There was a clear suggestion in Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali’s reaction, the other day, to the terrorist attacks in Quetta that the PML-N government’s patience had worn too thin to tolerate such criminal acts any longer. However, he left room open for talks with those elements which were willing to sit across the negotiating table with the government and sort out the issues that bothered them. His Sunday’s statement during a visit to Balochistan’s capital appeared to reinforce that resolve. Ch. Nisar also held a meeting of officials at CM Secretariat and took some “important decisions” with regard to the situation. These decisions, he said, would be revealed after approval of the Prime Minister on June 20 when the various dimensions of the rampaging terrorism would come under review. The nation, anxious to see the return of normal, peaceful conditions, looks up to the government to let it know the steps it intends taking to achieve the objective. As veteran leader from the province Mahmood Khan Achakzai said on the floor of the National Assembly on Monday that there was no time to lose to tackle the scourge of militancy. A well thought-out, clear-cut and firm approach to the problem would have to be adopted if the desired results are to be achieved. Dilly-dallying or an ambivalent stand, the hallmark of the country’s policy on militancy in the past, would make matters worse, as witnessed by the recent upsurge of the deadly phenomenon.The incidents have cast a pall of gloom over the entire country and a day of mourning was observed in Balochistan, particularly in Quetta and Ziarat, the scenes of these despicable acts. A complete shutter-down of businesses was also witnessed. After a visit to Quaid-i-Azam’s Residency, the Interior Minister said that experts would be engaged to reconstruct the building and hoped they should be able to finish the job in three to four months’ time. Meanwhile, the lawless elements have not held back their nefarious activity and shot dead three policemen in Qila Saifullah and kidnapped three persons from the Dasht area in Mastung, reflecting the gravity of the situation and the urgency of addressing it.From the other end, COAS General Ashfaq Kayani has assured the nation that the armed forces were fully prepared to defend the country against any aggression. He did not make a pointed reference to the violence that had erupted in Balochistan, but his remark ought to be taken to mean that if called upon it can set the house in order. General Kayani should have no doubt that the people, all to a man, stand by the armed forces in all crisis situations.