The Ministry of Interior has decided to ask the provinces to devise a comprehensive security policy for the vulnerable segments of the society as well as for minorities including Ismailis, Bohra, Shias, Christians and others. It was also decided that arms licenses could also be issued to these segments though, understandable, there was a ban on the issuance of such licenses. More arms, and arms more easily available is not the answer. What is the point of a state that can not protect people, and they have to carry guns and wear armour? The intention seems to be good but too simplistic.

The country is fighting a war where the enemy is invisible, well embedded into the common folk and disguised as a pious segment of society. It is brutal, ruthless and inhuman and does not follow any international law or Geneva Conventions. The authorities are required to look inwards and see if the situation can still be termed as that of law and order? The maintenance of law and order, as per our constitution, is undoubtedly a provincial subject and is supposed to be maintained by the police and its auxiliary intelligence services. Would it not be appropriate to differentiate between the law and order situation and a war at this stage? This is one drastic but necessary way to look at the situation. Operations Zarb-e-Azb and the Kyber I and II are perfect examples of our internal wars. How long will it be before Operation Karachi, or Operation Quetta start? One opinion in this regard is that the law and order refers to controlling of crime e.g. theft, burglary, pick-pocketing, dacoits and of course occasional brawls and murders etc., in a peaceful society. Our law and order crisis goes much beyond the definition of crime. The trial of the terrorists under the normal criminal procedures can bee seen under laws that relate to war. Are these terrorists not war criminals?

The Interior ministry is required to take stock of the situation seriously and see whether the police and other provincial agencies are equipped and trained to fight such a war. Factually, the answer is a big no. In this situation, the federal government’s intervention becomes imperative. It has to lead this unusual war through some kind of institution, which has the jurisdiction all over the country and has sufficient manpower, which is fully equipped with the latest weaponry and technology to augment the efforts of the military. This institution should have been the civilian administration, but that ship has sailed. Reform does not just have to be of the police but of the political parties and the bureaucracy as well.