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Air Commodore (R) Khalid Iqbal

Air Commodore (R) Khalid Iqbal holds Master’s degrees in Political Science, Strategic Studies and Business Administration. He is former Assistant Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force. During his stint with the air force, he commanded two squadrons, a wing and a base. He was member of directing Staff at PAF Air War College, Karachi; an Instructor and Squadron Commander at Combat Commanders’ School. He has served as Director Policy, Senior Staff Officer, Deputy Chief Inspector of the PAF and member of National Air Defence Committee. He participated in operational assignments during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and has travelled widely in FATA/PATA areas.

He has also served in the UAE Air Force and Air Defence as a Squadron Commander for two years. He is a fellow of PAF Air War College and a member of the visiting faculty of Pakistan Naval War College, PAF Air War College and the School of Army Air Defence. He is former chairman of the Advisory Board of the ‘National Defence Times’ (2009-10) and is a member of the Advisory Board of a leading current affairs’ blog: ‘Opinion Maker’. He is on the panel of experts of ‘Spearhead Research’, and a member of the National Academic Council, Institute of Policy studies Islamabad. His Air Force honors and awards include Tamgha-e- Imtiaz, a Professional Excellence badge and a number of commendation certificates and letters of appreciation. He is a member of adjunct faculty of Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad (Department of Defence and Strategic Studies).

He writes a weekly syndicated column for leading english newspapers of Pakistan and contributes to various research periodicals. He appears on a number on national and international TV and radio channels as a national and international security and current affairs’ analyst. He participates in national and international conferences and seminars pertaining to his areas of interest and is member of various consultative groups. His areas of interest include International Security, Nuclear Non-proliferation, disarmament, war studies, extremism & terrorism, human resource management, strategic studies, International Affairs and Leadership.

Chair, distinguishes guests, ladies and gentlemen Assalam o Alaikum and Good Morning. First of all I thank Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) for organizing an international seminar on this topic of immense contemporary interest and inviting me to speak.

During prevalent environment of terrorism, primary focus is on meeting the immediate objectives of national security through application of hard power; the route cause of terrorism—-the proliferation of radicalism and the associated causes — have attracted only periphery attention. Result is akin to lawn moving, radicals are able to keep pace in replacing the dead terrorists.

De-radicalization essentially means de-programming the extremists individually and collectively. While radicalization is virulent; it spreads fast, like wildfire, de-radicalization is a slow and painstaking process, analogous to one step forward and two backwards.  It is tedious yet doable. Many nations have been through the pangs of radicalization, and most of them were able to implement meaningful de-radicalization programmes successfully.  It requires political will, perseverance and a composite state-societal effort.  In about 20 minutes or so I shall dilate upon some aspects of de-radicalization as shown on the screen.