ISLAMABAD Students of Quaid-i-Azam University at a seminar entitled Understanding Terrorism condemned the terrorist attacks on International Islamic University (IIU) and expressed their desire to see students more actively engaged in understanding the phenomenon of terrorism and playing their role, as responsible members of society to steer Pakistan out of the current crisis. Students of Quaid-i-Azam University and the National Institute of Pakistan Studies (NIPS) got engaged in a lively academic debate on the issue of terrorism in Pakistan, which was held on Wednesday at the NIPS in collaboration with the National Students Federation (NSF) of QAU. In the packed seminar room, the student speakers read out academic papers on different aspects of terrorism in Pakistan. Irum Jhatial, a student of NIPS exploring the issue of what terrorism is, pointed out that the way the term 'terrorism was used at international forums often concealed a states own use of terror. She believed that the state had still not decided on who is a 'terrorist and was continuing to protect and nurture certain Islamic militant groups while declaring other such groups as 'terrorists. She concluded that the word terrorism could not be defined 'neutrally in a 'non-neutral world, but encouraged people to develop their own understanding and then take their positions on these issues rather than falling into the existing binaries presented to them. Kapil Dev, a student of International Relations, spoke on the role of the media in presenting the issue of terrorism. He highlighted the politicised nature of the media and particularly the opinion-making power of the anchorpersons, and urged them to present all sides of the picture. He talked about the difficulties in obtaining 'facts with regards to terrorism, especially from the war-torn areas where military operations werre underway. A single-source news item cannot be considered credible, regardless of whoever the source is, he said. He also highlighted the importance of the media with regard to its role in strengthening democracy and urged it not to become involved in any anti-democratic agenda. Zahid Imroze, a student of Physics department, giving a brief history of the emergence of terrorism in Pakistan said the Pakistan-US alliance created the 'mujahideen to topple the Soviets in Afghanistan, and these very groups are now called 'terrorists. He spoke about the role of Pakistans religious parties in providing ideological and other forms of training to Afghan Mujahideen through madrassas, which continue to exist in even greater number today. Zahid highlighted the heavy cost that both Afghan and Pakistani people had to pay as a result of the Cold War including the large number of refugees, the escalation of the problem of terrorism due to increasing poverty, hunger, and frustration. Alia Amirali, a student of Anthropology Department, spoke about the position of different political parties on the issue of terrorism. She pointed out that even in the time of crisis, major political parties had not been able to reach a consensus. She highlighted that only the PPP was ready to own the current crisis as 'Pakistans War, whereas all other parties were either hesitant to do so or rejected it altogether as Americas War. She criticized the role being played by the religious parties in particular, expressing the view that these parties are whipping up anti-Americanism in order to shy away from their hand in promoting Islamic militancy. Dr Azam Chaudhry, the organiser of the NIPS Weekly Seminar Series, expressed his appreciation at the students effort to tackle these issues in an academic manner and encouraged them to continue to engage constructively with the issues of their society.