Pentagon spokesman, Mark Wright announced on Tuesday evening that Washington has suspended ground shipments of NATO military equipment out of Afghanistan through Pakistan to ensure safety of the truck drivers. Here’s how Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) achieved this “tactical success”: people like simple explanations to complex problems. It’s convenient. There is no other reason that PTI Chairman, Imran Khan’s oversimplified drone theory sells so easily. It suggests that the root of all terrorism in Pakistan is the US-drone program. Sophisticated militias comprising of local and international terrorists are in fact grieving victims of drone assaults. Their elaborate manifestos revealing an extremist ideology, which justifies targeting citizens to pressure the state into imposing their distorted version of Sharia law, is purely accidental. They can kill anyone with impunity because they are justifiably angry, and they are ‘our’ people. Let’s not ever talk about what really attracts drones to FATA. Might it be the presence of notorious terrorists based in the safe havens within the territory, who engage in cross-border terrorism? And, isn’t the presence of foreign terrorists also a breach of the country’s sovereignty? Blasphemy! US drones kill ‘innocents’, e.g. Hakimullah Mehsud. They then become full-time terrorists, and start killing Pakistanis. Much simpler.

It appears that all that matters to PTI is that we talk to the TTP, even if it tells us twice a week that it doesn’t want to. So, we have to get them to like us. And, what better way to do it than by curbing the only tool of opposition they face in the country; drones. And, how do we do that? We let loose party supporters on NATO routes. Give them a free hand to stop trucks, conduct searches and block roads. The police can only see, but not touch. Is it a mockery of law? Yes. Setting a bad precedent of using street power to physically disrupt state policy? Sure. But, that’s fine. As long as the US is pressured into suspending NATO supplies fearing the risk to the lives of the truck drivers.

But, has Pakistan gained anything from this blockade? If the objective is to stop drone strikes, there is no certainty whether this move can or will achieve that. And, even it does, so what? It will most definitely not eradicate terrorism from the country, but only provide a breathing space to the militants. Also, it must be kept in mind that Pakistan is a cheaper route for NATO supplies, but not the only one. Comparatively less feasible, however, reliable alternatives are available for supplying equipment. All that the world will see is Pakistan’s irresponsible and unhelpful role at time when NATO troops near departure from the region. No guarantee of halting of drones, massive loss in revenue, detrimental impact on foreign relations; a tactical success.