Senator Sehar Kamran

Religious affinity, geographical proximity, Pakistan’s strategic location and its lead role in promoting the Islamic states’ political and strategic interests as well as continuous efforts by the Pakistani expatriate population to develop infrastructure and other institutions have made it a natural ally of the neighboring Gulf States. Pakistan despite its economic and social problems in recent years remains a close partner. The Gulf countries have both the geo-strategic as well as geo-political interest in Pakistan. Pakistan maintains close military ties with all Gulf States. It provides extensive support, arms and training for the military machines of these countries. The recent Arab spring and subsequent incidents have given a chance for Gulf countries to come closer to Pakistan. On the economic side, Pakistan enjoys formalized bilateral and multilateral relations on trade, security and economic development. It also benefits through remittances coming from its diaspora in the Gulf and also through the Gulf investments towards development projects in Pakistan. The two are huge trade partners. The Strategic Dialogues between GCC and Pakistan, the multilateral Free Trade Agreement and implementation of the Framework Agreement for Economic Cooperation remain top agenda items. The Gulf today is establishing its role as a unified powerful regional bloc and Pakistan stands as a strong, trusted and credible support with most cordial and brotherly relations based on the aspiration and sentiments of their peoples, shared history, religion and cultural affinities.

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By A H Baker
Dec 16, 2012

Historical and Ideological origins of violent extremism in Islam

There is a need to further develop academic discourse around what actually constitutes extremism in Islam in view of the government’s continuing conflation of non-extremist entities with either violent or non-violent extremism. The government appears to have relied upon evidence and advice which apparently lacks sufficient academic rigour upon which to develop a tailored but comprehensive policy that effectively addresses the phenomenon of religious extremism. That is not all. They have failed to identify alternative entities to address the vacuum that has been created by withdrawing funding from groups established to have been successful in countering violent radicalisation in the UK

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