Encountering ‘Terrorism’ through ‘Sufism’: Institutional Analysis of “The National Council for the Promotion of Sufism, Pakistan”
The New World Order after September 11, 2001, changed not only the course of American history but impacted many other nations of the world, most significant among them was Pakistan, a close ally and neighbor of the Taliban-led Afghanistan. Pakistan under the military-led government of General Pervez Musharraf witnessed a wave of terrorism incidents all over the country due to its earlier support of Jihad against the foreigners during Soviet war and under pressure from America renamed them from 'jihadi' to 'terrorist'. General Pervez Musharraf's government terrorism took several steps providing the army with the latest equipment, increasing the security of government installations, and further establishing a state institution namely "The National Council for the Promotion of Sufism" in 2006 to counter the ideology behind the terrorism. This institution remained functional until the end of Musharraf's government and his predecessor Asif Ali Zardar's government renamed it as Sufi Advisory Council. This paper while going through its working procedures, profiles of its members, and activities performed by this institution available in media and archives will attempt to reveal the goals of this institution and its impacts on Pakistani society. It concludes that the doctrine of Sufism for a traditional Pakistani society could have been more effectively used to encounter the ideology behind the terrorism but the will of the government seems dubious in using it for the stated purposes.
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