The situation in Balochistan has gone from bad to worse because of mishandling by the government of Pakistan. We should all understand that violence is never a solution to any problem especially when committed against ones own countrymen. The target killings of Baloch tribesmen that had been started by General Pervez Musharraf has now turned into a full-fledged (and a very bloody) war that has brought Pakistan to the verge of implosion. The operation in Waziristan has also boomeranged on us. The youth of Waziristan, after being forsaken by their own government, have resorted to killing other ethnic groups present in the area, especially the Urdu-speaking and Punjabis. After the second Army operation in 2004, the Baloch youth have also retaliated the same way. They have been consistently targeting the Punjabi ethnic groups settled in Balochistan. The hatred for Punjabis was ignited by the perception that the 'Punjabi Army was responsible for destroying homes of millions of Balochs. Balochistan Liberation Army is the most prominent group taking part in the killings of minorities in Balochistan. Another group, Balochistan Liberation United Front is also playing a major role in promoting insurgency. Ironically, the educationists are being targeted the most to destabilize the province and to spread fear and unrest. The number of educationists killed recently in target killing is alarming. In 2006, the pro-Vice Chancellor of Balochistan University was gunned down by BLA. In 2009, the Minister for Education Shafique Ahmed Khan was gunned down in broad daylight. The same year, Nazima Talib, an Assistant Professor of Balochistan University, was also murdered brutally. In 2010 also, highly-reputed educationists were murdered in target killings. The outcome of this systematic 'ethnic cleansing of Urdu-speaking and Punjabis would likely lead to a mass migration of these people from Balochistan. It is significant to note that these ethnic minorities have been playing a major role in the progress and development of the province. Punjabis constitute nearly three percent of the total population of Balochistan. Urdu-speaking people are less in number than Punjabis but even they are mostly referred to as 'Punjabis by the local people and are, therefore, being killed in massive numbers. The Punjabis have contributed a lot to Balochistan especially in the education sector. The Balochistan government has a responsibility to protect them. -MARYAM DAR, Islamabad, August 30.