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January 11, 2015

Seminar on ‘Will Pakistan change in the aftermath of Peshawar massacre?’ held


January 11, 2015

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar has said that a state cannot expect to live in peace if it does not let its neighbors live in peace and called for a strategic break from the past policies.
Mr Babar was addressing a seminar on "Will Pakistan change in the aftermath of Peshawar massacre?" organised by South Asian Free Media Association (Safma) at its Media Centre here Friday evening. Federal Minister of Information Pervez Rashid was the chief guest.
Senator Babar said there is urgent need to keep up the national narrative against terrorism and go along with the changes towards greater economic progress in the neighborhood by adopting a course of cooperation rather than continuing with confronta-
tion. He said that this war is against an extremist ideology and we must continue to fight till the extremist mindset is defeated.
He said that militancy will not end until the state took a strategic decision to exterminate the snakes it nurtured in the past in its backyard hoping that they will bite only the neighbor and not the state itself.
He said those seeking to replace the existing state structure by force and install caliphate is only one aspect of the militancy adding that militancy was also rooted in the past state policy to export terror to other countries.
The senator warned against effort being mounted to weaken the national resolve against militancy. He said if the militants have been brazenly brandishing religion to destroy the state then its anti-extremism policy also had to target the religion based extremists and militants.
Farhatullah Babar said that the challenge before the state and society now was to strength the national resolve and consensus against militancy, ensure that the extraordinary constitutional protection to military courts was
not extended beyond two years, reverse the strategic blunder of nurturing militants to strike at the neighbour
and to dry up the source of funding of the militant

organisations which resurrected under the garb of charity organisations.
He also warned against making the military courts a permanent feature as that would amount to militarising the judiciary in a society already reeling under excessive militarisation. He said that while the Parliament, the political parties and the civil society must support the extraordinary measures for fighting militants it must also keep a close watch on the strident militarisation of the civil institutions.
During the past decades the security establishment occupied the commanding heights of economy and lands and
it would be disastrous if it
was encouraged to make
further inroads in the civil
domain and take over the
role of judiciary as well, he said.
Journalist Zahid Hussain asked the mainstream political parties to mobilise their rank and file against extremist narrative so that people are mobilised at the grassroots level. Senior journalist M Ziauddin called for paradigm shift in Pakistan's security and foreign policies.
Lieutenant General (r) Talat Masood said that the war against terror has to be all-sided and should be fought on ideological, political and military levels.
Imtiaz Alam, Safma secretary-general, presented a resolution which was passed by the participants. The participants mostly consisting of leading intellectuals and journalists in addition to legislators welcomed the resolve of political and military leadership in initiating an all-out war on all fronts against the perpetrators, ideologues and abettors of terrorism in the name of religion and those fighting against the state.
They condemned killing of journalists in France by terrorists and called for greater tolerance and respect for various religions and peaceful coexistence of the followers of various faiths.
The resolution proposed operation against all those militants who have been patronised as strategic assets and some of them are still active in so-called Jehad in Kashmir and elsewhere.
It demanded enforcement of ban on surrogate bodies and renamed banned organisations. It called for effectively banning hate materials and prohibiting hate speech and ending glorification or justification of terrorism in the name of Jehad or ‘Qattal’.

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