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Determinants of Radicalization and Militancy amongst the Youth in Pakistan

Tehmina Aslam1, Ashfaq U. Rehman2 & Farhat Ullah3

Radicalisation has been a problem for Pakistan from the earliest days of its existence. However, after the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Pakistan’s joining hands with the West and the Arab World in backing the Jihad against the former USSR, the society was in the throes of radicalisation and militancy. The youth has been hurt the most in terms of both actors and victims. The study aims to identify the key factors that can be attributed to inducing radicalisation and infusing militancy amongst the Pakistani youth and examine their role in violent extremism to devise the means for its control in Pakistan. Qualitative case study-based interviews have been conducted with de-radicalised former militants. The study exudes three main findings: first, the state remains ignorant of the movement of the radicalised youth; second, the state has launched various phases of anti-terrorist operations. Third, the state is unable to discourage militant organisations from recruiting the youth for militant training. The conclusion is that the confluence of societal dogma and extremist (religious) ideologies offered significant resistance against preventing violent extremism.

Keywords: Terrorism, Radicalisation, Radicalised Youth, War on Terror,
Extremism, Militancy, Violent Extremism, Countering Violent