FIERCE clashes erupted between the security forces and alleged militants in Darra Adamkhel on Sunday following an attack on soldiers checking their vehicle near the Friendship tunnel. Two days ago a college building in the area was blown up and two persons were kidnapped from the Indus Highway. Those involved in subversive activities deserve no sympathy. But at the same time, targeting civilians cannot be condoned. Locals blamed the security forces for fanning tension in the area by not allowing them to shift to safer places. The decision to deploy tanks in the troubled region lends credence to the perception that pressure is mounting on Islamabad to launch a fresh offensive against the jihadi organizations. The government is well within its rights to take whatever measures are needed to tackle the menace of militancy, but it must exercise restraint when it is engaged in talks with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan led by Baituallah Mehsud. The authorities should focus on obtaining guarantees from the TTP leadership for cessation of hostilities rather than rejecting outright its demand for the withdrawal of troops from the area.