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Whispers in campus corridors

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14.09.2017

We often think of college and university campuses as places where thoughts flourish and ideas of all kinds mix to create something closer to real-life situations than the more controlled environments most children have experienced within their schools. Over the years, this mingling and the fact that most young people enjoy experimenting with ideas and perhaps rebelling against what they have been conditioned to learn has encouraged unconventional and often liberal ideas to grow on campuses.

We seem to be experiencing a rare condition where this similar experimentation has led to the growth of extremist thought within the classrooms and corridors of our most prestigious institutes of higher learning. In at least five different cases that have been reported within the past two years, those who have either graduated from top universities or are still students at these institutes have been involved with terrorist organisations and, in some cases, have been actively involved in committing crimes. We have a set of examples to prove this.

The 2015 bus attack on Ismailis in Karachi, which killed at least 43 people, was carried out by highly educated individuals who had obviously put the sophisticated plan together on their computers and other devices. We have also heard of the girl who apparently fled her medical college in Hyderabad to link up with an extremist outfit in Lahore and possibly volunteer as a suicide bomber.

More recently, the attack on a major Karachi-based politician has been attributed to a graduate of the city’s largest university. Mashal Khan was killed by educated peers at a university whose charter states that it aims to promote liberal thinking. Several other acts of terrorism, including the murder of a social worker in Karachi and assaults on other activists, have been attributed to university graduates who are, in........

© The News International