“NACTA is in pursuit of the vision and dream of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and that is to provide security, safety and freedom of speech, freedom of religious practices, a society free of hatred, tolerant and have free will to vote and choose democratic governments of its own choice, and that every individual of Pakistan regardless of creed, class and color should have the freedom to exercise his basic rights under constitutional freedom.” Barrister Zafar Ali, the Federal Minister for Information was talking to the participants of NACTA’s 2-Day National Youth Conference on “Countering Violent Extremism on Campuses”, which concluded here today the 12th July, 2018 at Islamabad.
Earlier; National Coordinator NACTA Dr. Suleman thanked participants of the Conference from all over Pakistan, amongst them were Vice Chancellors, Faculty Members, Students of various educational and vocational institutes including some of the prominent Madrasas and faculty members of more than 25 Universities, He applauded NACTA officers’ efforts for conducting such a successful conference. Dr. Suleman also thanked Media for covering the event for two consecutive days.
The Chairman Higher Education Commission, Mr. Tariq Bunori also present in the concluding session of the said National Youth Conference and shared his views on development of hate free and tolerant environment in our educational institutions. “I whole heartedly support the idea to interact and connect students of various backgrounds, especially the interaction between students of traditional modern educational institutes and students of madrasas through various curricular and extra-curricular activities, like NACTA has taken this initiative, I salute NACTA on executing such a brilliant idea”, Chairman HEC added.
Major Recommendations of the National Youth Conference to the government were:-
- Pakistan’s Legal Framework on Preventing Incitement to Violence.
The Government should do:-
- Make all counter terrorism & counter extremism legislation a Federal subject. Consolidate legal provisions scattered in different statutes such as PPC, PECA, ATA, PEMRA Act into one law with a single investigation agency to deal with the offences related to incitement to violence & hate speech
- Bring Khatibs of mosques on the pay roll of the government on specific criteria and regulate Friday sermons
- Revise university curriculum & include a compulsory course on laws related to incitement to violence and hate speech
- Reflect all legal provisions on incitement to violence and hate speech in the university prospectus and the affidavits furnished at the time of admission
- Peace-building through On-Campus Extracurricular Activities.
HEC and ITMP should:
- Promote diversity through inland study tour programs, which should include visits to diverse cultures, religious communities and places of worship
- Introduce a system of academic incentives to promote extra-curricular activities in educational institutions
- Set up robust career planning and psychological counselling programs in educational institutions.
- Encourage civil society to hold on campus events for promotion of art & culture to build tolerance for diversity.
- Promoting University-Madrasah Interaction
HEC and ITMP should:
- Introduce Madrasah-University interaction programs, including academic exchange programs
- Remove impediments for Madaris students who want to join mainstream educational institutions on the basis of agreed equivalence formula
- Introduce compulsory contemporary subjects in Madrassah curriculum
- Launch programs for joint social work, sports, cultural and arts activities
- Impact of Social Media & On-line Content on Youth
- Define and classify what constitutes online extremism
- Map emerging behavior patterns on social media and community networks
- Design and implement digital link between HEC & relevant LEAs to patrol digital space for identifying online extremist content
- Increase the momentum of art and cultural content in the digital space
- Exploring Causes of Violence and Types of Extremism In Youth
- Promote inclusive dialogue in educational institutions on religious, political and social themes
- Establish early risk assessment mechanism in educational institutions
- Share diverse views of history
- Implement research-based educational system, that promotes freedom of expression and critical thinking
- Review state policies through dialogue and establish a feedback mechanism to the government
- Improve communication gap between parents, teachers and students
- Role of Faculty and Student Forums in Countering Intolerance and Extremism
- Build capacity of faculty to identify youth vulnerability towards intolerance & extremism
- Establish Inter-Campus Study Circles (ICSC) to promote culture of tolerance and social debate among the students
- Create Group Discussion Forums (GDF) on campuses to specifically engage students on CVE issues
- Design & implement standardized programs for CVE awareness in educational institutions
- Introduce core courses on ethics and humanities in all Universities/Madaris
- Ideological Imprint of Extremist Organizations in Educational Institutions
- Encourage tolerance as a main theme in co-curricular & extra-curricular activities
- Prohibit vigilantism as a social tendency/accepted practice
- Promote use of dialogue, discourse, discussion and other nonviolent means of learning
- Ban grouping of students on ethnic, political and religious basis
- Drug Abuse in Campuses & Role of Campus Administration and LEAs
- Establish mental health and substance abuse centres in educational institutions
- Design and implement evidence based awareness & prevention programs on drug/substance abuse
- Engage all stakeholders i.e. scholars, politicians, parents & faculty to counter drug abuse
- Role of Female Faculty & Students in Countering Extremism
- Increase female voices on peace, security and CVE, both on and off-campus
- Implement specialized mandatory courses and create research opportunities on gender, violence, peace, security & VE issues
- Teach Islamic concepts of tolerance, ethics & values through female voices
- Increase spaces and opportunities for female faculty and students in madaris
- Design and implement need-based capacity building/training programs for female faculty on CVE
- Exploring Inter-University Coordination for Promoting CVE Research
- Design and implement research framework on peacebuilding and CVE
- Initiate inter-university and university-madrassah CVE research dialogue to engage students and faculty on both sides