Kidnapping of Mr. John Solecki, an American senior official working for UN and heading UNDP office in Balochistan on the morning of February 2 is a brutal and abominable act of lawlessness. This unfortunate incident exposes the myth of the writ of government in the province. Together with the equally damning assassination of Shia leader Hussain Yousafi, this incident illustrates the total breakdown of law and order in the provincial capital, Quetta. Target killings, kidnappings for ransom, heists and burglaries, car stealing and other crime big or petty, is rife in the province. This alarming state of affairs speaks volumes about capabilities of the ragtag cabinet of the province which is so over the moon on deletion of an overdraft of Rs. 17 billions by the federal government that they have stopped paying attention to daily governance. There is a dire need to enhance the control of government in the biggest province of the country but that can only be done through committed, concerted efforts. The UN official's kidnapping and killing of his driver has sent the worst kind of signal, increasing the general sense of insecurity among the public. It has also clearly illustrated the growing influence of the extremists in the capital city which now has a dangerous mix of charged ethnicity to reckon with. -MAHMOOD ASLAM, via e-mail, February 3.