The recent killing of a peace committee member and journalist Javeullah Khan in Swat has instilled fear in the hearts of ordinary citizens, journalists and members of the local peace committees. They fear the militants are still strong enough to target those who speak of and advocate peace. Their frustration with the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) inability to apprehend the target killers in the area is not unjust.

Besides, it is not just Swat district where people fear the resurgence of militant groups. Even in the North Waziristan district of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), people complained of the presence of militants.

The resurfacing of militants and those who want to sabotage the hard-won peace must ring alarm bells for both federal and provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and LEAs. The ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — power holder both in the centre and KP — must take notice of the recent uptick in the fresh wave of targeted killings.

For if the government does not take these events as early signs of resurfacing and regrouping of militants, these miscreants can once again paralyse the entire nation. We must not let these miscreants take the peace from us that our LEAs and ordinary people have secured with enduring physical losses to their bodies and properties.

The peace committees play a vital role in keeping militants and their message at bay from the communities. They serve the purpose of the first protection wall against the militant ideology. Hence, it is only natural that the militants target them first to show their presence and garner support for themselves.

Thus, the state must take all necessary steps to protect the members of peace committees. And only a swift action against the remaining militants can ensure the safety of the members of these committees but also the sustainability of long-lasting peace.