The impoverished but proud parents would have been happy the day their sons got selected for the police force. With lots of prayers their moms would have sent them to their training academy to earn them the title of a Policeman. But one thing they didn’t know was that a few other sons of equally impoverished parents have already been blessed and assured by their handlers with a guaranteed passage to paradise. However, there is a small caveat here; both were on a collision course. Thus, the latter self-detonated to kill those would-be-cops – 60 of them. What a day that would have been for those parents!

Terrorism is not ending. And there is no end in sight either. It always comes back, one way or the other and in different shades with different targets.

Earlier, on the fateful day of December 16, 2014, after school going kids were slaughtered by the barbarians, the present government, the entire political class and military devised a National Action Plan (NAP), that was aimed at flushing out all terrorists, their sympathizers and the hate-mongers. Why does the dust of time always cover national tragedies? Some of them simply shouldn't be forgotten. The NAP lost its steam soon after some initial breakthroughs and decline in countrywide terrorist activities without realizing that the terrorists simply went underground and postponed their activities. They are war hardened and very committed, it was a naive approach to lose interest and cut the zeal that was displayed in the initial days of APS tragedy.

Now, after this fresh episode of carnage, we can feel the emphasis again on 'intensifying' operation against such elements. This essentially meant that we lost the appetite before, and now because scores of people have been killed again we are going to renew our NAP commitments. It is unfortunate but should it be assumed that for a wholehearted operation people need to die on equal intervals, otherwise we relax? It is utter lack of professionalism and manifestation of bad governance. In countries where welfare of people is the primordial point, all resources are appropriated first to secure their lives.

It is not enough to just root out the active terrorists in the field. If you kill one, there would be ten more to replace him. The full focus should on the sweeping reforms regarding the origins and nurseries of such religion-based terrorism. The national narrative regarding the NAP is absent from social media. This is the platform where narrow-mindedness and hate-mongers roam free. They dominate this scene. If someone wants to deny, it is their choice but the major radicalization is carried through the use of social media. Now it is understandable that no single government can regulate all aspects of social media, but this is very much doable to counter the hate-driven narrative being funneled through it, to the gullible minds and impressionable teens. When the federal government has the resources to control the electronic and print media by filling it with government-friendly commentaries, a fraction of those resources can be channelized to this unbridled cyber-space. A counter narrative needs to be built with full force. This is the only way you can cut the future supply-lines of 'wanna-be' militants.

The system of mosques and madaris certainly needs to be regulated by the government. Every single resident of each of the neighborhoods of Pakistan knows who openly vouches for the extremists’ cause. There is no need to pick them up or kill them in cold-blood, rather they need to be cautioned and told to follow the line. In some cases the same elements can be effectively used to counter the very same ideals that they previously advocate for. Unfortunately, the national media is not immune to their sympathizers either. If government doesn't know about them, then I must say they have no right to govern in the first place.

Extremism was spread very systematically in the nook and corners of Pakistan with all the precision techniques that are applied in making it an effective and luring propaganda. The same amount of effort is required to undo its potency. The only silver-lining is that this could be done much faster, given the new means of dissemination of information.

All of the above could only be done when utmost sincerity to the cause is felt, otherwise nothing would be achieved. And we would only see the knee-jerk statements and actions that fizzle out as soon as the news disappears from the media and goes to the sleep-mode only when awkwardly awaken by the follow-up tragedy.