Amnesty Internationals report on Balochistan that the province was rapidly sliding into chaos with over 90 deaths of civilians during the past four months should set alarm bells ringing in Islamabad. There is no disputing the reports contention that the government has failed to stem violence. This is a moment when the federal government should pause and try to understand that the province cannot be ignored any further as lawlessness is at its peak and only bodes ill for the countrys unity and existence. The report talks about the highhandedness of the security agencies and their methods of harassment, for instance warning the families of the missing persons not to clamour about their loved ones. But it also holds the Baloch dissidents responsible for unrest, particularly the deaths of settlers who have come from other parts of the country in the capacity of teachers, engineers and government servants. The reports cities the example of the education system, which it says is on the verge of collapse owing to the departure of hundreds of academicians out of threat to their lives. However, one aspect of turmoil that did not figure in Amnestys findings is the factor of foreign hand in exploiting the situation. Our government has time and again held New Delhi responsible for muddying the waters through its presence in Afghanistan. Interior Minister Rehman Malik the other day revealed to the National Assembly about the conspiracy to foment criminal violence in Afghanistan being hatched in Afghanistan. The pity is that despite awareness about this sorry state of affairs, the governments response to the provinces situation both on security as well as the economic front remains apathetic. It is also a fact that the troublemakers tend to capitalise on the sense of marginalisation among the Baloch. Keeping in view the Amnestys warning about the spiral of violence, there is hardly any time for PPP-led set-up to procrastinate.