AS feared, the hasty renaming of the NWFP has led to a growing agitation in Hazara Division which has also become increasingly violent. The NWFP government has overreacted with an excessive use of force by the police, which has led to a more violent reaction by the protestors. Using tear gas shells and firing on the protestors was not in keeping with the right of the people to protest; similarly, the burning of a police station and general destruction of property by the protestors is equally counter-productive to their cause. However, the issue of the renaming is a critical one and it may eventually halt the Constitutional 18th Amendment Bills progress in the Senate, where some of the opposition parties have vowed to oppose this particular clause as well as some others. This is part of the democratic process and for the ANP to point accusatory fingers at parties like the PML-Q for threatening to oppose the renaming clause as being behind the violence in Hazara Division is unacceptable. The ANP knows full well that there is widespread opposition to the term Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa in the Hindko areas. That is why some saner voices were suggesting a referendum on this issue. As it happened, in the haste to get the Bill through Parliament, there was never an extensive debate on the issue. The PML-Ns role on the renaming of the NWFP was also confused - with the leader of the Party first seeking to oppose this, then throwing his support on the issue and now after its passage through the Assembly, again talking of the concerns and rights of the people of Hazara. The ANPs agenda also raises serious issues, especially its latest pronouncement that it would support a Seraiki province but not a Hazara province. Why the discrepancy? In any case, the present time with crises like food shortages, load shedding, water scarcity and spiraling prices, is hardly the correct moment for starting on the debate over more provinces - important though this issue is. With the protests in Hazara Division showing no signs of abating and with the death toll now moving into double figures, the government and the major political parties in parliament need to do some soul searching and find a peaceful and viable solution to the renaming of NWFP issue. Such a solution has to be supported by all the major ethnic and linguistic groups of the province - not simply be imposed in what presently has been a 'dictatorship of the majority. A referendum still seems a more viable alternative. As the deaths and mayhem in the Hazara Division have already shown, such major changes cannot simply be imposed. A damaging fallout of the situation has been the closure of the KKH which will have a negative impact on Pakistans relations with China since this Highway is a lifeline route for our strategic ally.