The arrest of Jamhoori Watan Party leader Shahzain Bugti by the FC, while he was on his way to Dera Bugti over the flimsy charge that he was carrying weapons with him is a shameful act on the part of the government. The weapons that were recovered were in a small quantity and were meant for the use of his bodyguards. In line with the tradition and local custom, all tribal Sardars move about heavily guarded and make necessary arrangements for their safety, including bodyguards, a security escort etc. And given the fact that there have been a spate of assassination attempts targeting high-profile individuals, the recent one being the attack on Chief Minister Aslam Raisani, tribal elders and local political figures have every right under the law to secure their lives against all dangers. Why Mr Bugti has been singled out is incomprehensible. The fact that the establishment including the intelligence agencies and the FC had been preventing the Bugti leadership from reaching out to their people in Dera Bugti out of fear of a mass protest could be one reason behind this sudden arrest. Such high-handed measures are only going to exacerbate the prevailing sense of marginalisation among the province. Mr Bugti is counted among those Baloch leaders who are striving for the rights of the province while seeing to it that their struggle remains peaceful and not in any way hurt the unity of the federation. Indeed on numerous occasions, he had assured the nation that he was a proud Pakistani and had even chastised Baloch leaders with secessionist tendencies. In contrast to the governments lukewarm behaviour, the stance taken by the PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif, who vowed on Tuesday to end the awful deprivation suffered for long by the province and its people is a ray of hope. This is all the more welcome at a time when a large section of the leadership is totally indifferent to the sorry state of affairs. However, whatever its prescription for resolving the Balochistan conundrum, the PML-N ought to act quickly. There is hardly any time to waste.