Despite a commendable initiative by the government to combat militancy by targeting schools, madrasas and mosques, lethargic implementation has reduced it to a forgotten official circular. A government campaign, launched under the Militancy Resistance and Prevention Committee 2009, aims to motivate teachers and imams to educate people to resist militant ideology. From a report in this paper we understand that the education ministry has issued several circulars asking schools to hold assemblies regularly to brief students on militancy. The Islamic Foundation, moreover, has already trained at least 84,000 imams, says the report, so that they give sermons on the evils of extremism.
But such efforts have done precious little as most teachers and imams are yet to follow the prescription of the campaign. There is a huge gap between the instructions given out by the Committee and the actual implementation on the ground. Many teachers and imams either are not aware of the existence of the government directives or are unenthusiastic about following them. In fact, there is general ignorance among the public regarding this well-intentioned campaign.
It goes without saying that the scourge of terrorism cannot be combated without the participation of the general public. And it is the schools and madrasas that militant elements often target to spread their extremist ideologies. The campaign, therefore, must be given greater publicity through the print and electronic media. Imams and teachers must be given clear direction so that they acknowledge the importance of their role in imbibing anti-militancy sentiments. All this will be possible only if the strategies of the campaign are followed through by rigorous monitoring of schools, mosques and madrasas.