As election activity heats ups in the country, so does the frequency of terrorist bombings designed to instil the fear of going to the polling booth. The militants’ intention seems to be to disturb the peace by regularly causing loss of life so as to scuttle the prospects of holding the polls. Some areas, located wide apart in the country, where they have been able to spread their tentacles and assumed formidable presence due to the lackadaisical attitude of the government preceding the caretaker setup have, obviously, become their easiest targets. That is why Karachi, Balochistan, KPK and Fata are witness to daily spectacles of carnage. Counting the casualties in these areas, only Karachi would register about a score of deaths in the past two days, including the three killed, and dozens others wounded, on Tuesday when the terrorists struck at one of the election offices of the MQM. Understandably, the attack sent ripples across the country bringing into sharper focus the question of security that despite tall claims of the authorities refuses to get better. It also received a furious reaction from MQM leader Altaf Hussain who decided to close down the party election offices and, in a telephonic interview by a correspondent of this paper, reiterated his call for the postponement of polls for “a few months”. Bombs also exploded near a Hazara neighbourhood in Quetta when the attacker’s attempt to enter it was foiled by the police on Tuesday. The bloodshed continues unerringly; in Swat and near a police mobile in Balochistan there were again scenes of mayhem on Wednesday, keeping the people countrywide on edge.

However, the call for postponement gives rise to another question: would the few months’ delay turn the table on the TTP militants and of others of similar ilk? Doubtful! Analysts, who also draw on the performance of the five-year-long PPP-led government, are not convinced that the caretakers would be able to achieve much in the 16 days left for the polls, unless they addressed the issue with a single-minded resolve. That appears to be missing. As it is, the police and the Rangers have failed to eliminate all the no-go areas in Karachi despite the clear directive of the Supreme Court to do so. Such is the fear of these criminal hordes! Prime Minister Mr Hazar Khan Khoso’s mission of holding the election on schedule, praiseworthy no doubt, can only bear fruit, in the right sense of the world, if the law enforcement agencies and the armed forces were to go all-out against these anti-state elements and ruthlessly root them out.