Religious Extremism (Sectarianism) and Civil Society in Pakistan, Post 9/11

Dr Naumana Kiran1

1Department Of History, University Of The Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Religious extremism is one of the core issues in the way of a stable Pakistan. This paper will focus how sectarianism, a dimension of religious extremism, is rising since 1980s in our society? What role Civil Society (CS) should have played in softening the rising tide of sectarianism and why CS is still not successful in this regard. It will further seek how mutual efforts of the State and the CS can improve the situation in short span of time. The research will find that the CS, in Pakistan, has taken a bit longer time to establish itself on reasonably good standing and then, gradually realized about its responsibility to deal with the phenomenon of religious extremism. Further, it will discover that CS and the government had sometimes come into conflicting relationship as it had happened in case of de-radicalization efforts of radical individuals of Swat in 2007; Global Peace Council, working locally was distrusted and not acknowledged after the start of Operation Rah-i Huq. Some agencies are trying individually but such efforts are still not very productive in front of deep-routed madrasah institution which has been proved as a major source of spreading sectarianism in Pakistan. Quantitative and qualitative research techniques will be applied to reach at the true conclusions.


Dr. Naumana Kiran, Associate Professor, had competed her doctorate in Pakistan Studies in 2013 from University of the Punjab. She had been awarded with the “Indigenous Ph.D. Fellowship by Higher Education Commission Batch-V. 2008.” She is serving the department of History and Pakistan Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore. She has published several research articles in national and international journals on the themes of Institution of the Federal Cabinet, role of common Muslims in Pakistan Movement including Women, students, low-income groups of urban and rural areas, violence against women during partition and migration process in 1947 and many others. She has presented a number of papers in international conferences on History, South Asia, Asia and Women leadership in various countries of the world including India, Malaysia, Turkey, UK, Australia and America. She has presented her research work in many conferences, held in Pakistan, too. Her research papers have also been published in Conference proceedings also. Her book The Federal Cabinet of Pakistan: Formation and Working, had been published from Oxford University Press in 2016.
She has performed her duty as Student adviser, Incharge Departmental library, Coordinator M. Phil Program besides teaching to Masters, M. Phil and Ph, D levels. Currently, she is controller of Examination at Departmental level and has been serving as secretary of the Faculty at the department of History since 2006. She is head examiner, additional head examiner and sub-examiner of graduate and post graduate level. She is also member of various professional and academic organizations. She has supervised and is currently supervising various thesis of M. Phil and Ph.D level. Her areas of interest are Socio-Cultural life of Muslims in Early Muslim India, Pakistan Movement, Punjab Politics in Colonial and Modern Era, Historical contributions of unprivileged classes and groups of society in the Pakistan Movement, Contribution of Women in Indo-Pak History, History of Pakistan Movement and Pakistan and Politics of Pakistan and Study of Institutions.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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