In a bid to strengthen the confidence of foreign investors, the Punjab Government has announced that a new security force will be formed tasked with protecting foreigners in the province. While it is great that the government finally realises that it is their responsibility to protect foreigners as well as the general public, any initiative taken for protection should be extended across the entire country and not just in Punjab. The PML-N holds a majority in the provincial government of Punjab as well as the national assembly, so why is Punjab being given special treatment?

Due to the high incidence of terrorist attacks, the tourism industry of Pakistan has virtually collapsed. Foreigners only visit the country on business, and that too only if it cannot be avoided. Providing them with security is a job that the government has been ignoring for too long. However, just announcing that a new force is being made and organising different departments is no real answer. How is this branch of law enforcement going to be more effective in counter terrorism? What additional training (if any) will they receive? People coming into the country will need something more than mere glorified sentries to feel safe.

Mistaking the illusion of safety for actual security is the real problem here. The main issue remains unaddressed, for as long as terrorism is a part of our society, there is no way that anyone in this country can truly be safe. Hiring an infinite amount of guns and posting them all around the country is not going to change that.

And what about the civilians that are constantly threatened by the plague of terrorism? The incidence of threats to the general public is higher than that faced by foreigners. The blast in the vegetable market in Islamabad and countless other attacks proves that no one is safe, and the civilians really cannot depend on the government for protection. Even if the government was able to provide every civilian with a personal guard, that would still not change anything. Terrorists will still do what they do best; target innocents and wreak havoc across the country. The only way the government can stop this is through exterminating terrorism altogether, which does not currently seem to be on their to-do list. No length of debate on the salaries of the new officers charged with protecting foreigners is going to help in solving the problem.