At the end of a chaotic weekend, security arrangements for the Islamabad operation against armed rioters affiliated with an extremist organisation, Tehreek-e-Labbaik, have finally been handed over to the Rangers. The situation at Faizabad interchange and other parts of the country remains tense.The government’s inability to handle the situation has been evident from statements given by some members of the ruling party suggesting that the Law Minister’s resignation is on the cards. Raja Zafarul Haq has stated that there is no harm in the minister’s resignation if it can help improve law and order. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has also reportedly favoured this option. Let us not mince words and state it unequivocally that any resignation at this point will set a dangerous precedent. It would mean that government officials can be forced into resignation by any group of armed thugs that can use force and attack ministers’ houses to push for its unconstitutional and illegal demands. It should be stated by the government in clear terms that no minister would resign on demands of such hooligans.The major opposition party’s response to the crisis has been abysmal. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has essentially used the issue as yet another opportunity to come down on the government. The PTI chief has demanded that the Prime Minister, the Law Minister and the Interior Minister should resign for their failure to handle the unrest and ‘fiddling with a sensitive matter’. At a time when most parts of the country have been brought to a standstill by extremists, opposition should have kept aside its political differences to support the government and law enforcement agencies in the operation against the agitators. But it seems no lessons have been learnt from history. Meanwhile, the army’s initial reluctance to intervene in the operation raises many questions. The Interior Ministry had sought the military’s help in dealing with the unrest to which the latter responded that it is ready to fulfil its constitutional obligation but it requires ‘some deliberations prior to the deployment’. It would have been appropriate for the army to convey its concerns privately and through proper institutional channels. By Sunday night, it was clear that the Army was not willing to face the protestors. The much-touted ‘peaceful solution’ remains an enigma and reminds us of the failed strategies to deal with Taliban in the past. In short, Pakistan has entered into a major crisis and the elected government will not come out unscathed from this mess. *Published in Daily Times, November 27th 2017.