This is reference to report published in your newspaper regarding statement of Minister of State Shehryar Afridi on floor of NA that “state would not use the stick against the TLP leadership but embrace and engage them in dialogue”.

While it may be right of Shehryar Afridi and others in his party to embrace any person or religious group and form political alliances etc, they need to remember their constitutional obligations. It was constitutional duty of state to protect lives and property of law abiding citizens, who were harassed, abused and their cars, motorcycles, buses or trucks were stoned, windshields broken, and in some cases set fire to, while the State was nowhere visible to perform their duty. Even if as stated by Interior Minister, miscreants belonging to opposition parties were involved in the unchecked and unprovoked mayhem that went on roads, cities and motorways of Pakistan for three days, it still does not absolve elected government of their role as guardians and custodians of lives and private property of citizens and their freedom to move. Does the State intend to give every citizen right to bear arms to protect themselves and abandon NAP against terrorism and extremism?

It is sole monopoly of State to use proportional force if necessary to enforce Writ of Laws. We saw the State resorting to use of force to stop employees of Utility Stores agitating when they obstructed flow of traffic. CCTV images and video recordings are available to identify miscreants provided State has will to exercise its writ. The State however should understand that their failure to protect lives and property of citizens from chaos that prevailed has resulted in loss of their credibility and no citizen would come forward to identify those who harassed and beat them in broad daylight with no help in sight from law enforcement etc.

MALIK T ALI,

Lahore, November 9.