Chaudhry’s Nisar’s press conference in the aftermath of the high-level security meeting in Karachi only managed to reveal the state’s mood after the two high-profile incidents in Karachi relating to Amjad Sabri and the CJ Sindh’s son. For one, the government seems prickly about the criticism it is facing in social media, which made the Interior Minister refer to online platforms as ‘dirt he kept himself away from’. For another, the revelation about the army getting involved in the recruitment drive of police in the province also speaks volumes for the future of the political scenario in the city in the long run. The army is attempting to restructure the politically-motivated police, but it might not turn out too well for the political parties that have long held Karachi with a firm grip.

In the case of using online platforms, perhaps Chaudhry Nisar should be made to realise that in instances of tragedies such as the murder of Amjad Sabri and the kidnapping of Owais Ali Shah, social media already does play a very important role in uniting the public against crimes of hate, and is instrumental in expressing national grief and solidarity in turbulent times. Pointing out state failure is only the logical extension of this thought-process, for after grief, questions are always asked over who is to blame. If anything, Chaudhry Nisar should put aside his disdain for social media, and the Interior Ministry should use it as tool to root out the terrorists he spoke about in the press conferences. If the Interior Ministry is aware that terrorists use these platforms to spread hate and dissent, why are more extremist pages and profiles not banned? Why are the people behind them not facing justice?

The Interior Ministry should also be reminded that questioning the overall success of the fight against militants is also perfectly within the right of citizens, and is no way detrimental to the fight. Expectations are naturally going to be high when lives are at stake, and each life lost, especially in the case of prolific individuals, will bring in the usual demands of ‘do more’. The country might be in a state of war, but this is still a democratic government, and the people have the right to ask questions, as long as national security is not undermined. Merely looking to protect the fragile morale of the troops each time there is a failure is not good enough.