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Susceptibility to Radicalization and Violence among the Youth in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

By: Syed Sami Raza

Abstract
Radicalization, sectarianism, and violence have affected the youth more than any other
age groups in district Dera Ismail Khan. The district had a peaceful and diverse
community until late 1990s. Its residents came from diverse ethnic, religious, and
sectarian backgrounds. Sectarianism and later terrorism disturbed the much-cherished
peace and diversity of the district. The War on Terror, the operations in Waziristan, the
arrival of IDPs, and local politics based on religious and sectarian lines increased youth’s
susceptibility to radicalization and marred the peace and diversity in the district. The
government’s counter radicalization strategy was largely based in panel law enforcement.
On the other hand, there is considerable scope for community level involvement for
countering radicalization among the youth. There is need to empower the youth as active
participants to counter the radical narratives, and to check their susceptibility to violence.
Accordingly, there is need for investments in their institutional capacity building.
Key words: Radicalization, Sectarianism, violence, youth, War on Terror, DIKhan.