NEW DELHI: Renowned Pakistani cleric Mohammad Tahir-ul- Qadri, a fiery orator to returned from Canada to take on the Nawaz Sharif government-used the World Sufi Forum platform to call upon governments India and Pakistan to focus on the root of terror and terrorist organisations. He said the common enemy of India and Pakistan was "terrorism". Qadri emphasised the role of sufism as a route to peace in the battle against terror outfits like ISIS and al-Qaida.

"The people are not enemies, the strife has to end and that is only possible if governments spend their budgets on peace and eradication of poverty. Focus on humanism can only weed out terrorism," Qadri said. "I request the governments of India and Pakistan to focus on eradication of poverty and end the enmity. Seventy years have passed since Independence. Four wars have been fought. Are the two countries going to be enemies forever? For god's sake end this enmity now. Spend your budget for promotion of peace. The common enemy of both the countries is terrorism," Qadri said.

Qadri, whose massive protest in Islamabad along with cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan a year-and-a- half ago had shaken the Nawaz Sharif dispensation, identified poverty as the root cause behind terrorism and extremism. He said terrorists enjoy the "patronage" of political parties and some social organisations and a section of the public who "encourage" them to commit the worst crimes. "History is replete with examples of Sufi scholars including Maualana Rumi being slapped with charges of sacrilege. But there are certain sects within us who are against the idea of inclusiveness and prefer exclusivity. They only indulge in issuing fatwas. And the only thing that will bring it to an end is Sufism. It's because of this exclusivist ideology that dreaded terror outfits like ISIS and al-Qaida flourish," he said.

Qadri highlighted the need for a uniform policy to deal with the menace of ISIS which, he said, has got nothing to do with Islam. "Terrorists are used and later discarded like tissue papers. Yesterday you had al-Qaida, today you have ISIS. Tomorrow something else will come as long as our priorities are wrong," he said.

Other international dignitaries who were present include Professor David Peck, Dr Alan Godlas and Kabir Helminski from America, Damir Mukhetidnov from Russia and Shaykh Hashimuddin al-Gaylaniand Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Jailani from Iraq, AIUMB.

Responding to a question on intolerance, Mohammed Saqib Bin Iqbal Al-Shaami, one of the key speakers at WSF from the UK was quick to point that the solution lay in Sufism. "When we will tell our youth the true meaning of Islam and make them understand the teachings of Quran then they will not be misguided and will follow the path of peace," he said. On PM Narendra Modi's speech at the inaugural of WSF, Shammi said, "I liked the message in his speech and would want it to translate into reality. I conveyed the same to him when we shook hands."

Courtesy Times of India