In times of heightened tensions, the least the nation could hope for was unity across all political parties, so we may deal appropriately with the aggression from across the border with a stable environment at home. While having such expectations might be imprudent from PTI Chief Imran Khan, who chose this sensitive time to further his own political aspirations, key government allies and legislators are also failing to show a united front.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) surprised the National Assembly on Thursday when he lashed out at the government for treating the people of FATA the way Indian forces treat Kashmiris. During a session of discussion on the findings and recommendations of the Committee on FATA Reforms, the JUI-F chief said, “I don’t see any difference between the people of India-occupied Kashmir and our tribal areas as far as the curbing of their rights is concerned.” Such statements are highly inappropriate considering the plight of the Kashmiri people who have been suffering under Indian oppression and brutality for decades- no plausible similarity exists. FATA is soon to be integrated into the KPK province and the people of FATA at least have freedom of movement and religion. Criticising the ongoing military operation in FATA was insensitive at a time when the military is on the wire. The success of operation Zarb-e-Azb, the largest of its kind in the world to flush out terrorism has been internationally and nationally accepted and appreciated.

Other legislators of the PML-N government continued to be absent in the National Assembly session for the second consecutive day and the house remained suspended for around an hour due to lack of quorum. Such behaviour is unacceptable by the ruling party. At a time when people are uncertain, when India is on the brink of declaring war, legislators should be present and attentive.  While India is evacuating people living near the border with Pakistan in Indian Punjab, our legislators cannot even bother to show up to work, including PTI Chief Imran Khan who just cannot see beyond his own ambition. The Raiwind march has raised serious questions about the sincerity of the PTI towards national security and stability.

There is a huge disconnect between the security policy of Pakistan, and the legislative branch. Ordinarily, parliaments make security policy with consultation with the military as a national effort. It is natural that people look to the military for direction in crisis, when this is how the their representatives are behaving.