The powers that be, it appears, have decided that the states’ policies with regards to national security should be dictated by ‘philanthropists’, ex-intelligence chiefs and firebrand preachers. Especially, if they can successfully rally thousands of people from across the country and hold the capital hostage, while the Defense Day parade is a distant memory, due to 'security' concerns.

It appears that if change and influence is one's goal, instead of suffering the tiresome process of getting elected, one should form a pressure group, which strikes a chord with the masses through rhetorical speeches designed to exploit national sentiment. Also, a healthy relationship with the patriots in Pindi is key. The aim is not to liberate Kashmir, as they would have you believe; but to be most vocal about this desire. After all, their ability to fight the Kashmir cause is not greater than the state of Pakistan's -- and if you thought it was, they managed to do what they do best, impress upon the viewer their imagined influence as vitally important.

The man heading yesterday's rally, claiming to be carrying the flag for the Kashmir issue, are the single biggest guarantee of Pakistan's failure to even be heard. Allowing such voices, internationally an object of suspicion and by their conduct, contemptuous of diplomacy and decorum, to become the face of the Pakistani people's support of the Kashmiris is nothing short of a tragedy.

The politics of non-state actors and pressure groups in Pakistan must be stopped and discouraged at all levels before it is no longer a readily available option. Pressure groups with potent militant hangovers are only able to operate in the vacuum left by mainstream political parties and the state itself. When the state is silent on an issue of national importance, they speak the loudest. Where the state fails to provide aid for the flood affected people, they give them shelter and food, capitalizing on the failures of the government.

It should be Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and not dubious non-state actors, whose voice echoes around the country on matters of national security and the core issue of Kashmir. Pakistan does not need a jihad against the ‘axis of evil’. It needs a functioning foreign policy and a disciplining hand to deal with such unnecessary harangues and unwanted advice. To the Non-State Actors and Co, all we can say is: please, don’t help.