THE trouble in Kurram Agency has more than one dimension. First, there are rival tribes of different religious persuasions, which are pitched against each other in a bloody battle on the thoroughly distorted assumption that they would be serving the cause of Islam if they could eliminate the other. Exact figures of casualties suffered by both sides since the trouble began are not available, but some estimates put the death toll at as high as 800 and many more injured. Secondly, finding the ground quite fertile for making things worse for the government, the Tehrik-i-Taliban of Pakistan has also jumped in on the side of one sect. And now the authorities, fed up with the unheeded warnings and counsels of restraint, fruitless rounds of jirga sessions and failed ceasefires, have issued orders to the Frontier Constabulary to take action against the erring tribes. Reportedly, hideouts of miscreants have been bombed and on Wednesday 15 Taliban were shot dead. While the entire tribal belt is a sensitive region owing to its location next door to Afghanistan suffering the onslaught of foreign invaders and the commonality of ethnic affiliations of its people with the Pushtuns living there, Kurram Agency has assumed special significance for Pakistan. Unfriendly powers have busied themselves in currying favour with the local people through providing them with essential goods and even access to Peshawar via Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, their strategy has serious implications for Pakistan, the more so as the border continues to be disputed by Kabul without any valid justification. The government's response to the situation, must under the circumstances be measured, with the best effort going in for restoring peace by means of a conciliatory approach.