Wednesday’s blast in Peshawar which claimed over 100 lives is a grim reminder to the Pakistani military and civil authorities that they cannot adopt double standards while combating terror. In other words, they cannot distinguish between the Taliban and Taliban-sponsored terror. Islamabad cannot keep pursuing a policy of pampering the ‘good’ Taliban (which carries out attacks on India and Afghanistan) and marginalising the ‘bad’ Taliban (which perpetrates terror in Pakistan itself). The number of Pakistani troops deployed in South Waziristan to quell the insurgency -- 30,000 -- is inadequate to fight a well-entrenched and highly fanatical Taliban.

A. Thirugnanasambantham, Coimbatore

The Peshawar blast has reinforced the terror climate prevalent in Pakistan. At least now, Islamabad must swallow the bitter truth that a majority of its territory is under extremist control. It should be impartial and ruthless in rooting out militant groups, regardless of whether or not they can help hurt India. On the diplomatic front, Pakistan will do well to restrain its top officials from accusing India of hatching some plot or the other every now and then. India, more than the U.S. or China, wants peace in Pakistan.

Jeyshree Jayaraman, Mangalore

The apparent cause of the terror attacks in Pakistan is its partnership with the U.S. in the war on terror. But it is also the distinction that Pakistan makes among various extremist groups -- those which create havoc in Pakistan and those that support it against India -- which is dangerous. The common agenda of these groups is mindless violence. At this hour of crisis, Pakistan should give up the mistrust of its neighbour and combat the insurgent groups without any discrimination.

V.K. Sathyavan Nair, Kottayam

The blast that tore through Peshawar shows how, in the name of waging proxy battles in neighbouring states, nations should not befriend outfits that rely on terror to achieve their goals. Pakistan unabatedly nurtured militant outfits and directed them against India for over half-a-century. When the marriage of convenience was over, the terror genie blew off the lid and the country is reaping what it sowed.

While we grieve with the families of the victims of the Peshawar attack, we would like to ask Pakistani civil society how correct its ruling establishment is in its reluctance to extend cooperation in apprehending the culprits of the Mumbai terror attack and how truthful the statement of one of its senior functionaries that India is funding the Taliban is.

Chandran Dharmalingam, The Nilgiris

With terror looming large in Pakistan, it should realise the futility of undermining India’s efforts to pin down those responsible for 26/11. It should act decisively to bring the mastermind of the Mumbai attack to justice and stop levelling unfounded charges on India. India, too, should take care not to aggravate the situation by making thoughtless comments from time to time.

K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam

With existing strategies and resources, it is difficult to stamp out terrorism. Looking at the magnitude of the terror attacks and the technology used, all countries should make a collective endeavour to eliminate it. It is not just India, the U.S. or the U.K. that is the victim of terrorism. Almost every nation faces the threat. The international community should, therefore, come together to eradicate the common enemy.

S. Lakshmi Narayanan, Cuddalore

The roots of the Peshawar blast and other terror attacks in the last few days can be traced to the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s. It took control of Afghanistan, sowing the culture of terrorism in the region. Though the U.S. and its allies succeeded in driving the Taliban away from Afghanistan by November 2001, they could do nothing to eliminate the culture of terror. The need of the hour, therefore, is to fight this culture on all fronts — political, social and military.

C. Petson Peter, Kochi

Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of a modern, secular, democratic state that would not only survive but also thrive has, unfortunately, remained unfulfilled. Rather than taking steps towards development and progress, Pakistan has slipped into the abyss of bigotry and fanaticism of the Taliban brand.

Pakistan, which blames India even for bad weather, has once again accused us — this time of supporting the Taliban. The criminal lie should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. India has always aspired for a stable, prosperous Pakistan in its own interest.

K.S.M. Sheik Mohamed, Tirunelveli

Ever since Partition, more so after the Mumbai terrorist attack, our politicians and the media seem to be obsessed with Pakistan. In the same breath, there are calls for dealing with it firmly and pleas for showing the olive branch to forge a better understanding. As with any other neighbour, disputes do arise with Pakistan too from time to time. We should adopt a balanced approach by not interfering in its internal matters while, at the same time, showing zero tolerance to terrorism emanating from its soil. We should stop pleading with it to end cross-border terror and instead take foolproof steps to secure our borders.

C. Felix Rozario, Coimbatore

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