Last year Punjab Minister Colonel Shuja Khanzada (Retired) was brutally killed for his bravery in speaking out against terror outfits. He had earlier taken action against a terrorist organization which in retaliation killed him with 16 others in his home town. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a banned religious extremist outfit claimed, responsibility for the attack claiming it “revenge for Malik Ishaq’s death.”

Yesterday was Khanzada’s death anniversary. It may be sheer coincidence, but a few suspects were arrested in Shuja Khanzada’s murder case yesterday as well. The arrested were planning to kidnap a prominent personality and one of them is the supposed mastermind of the Khanzada attack. Arms and ammunition were recovered from those arrested and it is said they used to commit their crimes wearing police uniforms.

Also, in another coincidence, the PPP yesterday asked the Ministry of Interior to highlight what has the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism has achieved so far. Will this be just another query or will a reply be forthcoming? We have to wait and see.

All said and done, we are witnessing a number of things in our lives that raise concerns in the minds of the people about the NAP and what is being done to curb terrorism in the country. 

At every street corner in Lahore, and I am sure in other cities also, camps have been set up to collect donations for the Kashmiri people. Who has set these up? Who gave them permission to collect donations? What will be the duration of the campaign and disposal of the donations? Who has ensured that these people don’t belong to a banned outfit collecting money to be used in their acts of terrorism?

The backs of rickshaws and many city walls carry the posters of Mumtaz Qadri and other religious fanatics. Why have these posters not been taken down?

Many fanatics in Islamabad and other cities used their pulpits to preach against Abdul Sattar Edhi, the mother of COAS General Raheel Sharif, and more or less there is an open session on minorities. Whose job is it to check that these activities are not only stopped but prevented in the future? Why have these not been taken by the horn? 

Videos circulating on social media openly instigating people against the civil/military leadership speak of the nefarious activities of these outfits. What more proof is needed to take action against these outfits and individuals and stop the spread of hate?

Recently few banned organizations put up posters with pictures of COAS General Raheel Sharif and DG Rangers Sindh Gen Bilal on them, with a view to legitimize their stance. Why has this negative projection of the military not been stopped is being asked by many. Who are the enforcers of law fighting against?

The last few months has seen a rise in kidnapping of children of different ages particularly in the Punjab. While the grapevine buzzes that these kids are used as unwilling organ donors for the illegal organ transplant trade, many people question this as small children may not be suitable donors. This raises the question of the chances of their being used in suicide missions. Irrespective of the reason, the lack of an aggressive operation against this raises questions.

The Cybercrime Bill, supposedly an extension of NAP, has gaps in it which have been pointed out by politicians and cyber security activists. Yet we have to see if it will be used against actual culprits or for political purposes.

With these open loop holes it should be no surprise that we get caught off-guard when the next strike happens.

After many attacks we find reports by security and intelligence agencies saying that they had issued a warning about such an act. However, action on these warnings was not taken – be it APS Peshawar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park Lahore, Bacha Khan University Charsadda, or one of many such attacks. Why, even after the warning, no precautionary measures are taken? Why does the terrorist end up being successful, while we are caught “napping” and then rush to make our presence felt and utter few words of concern?

Do we as a nation realize that we are playing with fire? This war against terrorism is no less than a fire that has spread across Pakistan consuming the basic fibre of society!