LAHORE - Human rights activist Dr Lal Khan has held black economy responsible for breeding terrorism by deteriorating socio-economic conditions.

“Terrorism has direct link with the economy, both of state and individuals. It is difficult for a large population to make both ends meet in a situation where the proportion of black economy has touched an alarming level,” Dr Lal Khan said yesterday.

He further noted that black economy was just five percent in the Zia regime but it swelled to 73 percent in yester years.

It affected politics and society, he said, adding that terrorist outfits were nurtured and promoted to protect crime and corruption. “Terrorism would not be stamped out of Pakistan until or unless measures are adopted to address the issue of black economy.”

The intellectual was of the view that the segment of society finding it hard to make both ends meet was full of potential suicide bombers.

Women in Struggle for Empowerment Executive Director Bushra Khaleeq blamed the government and state institutions for increasing incidents of terrorism. “State institutions take decisions at their own without bothering about public sentiments. They used all tools including educational institutions to support and promote militancy.

“People have accepted militancy. Now the people are so week and terrified that they cannot even raise voice against militancy and terrorism,” she added.

She further said that allegations of involvement of foreign hand in terrorist attack inside Pakistan was acceptance of failure of intelligence and security institutions. Bushra said although the institutions take action against people involved in minor crimes, they lacked courage to curb influential militant groups. “People at helm of affairs should first accept mistake of patronising militant groups, devise short-term and long-term strategies to fix such a serious problem,” she suggested.

Civil Society Network Pakistan President Abdullah Malik stressed the need for first defining terrorism and developing a strong narrative.

“We should not discriminate terrorists with good or bad Taliban and purge hate material out of curriculum. Terrorism cannot be defeated with force alone. There is need of taking all stakeholders on board for developing a strong narrative, comprehensive counterterrorism strategy and its implementation in letter and spirit,” he said.

“All the stakeholders come on one platform to enforce National Action Plan. The question is that why NAP has not been implemented in letter and spirit. There is no harmony between political and military leadership.

“Speeches against security agencies on the floor of the parliament are alarming. Instead of focusing terrorism, the ruling party is utilising all energies to protect leadership on Panama Papers issue,” Malik added.