As expected, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan, has come forward to take his position on the wall, which serves to shield terrorists from any comprehensive action. In Mr Khan’s infinite wisdom, the government should stick to negotiations. He has asked the government to apprise him of the fate of dialogue with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). There are easier ways to gain information than waiting for the government’s reply. Mr Khan can always call Mr Rustam Shah Mehmond, who represented the PTI in the government’s negotiations committee, and learn about the latest. Apart from that, Mr Khan can go through newspapers published during the last 6 months. He is likely to read stories which mention several bomb blasts, target killings, beheading of 23 FC personnel, attacks on military checkposts and similar heinous crimes committed by the TTP and affiliated terrorists during the course of the dialogue. That is what happened to the negotiations process. Mr Khan finds it perfectly reasonable for a government to remain engaged in a futile exercise while terrorists target citizens and soldiers across the country. In fact, he insists on it. People are either persuaded by arguments or new developments which they can observe and ponder over, but here we have a case of mind-numbing resistance against reason and reality.

PTI needs to reassess its position on the ongoing insurgency in Pakistan. The party has already done great damage to the narrative against terrorism by basing its solutions on factual inaccuracies and misconceptions. The worst part is that it has refused to acknowledge developments which contradict its claims, such as “terrorism will stop if drone strikes are halted”. Mr Khan takes great pride in stating that his stance hasn’t changed in the last 10 years. It only means that he has been consistently wrong, and has failed to evolve. The fact is that Pakistan is under attack from a relentless enemy, which will only grow stronger if we continue to obfuscate and appease. It has no control over a vast part of its territory, which is not in the interest of internal or regional peace. Terrorists, local or foreign, good or bad, need to be dealt with and the writ of state must be established at any cost. Terrorist groups such as the TTP and Al-Qaida work on an expansionist agenda. If not rooted out, they will continue to advance. While the PTI announces to hold protest camps at Islamabad Press Club against the killings of the members of the Shia community, it strives to prevent action against those who are responsible. The government should not pay heed to naysayers and appeasers, especially those within its own ranks. How many more red lines will it wait for to be crossed before putting its foot down?