Just how quickly can politicians in Pakistan shift their stance on critical issues is simply bizarre. They stand on one side of the line, tall and proud, publicly condemn those on the other side, and overnight, they switch places. This peculiar behavior was on display yet again in the recent Senate proceedings. Switch to any talk show during prime time, and if the issue under discussion is the security situation of the country, one is sure to find someone from the PPP or ANP lamenting the government’s inaction against militants: Are we to remain sitting ducks? What is the federal government scared of? Where is the writ of the state? They ask these questions, fashioning much concern and agony on their faces. Thank God for the unbowed PPP, ANP folks, or the federal government would present us all before the terrorists for supper.

A checkpost of the security forces at Khajori post, Miranshah is attacked by a suicide bomber, adding to series of attacks aimed at security forces since the APC decision of holding ‘peace talks’ with terrorists. He rams his explosive-laden car into a mosque within the post where security personnel are offering evening prayers. According to ISPR, two men are martyred and twenty-eight injured. Even the rescue convoy comes under heavy attack. Curfew is imposed and a retaliatory action by the army commences in Mir Ali. ISPR claims over 40 militants have been killed so far in the ongoing operation. Conflicting reports suggesting civilian casualties also arrive.

Now, if the members of Parliament had decided to stick to their stance or rather roles, we would have seen the PML-N oppose the action and lecture everyone on the importance of peace-talks, while gladly accepting nods from their colleagues in PTI. PPP, ANP and MQM would have lambasted the government for abandoning the military to be used for target practice by militants. But, instead, here is what has happened: Defense Minister, Khwaja M. Asif, has openly come out to support the Pakistan army’s ongoing action. He rightly clarified that attacks on the security forces will not be tolerated and a fitting reply will be given whenever the need arises. Quite a surprise for the government to stand behind its forces. Surely, members of the PPP and ANP are satisfied now? No, quite the opposite actually. Their senators appealed to the President – that’s a first for this presidency – to halt the operation in Mir Ali. They urged him to ensure peace for FATA, and lift the curfew so locals could get back to their normal lives. In other words, they are now in favor of being sitting ducks. This self-destructive, political drama has to end...from all sides.