It has been seven years since the deadliest ever attack against young students in the country by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. On a bright, sunny, winter morning, 147 children were brutally massacred in the Army Public School in Peshawar. At that time, hardly anyone could anticipate that a few years down, the line Osama bin Laden–the founder of Al Qaeda–would be called a martyr by the Prime Minister on the floor of the house, Ehsanullah Ehsan “the mastermind of the APS attack” would mysteriously escape the invincible security, and the TTP would be considered for amnesty while the guardians of the APS victims would keep awaiting justice. The APS attack on December 16th, 2014, was an attack on civilians, penetrating the security of a state institution, with an intent to massacre as many children as possible. The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack and called it revenge against the operation Zarb-e-Azb started by the military in North Waziristan the same year. Some in Pakistan later accepted the unfortunate incident as collateral damage. The whole nation mourned the insurmountable loss, emotionally united against the terrorists, and even pledged to educate the children of the enemies. Yet, where it ended up is miserable. Pakistan could certainly do better provided that a comprehensive national action plan was implemented in the letter as well as the spirit. For TTP, the idea of the state of Pakistan is contrary to Islam. Since the creation of the TTP in 2007 after the Red Mosque miscalculation by the dictator Pervaiz Musharraf, the organization has launched numerous attacks threatening the national security of Pakistan. They have attacked civilians, politicians, army personnel, police, and even polio workers. For them, the idea of the state of Pakistan is contrary to Islam and hence they wage a terrorist campaign against the state to uproot the government structures. A vile ideology of TTP has fortunately not been able to win support from the masses but Musharraf’s offensive against the Red Mosque provided different extremist sections with glue to unite in the form of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. The cleric who was then found running away from the Red Mosque wearing a burqa was over-joyous at the Afghan Taliban’s conquest of Kabul. Waving the Afghan Taliban flags at the seminaries, he challenged the Pakistani state and dared the policemen to wait and see what the Pakistan Taliban would do to the state when the police went there to remove the flags of an unrecognized element in the capital city. Are individuals more powerful than the state? If the state gives space to extremists and lets them become stronger and gather support from the masses until they become a potential threat to the security only to be crushed by brute force, the chances of the approach becoming successful are minimal. Frankenstein monsters are hard to chain. Creating them for political goals is easy but disposing of them off is a messy thing to do. It is catastrophic. The mistakes must not be repeated. Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s ideology has massive support among the citizenry. Unlike TTP, the TLP is an organic movement with mass support. The party sees itself as the kingmaker in the upcoming elections. As they gather in huge numbers every now and then disrupting the peace in the public spheres, some voices start coming out that force should be used against them as if suppressive measures can choke wide-spread ideas no matter how questionable their legitimacy is. Succumbing to TLP’s demands again and again, calling it out a proscribed organization one day and then embracing it the other day, sending its hereditary leader to prison and then welcoming him by flowers on the release, and showing crocodile tears on the damages done by TLP and then advocation of the same ideology by the office-holders only confuse the citizens and drain the public’s trust on the governance structures. The radicalization wave that came up with TLP was arguably hitherto unseen by the country. The incidents like a Sri Lankan citizen lynched and burnt by a mob in Sialkot are an expected unfortunate outcome of such ideologies mainstreamed for political purposes. During the cold war era, Pakistan was an accomplice along with the United States and the Saudi Kingdom in producing the jihadi ideology. That ideology backfired and Pakistan became a living hell suffering from religious extremism. It took years and immense efforts to control that crisis. The terrorist organizations are, however, still operating although Pakistan has seen relative peace in the last few years. But the threat is not all gone. As the Taliban conquered Afghanistan, other religiously motivated groups in the region also gained confidence. There are speculations that Pakistan was hoping that the Taliban in Afghanistan would use their influence in brokering agreements between the state of Pakistan and TTP, but lately, it seems the hopes were mere delusions. TTP has ended the ceasefire and the future talks are uncertain. Giving amnesty to an organized terrorist network, which has the blood of tens of thousands of Pakistan and who do not believe in the constitution at all, merely on the idealism that they will become inclusive citizens at once, will not be helpful. The country needs serious revision on its policies at handling radicalization. The least it can do is to refrain from creating monsters like the mujahideen in the first place for they cannot be disposed of when the urge arises. They are costly liabilities, not assets. Also, make sure the public does not get hyper radicalized. Radicalization occurs fast while deradicalization takes time and huge efforts. The joint risk of a radicalized population in the form of TLP exerting its muscular Barelvism and a militant blood-thirsty TTP will be a big challenge for the state. For the most part, the state itself is allegedly responsible. Will it handle the forthcoming crisis responsibly to avoid the blame? One can only hope so. The writer is a political scientist with a focus on international relations and sociopolitical issues.