AS security situation remains precarious almost all over the world because of the new phenomenon of terrorism, different regional and global forums are understandably focusing on the challenge with a view to adopting joint strategies for the purpose. That is why Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in China also laidemphasis on the issue as most of the heads of the states and governments spoke on its different aspects in their speeches.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who represented Pakistan at the forum, rightly underlined the need of collective move to confront extremism and terrorism. He pointed out that the security situation around us remains precarious and we are seeing threats to state sovereignty and territorial integrity. What the Prime Minister said deserves to be given serious consideration, as no part of the world is secure today. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to associate or link extremism and terrorism to Islam and its followers and this flawed perception is giving rise to the problem as Muslims are being treated with suspicion and meted out discriminatory treatment. The fact remains that no revealed religion preaches violence or terrorism and instead Islam exhorts that saving one life amounts to saving the entire humanity. We may also point out that it is for over a decade that the world is focusing on terrorism and employing different tactics to address the menace but the major emphasis has always been on use of force. However, we have witnessed that the use of gun by the state in response to use of guns by non-state actors has given birth to more extremism and terrorism. Terrorism being a state of mind needs to be addressed in an all-encompassing manner including education, awareness, fighting poverty and disease and addressing political disputes in a fair and just manner. We hope that instead of going for hackneyed approach, leaders and governments would come out with realistic solution of the problem as per ground realities.