A fire-fighting approach is not the way to solve problems of a serious nature and real issues that require a comprehensive resolution to ensure that people respect court orders, and that the writ of the state is firmly established. In the absence of such a scenario, disobedience of the authority of the government and the state becomes visible; people start believing in the effectiveness of violence for making demands, fair or unfair. Any weakness shown towards mob mentality will seriously jeopardise the sanctity of the constitution of Pakistan, and the violation of the fundamental rights of the people. The government, in such a situation has no other option but to initiate a crackdown against rioters and to take it to the logical conclusion by meting out punishment for unlawful actions, which included inciting people to damage state installations and public properties. The government’s action has to go beyond diffusing the situation. Social media strongly reacted against the soft approach of the government against rioters and people who incited criminal acts, such as inconveniencing and disturbing the lives of peaceful citizens. In her tweet, Jemima Goldsmith, former wife of Prime Minister Imran khan, said, “Not the Naya Pakistan we had hoped for. Only three days after a defiant and brave speech defending the judiciary, Pakistan’s government caves in to extremist demands to bar Aasia Bibi from leaving Pakistan, after she was acquitted of blasphemy — effectively signing her death warrant”. In another tweet, she added, “Still hoping there is a plan afoot which we don’t know about”. Appeasement of mob violence is unacceptable says, Human Rights commission of Pakistan. HRCP is seriously concerned at how quickly the government capitulated to the demands of extremist led mobs, despite its earlier vow to preserve the writ of the state. HRCP strongly urged the government to take an unequivocal and consistent stand against groups and individuals that have no qualms about employing violent, extra constitutional means to have their way, said the statement. Meanwhile, government has initiated criminal proceedings against rioters. Pakistan’s image has been further damaged due to recent events, which is an indication that a great deal still needs to be done to curb extremism The existing narrative in context of policy and governance is very disturbing. All hopes for reform and, the betterment of economy and society have been dashed to the ground. Long-term perspective on economy and social development requires an enabling culture which is obviously missing. Pakistan’s image has been further damaged due to recent events, which is an indication that a great deal still needs to be done to curb extremism and to address the root causes of terrorism. Political governments don’t know how long they will last. Therefore, successive governments are not interested in structural reforms and strengthening institutions. Good governance remains simply an ideal, an unfinished agenda. That is a moot point for all political parties and political analysts, as well as authorities and institutions that are in a position to influence and bring about positive change. Feelings and words walk together, hand-in-hand, leaving behind a narrative of endless pain, no comfort and no gain. When will the narrative change, bring new hope, take away misery and shame? War and peace are instruments of development and change; the change we fear, the change we need that is a dilemma indeed. The problem, as always, is one of political will. The ‘TLP’ can do as it pleases because the powers-that-are, are content to let it do so. When this so called religious group holds tens of millions hostage, it is able to do so knowing that the eventual outcome of any negotiation with the state will be the latter’s capitulation. The real problem, however, is the political and economic stability that Pakistan needs. A rigorous implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) is required therefore, to create an environment of peace and stability to strengthen strategic value and importance of state intuitions and to constitutionalise structures and functions to ensure the supremacy of the rule of law. All groups that extract advantage from the opposition’s timidity are opportunists. It is important to draw a line of demarcation between right and wrong. Deceit and treachery must be eliminated to enable society to develop and progress on healthy lines. Extremism is the road leading to destruction. Laws of the land and judicial verdict must be viewed without prejudice and without playing politics to gain advantage, especially in religious matters. Obviously, courts cannot punish without sufficient proof of offense, if any, having been committed. Leaders of protests have the liability and moral obligation to compensate for the loss of property, lives and other damages caused by road blockades and violence. Enough is enough. Protests and sit-ins are not justified in the presence of a set of institutions and a system of justice and administration. Parliament is the supreme forum where national issues should be discussed to seek solutions and to decide action. Political influence and interference, and the related issues of authority must come to an end. Writ of the state must be established, come what may. Rioters and their promoters must be brought to justice. All those who suffered at the hands of criminals must be compensated, the government must explain their conduct in the parliament. The writer is Former Director, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) Government of Pakistan, a political analyst, a public policy expert, and a published author. His book post 9/11 Pakistan was published in the United States. His book existential question for Pakistan was recently launched and highly recommended as a must read for everyone Published in Daily Times, November 11th 2018.