Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism for decades now. It has come to be recognised as the most pressing and the biggest challenge to the state. Thousands of lives and billons of rupees have been lost over the years, and the country’s image has been gravely tarnished.

The Nation has made an effort to contribute to national discourse on this subject by eliciting opinion of different political parties, intelligence agencies, lawyers and intellectuals who expressed differing views about the causes of this menace and possible remedial measures.

Policies of former general-president Pervez Musharraf, presence of Afghan refugees, Pakistan’s alleged interference in Afghanistan, government’s resistance to the army-led operation in Punjab, foreign funding to terrorists and financial assistance being given to various religious seminaries are some of the factors these quarters hold responsible for terrorism. In separate interviews conducting by our team, political parties shed light on various aspects of the problem and suggested measures to restore peace in the country.

If their suggestions are to be adhered to, the government would have to do much more than what was decided at the two meetings on the security situation, attended by the military and civil leaderships. These meetings were held immediately after the Quetta tragedy, in which more than 70 people were killed.