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Pakistani daily warns against extremism in universities

Islamabad: There is plenty of evidence that “a radical mindset (is) taking root in Pakistan’s higher institutes of learning”, a Pakistani newspaper said on Monday.

“The internet has made it even easier for extremist elements to ensnare naive, impressionable young people, including women,” the Dawn said in an editorial.

“A case in point is Noreen Leghari, an MBBS student from Hyderabad, who was arrested in April on suspicion of being involved in terrorism; she later confessed she was to be used as a suicide bomber.

“Aside from educational institutions, families too must be made aware of the warning signs which indicate that their younger generation is on the path to embracing a dangerous Manichaean ideology,” the daily said.

The editorial said that for a long time it was held that militants in Pakistan usually came from Islamic seminaries or were illiterate and belonged to an impoverished background.

But the conviction of Saad Aziz, a graduate of one of Pakistan’s top business schools, for a massacre and rights activist Sabeen Mahmud’s murder shows “the militant landscape in Pakistan has evolved considerably”.

While the savage violence carried out by Saad Aziz may be an exception, “there are umpteen indications of a radical mindset taking root in Pakistan’s higher institutes of learning”, the daily said.

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Pakistani daily warns against extremism in universities