THE words of Balochistan's Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani that certain elements within the establishment were trying to pull the rug from under the efforts to find a negotiated settlement of the conflict in the province makes a grim recital of the fact that someone else perhaps is still calling the shots, where he should have been the rightful decision -maker. Talking to the BBC, Mr Raisani pointed a finger at the military-bureaucratic oligarchy, which had until now been pulling the strings and thus was responsible for the mess the province is mired in at the present. A more disturbing news is to hear of the involvement of a foreign hand, as the CM has alleged. This must be carefully assessed and necessary steps taken to put an end to it. That said, there should be little reason to question Mr Raisani's claim as the condition of the province beggars description. The resolve by the PPP coming out in the form of a package to address its problems may prove helpful, if sincerely pursued. Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had earlier offered a public apology for past injustices to the people of the province, but there is reason to believe that a more proactive approach is what the situation requires. Thrashing out a solution on a conference table with the aggrieved parties was also an option thought to be the need of the hour by the new leadership and, therefore, it must be seriously considered. However, the dissidents have said that they were still waiting for the new dispensation to take solid measures. It would have to consider the release of the arrested leaders of the province, a measure that could go a long way in removing the prevailing resentment. The CM's worry about the elements running the province from behind the scenes merits a moment's thought. To let the political set-up run the province smoothly, the old pattern of off-stage players spoiling the broth must end. It may be a long shot, but changing the approach could help solve the problem.