While the external threats pose a clear and present danger to Pakistan, it cannot be denied that a significant minority in the country has been radicalized. And many of these radicalized groups are currently being exploited by outsiders (especially by the RAW of India). There are many and varied reasons for the internal radicalization but I think the over 20,000 madressas that we have are the major contributory factor for radicalizing the society. Lack of understanding of the Holy Quran means mere recital of its verses is considered sufficient, the true message and spirit of Islam been lost in repetition by rote. The illiterate mullahs, due to their limited knowledge of the Quran keep spewing half-baked theories based on untruths that are instrumental in spreading hatred among various sects. Lastly, majority of the faithful lay much emphasis on 'Huqooq Allah and nowhere near enough on 'Haqooq-uI-Ibad, although the latter are actually the true purpose of the former and embody the true spirit of Islam. The radicalization of society needs to be tackled in real earnest to ensure that Pakistan remains a moderate Islamic polity. That indeed is the true face of Pakistan and the vision of its founding fathers. In my view, the following important measures need to be taken to counter the menace of radicalization; 1. By law, no educational institution should be allowed to function without due registration. In particular, all the madressas must be registered. Science and mathematics must be introduced in madressas so that students have the option to join mainstream education later on. The registered madressas should be provided government funding. All foreign funding should be eliminated, altogether. 2. Maximum emphasis should be placed upon understanding of the Holy Quran through widespread Urdu translations and issuing of booklets to be distributed everywhere, in schools in particular. These booklets must highlight the spiritual importance and aspects of 'Huqooq-ul-Ibad, which every school child must be made to learn by heart just as every child in Europe and America knows the Ten Commandments. 3. Very strict action should be taken against mullahs fanning sectarian hatred. Also, the mullahs must be educated through short courses with regular stipends for those who qualify. (In Bangladesh, the paid mullahs play a crucial role in population control). 4. Every mosque and madressa must be kept under strict surveillance for what they preach and who they invite to preach at these institutions. In the majority of terrorist attacks, some Qari or mullah is invariably involved. 5. Above all, the sources of funding of madressas have to be thoroughly investigated & their links be established for necessary counter-measures. -AIR MARSHAL (Rtd) KHURSHID ANWAR MIRZA, Lahore, March 6.