Sindh Minister for Mines & Mineral Development Mir Shabir Ali Bijarani has said that in present day geographical confines, Sindh Province which has long been known for its progressive politics, religious tolerance, pluralism and vibrant civil society unfortunately, like other parts of Pakistan, Sindh has undergone change and is no more immune to the security challenges.
He added that the biggest challenge that we face today is of rising extremism. The Provincial Minister expressed these view while addressing as chief guest at an “Awareness Session on Preventing Violent Extremism” organized by National Counter Terrorism Authority (NECTA) here at Local hotel.
The Minster said that Violent Extremism (VE) such as mob violence, propaganda, intolerance, vigilante justice towards religious minorities is a consistent threat to peace and order in the society. Bijarani said that in recent days the changing geopolitical dynamics of the region has also posed new challenges to our peace.
Enemy, within, and from outside, is hell bent to destroy our peace by exploiting the differences of opinion among various schools of thought which can otherwise be settled through peaceful dialogue.
He said that the Government of Sindh is actively implementing NAP (National Action Plan) under the Provincial Apex Committee framework and has conducted 26 Provincial Apex Committee meetings, the most by any province, with tangible outcomes.
Government of Sindh has taken remarkable steps to curb violent extremism. Hundreds of fiery speakers have been arrested on account of violation of Sindh Sound System Act, 2015; innumerable hate speeches and written material has been confiscated; wall chalking has been erased; cases of violence against religious minorities have been reduced to a great extent and so on.
Besides, The Provincial Assembly of Sindh has taken a lead role among all the provincial assemblies in enacting laws that would provide a comforting environment to religious minorities and to promote harmony and peaceful co-existence among different communities.
The Minister underlined the need to make a collective effort by all the stakeholders in understanding the dynamics of the problem as short -sighted approach only empowers and emboldens the anti-state outfits.
He added that the people of Pakistan deserve a smart and strong CVE policy based on zero tolerance of human rights abuses.
He disclosed that to ensure the success of extremism prevention strategies, the Provincial Apex Committee, in its 25th meeting had directed the Information Department, Government of Sindh to prepare a Counter Violent Extremism policy.
“It is also worth highlighting that no effort at countering and preventing violent extremism is successful without involving society as implementation partner.
A nation-wide consensus is required by all the stakeholders to deal with this home-grown problem and to promote social cohesion and peace building in Pakistan,” he concluded.