The number of Pakistani youths joining the dreaded Taliban, responsible for numerous terror attacks inside Pakistan and Afghanistan, has come down over the last three-four years, a peace activist from the neighbouring country said on Thursday.
This encouraging trend is a result of youths being educated about dangers of extremism and also made aware of true teachings of Islam, said the Pakistani activist, Mossarat Qadeem.
"For the last 3-4 years it (the number of youths enrolling with the Taliban as suicide bombers and terrorists) has decreased. Earlier extremists were expanding their base and gaining strength but now people have realised the impact of extremism on themselves and their families," she told.
Qadeem, who works with families of youths who have been radicalised and are at the risk of joining the Taliban, was in Panaji to participate in the 'Women Economic Forum' organised by All Ladies League (ALL).
The Islamabad-based founder of 'Paiman', a voluntary group working with women, said youths are being counselled about the real teachings of Islam, which forbids any kind of violence. "This message has been put across the community and that has helped us."
Qadeem, who has participated in various international fora, spoke at the Goa event where she bemoaned that Islam has been hijacked at the global level.
"If we look globally, the religion has been hijacked and it has become highly politicised," the activist said.
"All religions in the world have three basic features - humanity, peace and love. But a majority of people who believe in these fundamentals are silent," she said, adding, people who act as spokespersons of religion are in a minority.
The five-day long forum, which began today, has attracted delegates from India and abroad. Women who have made a mark in various walks of life like politics, film industry and business are participating in the event.