I have read a news item in the national press with reports of around 20 seminaries in Islamabad and Rawalpindi assisting and acting as local agents for Taliban to extort money from eminent businessmen. There are more than 10000 madrassas operating in the country which shows the extent of TTP’s influence in every part of the country. These seminaries not only help the terrorists execute their terrorist activities but also play an active part to extort money from the local traders. These so called religious institutions are the safe havens for the terrorists. Most businessmen do not inform the police out of fear and pay handsome amounts to the terrorists or their agents to save their own lives.

The whole nation particularly the business community is in a state of great confusion regarding the government’s policy towards TTP. So far peace talks have miserably been failed. They are killing our soldiers again and the Prime Minister and the Interior Minister are still begging and hopeful of peace talks. The time is now ripe for our political leadership to showi mature statesmanship and give the green signal to the armed forces to act professionally to establish the writ of the state in every nook and corner of the country. The police and other law enforcement agencies should be directed to take strict action against those seminaries who act as agents of the terrorists. District police should also hold frequent meetings with local businessmen to infuse confidence in them to report cases of threats from extortionists.

S TAJAMMAL H RIZVI,

Lahore, May 10.