Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s point that it was not an easy task to formulate national security policy, though true in the sense that conflicting views about what means to adopt to counter the growing scourge of militancy and lawlessness prevail among the different stakeholders, betrays PML-N’s failure to have done its homework, while in opposition for five long years. The Interior Minister was answering a question at Quetta, where he traveled several days after a terrorist attack which left 30 dead.

It is axiomatic to say that oppositions in democracies have responses to the challenges facing their countries ready to implement, as soon as they get the chance of occupying the seat of power. At best, the policies would call for finishing touches to be given. The more than two months that the PML-N has been in power now, would have been sufficient for it to have had a comprehensive overview of the insurgency-terrorist phenomenon, its outlook and tactics that Chaudhry Nisar talks about. And it should by now have been able to present a definite and unambiguous strategy to defeat the menace.

The situation in Balochistan, KPK and Karachi hardly shows any sign of improving; if anything, incidents of a heinous nature have lately become more frequent, bringing little credit to the provincial as well as federal government. The Supreme Court has felt compelled to take a suo moto notice of the failure of the government to adopt effective measures to curb the rampant violence. The authorities’ apathetic attitude or sheer indecisiveness is reflected in the fact that though Balochistan is virtually over-run by militants, it does not have a fully functioning government as yet, even three months after the general elections took place; so far, the cabinet consists of three or four Ministers. The rest of the portfolios are lying vacant.

If it is a war of survival, as Chaudhry Nisar says and indeed it is, then there is no time to lose. The process of consultation with political parties and other concerned agencies and studying the security policies of other countries must be completed at the soonest possible opportunity – or else, abandoned and the PML-N must lean on the mandate it has been given by the people of this country to govern, and implement its plan. While some areas of Pakistan have escaped the harshness of terrorists’ onslaught, the raging militancy in highly sensitive spots will soon engulf the entire country. There is simply no time to lose. Other than gripes, not much has been heard from the PML-N government on what exactly it intends to do.