LAHORE - Despite having divergent views about the causes, mainstream religious parties have called for joint efforts for fighting terrorism in Pakistan.

Leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-S, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan and Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen also proposed different measures to cope with the challenge.

Citing pro-US policy as the reason for the growing terrorism, JUI-F, JUI-S and JI believe that Pakistan’s alleged interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs is bringing in the backlash.

The Brelvi and Shia representatives say the extremist thinking and flawed policies of Ziaul Haq regime are the genesis of extremism.

However, all these parties did not exclude foreign elements, especially India, in cashing in on the situation. They believe RAW is involved in most of such strikes in the country.

Statistics show over 1,300 people were killed and 3,500 sustained serious injuries in terrorist attacks only in Punjab during last two years.

The number of victims is even higher in KP, where the militants slaughtered 132 schoolchildren along with 20 other staff in an attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. Moreover, the terrorists killed 22 students of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda on January 20.

Balochistan - where over 70 people were killed in Monday’s attack - Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK are also being affected by terrorism.

JI spokesperson Ameerul Azeem said that the national leadership should sit together and draw a line of action to prevent Quetta-like tragedies in future and take the security institutions on board.

He added that the Quetta carnage called for speeding up action on the National Action Plan - a strategy devised to fight off terrorists.

Taking on the presence of Indian spies in Balochistan, the JI leader said even after the arrest of Kalbushan Yadav, the RAW network could not be smashed resulting in such tragedies.

“The present and previous governments held all-party conferences on the issue. We have an action plan and powerful army but we could not establish peace in the country. This shows the real problem lies somewhere else,” he further held.

Azeem maintained that his party believes terror could not be eliminated without addressing its route causes. “Rulers must stop giving impression of US ally and stop pro-India policies.”

JUI-F leader Hafiz Hussain Ahmed said: “We have badly failed to identify the diagnosis of terrorism in Pakistan. We have to find out where these issues started from. The same madrassa and mosques and same tribes were living here peacefully and there was no bombing but now we are blaming them.”

“I don’t remember any incident of terrorism in Pakistan before 9/11. Americans came in the region and created trouble for us. The government should first of all review the country’s foreign policy,” Hussain added.

JUI-S secretary general Abdur Rauf Farooqi linked the wave of terrorism in Pakistan with ‘Pakistan’s interference in Afghanistan’.

“Afghans are fighting against foreign aggression and their puppet government and we are an ally of United States and Nato. So the heat comes from there, and the pro-Taliban factor in Pakistan,” he held.

JUP president Ijaz Hashmi suggested the unity among Muslims and Pakistanis could be helpful in eradicating terrorism. He stressed that whole nation should stand by the Army and support its Zarb-e-Azb operation.

PAT spokesperson Noorullah Siddiqui said that Dr Tahirul Qadri wrote a complete curriculum narrating narrated the causes and solution of the issue.

“There are multiple factors behind the terror wave in Pakistan. We have to introduce basic reforms at schools and seminaries to address the issue,” he said.

MWM’s Allama Hassan Hamdani stated that sectarianism was the main reason. “Some forces in Pakistan have had typical mindset of violence, unwilling to follow the brilliant teachings of Islam about tolerance and brotherhood. These forces have been playing in hands of foreign elements and spreading violence in Pakistan,” Hamdani said while urging the nation to adopt a unanimous strategy against the terrorists.