In a striking revelation, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said that extremism was not rooted in madrasas, but schools and colleges in Pakistan.
According to the minister, the teachers were hired in the 80s and 90s as part of a plot to “basically teach extremism”.
Chaudhry, who was addressing a consultative conference on terrorism in Islamabad, said that the students of “ordinary schools and colleges” had been involved in incidents of extremism in Pakistan and not of madrasas.
Chaudhry added, “You closed their (school and college students’) minds. If you cultivate a society where an opposing view is immediately declared kufr (heresy) … how can you present an opposing view?”
“And if no opposing views are tolerated, how will you bring a soft change (in society)?” the minister asked.
Scholars in Pakistan are afraid of speaking up. The society itself has to rectify the narrative of extremism, claimed the minister.
“We don’t have any potential threat from India. We have the sixth largest army in the world, we are an atomic power, and India cannot compete with us. We face no danger from America. We face no danger from Europe. The biggest danger we face [today] is from within [Pakistan],” added Chaudhry.
(With inputs from agencies)