In his article, entitled “Crimson tide”, Fahd Husain has very rightly described the river of blood flowing in Pakistan for the several years. The insurgents have killed 40,000 innocent people, including security forces’ personnel, and, unfortunately, we have failed to control the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.

Moreover, Fahd speculates when a decisive action would be taken against them and how many more people would have to die. We must pay heed to what he has said, indeed!

Here it is important to mention that the Sri Lankans faced an armed insurgency. The Tamil Tigers wanted a part of Sri Lanka as a separate state. The state waged an all-out war against them for nearly two decades until they were confined to a village.

Eventually, the guerrillas sued for a ceasefire that was turned down, after which they were completely wiped out. This is how living nations deal with armed insurgencies on their soil.

In sharp contrast, the insurgents in Pakistan have been treated with kid gloves during the last decades. Since they professed to be religious, they’ve acquired many admirers and supporters. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons why a national consensus on defeating the militants could not emerge.

Also, Fahd wrote: “[Even today] they kill our people, we want to talk to them. They slay our babies, decapitate our soldiers, we want to talk. They bomb our mosques, attack our military bases and obliterate our schools, we say we are sorry.” Yes, he is right, again!

Recently, for example, in an unfortunate incident, six health workers were killed by the militants just to prevent them from giving polio drops to the children. God in his Heavens! What more have they got to do to coax us to take decisive action against them?

Undoubtedly, we should go after them; not let them come after us! Our rulers should either fight them or resign if they do not have the guts to take them on. Something really needs to be done on a war footing.

The extremist have once again conveyed a message through the brutal assassinations of Bashir Ahmad Bilour and six polio vaccination workers: “either do as we say or face our wrath.” This is a clear challenge to the writ of the state. Hence, those at the helm of affairs will have to deal with them firmly to save Pakistan and its people.

The trouble, however, is: our rulers would rather enjoy the perks and privileges of their offices. When the time comes to take a stand, they back out. That is why I have said: either do the job, or if you cannot do so, then go home and leave it for someone who can do it better than you; do not let the nation that voted you to power be ruled by the extremists.

The writer is a former principal of the King Edward Medical College, and former president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan. Email: ijaz.ahsan35@gmail.com