Mr. Shahzad spent his formative years in Pakistan during the rule of the hard-line Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, who instituted a school curriculum that bred intolerance toward religions other than Islam and glamorized militancy, notes Pervez Hoodbhoy, a social commentator and professor at Islamabad’s Quaid-i-Azam University.
“Murderous intent follows with the conviction that the US is responsible for all ills, both in Pakistan and the world of Islam,” he writes in Dawn, a leading English-language daily.
Unchecked hate speech and rampant conspiracy theories in Pakistan may also play a part in radicalizing some of the nation’s educated youth, says Sherry Rehman, a lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party who was until recently the country’s Information Minister.
“These [programs] need to be looked at and reviewed. Instead of demonizing the Taliban, they glamorize them,” she says.