In the lynching case of Priyantha Kumara, the Sri Lankan citizen, more than 90 percent of the suspects belonged to the age group of 18 to 20 years. Similar patterns have been witnessed in most such cases. In Mian Channu near Khanewal, the crowd that lynched a man comprised mostly youth in their 20s and 30s. Essentially, this is also the failure of our educational system that has not nurtured a tolerant youth. In fact, our educational system with its overwhelming religious and sectarian leanings has imparted not harmony and tolerance but self-righteousness that produces a violent and obstinate youth that is drowning in its own bloodlust.
The ministries of human rights, education, and religious affairs need to take up this challenge seriously. Law-enforcement authorities cannot do much on their own if the state does not tackle the root cause of this problem. There are multiple stakeholders in this issue and no isolated approach will be successful. If our different agencies, departments, and ministries keep working in silos without any direct engagement with our youth, no strategy is likely to succeed. To promote harmony and tolerance in society all forums must be utilised from educational institutions to religious pulpits and from electronic media to social platforms. And as we talk of a Single National Curriculum, we need to include within that curriculum lessons which promote the idea of unity and tolerance within the country, rather than a resort to violence on the smallest pretext. The way the young citizen of Pakistan thinks and reacts has to change. If we cannot manage that, then we are in for a very difficult future.