JUST a week after peace efforts in Swat succeeded, with the conclusion of an agreement between the government and the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi, the militants in Bajaur, which is supposed to be one of their strongholds, declared truce on Monday, and that prompted the Army to announce that it was suspending the operation for four days as well. One would hope that these moves bring permanent calm and restore normal life in these violence-ridden areas. Not only that. The message spreads across, and Al-Qaeda and the Taliban elsewhere in the tribal region lay down their arms and accept the writ of the state in the larger interests of the security of the people and the country at large. Under the circumstances, it is immaterial whether the militants' decision came after they found themselves badly cornered by the Army or they have been brought round to appreciate the virtue of peace in the talks they held with the jirga or, as surmised by an unnamed Western diplomat, the militants would like to concentrate on strengthening resistance in Afghanistan in the wake of President Obama's decision to despatch two more brigades to the occupied land, with 17,000 troops making the first phase of deployment. And, therefore, they would like to end, or at least reduce, their involvement in Pakistan's tribal areas. Rather, it is important for the authorities to make sincere efforts to build on the opportunity provided by peaceful conditions, strictly adhere to the agreement in Swat to make the arrangement durable and try to convince militants in other tribal agencies to understand that their policies constitute a serious threat to stability of the country. The government's proactive role in this regard is all the more needed in view of the new US Administration's stress on eliminating 'safe havens' of terrorists in our tribal areas with intensified drone attacks. In an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, President Obama emphatically remarked, "I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away." However, at the same time, one hopes that the strategists sitting in Washington would see the wisdom of our argument that the violation of our territorial sovereignty, particularly that which murders innocent civilians as well, does not help get rid of the extremist scourge.