LAHORE - Three religious parties having considerable influence in KP have expressed divergent views about the causes of terrorism in the province particularly and across the country generally and the measures needed to curb the menace.

One party holds the pro-US policy responsible for the scourge, while the other thinks Pakistan’s alleged interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs is bringing the backlash.

Leader of another party said religious parties were unable to play any role in controlling the suicide bombers.

The parties The Nation approached include the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-S and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

The JUI-F has been ruling the province in the past and is a coalition partner with the PML-N even at present.

JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq proudly calls himself the father of Taliban, the militants most people allege are behind the terror attacks.

The JI is also an important party in KP. Its chief Sirajul Haq comes from the province and the party is also an ally of the PTI in the KP government.

The questions The Nation asked the leaders of these parties are: Why the religio-political parties fail to issue a joint decree against the suicide bombing in Pakistan? What are their views about the continuing terror wave in the country? Do they think the terrorism can be eliminated from Pakistan with the steps taken by the present government including the national action plan? Could any effort be initiated by the parties to eliminate religious fanaticism from Pakistan in future? How the terrorism can be ended and peace can be restored in KP and other provinces?

As per a data collected by The Nation at least 1,300 people died and 3500 sustained severe injuries in terrorist attacks only in Punjab in past couple of years. The number of victims is even high in KP where the militants butchered 132 school children among 20 other staff in a worst attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. In a recent tragedy, terrorist killed 22 innocent students of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda on January 20. The provinces of Balochistan, Sindh and areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK are also being worst hit by terrorists.

In this background, the leaders of religio-political parties believe the menace of terrorism cannot be eliminated without addressing its route causes.

Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, the central leader of JUI Fazlur Rehman faction said: “Do you think we can stop them (terrorist outfits)? Our own leader (Maulana Fazalur Rehman) was hit by three suicide attacks on different occasions.”

“We have badly failed to identify the diagnosis of terrorism in Pakistan. Where from these issues started? The same madaris and mosques and same tribes were living here peacefully,” he added. “I don’t remember any incident of terrorism in Pakistan before 9/11. Americans came in the region and created trouble for us.”

He said the government should first of all immediately review the country’s foreign policy. The actions against what he said madari and masajid must be stopped. The security establishment must inform the nation about those who were involved in suicide attacks since they could be recognized by DNA of their part of bodies, he said.

Professor Ibrahim of Jamaat-e-Islami was even furious when this scriber asked him why the JI or other religio-political parties failed to give a solution to end terrorism since the common man and government believe Islamists having soft circle towards religious parties are behind the terror attack in Pakistan.

“We are not supporting terrorism. It is plague. But you better ask the government and head of security agencies that why they failed to curb terrorism despite all their efforts.”

“The present and past government held all parties conferences on the issue. We have national action plan. We have powerful army and other security agencies but we could not establish peace or order in the country. What it means—there is a problem somewhere,” said the soft spoken head of JI-KP chapter.

Maulana Abdur Rauf Farooqi, the secretary general of JUI Samiul Haq group, wholly links the terror wave in Pakistan to the “country’s interference in Afghanistan.”

“Afghans are fighting against foreign aggression and their puppet government and we are ally of America and Nato so the heat comes from there and the pro-Taliban factor in Pakistan,” he said.

He admitted the religious parties of Pakistan badly failed to be united on the issue. Similarly, he added, the parties could not issue a joint decree against the menace.

“I don’t think it can be helpful at this stage now. But we must do efforts.”

“Maulana Samiul Haq repeatedly requested the religious parties to sit together to give some recommendations to the government for combating terrorism. But some parties are not willing to sit with us as they have their own interests.

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman sahib is ally of central government and JI is part of KP government so how they could agree to sit with us especially when we would be criticising government on their wrong approaches,” said Farooqi.

He believed the terror wave was difficult to end in Pakistan until the complete withdrawal of American and Nato forces from Afghanistan.