De-Radicalization: Non-Kinetic Approach To Combat Terrorism
De-radicalization does not necessarily means renouncing violence and denouncing the violent ideology. It is rehabilitation, reintegration and deterring recidivism of individual who has been actively involved in hard core terrorist activities.
Counter violent extremism (CVE) is part of de-radicalization endeavours. De-radicalization is a process through which individuals abandon violent extremist worldviews, renounce violence to bring about social change, and accept more incremental political pluralism.
The extermination of terrorism requires hard and soft measures as well and deradicalization is non-kinetic approach to deal with the terrorism in all forms and manifestations.
Terrorism is menace that has ravaged the fabric of societies. The best practices of any country are the elixir to fight against extremism and obscurantism. Political will, steadfastness and unstinted support of society is pre-requisite to exercise De-radicalization. Pakistan is at the cross-roads when religious extremism is thriving day by day and the scourge of terrorism has engulfed the whole Pakistan. Pakistan needs to formulate its home-grown de-radicalization policy to combat the militancy and extremism.
States formulated “De-radicalization programmes” aimed at equipping and building capacity of tradition security forces to counter and combating ideological underpinnings and roots violent extremism and terrorism. These de-radicalization orientated programmes at the first place try to hit the narrative of extremism and help less radicalized persons to recant and abandon their violent ideologies; by creating doubts and misgiving within the hierarchy of terrorist organization, rehabilitation of imprisoned and immured terrorists and to mitigate and allay the fears of society and salvaging them of their social deprivations and thwarting the narrative of terrorists by propagating counter balanced narrative to rectify their ideological doings.
There are six de-radicalization programmes; successfully adopted in Pakistan: The Sabaoon rehabilitation Center, Mishal, Sparley, Rastoon, Pythom, and Heila. The outstanding goal of the first three is to inculcate religious training among the detainees. The correction of misguided notions relating to religion, religious counselling, imparting vocational training and reconstruction of Madaris curriculum and increasing sense of peaceful way of living, pragmatic religious discourse and discussion paradigm to address the socio-religious affairs and sensitization to militant’s families.
The rehabilitation project of army namely Mishal, which ran by the Pakistan Army in Swat, focused its endeavours towards adult detainees. Project Sparlay dealt with the aggrieved families. The job security consolidated by rehabilitation programmes. Limited assistance in finding jobs provided by the Pakistani authorities. The main focus of the de-radicalization programmes is to justify the militants act to the confinement of radicalized elements and inclusion into mainstream society.
There are myriad international de-radicalization and rehabilitation programmes across the globe. Saudi-Arabia commenced a successful programme by the name of “prevention, Rehabilitation and After-care programmes (PRAC)”. Indonesia’s programme put an emphasis on altering the ideologies of incarcerated terrorists through the good offices of penitent Jihadists. The atoned Jihadists approached their comrades in the jails and convinced them of renouncing their radicalized practices.
In Turkey, Social outreach programme of Counter Terrorism Department is also a success story. In Singapore, the renowned religious scholars did their efforts in producing counter narrative and helped terrorist in recanting their violent ideologies. Yemen’s de-radicalization programme comprised mainly of ideological debate between clerics and detainees. The predominant feature of the programme is establishing the legitimacy of Yemeni regime and thwarting violence within Yemen. The drawback of all de-radicalization efforts is largely lackadaisical efforts to reduce recidivism rate and after-care strategies for released participants.
Therefore, it is imperative to initiate a de-radicalization offensive in Pakistan to get rid of distorted narrative of aggression and repression. The host community must be sensitized about the rigours of militants and help society embracing the reformed militants as normal and respected citizen. Religious dialogue is imperative to counter radical ideologies and disinfect the militants from extremist underpinnings.
There is a strong need to develop and tailor all-embracing De-radicalization programme keeping in view the topography, geography, ideology, modus operandi, financing, ambit of influence, skewed rhetoric, alliances, age and scale of radicalism. It is high time to assess the de-radicalization programme, value the recidivism rates and allow for access to the data and measures so far taken in connection with de-radicalization and de-militarized the society. Linkage between inputs and output are essential to evaluate the strength and weakness of de-radicalization programmes.
Inter-state cooperation is fulcrum in the development of rehabilitation programmes. The successful policy making and its smooth implementation is the natural corollary of solid and result-orientated dialogue with stake-holders. Swat De-radicalization Model has remained very successful to help terrorists to renounce their misguided violent ideology.
The process of De-radicalization should be continued through the involvement of CTD, NACTA, Law enforcement agencies and Army. There is strong need to replicate the SWAT Model to keep fighting against menace of terrorism and militancy. De-radicalization efforts should be perennial with the inflow of mammoth resources and undaunted political will. – PUNA