The University of Okara organized a seminar titled ‘Radicalization of Youth: Challenge for Pakistani Universities’ where the Governor Punjab, Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar, vice-chancellors of various universities, senior academicians and journalists discussed the causes of the increasing radical behaviours among youth and suggest solutions to this vice.

Governor Punjab was the Chief Guest of the event. Addressing the seminar, he said that the problems like radicalization must be discussed on the forums of universities and civil society and, in this regard, the role of the Okara University was commendable.

He further told, “We should adopt the habit of listening to differing viewpoints. When a nation resorts to radicalization at large, there is no way for it to prosper.”

In his welcome note, the UO’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Muhammad Zakria Zakar, said, “The roots of the rising radicalization in youth are in our socialization process and our universities are facing a big challenge in this regard because youth is nurtured there.” “Radicalization is not only a problem of law and order, but its solution rests in the correction of our social behaviours”, he added.

The VC, Government College University Lahore, Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, told that in order to mitigate radicalization, there was a dire need to promote healthy co-curricular and extracurricular activities in the educational institutions.

The VC Jhang University, Prof Dr Shahid Munir, said that radicalization in the Pakistani society grew as a result of the Afghan war and its further causes included political unrest and social injustice.

The VC, University of Health Sciences, Prof Dr Javed Akram, argued that it was necessary to take care of the mental health of the youth in order to fix the problem of radicalization. The former Chairman, Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), Dr Nizam-u-Din, said that we could harness the youth radicalization into positive energy and use it for the betterment of the society.

The Ombudsperson Punjab, Nabila Khan, was of the view that the factors like a weak educational system, socio-economic differences and unavailability of a national curriculum were the main causes of radicalization.

The other speakers of the seminar included senior journalists, Salman Abid and Sajjad Meer, senior advocate, Abdullah Malik, Director Punjab University’s School of Communication Studies, Prof Dr Nosheena Saleem, Dean PU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Dr Rubeena Zakar, Dean PU’s Faculty of Information & Media Studies, Prof Dr Khalid Mehmood, renowned columnists, Dr Mujahid Mansoori, prominent religious scholar, Dr Raghib Naeemi, and Naeem Masood.

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