ISLAMABAD, 14 July: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has underscored the need to focus on curriculum and teachers to curb extremism.
“If we don’t pay attention to [the] curriculum and teachers, social problems will increase,” the federal minister said on private news channel on Tuesday.
“Extremism is already high in Pakistan,” he said.
In the Anti-Terrorism Act, personalities are more important than names, he said, replying to a question regarding the ban on the Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan.
“Personalities have been banned under the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act,” he stressed.
“Hence, given the kind of criminal offences attributed to the TLP leadership, changing the name [of their party] will not make any difference.”
Chaudhry said the state made compromises over petty interests in the past. “And, we forgot that if groups become stronger than the state, the country cannot run,” he noted.
The first condition of the state is that no one but the state has the power to use force, he said. “But, we digressed from this basic principle in the past courtesy different reasons and had to pay its price. And, [if we repeat the mistake,] we will incur its due cost in the present as well,” warned the federal minister.
He said it is PTI’s continuous struggle to reinstate this principle and that the government has quite successfully restored it.
“Political parties are not the issue,” he said, replying to a question. “Every political party has some conservative voices that have a negative approach owing to the prevalent syllabus being taught in the country,” he said.
Chaudhry expressed concerns over Malala Yousufzai’s picture being removed from the Punjab textbook board’s books and pay attention to curriculum and teachers. He said that when he dug into the matter, he came to know that the Punjab Assembly has formed a certain board to look into such matters.
Chaudhry took a jibe at the board, saying that those who have not read a single book in their life would now decide the future of Punjab’s children.
He continued that even before this, strange decisions were made in Punjab as they banned such books which are taught and quoted in the world’s top universities.
The federal minister said removing Malala’s image is not a problem of a political party, instead, it is a reflection of the division in society.
“It is quite unfortunate that this division exists,” he added.
Citing the Punjab government’s decision to remove a chapter on reproduction, Chaudhry said that in this way, we will mentally cripple the next generation.
Reacting to the removal of Malala’s book from the Peshawar University, Chaudhry stressed that governments should not bow to such things as decisions like this will make Pakistan lose the space it snagged while fighting an anti-terrorism war and that it will ultimately create a more conservative atmosphere in the country.