In a crowded Jamia Masjid Khyber Markaz in Peshawar, the funeral prayers of a terrorist were offered. Not by one or two errant sympathisers, but by hundreds of members of a highly visible and organised “charity” group. Not just any terrorist, but of Mullah Mansour, the former head of the Afghan Taliban – a man directly responsible for the deaths of countless innocent men, women and children. Yet the government still maintains Jammat ud Dawa (JuD) and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat (ASWJ) are benign groups, charity organisations and political parties, who help the common man. It is hard to judge who is deluded more, these groups who glorify a mass murderer, or the government who refuses to take action.

In the background of the F-16 deal falling through it is easy to see why foreign governments don’t trust the Pakistani government, why despite “our countless sacrifices” they still ask us to do more. JuD and ASWJ continue spewing hate and violent extremism across the land while the government quietly encourages it with its non-action. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership, the groups pin all the problems in Pakistan on India and ‘foreign agents’, and in return the government overlooks a spot of sectarian violence here and there. The official ban on JuD activities is a joke that not even the most naïve citizen believes. When Hafiz Saeed openly preaches Jihad in Lahore and his followers praise the Taliban, we ask what more can we do?

The government’s and especially the military’s tolerance of these groups is an international embarrassment that portrays Pakistani authorities as weak, duplicitous, and inherently extremist. It damages our precious “image” – for which we ban movies and politicians by the dozen – and it damages the fight against extremism at home.

It doesn’t matter what Raheel Sharif says or how resolute he looks, it doesn’t matter what our ambassadors say or how eloquently they say it; unless these extremist groups masquerading as legitimate parties are shut down the government, in the words of the US Senate, Pakistan remains ‘untrustworthy’.