When the nation is stuck within the spectrum of a limited ideas; extremism is the outcome. When discourse is forbidden and questioning your instructor is tantamount to committing a sin; radicalism is produced. When the same ideas are reinforced again and again without anyone challenging them; expecting pluralism is only naïve.

Given the events of the recent past, it feels as if the terrorist ideology has won. Mashal Khan was brutally murdered within an educational institute; an institute that has an ideology of non-violence attached with its name. The student involved in the murder of Sabeen Khan was affiliated to Institute of Business Administration Karachi (IBA); one of the leading business institutes within the country. Punjab University, a name so huge in itself, is now a hub of the extremist Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT). Naureen Jabbar, a medical student, fleed her hometown to join the Jihad of Islamic State (IS) and was caught in Lahore planning to attack churches on Easter.

The arrest of Naureen does not ensure that there will not be more like her. How long will it take for our authorities to understand that the army may start operations to physically eliminate terrorists but the ideology has seeped so deep within that killing people is no more the solution? It took the federal government three days to issue a statement on the incident of Mashal Khan. This is how afraid we are of the extremists living within us.

We blatantly criticised Malala Yousafzai for pointing out that the Taliban are up against our education system. Even after the Army Public School (APS) incident, the federal government failed to use that time to come up with counter narratives within the system. That was the time when the public was ready to absorb the fact that there is no room for the extremist ideology in Pakistan. This was the time when they needed to realise how many lives we lost because of our support to radicalism.

When student councils are not allowed to operate within the university setup, when political debates are snubbed and only extremist voices reach the masses; there will be more Naureen Jabbars, ready to fight a made up war against their own people. Condemnation is not what the masses need right now. Under the table deals with extremist outfits need to stop. People cannot live in fear in their own homeland. Pakistan is not a home for terrorists.