Lahore, November 13, 2016; On the last day of the first session of Youth Provincial Assembly Punjab, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Governance and Policy, Mr. Raheem Ul Haque conducted an exclusive workshop on Countering Violent Extremism. The workshop explored the various dimensions of radicalization and extremism. In an extremely interactive session, Mr. Haque gave an insightful presentation backed by research and factual data on the causes of radicalization of youth in Pakistan generally, and Punjab especially.
In his discussion with the young Members, Mr. Haque traced the definition of extremism, moved to the types and kinds of extremism prevalent in the society, discussed the implications of each kind and the consequences. Furthermore, he differentiated between extremism of thought and action, and similarly the freedom of expression and freedom of action.
With various examples from contemporary world he explained the reasons behind Pakistan being one of the hotbeds of extremism and terrorism in the 21stcentury by delving into various social and historical perspectives. During the training session, Mr. Raheem Ul Haque compelled the young people to think and question, and encouraged them to disagree with him. He also identified the loss of identity in Punjabi youth especially as one of the leading causes of extremism. He said that the marginalization of Punjab identity and language is creating a void in the psychology of youth that is compelling them to seek refuge in extremist identity narratives. Mr. Haque ended the participatory session with the solutions for de-radicalization namely to engage with people of different identities, to celebrate the local identity and culture, to cultivate acceptance for different opinions, and to respect the dissent of others.
The first session of YPAP ended today with an interaction with the media in the form of media talk. The elected leaders along with the Chairperson, Youth Standing Committee on Information were present at the media briefing session. Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT/Secretary General YPAP and Mr. Faheem Ahmed Khan, Senior Projects Manager were also part of the briefing session. They briefed the media about the major highlights of the session and the Members interaction with the Honourable Speaker, Punjab Assembly along with visits to the public offices.