Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday accused Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah of benefiting from his office and being dishonest, while castigating the PPP over the “misleading and incorrect” statements made by its leaders. The storm of words is making the national situation unstable and the PPP is especially up in arms. Any controversial statements should be refrained from at this sensitive time.

National morale is low in light of on-going threats against schools and colleges and the political parties need to exercise restraint in their political battles.

Additionally the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan urged all provincial governments not to shutdown schools over fears of terrorist attacks as he compared the closure of educational institutions with bowing down to terrorism. While we can appreciate his aims to create calm in a climate of fear as well as pacify concerns that his government has been less than adequate to end the menace of terrorism, would he send his own child to school if there was a threat? And even if he would, should he expect the rest of the nation to agree with his policy of not “bowing down to terrorism”.

It is not a new realisation that the national law enforcement system is severely out dated. It consists of unhealthy policemen with old guns for surveillance on roads and ill equipped security guards inducted in schools, and asking for the military to guard schools might be a bit of a stretch. Thus schools and parents take comfort in the fact that for a few days they don’t have to worry. Meanwhile, at the individual level they can plan and build more protection individually, because the state clearly cannot protect them.

What the PPP is doing in Sindh - refusing to admit that the Thar famine was avoidable, that its ranks are corrupt and needs to be purged, that Karachi’s security situation is product of their own politics - is the same as what the PML-N is doing in the Punjab with the NAP and the parties resistance towards openly condemning religious hate mongers and terrorist outfits. There is a stubborn refusal to cause actual change in Punjab, with statements like: “Those who are criticising the National Action Plan (NAP) and trying to create a situation of fear among the masses are working for terrorists.” The NAP’s implementation has been far from ideal, and to a large extent criticism is warranted. Had Nisar been in the opposition, he would have criticised the NAP on the same grounds.

Efforts can only be appreciated if they bear fruit. When they don’t its called defeat. How can the ruling party expect to be congratulated, when people feel so unsafe- no matter how much effort has been made to the contrary?