AT a time when the security forces are fighting terrorists in Malakand Division and the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the growth of militancy is becoming obvious in South Punjab. Eleven people, including seven children, were killed, and dozens others injured, in an explosion at a house-cum-seminary on Monday morning on the outskirts of Mian Channu, about 90 kilometers east of Multan. The death toll is likely to rise further as the rescue workers were still busy sifting through the rubble to recover the trapped people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The incident however comes as a wake-up call to the Punjab Government that remains complacent about the threat of potential terrorism in the southern parts of the province, regardless of warnings from the federal government. Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif reacted very strongly when Interior Minister Rehman Malik recently drew the provincial government's attention to the boiling cauldron. Mian Shahbaz had a point in saying that fighting terrorism was the responsibility of the Centre rather than of the provinces. But then he cannot absolve the provincial law enforcement apparatus of its basic responsibility of gathering intelligence about people involved in suspicious activities. The Mian Channu explosion is a case in point, where the local police failed to check the people frequently visiting the house of a school teacher, Hafiz Riaz, where the blast took place, despite repeated complaints by local residents that the visitors were linked to militant organizations. The DPO Khanewal was unable to give any proper explanation except to say that the cause of the blast was being investigated. It is time the leaderships of the two mainstream parties stopped indulging in point-scoring and focused their attention on curbing the rising tide of terrorism before it becomes difficult to take on militants who have reportedly started setting up sanctuaries in South Punjab.