Pakistan experts: Religiosity fostering rise in militancy

| | Islamabad
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Pakistan experts: Religiosity fostering rise in militancy

Sunday, 28 February 2021 | AP | Islamabad

Terrorists attacks are on the rise in Pakistan amid a growing religiosity that has brought greater intolerance, prompting one expert to voice concern the country could be overwhelmed by religious extremism.

Pakistani authorities are embracing strengthening religious belief among the population to bring the country closer together. But it’s doing just the opposite, creating intolerance and opening up space for a creeping resurgence in militancy, said Mohammad Amir Rana, executive director of the independent Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.

“Unfortunately, instead of helping to inculcate better ethics and integrity, this phenomenon is encouraging a tunnel vision” that encourages violence, intolerance and hate, he wrote recently in a local newspaper.

“Religiosity has begun to define the Pakistani citizenry.” Militant violence in Pakistan has spiked: In the past week alone, four vocational school instructors who advocated for women’s rights were travelling together when they were gunned down in a Pakistan border region.               

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