May 9 Black Day: Pakistani Youth, the Vandalism and the Policy of Pardon

DND Thought CenterMay 9 Black Day: Pakistani Youth, the Vandalism and the Policy of...

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on March 27, 2023, announced a crackdown on the anti-social behavior of youth and said that the youth would be tried and get punishment if involved in anti-social behavior within days after committing the crime.


He believes that the anti-social behavior of youth undermines the basic right of people to feel safe in the place they call home. He said that offenders will be made to wear high-vis vests or jumpsuits and work under supervision, could be made to pick up litter, remove graffiti and wash police cars as punishment for their actions, and victims of antisocial behavior from the local community will be given a say in offenders’ punishments to ensure justice is visible and fits the crime.

These strict actions announced by the British PM may work or may not work in the future but it indicates how much anti-social behavior of youth is being taken seriously in Europe while in Pakistan large strata of society including officers (lawyers) of the courts and the courts are taking a lean view about the vandalization of youth during May 9, 2023, historic disaster. A political party and its followers as well as a group of intelligential comprising writers, journalists, and academicians are continuously trying to justify the actions of youth against the state and the vandalism Pakistani youth showed to the entire world.

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell once commented, “As usual in philosophy, the first difficulty is to see that the problem is difficult.”

It is a known fact that the injection of hatred among youth against their state through indoctrination is a proven tool of propaganda and had been used extensively against states and nations. The prime example one can take from the tools Chanakya used to apply to the youth of enemies. He was the philosopher, the teacher, the guide, and the mentor of King Chandragupta Maurya whose empire extended as far as Central Asia. Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya overthrew the Nanda Empire in 322 BC then they rapidly expanded power westwards across central and western India and by 317 BC the empire had fully occupied northwestern India.

Boesche, Roger while referring to writings of Greek historians in his book “Kautilya’s Arthasastra on War and Diplomacy in Ancient India” stated that the Mauryan Empire was raised out of the excellent strategy of propaganda executed by Chanakya and his student Chandragupta for overthrowing the well-established, consolidated, and strong Nanda Empire. Through the propaganda, Chanakya injected fear, hopelessness, and a trust deficit between the population and the Royal family of the Nanda Empire.

Book 10 of Arthahastra deals with strategies of war. It classifies war into – open, covert, and silent.  It specifies how to engage in these wars and detect if one is a target of a covert or silent war.

An academic paper titled “Similarities and Differences between Military Thoughts of Sun Tzu And Kautilya” discusses Chanakya’s strategy in detail and core points raised in the paper include:

Create trust deficit among social groups and develop fault lines in the society of enemy. Spread rumors and hopelessness among the population before actually attacking the enemy. Promote the idea that opponents are corrupt and selfish and they must be removed.

Since political poisoning of youth had been a tested approach so Greek philosophers had been writing over this issue and were of the view that skepticism must be purged because this would later or sooner bring dejection and radicalization among Greek youth. Greek philosopher Socratic gave a method to such a subject and stated that “the net result is to substitute articulate hesitation for inarticulate certainty”, therefore he encouraged dialogue with youth about their identity and their conduct towards the State. Philosopher Plato who was a student of Socrates wrote several books on the subject of “State and Civilians”. Plato’s Apology is a prime example of Socrates defining citizenship. Few of us know that Socrates was of the view that “If you can’t think for yourself, someone else will”. He was of the view that youth must have the power of positive thinking otherwise youth can be a hostage to someone else. In Pakistan, unfortunately, to say that political discourse among youth had been denied and barred for the last 40 that is why our youth has become blind followers of others. Sometimes our youth is taken away by radicalized religious elements (Ref. TTP) and sometimes social orators (motivational speakers), religious inspirational speakers (religious clerks), and sometimes confused political discourses like the PTI got control of our youth.  To save the youth from detachers, Aristotle argues that to be considered a citizen then you were required to be directly involved in public political affairs and this is a civil duty instead of civil liberty.

The works of poets, philosophers, and thinkers (like Allama Muhammad Iqbal and his concept of Saheen) tell us that youth must be mature enough to think about themselves instead to become blind followers of someone else because such frail behavior can trap the youth in the indoctrination of every kind and sometimes indoctrination by evils can inject radicalization and extremism in the youth. Honestly speaking we are watching and facing this situation of radicalization for the last 40 years. Whatever we saw on May 9, 2023, was the ultimate result of political and social radicalization and extremism injected by PTI through brainwashing and programming against the society and the state of Pakistan among its followers. Just imagine former Prime Minister Imran Khan who had radicalized our youth is now putting the responsibility on the youth of being radicalized. In his interviews with the Western media, he did not take responsibility for whatever his followers did on May 9, 2023. Both sons of Imran Khan are in London and they are living the normal life any Western youth can live while he has thrown the children of hundreds of parents behind bars and now he is disowning them.

According to anthropologists, radicalization can be motivated by a range of factors, including ideologies, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and prejudices against particular groups of people (ref. PTI’s mantra that all politicians are corrupt except Imran Khan and PMLN workers are low IQ holders blending with low-level revenue staff like Patwaris).

Social psychologists believe that anyone can be radicalized, but factors such as being easily influenced and impressionable make children and young people particularly vulnerable. The most dangerous factor of radicalization is that it doesn’t happen overnight, it is a gradual process, so young people who are affected may not realize what’s happening. Teenagers can be at greater risk because they are more independent, exploring new things and pushing boundaries as they grow and discover more about their identity, faith, and sense of belonging. Extremist groups often target young people via the internet and social media (Ref. Radicalisation and the internet. Report available )

We have seen parents of youth who had been arrested for attacking state installations now expressing their grief and even weeping while coming on electronic media and begging for pardon for their children. This is an extremely disturbing and unfortunate situation that Pakistan is facing.

Psychologists advise that we must have an eye on our youth and we must be worried if we find some of the following changes in our young children:

  • a change in behavior
  • changing their circle of friends
  • isolating themselves from family and friends
  • talking as if from a scripted speech
  • unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
  • a sudden disrespectful attitude toward others
  • increased levels of anger
  • increased secretiveness, especially around internet use
  • using extremist or hate terms to exclude others or incite violence

Youth is our future and we cannot bring a normal society without having an eye on our youth but also following the universal principle of Crime and Punishment. If we will be following the “Pardon” policy, we will actually encourage a society that will be safer for radicals and dangerous for those who follow the law. Moreover, this is now the dire responsibility of the State to investigate whether such extreme indoctrination was done to get merely political goals or whether any Chandragupta or Chanakya is behind this terrible design to disintegrate Pakistani society.


The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.

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