“The operation will deal with all militants indiscriminately and there exists no binary of good and bad Taliban” statement was received by some with raised eyebrows. Their suspicions proved correct only yesterday when militants from Mullah Nazir group tried to disrupt the gathering of Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) to welcome one of its leaders in Wana. According to the reports, the group or the self-proclaimed ‘Wana Peace Committee’ opened indiscriminate fire at PTM’s rally and resulted in the killing of at least four and injuring dozens of the movement supporters.

The fact that the group roams freely in South Waziristan’s headquarters of Wana speaks volumes about military’s successful operation there. Despite multiple assurances that terrorism has been rooted out, new groups keep springing up to cause havoc in the country.

The question worth asking is that how can the militants have had their offices in the area where the army has a presence under the sole objective that it will discourage any militants to carry on their activities?

Another important question is of motive; why were the militants so keen on stopping the protest rally of PTM supporters who wanted to raise their voice against the growing corruption in the region? Do the militants –or as they are known nowadays, the peace committee – have any interest or any stake in the matter? As reported - the conflict sprung up simply for conflict’s sake.

What is more depressing is the media blackout. The blackout is perilous for Pakistan and its accountability process. The prerequisite for accountability is access to information. That access is denied to citizens in the present case. The irony is that the peace committee that is supposed to ensure peace of the area is comprised of members of Mullah Nazir group that was involved in attacking US forces and its vehicles till the time Mullah Nazir was killed in a drone strike in 2013.

Some retrospection is what the state needs right now. The Wana Peace Committee’s murderous actions need to be condemned and checked. A violent confrontation with the PTM through violent means is a recipe for disaster and needs to be averted. It is high time that the state gives a hearing ear to the PTM’s demands that are legitimate and constitutional.