ONCE again, as the state rolls up its sleeves to rid society of militancy, plans beyond the conventional security operations are under the spotlight. And this includes figuring out how to deal with militants.
In this regard, words such as ‘deradicalisation’ are being bandied about; but it is hard to figure out what the specific plans or strategies are. The information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, is one of the few to provide any details — he has said that it is to be a three-step strategy. The first will be to disarm the groups; the second to help them get jobs and interest-free loans; and the third will be to integrate them into society.
Other news reports quote unnamed officials as saying the militants could be accommodated in the paramilitary forces.
There has been criticism of this idea of integration, instead of punishment, as it is argued that militants should be punished for crimes, instead of being facilitated into society. But while this has its merits, punishment cannot be the only solution.