The good General at the top of the information factory of the military continues to keep his chief in the headlines, making him appear as the savior of the nation and the last hope for the conflict ridden fateful country. The civilians however, still have to learn several bits.

Represented in media by either a perpetually sulking or a wannabe federal minister, the civilian government has been increasingly appearing as a bunch of high school kids, clueless about the serious challenges the nation is facing, unmoved by the goriness around and embroiled in glib personal vendettas and busy in shallow score-settling.

A post-Geo media strictly on the leash of a strong muscled power has nothing to trumpet about, except the corruption scandals and other failings of the civilians. As well as some carefully selected former khakis – those that do not get them in trouble. Targeting some shaded khakis balances out media’s one-sided discourse and wins the boots some semblance of credibility of ‘across the board action’.

All seems sorted for the either side. They continue settling their scores with fellow politicians, alongside enjoying the perks of being in the system. Disrepute? Well, that doesn’t bother them much. By the next elections, the short memories of the masses would be served with something to forget about all this and vote with enthusiasm in service of democracy to once again elect the same good old individuals they love to hate in urban discourse.

The Khakis on the other hand, are content with the accolades they are getting for the cosmetics and choreographed battle with the irritants – the corrupt politicians and the terrorists. The supply of the strategy comes in easy installments of three years. All has to be focused on how three years of higher moral ground and even higher prestige alongside highest possible pedestal of personal achievement are won.

National Action Plan provides both the sides to serve their objectives. On the civilian side, if an opposition leader becomes at odds with a federal minister, NAP serves the latter to cut the former to size. Whether it is Uzair Baloch or Saulat Mirza, NAP proves a brilliant ploy to keep everyone in place.

On the khaki side too, NAP provides immense opportunities. Sometimes to gag the civvies when the need be. While keeping all the keys of almost every NAP point under its own close watch, this side of The Equation conveniently uses the sanctioned ‘inaction’ for calling out the civvies. Slogans of bad governance resonate with everyone because poor governance has been one of the starkest realities of this country since decades. The masses have been suffering it for far too long to not repulse it.

This suppressing pleasure is not the only advantage the boots get from NAP. The abundantly milking cow that NAP is, has given them power and authority unprecedented in the recent history. Poor prosecution is not an issue because there’s no danger of rogue assets spilling uncomfortable beans in the courts. There are exclusive courts now. Where every single move is an undecipherable eternal secret. No one can ever access what the convicts say. The missing persons have suddenly stopped echoing. Yesterday’s ‘missing persons’ are today’s detainees under Protection of Pakistan Act. Things have become unimaginably easier. All you have to do is, identify them, arrest them and let the world forget about them. All sorted!

While everything is sorted for the asymptote that the civilians and khakis have become, what goes on in the society is not even a matter of concern for anyone unless it doesn’t hit the interests of this predictable tangent.

An average populace uptight with xenophobic and religious zeal with overdose of anti-democracy and anti-politics narrative would certainly end up doing what we see around us.

In Karachi (and reportedly elsewhere too) there were mid sized rallies demanding extension of the tenure of the General who is supervising all the above-mentioned mess. In these same cities, however, there had been a relatively minor situation during last week about the security of school kids who remain under threat after a terror group announced its war on schools because they produce lawyers, politicians, doctors and civil and armed forces’ officials. Not that the issue was not debated in the media. The focus however remained, why the government did not tell the truth about the threat while closing down the schools.

Few weeks ago there was a demonstration in a busy marketplace of Lahore – the second largest mega polis of this country – demanding the release of a shopkeeper who had put hate-filled posters against the Ahmadi community apostatizing them and calling for their murder.

The demanded was readily granted by the court releasing him on bail, which was celebrated by the chest-thumping crowd as their victory.

A senior official of Punjab Police when contacted had told that the Police was unable to go against the wishes of the people. There you go!

In an equally busy marketplace of Islamabad – the capital of the country – there appeared a big banner out of nowhere, with a convenient translation of a Quranic verse, wherein the women who step out of their homes were demeaned and disparaged. When one tried to put down the banner, almost the entire entourage of the shopkeepers amassed to tell if someone tries to put it off, they would be shot dead for blaspheming the Quran.

Few days ago one happened to watch a video of a cleric named Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, being widely circulated on social media. In the undated video, the cleric goes on directly addressing General Raheel Sharif and mocks him for going to America and rest of the world of ‘kuffaar’ and promising them to punish Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of the sitting Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer. Continually glorifying the killer, the so-called Allama goes on threatening the state in case the killer is punished and promising rewards in case he is pardoned.

After more than a year of NAP, one is not sure what to do with this narrative. No police station is going to register a complaint. It is because even the police fear those who routinely come out in thousands whenever the army needs ‘popular support’. These are the same forces who offer their services whenever a media baron gone rogue has to be sorted with hundreds of FIRs for blaspheming. The politicians fear because no one wants to become Salman Taseer. The courts seem to be the only institution standing up to the religious goons at least in this particular case. There is no ‘Shukriya’ community who dares venture in this. Who cares if the goons do not mess with core interests of these institutions?

A nuclear empowered state having world’s best intelligence agency, an army abundant in budget and after a rigorous military operation against the terrorists, is obliged to shut down schools and deems it pertinent to stay silent on the open violations of its writ by the religious fanatics.