16th December was our 9/11 and we responded but not as strongly as was expected. Now we are becoming despondent as not much action has been taken or any results seen. Mere army operation and allocation of funds are not going to solve the problem. Neither slogan will create a miraculous cure, unless details regarding the ‘HOW’ factor are deliberated upon in depth. The issue of terrorism has many layers and has no agreed upon definition worldwide. It is a complex phenomenon, which is an amalgamation of philosophies and acts, that are specific to certain thinking. Terrorist acts are means of communication adopted to achieve certain political aims, through the use of aggression, violence, force, fear, threat, and target killing in shortest possible time.

The nature of the aims could be religious, political, or ideological. The reasons for no agreement on any precise definition is because these acts of terrorism have been used in many guises by both nationalistic groups, ruling government, right-wing left-wing political parties, religious groups, and revolutionaries, who exploit human fear to help achieve their goals. However there is no ambiguity in interpreting the term, when inhuman acts of extreme violence and aggression are directed towards innocent civilians.

Anyone involved in using violence and targeting innocent humans should be called a terrorist rather than an insurgent, revolutionary, fundamentalist or religious extremist. An agreement on the definition of the term is important because the acts of terrorism are committed in the guise of scarifies for religious ideological and political causes and there is confusion amongst the people regarding the agenda of these anti state actors. PM should be informed that his twenty points, to address the issue of terrorism, does not address dealing with the terrorist ideology and depolarization of the radicals. Neither is there any thinking regarding how to prevent religion from being used for personal hate and prejudice.

MAUNA GAUHAR,

Islamabad, February 26.