LAHORE - Deep fissures exist in the society on what are and have been the causes of terrorism, while Pakistan must move quickly to address the crisis developing out of internationally-perceived terrorism-Pakistan nexus, and the first step towards addressing the issue will be for the society to reconcile with what are the reasons of terrorism. This was maintained by experts and participants of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) Roundtable on 'Pakistan, Terrorism and the International Perspective' held here on Monday. Foreign experts included QSO, MP, New Zealand Parliament Dr. Ashraf Choudhary and South Asia Expert, Chatham House, UK Dr. Farzana Shaikh, while Defence and Political Analyst Dr. Hasan-Askari Rizvi, former Commandant NDC Lt.-Gen. (r) Nishat Ahmed, Professor & Director, Centre for Public Policy & Governance (CPPG) Forman Christian (college) University Dr. Saeed Shafqat, and former Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad were also among the speakers. PILDAT Executive Director Ahmed Bilal Mehboob also spoke on the occasion. Prominent among the participants were Editor-in-Chief Daily The Nation Majid Nizami, Ehsan Wayne, Maj.-Gen. (r) Sikandar Shami, Fareed Piracha, Justice (r) Khalil-ur-Rehman Khan, Faryal Gauhar, Dr Mohammad Waseem, Eqbal Ahmed, Abdul Rauf, Mrs Bushra Aitzaz and Ata-ur-Rehman. Majid Nizami said US, India and Israel were true terrorists, who were conspiring against the only Muslim nuclear power, but were alleging Pakistan of terrorism. "US attacked Iraq on the pretext of weapons, but did not find them after conquering it. Now America is inviting India to Afghanistan, from where Pakistan is being attacked," he said while adding that the West was conspiring against Pakistan, and labelling it as a terrorist. He underlined the need for efforts aimed at portraying Islam as a religion of peace. Majid Nizami said he was certified Mujahid of the Pakistan movement, which was given to him by Liaqat Ali Khan. "But it does not mean that I am a terrorist. Terrorists have been produced here after the attacks of the US and Pakistan on the Fata, which have killed people and destroyed their homes," he added. Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi said we must realise that in today's international setting, the world had zero tolerance for terrorism and those harbouring and promoting terrorism therefore whether it was non-state actors in Pakistan who were perceived to be perpetrators. "It is the state's responsibility to curtail and contain them. Pakistan's policymakers, civil and military, should also understand that there is a huge cost of state's own instability. The presence of root causes in a society does not always mean there will be terrorism. In the case of Pakistan, there has been a conscious effort to promote terrorism, either by the state or by non-state groups. It is unfortunate that justifications for such groups are given without acknowledging Pakistan's responsibility as a nation-state. There is a great tendency in Pakistan to externalise this issue, which makes it difficult for Pakistan to realise what is wrong with Pakistan's own society," he said adding that militancy was a strategy for Pakistan government but strategies changed whereas for these groups, militancy had become an article of faith. "Pakistan's government faces a challenge of direction today and it has to decide which course it wishes to adopt and what will be the consequences of each of these roads," he maintained. Dr Ashraf Choudhray said New Zealand was the only country which took a stand against the invasion of Iraq and chose not to be part of the 'coalition of the willing. "It was the first time that the country went against its kith and kin in the UK as the country considered it morally wrong to invade Iraq. Pakistan faces a series of crises and the country needs to look inwards for finding the answers," he added. Dr Farzana Shaikh said there could be no excuse for killing of innocent people therefore the whole concept of causes of terrorism was somewhat misplaced. "Pakistan's strategy of dealing with Indian hegemony can be one factor but we should not confuse between political violence and terrorism as one thing," she said. Shamshad Ahmad stressed that Pakistan needed to understand its obligations and responsibilities as a sovereign state in deciding which course to adopt. Dr. Saeed Shafqat said the concept of sovereignty was 'organised hypocrisy' in the case of Pakistan as the elite were completely on board with what the state's goals and policies should be. "We should seriously reconsider the role of United States in an objective light and study merits and de-merits of US influence or US role in Pakistan," he added.