Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has convened an intra-parliamentary meeting next week to chalk out strategies for implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). However, the main purpose of the meeting is to extend the tenure of military courts which expires later this month after being in place for a two-year period.Since the ruling party doesn’t have the required numbers, it would likely seek support from the opposition benches despite green-signalling the extension process through relevant ministries. PPP is the only party consistently opposed to the extension of these courts since their think their conduct is akin to draconian measures that have no place in a democratic society.However, what’s more important is that a handful of government ministers had been cosying up with extremist groups and their leadership for quite some time. For instance, Sheikh Rasheed’s ties with Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) are publicly known. His brief detainment at Houston Airport back in June 2012 and regular public appearances with JuD/DUP leaders clearly indicate that he has no qualms in being associated with militants. Even an educated minister like Asad Umar openly met and asked Maulana Fazl ur Rehman Khalil of Harkat ul Mujahideen (HuM) to join PTI not long ago. HuM’s past affiliations with Al Qaeda and its notorious activities that include suicide attacks and airplane hijacking are widely known. Perhaps, the minister needs to realise that people like Khalil are a liability who were placed on the US government’s Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) list.Last but not the least, Shehryar Afridi, another key minister, met JuD members just before the 2018 General Elections and assured them of political mainstreaming if PTI came to power. While JuD has been officially banned earlier this month with reports implying that this time, their offices and assets have been frozen for good, there needs to be full assurances in this regard.Militancy has no place in progressive and democratic societies like Pakistan. The government should ensure that neither its ministers are found to be chit chatting with such groups nor that these groups are allowed to flourish further. Any remote association with the ruling party needs to be reviewed and support withdrawn. Indeed, the implementation of NAP should be duly welcomed but would it be a temporary or permanent measure? That is yet to be seen and the whole world is intently watching. *Published in Daily Times, March 19th 2019.