PAT chief Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has announced a 14-point comprehensive strategy for eradication of terrorism in Pakistan, in a press conference live from the US via video link. He described terrorists and their patrons as the biggest and topmost problem for the country. He said that in order to eliminate terrorists and their supporters:

1. War against terrorism should be declared as our own war and a joint sitting of Parliament should be convened to adopt a consensus resolution to declare war on terror as our own war.

2. The government should immediately make the names, background, iden-y, regional connection and other relevant details of those public who were involved in terrorist activities for last 12 years so that the nation could identify their enemies wearing masks. What kind of anti-terrorism is it that the faces of terrorists are masked?

3. Legislation, free of confusion, should immediately be carried out for elimination of terrorism and the act of cooperating with terrorists, supporting and facilitating them and giving statements in their favour should be declared a crime. The punishment of those involved in these activities should not be less than life imprisonment.

4. The roots of terrorism lie in sectarianism, extremism and ‘Takfeeriyat’. Ban should be placed on issuance of Fatwa declaring others infidels and strict punishment be prescribed for those indulging in such activities.

5. The judges of anti-terrorist courts who are scared of terrorists should initiate legal proceedings against terrorists in such a fearless and bold manner as they are doing against us. The present anti-terrorist courts are being used for political purposes. They should be replaced by the military courts. The cases against terrorists should be heard in special military courts. One week should be specified for conclusion of a case and one more week should be given for appeal. Terrorists should be given punishments in 15 days and they should be implemented in letter and spirit on time as well.

6. Reforms should be brought about in curriculum and system of religious seminaries. There should be uniform syllabus across the board so that the impression of seminaries being breeding ground of terrorism could be dispelled. A board consisting of moderate scholars should be established to design curriculum and give their recommendations in this regard. There should be strict legal ban on teaching of subjects in seminaries other than the approved syllabus

7. Ban should be imposed on foreign funding going to religious seminaries, organizations and personalities.

8. Peace Education Centres should be established with a mandate to raise awareness to check extremist and militant at-udes so that terrorist groups are not able to exploit or blackmail anyone.

9. Literature responsible for s-ing sectarianism, militancy, hatred and terrorism should be banned forthwith.

10. Special anti-terrorist courts, ins-utions, para-military forces and agencies should be put under the control of the armed forces.

11. The military should be given facilities to deal with menace of terrorism and its budget should reasonably be increased for the purpose.

12. The government should set up special ins-utions to take care of youth and students affected and even orphaned in terrorist incidents in tribal areas, Balochistan, KPK, Balochistan and other areas where they have sufficient opportunities for their upbringing, maintenance and education. They should be given special scholarships so that they have some kind of employment and live a life of peaceful and productive citizens after completion of their education. Otherwise, there is a possibility that they would end up being in the hands of militants and sectarian ins-utions and become terrorists and suicide bombers.

13. Poverty, economic inequality, unemployment, and oppression and exploitation are such elements as play a supportive role in promoting terrorism and militancy. Immediate but effective steps need to be taken for economic development of backward areas of the country particularly Northern areas, South Punjab and tribal areas.

14. The ban is placed on the names of defunct organizations but not on the work they do. All such parties and organizations that have extremist ideology and thoughts should be banned and they should not be allowed to operate under changed names. A separate legislation should be done for this purpose. Any office bearer of a defunct organization should not have permission to establish a new organization under a new name.

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