This is yet another tragic day in this country. The last one and half decade has killed more than 70,000 of our fellow countrymen, from security forces to students, from academics to artists and its time that we accept the harsh reality: we are losing this war. We are losing this war because we are in a state of denial. We as a nation don`t take this war as our own. For most of us, whenever something happens it is a foreign hand which is distorting the peace of Pakistan. What we conveniently forget is the fact that the current situation is not an outcome of one off event. It is the culmination of mistakes of the last four decades and when you play with fire, you are bound to get hurt. Pakistan suffers through problems of a developing country such as sovereignty violation, poverty, energy crisis, economic instability, education crisis, corruption, gender inequality and judicial desecration. To put up some statistics, over the last five years, 527 sectarian attacks have killed over 2,100 people from various religious groups; 53 Journalists have sacrificed their lives for freedom of speech; in the last five years, 10,082 civilians and 3,453 security force personnel have lost their lives as a result of terrorist violence. (South Asia Terrorism Portal, 2015). More than 150,000 Pakistani soldiers are fighting against terrorism within the country right now and we are practically in a state of war. The first step towards solving any problem is the admission of the problem. It’s about time that we go beyond the usual rhetoric that no Muslim can carry out these heinous acts because they do. It’s as simple as that, everyday in this country we have children and women being raped and kidnapped; we murder over petty issues, we have regular cases of target killing over sectarianism and ethnicities. You won`t find any religious leader or politicians declaring them foreign agents but somehow, whenever there is a terrorist attack we look beyond our borders. If our fellow countrymen, Muslims, can carry out these acts then why can’t they be involved in the formation of different splinter terrorist groups? By not admitting that we have a local problem, we are busy in a blame game which has benefited no one. Within two days of Quetta blast which literally wiped out the most senior generation of the troubled provincial capital, we are now using media and assembly floors to debate which leader is funded by which foreign agency. We have quietly moved on with our lives after sharing the customary posts, statuses and tweets. We are sitting in our well guarded houses in posh areas thinking that it’s some problem in far flung areas, but this war has already reached our door steps. Just because we have been fortunate enough not to lose anyone yet, we think this is not happening in urban cities. Children are being radicalised right in the heart of urban cities. Most of the terrorists are well educated and they are choosing their targets tactfully. The counter narrative will have to come from within the people. State and its institutions have to take the lead on it but there is a limit to what they can contribute. This problem won`t be solved simply by army operations rather we need to develop the capacity to listen to each other. We need to be more tolerant towards each other. We need to respect each and every human life regardless of the faith, sect and gender. You cannot simply condemn killing and add “but they asked for it” in a single line. You can disagree with anyone over faith and morals but that does not give you the right to take anybody’s life. It is not justified under any social, religious or political reasoning. For me, this should be the starting point; we need to inculcate these values of tolerance and humanity. We need to play our part in improving lives of people around us without thinking how big or small the impact is going to be. Sometimes our words or small actions go a long way in changing the lives of people. Learn to listen and understand the other person’s point of view and you`ll be amazed at the struggle of people around you.