A surge in sectarian killings in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is seriously denting the atmosphere of sectarian harmony that traditionally prevailed in the country. Tension in Balochistan and GB is persisting and isolated incidents of violence by members of both Sunni and Shia sects are continuing unabated. It appears that governmental institutions are numb and incapable of addressing the situation. If this indifferent attitude continues on the part of the government, sectarian strife will reach even the big cities of the country. The month of Moharram is about two months away and can provide an opportunity to those who want to aggravate the law and order situation further in the country through sectarian violence.At this critical juncture of history, Pakistan is confronted with a number of internal and external threats. Sectarian crises will further complicate the situation. This looming threat can easily be countered by gearing-up governmental machinery to check hate mongers and through positive role-playing by religious leaders of all sects. Religious leaders can play a predominant role by educating people on tolerance. They have enormous responsibilities on them; they are listened to more intently then the politicians of this country. It is time that they revise their sermons and bring out the humane aspect of Islam. We have had enough of terrorism and killings. Let us unite under one banner. Shia or Sunni, we are followers of the same religion.GUL ZAMAN, Ra