THERE can be little doubt about the appropriateness of the gestures Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif made to the people of Balochistan during his one-day visit to Quetta. His ideas, like the convening of a national conference to work out the ways and means of removing the province's grievances and reviewing the NFC Award with a view to advancing the cause of uniform development of the country, as a way of creating harmony among different federating units, must be taken up seriously at all levels. Similarly pertinent was his oblique reference to President Asif Zardari's expression of apology to the people of Balochistan for the wrongs that have been done to them over the years. Mian Shahbaz rightly called for making the apology real, clearly suggesting that verbal expressions would not cut much ice with those who had suffered for so long. They need practical measures of redress. Unfortunately, the provincial landscape - economic or law and order - hardly presents any change, although it is already a year since the general elections took place and more than 10 months since the present government assumed office. There is urgent need to ginger up the official machinery; for delay in taking decisive measures could only complicate the situation further. The present scenario calls for earnest efforts to create goodwill among the various provinces, and the Punjab government's decision to construct an Institute of Cardiology in Balochistan costing Rs one billion is a step in the direct direction and so is Mian Shahbaz's announcement that he has set aside five percent of the Punjab Education Endowment Fund for other provinces. Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani's gesture of allotting two acres of land at Gwadar to Punjab is also befitting.