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Family members mourn the death of a relative, who was killed in a blast that happened outside a public park on Sunday, in Lahore, Pakistan, March 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

Editorial: Where is the problem?

On Sunday evening a deadly blast in Lahore claimed lives of 72 innocent people and left 300 others injured. Death was dancing in Gulshan-i-Iqbal park of Lahore. As expected, the godless militants have been celebrating their evil act which had ruined 372 families. The terror attack was claimed by Jamaatul Ahrar, an offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan which has supporters in Pakistani cities and villages.  On Monday, the Taliban fired rockets at the Afghan parliament. High-ranking officials were briefing the lawmakers on insecurity and their preparations when the parliament came under rocket attack. Fortunately, no casualty was reported. Afghanistan and Pakistan are under terror attacks.

Terrorism is haunting the two neighboring countries. Civilians are the worst victims. Schools, hospitals and universities were attacked by the militants. People are afraid of going to public places. The militants have not spared funerals and worship places. Their goals are crystal-clear; wreck havoc and install fear in hearts and minds of people; topple democratic governments; kill people and control territory. They do not hesitate to slaughter civilians when they see their interests in it. Terror attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan are the indicators. Both countries are dealing with the same problem. Sadly, Kabul and Islamabad are far from reaching a consensus to fight terrorism and extremism jointly.

The concept of good and bad Taliban has complicated the security situation. It has also created several and severe challenges for the Kabul leadership. The non-state actors, once considered strategic assets, had gone gory, though, Pakistan shelters Taliban. Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz had confirmed that Islamabad was providing facilities to the Afghan Taliban. In other words, the concept of good Taliban still exists despite the years of bloodshed and destruction. The problem is that Islamabad feels the pain when terrorists attack Pakistani cities. The civilian and military establishments of the neighboring countries become blind and numb when the good militants carry attacks on Afghan soil. This mindset is preventing the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) from becoming an effective regional body. Huge military spending and investment on terrorist networks had pushed millions of people into the chasm of poverty.

Therefore, to improve the security situation and lifestyle of the people, Pakistan shall bring change in its policies. Militants are killers. There shall be no distinction. The insurgent groups should be eliminated. In order to do so, Islamabad shall bridge the trust deficit while working on a joint military mechanism, comprising of SAARC member countries.

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