TERRORISM, like the proverbial genie, is again out of the bottle. Day in and day out, it plays havoc at the most unexpected of places, causing death and destruction and messing up the survivors' lives. The beleaguered citizens, literally scared to death, have little choice but to suffer and wish it never visited them. Notice the helplessness of the Karachites and the guards at the Indian Embassy in Kabul - the two places where the terrorists struck on Monday with brutal effect. Nevertheless, the deadly menace has to be dealt with head-on. The situation demands that the leadership showed a courageous and farsighted response, rather than indulging in the blame game. The evil has much deeper roots. The attempt by the Afghan government to implicate Pakistan in the Kabul disaster by alleging that "an active intelligence service in the region", an oblique reference to the ISI, was involved, is not only a knee-jerk reaction without valid evidence, but also a defeatist approach to the problem that takes the focus from the causes of the painful phenomenon. This thoughtless remark could easily provoke Islamabad to accuse both Kabul and New Delhi, while political wisdom at this critical juncture calls for coordination between the concerned countries, rational planning and proper implementation. President Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Rangeen Spanta must acknowledge that the Kabul bombing is, in all likelihood, in response to the savage killings of Afghan civilians by the NATO-led forces on two occasions last week, and indisputably points to the failure of the War On Terror. Washington must reflect on the continued carnage the presence of its forces in Afghanistan is resulting in and pull out at the earliest. As it is, the Pakistani leadership is clearly double-minded in tackling the issue. While we are engaged in talks through tribal jirgas to secure peace deals, at the same time we do not find it anomalous to launch military operations under US pressure, which creates distrust of the government among tribesmen. The result is that, as stated by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Lashkar-i-Islam leader Mangal Bagh conspires to bomb Parliament. And Umme Hassan, says the IG Punjab Police, trains female suicide bombers to target the President. There is little doubt that to succeed, the government must adopt a coherent policy conforming broadly to the people's wishes, but for that the major political parties will have to be on board. Unfortunately, the top PPP and PML(N) leaders are sitting abroad at this time of serious crisis, besides the fact that stalemate in certain issues is hampering mutual understanding developing between them. They must appreciate that the scourge, like terrorism and militancy, cannot be put aside for long.