IN two highly condemnable suicide blasts, at least 70 innocent and unsuspecting people died outside the POF gates and with over 100 wounded more deaths cannot be ruled out. That two suicide bombers should enter unchecked a high security zone is a reflection on the working of the intelligence agencies. Meanwhile Tehrik-e-Taliban spokesman Maulvi Omar has claimed responsibility for the attack, telling media by telephone that it was a "reaction to the ongoing military operation in Bajaur." Apparently those who planned the attack wanted to target a prime military installation. The majority of those killed, however, were civilian workers leaving for their homes after the shift change and had nothing to do with the ongoing operations in the tribal areas. Some of them might not have even approved of them. With two major suicide attacks taking place within a couple of days, the moratorium on attacks on urban centres and government installations, that seemed to have prevailed for nearly four months, has ended. In an ultimatum to the government, Maulvi Omar has promised more attacks of a similar type in other cities of Pakistan, including Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The coalition government which remains involved in internal wrangling, seems to be unprepared to deal with the challenge. The government finds itself in a nutcracker with Washington and its Western allies prodding it to do more to put an end to militancy, and the Taliban threatening it with suicide attacks in case it does not stop military operations in Bajaur and Swat. It can hope to deal with the double whammy only if it remains united. The situation is highly complex as was revealed by the speeches delivered in the National Assembly on Thursday. Some of the government leaders indulging in tough talk, however, fail to realize the facts. A perception is growing that, like its predecessors, the present administration is also yielding to the US pressure and thus putting the security of the country in jeopardy. There is a need to take into account the entire gamut of causes" economic, social and political" underlying militancy in the tribal areas to hammer out a comprehensive policy and to carry it out patiently. This requires deliberations among the leadership of the major parties and a debate in the National Assemby. The deep-seated malaise cannot be eradicated through use of force alone. The multi-pronged approach to bring militancy under control must therefore remain the mainstay of the policy. Meanwhile, the government has to improve the performance of its intelligence agencies, which have played a key role in situations of the type. Washington can best help Pakistan by keeping its hands off FATA. Incidents of crossborder missile strikes, like the one that killed eight on Thursday, can only add fuel to the fire.