Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has learnt two very important facts, which he shared with the people during a press conference held in Peshawar, on Monday; Terrorism is a national issue for Pakistan and the PTI is in power in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Until a week ago, he was determined to shut down the country, and telling Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he would not allow the federal government to function. If the Peshawar incident had not occurred, Imran would have been busy bringing a revolution on the streets. But the incident did occur. So many people, mostly children, were killed. It is extremely unfortunate that nothing short of a national tragedy could prompt the country’s political parties, including the PTI, to pay attention and take action.

The PTI must come clean before it attempts to win the war against terrorism. Will it finally accept that its approach towards the issue has previously been flawed? Does it now understand that action is necessary? Does Imran still consider the Taliban to be liberators? Victims of drone strikes? Or does he recognise them for the child-killing terrorists that they are? It would be encouraging to see Imran speak against them with the same passion and emotion as he addresses Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari during his speeches. As someone who has always stressed on the importance of accountability to ensure good governance, Imran is surprisingly soft on the KP government. He doesn’t believe that the Police are responsible. The provincial government isn’t either. In any case, the damage has been done. It is most critical that further damage is prevented. It is nonetheless a positive development that the PTI has come back to reality.

Imran raised several important points during his press conference. He asked the federal government to deploy FC personnel along the border between KP and FATA. No one can argue against the need to secure borders, especially during an insurgency. He sought help from government for rehabilitating Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). It is true that the KP provincial government has far too much on its plate. It doesn’t have the capacity to deal with the massive influx of people so it must be offered all the assistance it requires. The PTI Chief also discussed the issue of Afghan refugees, integration of residents of FATA into the mainstream and the need to employ a multi-pronged policy to counter terrorism. If only we had more than words coming from the PTI.