THE Prime Minister convened a high-level meeting at Islamabad on Friday to review the military operation in South Waziristan, whose backlash in the form of almost daily suicide bombings has heightened the already prevailing insecurity in the country. While it was good to learn that the participants - top civilian officials, including cabinet ministers and chief ministers, and military high command - showed unity of purpose in eliminating terrorism, the decision to divert the funds meant for development projects to security needs cannot but be viewed with serious concern. After all, socio-economic backwardness is cited as one reason that induces people to commit terrorist and anti-social acts, and to execute projects that tend to bring them into the mainstream of life is the best method to change the militant mindset. Mere recourse to force would backfire. Thus, side by side with meeting the needs of the armed forces, it is necessary to maintain the tempo of development. In fact, it is widely felt that with the US aid of $1.5 billion a year flowing in, the scope and range of these projects should get widened. The policy planners need to keep their focus on the uplift of the people; efforts to provide them education and economic opportunities have to continue for an extended period of time that would see PM Gilanis observation, failure is not an option, come true. As for the military needs, it appears logical to assume that the Americans on whose behalf we have taken up the cudgel should be meeting them. The meeting also heard COAS General Kayani say that the military mission was proceeding successfully and the armed forces were trying their best to contain collateral damage. Even if collateral damage was negligible, though at this stage we do not have independent information, the suffering of over 120,000 people dislocated from the war zone is not a tragedy of any lesser dimension. One hopes that the Rs 2.5 billion set aside to help them would be properly and faithfully spent to tide over their difficulties. To come out successfully against such a stealthy enemy, it is imperative to have coordination among different sources of intelligence gathering on which the meeting rightly laid great stress. Coordination would make it possible for the security forces to bring down, though perhaps not eliminate, the incidence of suicide attacks, which inevitably create a scare among the public. The PMs concern about the media 'glorifying terrorist acts seems to be quite misplaced. With its faithful coverage, and that is what the media is there for, it has actually been responsible for showing the real ugly face of terrorism to the general public. The outcome: pervasive aversion to the terrorists ultimate designs and loss of sympathy for them.