ECP is after all striking a right note when it brushes aside any presumption that the elections could be either deferred or would be violent. That, however, could also be interpreted as suggesting that the ongoing killings and violence is not of a scale dreadful enough for the ECP to assume that they could have a negative impact, although not including delayed polls. Perhaps, it is advisable to avoid propagating negativity, since any statement implying surrender is going to blare across with greater dejection.

But still, it would be worse to shut the eyes to the horror. On Monday, a bomb ripped through a large JUI-F gathering in Kurram Agency; 20 people were dead, while 50 were left badly injured. The killers hit again, only a day after in Hangu targeting a JUI-F rally. The explosion took lives of 10 activists. Other targets in the past few days include various offices of political parties as well as a polling station in Balochistan. The turmoil reeks of a tinderbox that somebody has already put a match to. What we are seeing at present, nobody had ever thought would happen; the blasted ruins of nationhood, tolerance and harmony that are yet being subjected to despair. The flames are now in every direction as they spread wider and deeper everyday in fact too intense for anyone to put them out. The ECP might have inadvertently underscored this point, when it made the statement about the elections free of bloodshed; it cannot ignore the heat when it knows that the blaze is reaching it as well. Otherwise the Election Commission would not have written a letter to the IG and Chief Secretary asking them to ramp up security around the house and office of Chief of ECP Fakhruddin Ebrahim.

If the loss of life continues indefinitely, no one knows what might happen particularly so far as the impact on the polls is concerned; their transparency too is subject to how peaceful the atmosphere is. Yes, the planned schedule must be adhered to; May 11 the big day that everyone is waiting for must become the real day of deliverance in that it is held peacefully and not only that it offers a band of crusaders who are brave enough to confront the scourge plaguing the homeland. Slumber on the part of the dispensation running the show means letting the people perish like that. The deaths occurring in the past few weeks and until now are in hundreds which should neither be played down nor anyone should have any doubt about their severity. The violence of the kind is going to deter the voters from coming out and casting their vote and hence it needs to be arrested with all the strength the state could muster.