S:    This isn’t going to work. I mean, when you have banned outfits taking out rallies and ‘religious leaders’ and clerics opposing madrassa registration while refusing to reveal their source of funding, Pakistan will remain as it is.

A:    Don’t you think that you’re being a little impatient here? These problems have evolved over decades and they are extremely complex. The National Action Plan, which you wish to see implemented, was formed barely two months back. Let us first go after hardcore militants; we can take care of the rest later.

S:    It doesn’t work like that, Ameen. You say that it is a complex problem, but your approach is so simplistic. It assumes that things are operating in isolation, that you can destroy one without so much as touching the other. What do you think about sectarian organisations? They are spewing hate and killing minorities every single day, but somehow, they don’t seem to fall under the constantly shrinking category of ‘hardcore militants’. I bet those at the receiving end would beg to differ.

A:     I’m not saying that the state shouldn’t act against them. Of course, it should go after every single terrorist. But, there is only so much it can do simultaneously. It is overwhelmed as it is, and you want it to declare war in every street and corner of the country. As a matter of principle, I agree with you. But it is important to be practical, which isn’t necessarily a compromise on principles.

S:    I wouldn’t be so worried if it was actually a capacity issue. I don’t think that it is. I’m not convinced that the state or society has stopped discriminating between terrorists. The PML-N government is all talk, no substance. The PPP government is arresting activists. The KPK government, well, the less said about it the better. Balochistan is Balochistan. I don’t know, Ameen. I don’t think we’re winning. How can we, when we’re not really fighting?