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A boy kneeling for Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Jamia Masjid

The Pakistani Army reverses the narrative.

Pakistan Counters Terrorist Narratives

October 2016, Number 07.04

“Narratives, in essence, are stories and have been around as far back as humans learned to communicate. Their role in statecraft is also recognized. The advent of the information revolution ensured that the checks — if not monopoly — on the flow of information enjoyed by states in the past are no longer applicable. Any person or group connected to the internet can tell their own story. Interestingly, the dawn of the information revolution coincided roughly with the rise of global terrorism, bringing into common usage the terms “narratives” and “counternarratives.” It is common to hear these terms used in a homogenous sense. What is not well-understood are the complex dynamics behind terrorist narratives and the formulation of a counternarrative. To be successful, any narrative has to be embedded in an already existing “frame.” Terrorists normally employ the “religious frame” that is deeply embedded in their target audience. 

Pakistan’s understanding of this issue has evolved. The country and its Armed Forces have been facing the full scourge of terrorism for about 15 years, resulting in huge losses and suffering. However, after a long and bitterly fought war, the tables have finally been turned upon the bastions of terror...”

Excerpt from Sajiid Muzaffar Chaudray, “Pakistan Counters Terrorist Narratives,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 7, No. 4, 2016: 16-21.

Sajiid Muzaffar Chaudray works at the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate of the Pakistan Army. He has been a featured speaker at the Marshall Center on the topic of countering terrorist narratives. He holds master’s degrees in national security and war studies from the National Defence University in Islamabad.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.