Interior Minister Rehman Malik has been as usual blowing hot and cold over the issue of operation in North Waziristan, causing acute anxiety among the general public, legislators as well as the people of the agency who would be thinking of moving away to safer locations. The move met with a rebuff from the PML-N. But, as things stand, we see the issue becoming something of a political football in the National Assembly.

As of now, the Interior Minister has said that Mulla Fazlullah is in Afghanistan from where he alleged that the attack on Malala Yousafzai was planned and there has been some upbraiding for Kabul’s inaction as well. Fazlullah be hunted down quickly but also his network that is suspected to manoeuvre its tentacles across the border is stamped out. The issue at hand, that of militancy, its safe havens both inside and outside the country should not be allowed to become a toy in the hands of policy makers. There is no turning away from the direction that we have chosen; that of establishing peace in Fata at all costs. The NA, which we are now told is no more rubber stamp, should get out of confusion, rather a state of denial witnessed on Tuesday to square up to the challenge. The menace of extremist militancy must and will be eliminated from Pakistan and military and civilian leadership need to actually “lead” instead of wringing their hands indecisively in the face of an evil that affects no one but us Pakistanis.