A flurry of activity is being recorded across Pakistan following the horrific attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar carried out by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. The public is outraged and is calling for immediate, comprehensive action, and the state is attempting to respond. In a clash between security personnel and militants in the Baragzai area of Peshawar, five militants, including key commander of TTP Darra Adamkhel chapter, Mustafa alias Manan, were killed. Reportedly, Mustafa is a brother of Umar Mansoor, the mastermind behind the Peshawar attack. In another clash in Charrsadda, two more militants were killed. Two policemen also lost their lives in the line of duty. Another twenty suspected militants were killed in the airstrikes carried out in Tirrah Valley, Khyber Agency. Furthermore, the US conducted a drone strike in the Dattakhel area of North Waziristan on Saturday, resulting in the death of five suspected militants.

On Thursday, two terrorists convicted for the attack on GHQ and former President Pervez Musharraf’s motorcade, were executed by hanging in Faisalabad. In Sindh, black warrants have been issued for two Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) terrorists, who are scheduled to be hanged on Tuesday. It appears that executions will be carried out as a matter of routine from now on; a controversial but highly popular move. Security has been beefed up for sensitive jails amidst threats of jailbreaks. The TTP’s warning of retaliation against the hangings of its colleagues has had no impact on the new policy.

On the political front, members of the committee belonging to different political parties, who have been assigned the task of submitting an “action plan” in four days, continue to deliberate, as the nation anxiously awaits a revamped security policy. While there are many who are skeptical about the committees’ likely outcome, most agree that the show of unity by political parties on the issue of terrorism is nonetheless a positive development. A verdict on their performance of committee members at this point in time would be premature. Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz has described the Peshawar tragedy as “Pakistan’s 911”. Mr Aziz, who until a few weeks back, was drawing lines between good and bad Taliban, is now convinced that such a policy would be highly counter-productive; a realisation, he claims, that is shared by both civilian and military leadership.

But not everyone is eager to learn and review. Molvi Abdul Aziz, the infamous cleric of Lal Mosque, dedicated his Friday sermon to preaching unity between the Taliban and the people they massacre, issuing threats of suicide bombing across the country if the government dared to act against him. Members of civil society were successful in registering an FIR against him at the Aabpara Police Station. It is now up to the state to deal with him, and it must.