The City received yet another blow at the hands of terrorists. This time the target was precisely a popular religious scholar Maulana Sarfraz Naeemi who recently had taken up cudgels against the Taliban and was receiving threats from the same quarters. The people were shocked and grieved to find a popular figure falling prey to terrorism. The security environment in the country in general and in the city in particular has sharply deteriorated more recently as the government decided to take on the Taliban. The main concern of the people here in the city is when this blood-letting will come to an end, if at all. They are dejected and demoralized to find their lives becoming insecure all of a sudden. But who cares. Everybody here who matters in the government is more interested in his own security than that of the ordinary people. In such trying moments people need someone to console with them to lift their spirits a bit. But so far they got none to mitigate their sense of insecurity and someone who could share their concern. By the way where the entire Punjab government has gone-its Chief Minister, the cabinet ministers, the behemoth we call bureaucracy including Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and then top cops. No one figures any where as the security conditions worsen in the city and people find their lives unprotected and threatened. They find their lives disrupted by these terrorist acts followed by police department's so-called security measures. For them even going to mosques, madrassas and even attending funeral is becoming difficult or even sending their kids to school, let alone leading a normal and routine lives But then the question springs to mind where the Punjab government is? For sometime we hardly see Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in picture, discussing with his administrative team the law and order situation at a greater length, as being required by the turn of events, roaring and issuing warnings here and there to keep the policemen on the right track. Once law and order used to be his favourite theme and about which he was not ready to tolerate any slacklessness. Nor we find any message emanating from his side for the public giving some hope and inspiration to them in these bleaker days. Such messages work wonders in such situations when the people are down and out. In case if he is occupied where are entire cabinet team and his loyal and trusted bureaucrats both from the police and civil administration. In better days situation even less grimmer used to invoke very strong response from the government side with Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and police cops holding press conferences to share their thoughts with the press and in the process instill confidence in the people that they are there to take care of their concerns. But nothing of the sort is happening now, even not for the sake of it. The top cops, IGP and CCPO seemed hopeless creatures on the earth. Their comments before the cameras the day Maulana Naeemi got assassinated were good enough to gauge what these men were up-helpless and clueless. They also seemed disheartened and demoralized which is not a good sign. One wonders how they will lift the morale of the force they are presiding over if they themselves are down. When IGP Tariq Saleem Dogar assumed his new office the overwhelming impression was this that he was the man who would turn the tide and make amends for all the police failings. Now it turned out that much of it was exaggerated. For CCPO the less said the better. A little bit of imagination precautions and greater security measures could have averted the tragedy that struck the city other day. Maulana Sarfraz Naeemi was the first scholar to declare the suicide bombing as haram while supporting the Swat operation. His devotees claimed that he took this position openly on the request of top police brass. Yet the same police could not protect his life, knowing fully well that he imperiled his life by coming in the open against the extremist elements for securing the cops' lives. It seems that police top brass the PSP officers are more obsessed with their own security these days when their job is to protect the life and property of the people. The police while leaving the people at the mercy of God are seen fortifying their buildings and offices no matter what it takes in the end and how much inconvenience it caused to the public. We see the police buildings are being protected with all kinds of barriers and blockades. The roads leading to their offices have closed for public movement. For example Shariah Fatima, the road where the office of CCPO is situated has been closed down for the last 15 days. Nobody knows when the road will be open for public. It would have been much better had the CCPO shared his thoughts with the press as to why it was necessary to close the road and when it would be opened. Probably, he is waiting for the threat he faces to subside before the road is opened for general public. But as the police bungle and fumble most surprisingly no eyebrows are being raised in the political circles. Perhaps there is nobody to monitor the police performance. E-mail: nadeemsyed@nation.com.pk