WHILE Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif claimed he was misunderstood on his Taliban remarks and protecting Punjab, Interior Minister Rehman Malik seems to have deliberately, and as usual, gone one step beyond. His remarks on terrorism have consistently been inconsistent - with strong statements coming about India being responsible for blasts in Lahore and elsewhere and then equally forthright declarations pointing to the banned extremist groups. His latest remarks, though, take in everyone - from the banned groups who are according to him, toeing a foreign agenda, to the 'Punjabi Taliban who, Malik claims, are strengthening the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). What exactly is Mr Malik intending to do by his provincialist remarks? Is there a difference between Taliban from one province of the country and those from another province? Do the Taliban now have a provincial colour too? Pakistanis need to be wary of such false typecasts. The reality is that there is a real Afghan Taliban fighting the occupying forces who are now seeking a dialogue with them; and there is a questionable TTP being funded by external powers. By now talking of 'Punjabi Taliban, the aim is to not only divide Pakistan along provincial lines but to target some Kashmiri freedom fighters groups that may have support bases in parts of Pakistan, including in Punjab. Which is why what was really ominous in Maliks latest remarks was his statement that soon the security forces will take them (Punjabi Taliban) on. There can be no two meanings to this warning that a military operation is being planned in the Punjab. This would not only be destabilising for the country, it would be counter productive. The Prime Minister has realised the need to move from military operations to political and economic strategies. In fact, Prime Minister Gilani has conceded the limitations of military action and said that his government was looking for an appropriate exit strategy for the military. So, once again, there are contradictory voices coming from within the government on a crucial national issue. One hopes that the government will not indulge in opening yet another military front in its own country - and that too in a densely populated province. Instead, the government should focus on ending the ongoing military operations and opening up the areas like FATA so that development can make a start. This is what will give the people a stake in the system and isolate and weaken the militants. Interior Minister Rehman Malik should speak less and do more to deal with the terrorism menace in Pakistan. And while he is thinking on this, he may want to understand why Lahore is being particularly targeted. Perhaps a study of Indias ambitions of attacking Lahore would shed some light on the larger picture.