India has succumbed to Extremism: COAS
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While addressing a seminar “Role of Youth in Rejecting Extremism” COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that India has imbibed extremist in a way that it has become a norm.

“Hate has been mainstreamed in India and it is distorting their national outlook. The Hindutva extremism of the RSS and their GaoRakshaks, deprivation of Palestinians, the burning and desecration of mosques or gurdwaras in western capitals, the rise of hyper-nationalists, and the monster of racism, are all manifestations of extremism. We can easily say, it is emerging as a transnational phenomenon, hence, warranting a transnational, unified response,” the Army chief said.

The high-handed policies of India in Kashmir are there for all to see. Dissent is quashed away and dissenters are taken to task.

This comes at a time when incidents of religious intolerance are on the rise in India under the BJP government. The high-handed policies of India in Kashmir are there for all to see. Dissent is quashed away and dissenters are taken to task. The statement also comes at a time when ties between both countries are deteriorating by the day, with the Jadhav issue taking center stage.

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General Bajwa accentuated the need to detach religion from extremism and ascribed it to a change in mindset towards intolerance.

He called upon a need to understand extremism in Pakistan’s own context. He said that the West has limited its definition of extremism to “Islamic extremism.”

“It is unfair and dangerous. Unfair, because of its inherent and totally wrong association of extremism with Islam. Dangerous, because it focuses too much attention on Muslim societies and masks the rise of extremism in multiple societies across the world,” he said

Pakistan’s counter-terrorism drive and security threats

General Bajwa hailed the armed forces for achieving something which no one ever did: militarily defeating terrorism. “We, as a nation, have fought the menace of terrorism most valiantly, giving unparalleled sacrifices. Our success is acknowledged the world over,” he said.

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Indeed, the unprecedented success of a standing army against miscreants has been acknowledged by everyone around the world. However, there have been serious question marks on the supplementary efforts in the non-military realms. This issue was addressed by the COAS too.

“Remember, while the Army fights terrorists, terrorism, and extremism is fought by law enforcing agencies and the society.” He said.

This was a very good way to emphasize the need for the “all of nation approach” which has rather been missing. The speech of the COAS also highlighted the need to implement the National Action Plan (NAP). Perhaps, at a time when civil-military relations are dicey, this statement is meaningful as it reminds the government of its equally important responsibility in countering terrorism.

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At a time when a narrative is being spread regarding Pakistan’s complicity in terrorism, these statements were important and needful.

He alluded to the imposition of Hybrid War on Pakistan at a time when the West and the Delhi-Kabul duo accuses Pakistan of destabilizing the region. In no uncertain terms, he mentioned India. “It does not give me pleasure to say that they are being helped actively in their cause by some countries. Indian Leadership has made no secret of his active involvement in proxy struggle in erstwhile East Pakistan and now in Baluchistan; nor are the assertions of some other leaders, any more secret,” he said

Another important point that he delved upon was Pakistan’s refusal to allow terrorists to use its soil, a claim oft-repeated by Washington, Kabul, and Delhi.

“Pakistan has done well in denying terrorists of all hues and colors, any foothold in our territory. We have ensured the writ of State in the farthest and remotest corners of the country. Today there are no safe havens for any miscreants in Pakistan. We are actively taking measure to ensure that even residual presence does not use Pakistan’s soil against any country, nor will we tolerate others doing so against us,” he said.

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At a time when a narrative is being spread regarding Pakistan’s complicity in terrorism, these statements were important and needful. So was the entire content of the speech which called for a comprehensive, sincere and committed effort to end the epidemic of extremism.

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