Another blast in Swat injured three members of the security forces on Friday, though this is only to be expected, considering that attacks from the terrorists did not abate even while the ceasefire was ongoing. The government has now received intelligence reports about militants planning to use the Indus River to transport arms, people and equipment between provinces. This means they would be able to avoid security checkpoints on highway routes. Amidst all this, a tribal Jirga arranged by the JI in FATA, made another call for ceasefire by both parties, and blamed corruption, unemployment and America, naturally, for all of Pakistan’s problems. Their call for ceasefire with a non-state actor which blatantly refuses to accept the writ of the state and refuses to hold by the terms of the ceasefire is astounding, considering that the ceasefire was also nothing more than a farce. 

As for the worrying news about the Indus River as a possible militant route, it should be noted that only three checkpoints exist throughout the entire channel, and those too, purely to protect reservoirs. There is no real high security check post on any part of the river, and arrangements will have to be made. The mere size of the river is perhaps the most daunting part; still it will have its logistical disadvantages that the government can use against militants. Apart from the speed of travel by boat, just how much these supply runs will be able to transport is an added obstacle that challenges efficiency. Perhaps it is not yet time to panic.

It must be said however, that any security arrangements that the government and the security forces make will need to be vigilant. What exactly will “river security” entail? How many checkpoints are sufficient on waterways? Where will they be installed, and how expensive and practical will the exercise be? The greatest problems will be logistical, for both the terrorists and for counter-terrorism procedures in place.

On the other hand, the “talks-fight” strategy, is more than purely logistical. It is ideological, and it is political. It reflects the national attitude of “anything goes” which is prevalent in every social and state institution of the country. Anything goes, no matter how many die, no matter how many are dying, no matter how many hideouts we bomb or how many negotiation committees we draw up. Anything goes. It is time perhaps, to call this sham for what it is; an exercise in futility, an incoherent, destructive marriage with the devil.