A few short days ago the nation’s talking points were starkly different, and as exigent as they come. 60 police recruits lost their lives in a deadly attack on the Police Training Academy in Quetta. ISIS, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and the Taliban – all were in the media spotlight. In the aftermath, embarrassing questions were raised about the security arrangements made by the government, and the military establishment was forced once more to field tough questions too about the success of its operations. Meanwhile skirmishes across the Line of Control (LoC) were an ever present issue to deal with, as was the pursuit of a solution to the Kashmir crisis.

Now the urgent cacophony surrounding the blasts have all but disappeared, and have been replaced by an equally urgent – but far more entertaining – news cycle, focused on Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s march to Islamabad. It cannot be denied that clashes between the government and the opposition are a newsworthy item, as is the uncertainty it brings, but the sheer glare of it is blinding viewers from some important developments.

The first and foremost issue has to be the due process that was necessary after the attack in Quetta. What looked likely to be a hard inquisition is now forgotten and the government is off the hook – albeit to be caught in a bigger one elsewhere. The debate over our security progress, the influence of ISIS in Pakistan – which is vociferously denied by the military establishment – is a necessary one; the government and the media must set aside some time and airspace to tackle these issues too.

The other danger of being swept up in this populist wave of political stunts and rallies is losing focus of what is the top threat to the country – and that is the issue of extremism. While the government was busy imposing Section 144 against Imran Khan and co., the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) – an umbrella group of proscribed religious parties – held a large rally in the capital in complete disregard of Section 144. In fact, the police were calmly present, providing security and logistics.

Is it not a matter of national importance – and worry – that Ahmed Ludhanvi of Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), led a public rally in Islamabad, surrounded by representatives from such proscribed parties as Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)? Does it not require discussion that the government gave an open hand to the DPC in exchange for support in the upcoming lockdown? Or that the rally rang with slogans of “Shia, infidels” and “no NAP can stop us”?

A few days after these groups’ ideological partners murdered 60 brave recruits – these issues require our full attention.