The enemy is organised, stealthy, and coordinated. There can be no forgetting this, as the Taliban threat inside Pakistan is downplayed beneath the bravado of government and army efforts to unite against militancy following the Dec. 16 attack in Peshawar. The enemy has not been weakened and sectarian attacks have remained constant in scale and frequency. Shias and those of the Christian faith have repeatedly been at the brunt of the killing. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its more powerful splinter groups remain as brazen as they ever were and the establishment has been at best, unable, or at worst, unwilling, to tackle the problem at the required level; a level that engages with the problem of intolerance, that washes out the narratives of hatred that fuel attacks such as the ones that took the lives of 15 church goers in Youhanabad at two separate locations. How did it happen? Were the two policemen guarding the churches intelligent security for a high risk minority area? How did two coordinated attacks occur when the enemy is apparently pushed against a corner by the load of textual nonsense that is the National Action Plan? Where are the results three months on, dozens of executions and hundreds of raids and arrests later? The country has sacrificed due process of law, and democracy has been put on the back burner, because a state of emergency has been declared and in a state of emergency, we are told, raising hue and cry over insignificant things like democratic rights and habeus corpus is akin to betraying the spirit of the times. However, the path of this government is just not comprehensive enough, or mature enough, to solve a complex problem, a historic web of deceit, lies and logistical inabilities.

Condemnation is not enough. Neither is puny financial compensation to aggrieved families. It is clear to see that the government can no longer buy the silence and compassion of the Christian community using stop gap measures, as the entire country broke out in violent protests following the attacks, with two suspected militants beaten to death and burnt in the streets by an angry mob. When the Chief Minister of the Punjab has been exposed in dirty deal-cutting with the enemy of the state, when law is de-prioritised and the rule of kings prevails, when every government narrative is smoke and mirrors to distract a distressed populace, when the military continues to be involved in dangerous double games, innocent people will play in blood. The brink seems near. Any more pushing might lead to complete collapse.