Whether it was Mr Sharif’s idea, or General Sharif’s, it appears Article. 245 is to be invoked and the Army called in to serve in several major cities. With Operation Zarb-e-Azb in full swing, the necessity and logic of this would appear to be self-explanatory. Only it’s not. In the last year, before the military offensive was finally launched, there was much discussion and worrying about blowback. So far, there hasn’t been one of the scale and intensity that military circles warned about. Great.

But then why roll in Article 245? The airport attack in Karachi? The shots fired at Peshawar airport? What about all that talk of police and civilian law enforcement bodies being armed, retrained and bulked up to deal with an increase in threat level? Was it just talk, or is it not enough? Oh, and there’s the example of Balochistan, with the FC. Are they really that great at fixing things? Better than the police? Does the army even have the numbers to spare for standing guard in major cities, when they are fighting a war on one border, and looking over their shoulder towards India on the other.

The idea of the army taking over major cities also raises questions about whether Prime Minister Sharif fully realised that he is imposing a mini-emergency? That he is signing over civilian control for an unspecified period of time. Sure, he is technically still the boss of the army, but we know how well that always works out.

So what exactly made this necessary? How long is it going to last? Which Sharif’s idea was it? And if both of them think it’s necessary, what on earth are the police for? Are we ever going to stop asking for a khaki knight in shining pomade and take care of our own business? Or is it always going to be necessary for us to hand over custody of our affairs, like obedient children, to the adults with the medals? We can do better. Let the boys in khaki fight the wars, and let Interior Minister Choudhary Nisar finally make himself useful and do his job. If he can’t do it, we’re 180 million people, surely we can find a replacement. Is a mini-emergency absolutely the only way? Think, Prime Minister. Think.