Oxford dictionary defines terrorism as "the use of violence in order to achieve political aims or to force a government according to what they desire." The lust for power is, thus, the ultimate reason for terrorism. The same dictionary defines a terrorist as "a person who takes part in terrorism or violent activities against innocent people or state functionaries." Terrorists are essentially power-hungry people; they tend adopt a shortcut and erroneous route towards power corridor of a country.

The ideological foundation of terrorism is extremism. The prominent causes of terrorism can be grouped into five broad categories - Psychological, Social, Economic, Political & Global. The psychological reason for terrorism is embracing rigid or dogmatic beliefs (a rigid or dogmatic belief is unscientific and irrational); it leads, inevitably, the person towards violent behavior. The social reason for terrorism is religious and racial extremism. The economic reason is income inequality and poverty. The political reason is absence of a meritorious polity and true democracy in a country. The sole reason for global terrorism is desire to control maximum resources, both human and non-human, of the world.

Terrorism is a major issue in Pakistan. It has disturbed the whole fabric of her society. There are countless bloody spots everywhere due to terrorism. We need unity against this adversity. Practically, we may adopt five approaches against the menace of terrorism:

Quality Education - Quality education enables people to develop all of their attributes and skills to achieve their potential as human beings and members of society. It develops rationality and wisdom among people. A wise or rational person is free from any type of extremism, and hence, terrorism.

Adoption & Promotion of Eternal Human Values - There are four main eternal human values; Truth, Peace, Love & Non-Violence. Promotion of these human values among the masses consequently lessens terrorism.

Promotion of Family System - In a family system, each member has a role to play and rules to respect. Members of the system are expected to respond to each other in certain ways, according to their role, which is determined by relationship agreements. The kind behavior among family members establishes non-violent attitude and peaceful environment.

Developing Democracy - Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. By developing a democratic scheme, the political reason for terrorism is abolished.

Poverty Alleviation - Poverty is state of being extremely poor. By alleviating poverty, the economic reason for terrorism diminishes.

Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in recent years. Hence, it is the biggest threat to her progress. Data indicates that over the past decade, Pakistan has had the highest number of terrorism-related deaths in the world. Wikipedia writes, terrorism's roots can be traced back from 1979, when there was an effort to kick out Russia from Afghanistan. But the problem became severe after 9/11. Moreover, the annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009. Not long ago, in Pakistan, a terrorists attack killed 143 people; most of them children/teenagers (134), from grades 1 to 10, when Taliban gunmen attacked the school on December 16th, 2014. But now the government and state institutions are taking strict measures against terrorists, terrorism and extremism in the country.

Published by Muhammad Ashhar