Terrorism is the biggest threat to Pakistan’s progress. Its roots can be traced back to 1979 when there was an effort to force Russia to leave Afghanistan. But the problem became severe after 9/11. And now in 2017, it has become a menace for our motherland.
I do not want to go into the history of terrorism in Pakistan. But the question is: what are the ways to eradicate or to overcome this most dangerous problem in order to bring our nation back to the road of progress in all fields of life? The first and foremost thing is the unity and commitment. These are very important to achieve any objective. All stakeholders must need to unite and become committed to this one agenda to root out terrorism from every nook and corner of the country. But after a very bloody war, we still see some of the stakeholders supporting the designs of terrorist groups. I do not clearly know what their intentions are, but one thing is very clear: that is they are not working for the country’s betterment. We need to bring back first these people to the right direction through dialogue.
Parliamentarians can play a very constructive role in this regard. They can use their influence to convince the people of their constituencies to say no to all sort of terrorist activities. They can easily inculcate in the minds of people the vision of terrorist-free society and about progressive and emerging Pakistan. But it is also an unfortunate fact that we still have not seen any useful role from them. It is high time they must come forward to save future of Pakistan. But unfortunately, the policymakers, academics and politicians in Pakistan increasingly rely on speculation and their intuition alone to deal with this menace. The purpose of this letter to the editor is to dispel the myth that reforms in education and economic growth alone will bring down terrorism levels.
On the other hand, religious leaders in any society can play an effective role in times of crises. But the case of Pakistan is different regarding the war on terror. These influential leaders were in some respect close to the terrorist organisations and to their self-professed ideology in the past. But it is the requirement of time that these leaders must come forward to use their influence in the society against all types of terrorism. They can play their effective role through speeches and writings to guide the ignorant masses of the country. There is still a large section of the society in Pakistan that prefers listening to these religious leaders.
How we can forget the speech of Ex- PM of India in UN Convention that Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism and all people that were sitting in that convention endorsed his statement and if we look into present circumstances, he said right.
The writer is a Lahore-based social and political activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org