As if finally conceding that the applied approach by the federal government is not at all productive, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that dialogue and terrorism simply cannot go together. This is a no-brainer and has been voiced tirelessly by those fully aware of how unrepentant and brutal the Taliban is. For the past few months, the barbaric increase in extremist attacks against Pakistani citizens should spell extremist sentiment clearly to those in the government constantly lining up in favor of peace talks. However, it seems that it is a little challenging to see how uncertain life is when you can afford the privilege of armed protocol and unbreakable glassware unlike the majority of Pakistan. Maybe if our political leaders were to live the life of the average Pakistani for one day – that is, unprotected for and unheard – then they would rethink their counterproductive strategy.

The imbroglio was further complicated when the Prime Minister claimed that the Taliban ‘assured’ the government of taking extremist attackers to justice. Are we genuinely relying on the word from an illegal faction of militants for our country’s law and order? When the premier of a country embroiled in an endless nightmare of gore and madness airs such an incredulous statement, one does not know whether to laugh or cry. Deep down inside their own hearts, our top politicians do realize the futility of these dialogues and the perpetual dead-end we find ourselves in yet no one has made a concrete effort to address these discrepancies.  The fact that the Chief of Army Staff and DG ISI have refused to meet the TTP on their demand should summarize the differing note between the armed forces and the civilian government. Ultimately, Pakistanis – men, women and children – have to pay the price for this unnerving confusion and lack of commitment shown by our appointed leaders.

Given the frequency with how extremists attack Pakistanis – triple bomb blasts in cinemas only a few days ago and targeted attacks on persecuted minorities – and with how they utilize religious rhetoric for their own use, we simply cannot afford airing to sloppy statements from retired army chief generals on Jihad. The present and most needed responsibility should be to take these miscreants to task without further delay and lamenting. This is not as complicated as our big shots claim. Peace doves and IED attacks do not go together.