Terrorism is an international scourge that breeds from the misplaced political agendas of powerful countries which resort to collective punishment of various people to establish their control in their regions. Any individual, political party or group that resorts to use of force against its adversaries, or tries to enforce individual agendas or perceived ambitions or hegemony on others is also guilty of terrorism. When a government is involved in using state apparatus to intimidate a group of people by use of force without any authorized judicial or constitutional authority, with the objective to deprive them of their legitimate human rights or assets, it is called state terrorism. Fundamentalist religious groups that try to evict people from their homes by indulging in acts of violence are guilty of religious terrorism. Similarly when a nation's security agencies resort to use of weapons and force to disrupt political process without sanction from constitutionally elected civil government, it is called military terrorism. Countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, India, Sri Lanka have witnessed the worst form of terrorism, as has been witnessed recently in the attacks on Marriott Hotel Islamabad, Taj Hotel Bombay, Samjotha Train massacre, 12 May Karachi genocide or the recent ethnic violence in Karachi, Swat, Maharashtar and Gujrat states. -M. TARIQ, Lahore, via e-mail, December 5.