to dream big and nurture idealistic notions, but because there is no voice in the mainstream to translate those notions into reality, many of them become prone to fall for radical groups, like the Islamic State (IS) group, who too make promises for an ideal/fantasy....
Reviving inclusive spaces will enable young people to resist extremism
Policy brief-5 Constitution, Citizenship and Governance
• This brief summarizes the findings of the fifth working group’s meeting on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE). The meeting explored to what extent is extremism linked to the provision of constitutional rights and physical services provided by the state. Focus was made of how the concept of citizenship is absorbed by people, and how governance is carried out on the ground.
• Exclusion is at the heart of violent extremism, the group noted. Militants hit at religious minorities, already pushed to the margins, and exploit areas where normal law is missing or services are denied.
• The group stressed upon equality. By treating citizens with equality, ideological spaces of militants can be reduced; and by bestowing similar rights and services to all geographical areas, physical spaces under militants’ influence can be secured. ....
Treating citizens and regions with equality, will dent extremist spaces
Policy brief-4 Implementing National Action Plan
• This brief summarizes the findings of the fourth working group’s meeting on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), which discussed the implementation mechanism of National Action Plan (NAP), the country’s counter-terror plan announced in January 2015.
• A brainchild of all stakeholders, NAP can be evaluated against government's performance on counter-terror front.
• To standardize progress on NAP, a proper implementation mechanism of NAP be charted, including indicators and benchmarks against NAP points, besides adding new points.
• Lacking any long-term measures and impact, all the success marked by NAP may prove temporary. ....
To address militancy holistically, NAP shall be revised, bifurcating in soft and hard components
Policy brief-3 National Dialogue and Social Contract
• This brief summarizes the findings of the third working group on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), which deliberatedupon the need for holding national dialogue(s) to address critical politico-philosophical issues in the country, especially those producing and/or supporting extremism, and whether a revised social contract could provide answers.
• Debates around boundaries of state-religion relations dominate much of the Muslim world, the group said. In Pakistan, however, the debate should not be largely pivoted around the construction of social contract, which we already have, or its revision; instead, the prevailing narrative, which ends up sympathizing with those of the extremists, should be scratched.
• Broadly stating, participants called for shaping a narrative that is accommodative towards all citizens; the narrative should be sourced to the constitution. ....
“National Charter of Peace” be produced to eradicate extremism
Policy brief-2 Reintegration of Militants
• This brief summarizes the findings of the second working group on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), which deliberated upon the mechanism for reintegrating militants willing to shun violence and/or denounce the practice of takfeer(declaring fellow Muslims out of creed of Islam)
. • Skepticism was also expressed of the results of reintegrating militants into society, given that militant ideologies may yet continue to nurture. However, the group agreed that, to tackle militancy in the long run, attempts should be made of adopting soft approaches, exploring the possibility of reintegrating militants or rehabilitating them back in the society.
• The group called for a Pakistan-specific rehabilitation and reintegration model, which takes into account Pakistan’s specific need, especially its democratic ethos. ....
High-powered parliament-endorsed commissions required to review dealing with militant groups
Policy brief-1 Religious Thought and Conflict
This brief summarizes the finding of the first working group on Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE). The group deliberated the mechanism for shaping religion-based narratives against extremists’ violent ideologies. The theme of the group was suggested in the PIPS-proposed CVE model presented in 2016. The group debated what could be done to reduce the appeal of militants who quote their interpretations of religious texts, traditions and precedents from Islamic history to propagate their violent ideologies and justify their actions. It also shared the key contours of the new narrative that counters those held and promoted by the extremists. List of recommendations are also provided....
“Engaging parliament key in shaping religious narrative against extremism”