The recent episode of protests exposes, once again, the complex problems Pakistan is struggling through. Who are these protestors? Where do they come from? Why do they resort to violence so quickly? The answer is that we have ignored our problems for far too long and they are coming back to haunt us. In Pakistan 25 million children are out of school. Roughly 44 percent of children in Pakistan are malnourished which results in stunted growth. Children with stunted growth suffer from delayed mental development. Such children fail to grow normally, and they lack strong reasoning and logical thinking capabilities. Apparently, they also fail to recognize simple things like harming fellow Muslims and destroying their property is no service to Islam. Such kids are perfect tools in the hands of people who spread and derive power from hate. You just need to sugar coat your dark agendas with religion and feed it to such people. You can use them to easily create chaos at your whim. A lot has been written on the government’s response to the crisis, and mostly it has been criticized. I think that the government did its best. The other option was to come-down hard on these people, and the outcome would have been very predictable: more chaos. And this is precisely what extremists want. We should not forget that TLP blocked the Faizabad interchange for three weeks, last November. And we should also remember the outcome when the government decided to use force. Supposedly that government was much experienced than this government, which is only months old. In Pakistan 25 million children are out of school. Roughly 44 percent of children in Pakistan are malnourished which results in stunted growth. Children with stunted growth suffer from delayed mental development. Such children fail to grow normally, and they lack strong reasoning and logical thinking capabilities One now hopes that the government will carefully identify those responsible for damaging public property and bring them to justice; this is what civilized societies do. But the government should not be mistaken that capturing and prosecuting a few will solve the problem. The root of the problem is illiteracy, poverty, and malnutrition. The government should address issues related to child education and nutrition on an emergency basis. If youthful energies are not spent in schools and playgrounds, they will be spent by burning and destroying public properties. Furthermore, banning of extremist organizations alone will not solve the problem. They will always come back with a new face, a new name, but the same old agenda. Again, addressing the root cause is the only key. The current episode reminds me of the discussions leading to the Lal mosque incident. People were demanding the government to establish its writ and punish those responsible for damaging government properties and undermining its authorities. But as soon as the operation started, the same people had fits of sympathy for the Lal Masjid students and blamed the government for its heavy-handedness and cruelty. This shows that some parts of our society will never be satisfied no matter what. It was always clear that there is no shortage, in Pakistan, of people who want to incite violence and spread chaos. But, the recent episode also shows that there is no shortage of people who want to watch violence and chaos. These people are very disappointed and blame the government of surrendering to extremists. It appears that they were hoping and wishing for a more dramatic end to these protests. Or they just wanted to see this government in trouble. Whatever the reasoning behind this, these are violent thoughts. Maybe it is human nature that we are never satisfied. Perhaps the ending of TLP’s episode is boring for some of us. Maybe we wanted a sensational ending. We are living in strange times. Times when reason is quickly succumbing to prejudice and partisanship. The writer holds a doctorate and is currently a researcher in biological sciences Published in Daily Times, November 13th 2018.