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Round-table with the Team of Stockwell Green Community Services, UK.

    A six member team of Stockwell Green Community Service (SGCS), based in UK, held a roundtable with the faculty and students of the DSS Department, on May 25, 2010. The topic of the discussion was De-Radicalisation: Perception & Responses of Pakistani Civil Society & Youth. The SGSC has been running various de-radicalization, repatriation and rehabilitative programmes in the UK, in collaboration with European Union which have been evaluated and rated by Middlesex University. These activities center on terror suspects, terrorist & extremist elements, who on completion of their sentences, need to be reintegrated in the societal fabric. The delegation consisted of a mix of academics, practitioners and community lobbyists comprising of Dr. Harald Weilnböck, Alan Weston, Catriona Robertson, A.R. Tanko, Toaha BZ Qureshi and Mr. Arif Malik.

    The visiting delegates apprised the audience of the deradicalization and rehabilitative activities undertaken by the SGSC. Mr. Alan Watson with his vast experience with probation services, talked about the various means and lacuna attached to the successful reintegration of hate crime offenders and terrorists back into the society, the reactions and perceptions of the respective families and social responses. Mr. A R Tanko adding to the debate talked about the critical need to tackle terrorism as well as extremist/ violent radicalized groups and individuals by seeking and addressing the root cause which act as the strongest stimulus, as irrespective of social development, economic conditions and religious beliefs, violent extremists and terrorists are present in every society. Mr. Toaha Qureshi dwelt on the various proactive approaches and strategies applied by SGCS through its various programs, the critical importance for early prevention of the problem and how important it is for both local authorities as well as the community to accept ownership and participate equally to seek a lasting solution. Dr. Harald Weilnböck dwelt on the various approaches to tackle violent extremism and the critical need to take responsibility by the community in seeking a lasting solution to these issues. The discussion that followed the two presentations focused on the negligible role played by the Pakistani civil society in building a comprehension and seeking a solution to the problem. Also that it would be a big anomaly to equate hate crime offenders and terrorists, and such stereotyping further exacerbates violence and terrorism. As the SGCS has been working since 1999, questions were raised regarding how the UK and the institution in particular perceived terrorism prior to September 11 & July 7th London bombings. Further questions with regards measuring the rate of success in such rehabilitative processes, also that a wide difference exists between handling radicalized individuals or affected societies, and this can only be bridged through better governance and top down problem solving approaches.

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Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-051 9064 3076, Email: dss@qau.edu.pk