Pakistan has been experiencing an onslaught from various militant groups for almost a decade now. Common citizens and their elected representatives, security personnel and their ranking officers, no one has been spared. The people of this country continue to fall victims to terrorists who are hell-bent to achieve their goals by any means possible. To make matters worse, their elected government is still obsessed with the idea of dialogue instead of taking hard decisions, which are crucial for the preservation of what remains of this troubled land. We have been shot and bombed into confusion and inaction. But, it is in the words of Interior Minister, Ch Nisar Ali Khan, we are to search for hope, clarity and a concrete plan of action. Truly, these are hard times for the nation.
Speaking to the media – one of the favourite pastimes for the good minister these days – Mr Nisar Ali Khan delivered the ‘good news’ that a draft of a three-tier national security policy had been prepared which would be submitted to the National Security Committee of the Cabinet. He proudly announced that it would be the ‘first comprehensive’ policy prepared by his government in collaboration with concerned authorities. Good thing that it only took the PML-N seven short months to reach the milestone. One wonders, why the rush? It’s not as if every wasted minute translates into loss of life. Although the minister clarified that he was not at liberty to reveal all contents of the draft, he did however mention certain key aspects of the policy.
Here’s the comprehensive plan: we must talk to the Taliban. If that doesn’t work, ‘strategic action’ will be taken. And God forbid, if all else fails, a full-blown operation will be launched. Well, it sure does look like a strategy which would require seven months to take shape. All this policy talk would have sounded a lot more impressive and revolutionary if almost everything that Mr Nisar said on Sunday hadn’t already been said by him several times before, on countless occasions. So, if the question is what’s new? The answer: absolutely nothing. The decision reached by the All Parties conference is still sacred and binding, despite serious questions arising over its wisdom due to the subsequent response and activities by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Drones are still the scapegoat, responsible for all evils in Pakistan. If only they halted for just two minutes, the militants would embrace us all, with arms wide open. The government is assured that its politics of appeasement and indecisiveness is far more obvious than it fears. Say something meaningful, or don’t say anything at all.