We are almost two months on from the Dec. 16th attack on the Army Public School Peshawar, and the collective understanding is that the incident heralded the change in political and civil society we needed to root out extremism. Since then, the moratorium on death penalties has been lifted, the National Action Plan has been set into motion, some funding to religious seminaries has come under inspection, extremist sermonisers have been pinpointed and over 10, 000 arrests made. Most of all, a national debate has begun with the sort of fearlessness that was unseen before. The massacre was enough to push many right and left wingers off the edge. At least on the face of it, and at least for the sake of the political mood they have been largely saying the right things. No to terror apologists, no to cover-up charity organisations controlled by terrorist outfits, no to good Taliban. Most people choose to believe they are involved in an important moment of moral awakening. And all of this might be true at least for the time being. However, going backwards, going back to Dec. 16th and the attack that haunts the memories of hundreds of mothers, which led to the ravaging of so many families, it is entirely possible that the APS case itself has been sidelined for the greater national narrative. The fact of the matter is that though the gunmen who pulled their triggers on the 132 schoolchildren died in the immediate aftermath, their handlers, their operational heads, the inside-men, their helpers, planners and their supply chain of horror leading to Dec. 16th is still intact.

On Saturday, a large group of protestors including the parents of the massacred schoolchildren, held gut wrenching photographs of their beloved sons and took to the streets of Peshawar. It was a tearful and heartbreaking protest to express their dissatisfaction regarding the APS investigation. The delay in the probe, the dearth of convicts and of any real answers is puzzling. Saddam Jan, a small-time leader of the TTP was declared the mastermind of the school carnage and killed. Though he was an important fighter for the outfit, did he have the kind of authority to plan and order an attack of this severity? Umar Mansoor, the man following the direct orders of Mullah Fazlullah is still at large, as are the people directly involved in the planning of the attack. On the National Action Plan agenda, the accountability of the Peshawar attackers must be priority number one. The government must not forget the APS case in favour of the bigger picture; until every man who helped in carrying out that attack is behind bars, justice will not have been served.