It is an understood fact that humans are not infallible when it comes to decision making, government officials and ministers even less so. In the running of the state, mistakes will be made, things will be overlooked and problems will accrue. And while these said government officials are liable for their lapses, demanding their unconditional resignation at the drop of a hat is both unreasonable and untenable – something the opposition still has to learn.

While talking about Chaudry Nisar Ali’s defense of the security agencies over their lapses, opposition members on Thursday sought the Interior Minister’s resignation for failing to prevent major terrorist attacks in the country despite having prior information.

With this demand the resignation list grows bigger; the Speaker, Sardar Sadiq Ayaz is already there, Chaudry Nisar joins him, and they all sit in the company of the Prime Minister – for whom “go Nawaz go” is sung daily by sections of the opposition.

Does the Interior Minister deserve criticism for his blanket defense of our security agencies? Yes he does. Should that criticism take the form of a resignation demand? Absolutely not. Firstly, while the security agencies technically fall under the purview of the Interior Ministry, most function as semi-autonomous bodies with very little interaction with the federal government. In fact they answer more readily to the armed forces than the federation. As such laying the failure of our clandestine bodies at the door of the Interior Minister is incorrect. Secondly, of all the federal ministers Chaudry Nisar Ali seems to be the most pro-active, and the most capable – making the demand for resignation doubly misguided.

While it is true that Chaudry Nisar’s arguments for the security agencies – drawing from nationalism and pleas of solidarity and faith in the armed forces – were inappropriate at the moment when the nation was reeling from a terrible attack, the correct method is institutional accountability, not individual.

The Interior Ministry and the gamut of our security and clandestine agencies must be summoned in front of the parliament to answer the questions of the members. If they feel the answers are inadequate, they have the ability to institute stronger accountability measures – or demand resignations of certain officials if this is what their heart desires.

But demanding a resignation without such exercise is a problem – one that is unique to the opposition.

These demands grab attention, yes, but have the precision and problem solving potential of a blunt axe.