One of the biggest consequences of having a weak government is that, by default, political space is conceded to anyone who makes a lot of noise. Sami-ul-Haq is the perfect example of this. The JUI-S leader still thinks that his best bet to remain relevant is saying something so outrageous that it shocks its way to the top of the news ticker. In his latest statement he claimed that the actions of the TTP are not really against the constitution of Pakistan but targeted against the government for the security of the citizens of Pakistan. Seriously? So that’s what they were doing with all the bombs? Saving lives? The brutality shown in our northern areas by the terrorists was somehow in the interests of the Pakistani people?

It is time that Sami-ul-Haq realizes that such statements might have something to do with his absence from Parliament, and the overall larger impact of his views. For instance, there is a reason as to why polio workers are endangered these days. Some misguided soul, just like Mr. Haq, who attracted a large crowd, condemned the vaccine and terrorists gained a free pass on attacking one more section of society. Sami-Ul-Haq is doing the same, and is essentially legitimizing the slaughter by extremists of any employee of the government and is promoting the idea that it is acceptable to attack any police or military blockade, because somehow these people are not Pakistani enough for his liking.

Appealing to the people on the basis of popularity is no criteria for political or any other sort of intelligence, and the government needs to shut such nonsense down, in the interests of maintaining a mentally healthy society. If capturing the attention of the public is really what it takes, then we must ask our national cricket team to step in power and take the stumps out of the terrorist threat. Political freedom is one thing, but allowing someone to disrespect everything this nation stands for is another thing entirely. The people dying because of the Taliban are our citizens, laying down their lives to protect this country, and the ones that are killing them are the real enemy, not a country a thousand miles away that we have mixed feelings for. Politicians that disagree with this view, and there are lots of those, need to be braver and should refute such comments, so that society as a whole can put a distance between itself and words such as this. In their absence, the Sami-ul-Haqs of our country thrive and continue to propagate their increasingly misguided opinions with no check.