From Polarization Towards Extremism – Pakistan’s Gradual Progression

Hassan Saleem Awan @hsawan
February 05, 2023

Polarization is a global phenomenon. Along political, ethnic, religious, sectarian, linguistic, and cultural lines — it has eroded social cohesion and heightened tensions and mistrust.

It is propelling the country into an abyss of extremism. Polarization originates from historical tensions, the absence of a shared national identity and common goals and a strong binding force while political exploitation, manipulation and economic inequality are the factors that accelerate this propelling.

These divisions, characterized by deep-rooted feelings of mistrust, animosity, deprivation, oppression, and hostility between different groups and localities are, certainly, leading to increased conflicts and violence within. For the last 75 years, the people of Pakistan has nothing to talk about except religion and politics.

This limited, narrow and myopic exposure has resulted in reduced cultural awareness, impaired critical thinking, limited emotional development (collective emotional sustainability) and seriously diminishing patience and tolerance levels.

Pakistan’s gradual progression towards extremism from polarization has added a new dimension to the threat matrix of our national security with grave and serious implications for the achievement of stability, sustainability and development of the country.

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