Peace talks will not suffice... By Raweeha
25 October, 2013
While most of us believed negotiations to be the only way to rid ourselves of the quagmire we are trapped in, things did not turn out according to plan. The latest reports suggest that September 2013 happened to be the deadliest month of the year, with nearly 1,048 lives lost as a result of violence-related incidents. Peshawar and its surrounding areas in particular witnessed some of the deadliest attacks. Perhaps one of the very few options left for us now is to empower local actors in order to counter these violent trends. Mass awareness on radicalisation and associated ills is by all means the only way forward. A coordinated response involving relevant national actors will deliver the desired results. First of all, we need to stand up and do all we can under the rule of law to put an end to, or at least minimise, sectarianism and hateful words. Discrimination, in every form, towards any social, cultural or religious group has to be eliminated. We must broaden our views and embrace diversity.
Secondly, social and economic marginalisation has to be defeated. The ongoing economic crisis has weakened our social fabric, while a substantial number of people are compelled to survive below the poverty line. Unemployment is rampant and some of these unemployed are easy targets for recruitment by extremist groups. Part of the solution lies in creating equal opportunities for all and a justice system that is fair and efficient. Lastly, there is an immense need to rebuild the public's trust in political institutions. Undoubtedly, the frustration and disappointment amongst the masses towards state institutions is also responsible for the present situation. Although these measures may seem difficult to take, it is never too late to take the first step towards betterment. Besides dialogue, a more extensive counter-mechanism is required today more than ever before.