islamabad-The extremist elements inducted in the society for vested interests of global powers could only be eliminated with integrated and vibrant awareness on indigenous folk culture and heritage, speakers said on Tuesday.

Pakistan National Council of the Arts Director General Syed Jamal Shah while speaking at the first Islamabad International Counter Terrorism Forum on Tuesday said the inclusive cultural narrative would help reshape our society as a peaceful place for all segments.

The national cultural policy is yet be tabled in the parliament for approval even after it was finalized two years earlier. It shows the lack of priority of the government for its cultural cohesiveness.

He said our land is blessed with the diversity of cultural and folk heritage while the state has shown its total negligence over the potential of cultural heritage to dwell upon for a peaceful society. The unwise decisions have disillusioned the youth that is about 65 per cent of the total population. The detracted youth would not be able to deliver according to the national expectations.

Aisha Hamid, an education expert, said the misinterpretation of Islamic teachings has segregated the society into different minor groups fighting for the social spaces by undermining the value of inclusiveness.

The non-objective education is leading youth to nowhere. We need to understand the curriculum and syllabus reflecting the national aspirations.

Ali Qasmi, another educationist, said the nationalization of Islam in a country of diverse religions has created state of confusion for the masses. The dictatorship led to religious segregation for their vested interests and to oblige their international partners.

The NACTA chief observed that the situations in the countries around us shaped the regional environment “We cannot isolate ourselves from the situation in Afghanistan.” He, however, said that fencing of the border with Afghanistan would make a difference.

He said intelligence reports suggested that Pakistan was targeted by the terrorists who used the Afghan territory, while there were also reports about the involvement of Afghan refugees in terrorist activities.

Under the Nacta Act, the authority had seven main functions to perform ,collect and disseminate data and intelligence and coordinate with all stakeholders for formulation of threat assessment, coordinate counterterrorism and extremism strategies, develop action plan against terrorism and extremism, carry out research on topics relevant to terrorism and extremism, liaison with international entities in areas relating to terrorism, review relevant laws and suggest amendments to the government, and appoint committees of experts from government and non-government organisations for deliberations in areas related to terrorism.