Interior Minister Rehman Maliks retraction of his repeated observations that the government had ample proof of the involvement of foreign hand in terrorist activity in the country is as outlandish as it is incomprehensible. Talking to reporters at the Karachi airport on Sunday, he listed the outfits that are commonly labelled as 'terrorist organisations for creating trouble in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan. One is really amazed how he has come to this categorical conclusion in the face of a pile of evidence to suggest that RAW, CIA and MOSSAD are engaged in this nefarious mission. The foreign occupation of Afghanistan has been facilitating their intrusion into Pakistan through the supply of weapons and funds to disgruntled elements, and even training and encouraging them to stir up trouble. Not only has the Minister, but also other responsible officials, including sources in intelligence agencies have been pointing their fingers at outside agents provocateurs. Mr Malik is on record having said that his Ministry possessed documentary evidence of Indian involvement. Brahmdagh Bugti openly admitted from his sanctuary in Afghanistan some time back that without New Delhis help he could not keep his anti-Pakistan movement alive. At the same time, Jamhuri Watan Party leader Nawab Talal Akbar Bugti has asserted, in a newspaper interview, that India is spreading terrorism in Pakistan through the route of Afghanistan, alleging that young teenagers are brainwashed by its agencies to commit suicide attacks. He has warned against the elements which are out to dismember Pakistan, termed them accursed and urged, particularly Punjab, which has the largest population, to stand up against them. The Ministers volte-face, excluding the role of foreign agents, could reflect an attempt to distort the factual position under some baleful pressure to divert the attention of investigating and law enforcement agencies away from the real culprit. The obvious objective would be to make it too hard to eliminate the menace and let the agonising state of insecurity persist. The other possibility is that the authorities, who possess enough evidence of outside interference, are unable to deal with these destabilising elements because their hands are tied, again under some outside influence. The situation is a sad and telling indication of how pitiably subservient we have become even when dealing with issues of peace and stability in our own land and, indeed, of survival. We have come to a stage where correction cannot brook delay. There is no alternative to dumping the baggage of the so-called war on terror and, as certain perceptive political observers have observed, that would pave the way for a return to normal conditions in the country.