If only the PM and the four CMs had the power to reverse the disaster in Peshawar by a half-page government advert of condemnation, it would have already been done. But sadly, that is not how the world works, and all the condemnation issued by our country’s leaders does, is to remind us that up till now, nothing has been done to ensure that this catastrophe is at least avoided in the future. The problem is not that the sincerity of Nawaz and his followers is under question. They, like the rest of humanity, must have been just as disturbed by the incident and their shock and grief is probably just as genuine, but given the fact that they were elected to provide security for citizens of Pakistan, they will have to do a tad more than just deliver statements.

The fact that the APC agreed to negotiate with terrorists makes this a tough decision for the government to make, but something must be done to avoid this tragedy in the future. People’s lives cannot be treated with impunity. Clearly the ones the state is trying to negotiate with have a world view that is completely unacceptable to the people of Pakistan. Meanwhile, Imran Khan calls this calamity ‘a politicized incident’ and calls for allowing the Taliban to open a political office to facilitate dialogue. Maybe the PTI chief needs to take a break from his political narcissism for once, and actually look out for the people that voted for him. Eighty-one people were killed on Sunday, and it was not done to make PTI look bad. It was orchestrated for the same reason that is behind the loss of the other 40,000 deaths; to inspire terror, which is incidentally, what ‘terrorists’ have specialized in.

The PPP and Khurshid Shah calling for the negotiation process to start was in truth a political move, aimed at increasing political popularity. Maybe the government, and all those aspiring to be a part of it in the future, need to look at the bigger picture and realize that they are not only responsible for the safety of its people, but also of the countless generations that are to follow. The world ten years from now, looked at from this side of the clock, seems just as insecure and unstable as it ever was and not doing anything at this point will ensure that we are headed down the path to destruction. Mistakes that have been made in the past have already been paid for in blood. Something needs to be done now, to ensure that we do not face the consequences later. The security of the future lies in acting now and taking difficult decisions that were not made previously.