The people across the country cannot believe their eyes whether what they are seeing on their television screens is a reality or a nightmare dreadful enough to awake you in the dead of night. The Taliban professed to the most brutal ways life are moving freely in the NWFP, armed to the teeth bringing more and more territory under their influence, thereby, coming closer to the very heart of the country. The people in the West are shuddered to know that Taliban have now set their eyes on Islamabad. The ordinary folks are calling each other frenetically to know the latest update on the movements of Taliban who after capturing Swat are now moving into Buner and adjoining areas and are not ready to vacate them. We also see Islamabad being extra-fortified, invoking fear of the unknown. Security is so tight that it is difficult for anybody to enter Islamabad. "When are they reaching Lahore" a friend asked me from Karachi, showing the public concern when it is going to be their turn to face the music. The people are both frightened and confused over the unfolding situation. The people are startled as they have no clue where the country is heading. The world is presenting a very scary picture of Pakistan as if its existence is at stake. Some US think tanks and analysts taking Pakistan for granted, do not give much time before the country in their perception will be torn into pieces. The story-circulating world over is this that Taliban are only at the distance of 45 minute from Islamabad. This is hardly a hopeful scenario for the Pakistani expatriates already concerned about the future of their country. The US top functionaries too have started asking Pakistani counterparts to take action against the advancing Taliban to push them back to retrieve territory being conceded to them. This nightmarish picture is further reinforced with the Taliban and what they are doing is becoming a number one news item on local TV channels. Already people sounded nervous after the signing of the Swat deal with all the fanfare in the world. Here in Lahore people distributed sweets and heaved a sigh of relief as if some big tragedy was averted when President Zardari signed on the dotted line much under public pressure. But ever since the signing of the deal public and political circles are not sure if the Swat agreement was the right thing to do. What added to their worries was increasing assertiveness of Maulana Sufi Muhammad and Taliban. Maulana started giving edicts every other day. In one of these edicts he declared the country's courts superior and subordinate un-Islamic much to the surprise of everybody watching the consequences of Swat agreement. The Maulana's views on democracy too raised many an eyebrow. Before that an uproar was created in the country when the Taliban and associates of Sufi Muhammad were seen lashing a young girl for being spotted in the company of his father-in-law. The spokesman of Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi justified that lashing as within the ambit of Shariah. As such the euphoria that Swat deal generated evaporated not before long. Now people and politicians are having second thoughts about the whole scheme of things included in the Swat agreement, especially its ramification for the rest of Pakistan. Again Maulana Sufi Muhammad has not been very successful in reigning in the Taliban. As such even NWFP government looked aggressive in its future designs. In his recent public statement PML (N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif also expressed his doubts about the Swat deal and growing influence of Taliban. He advised the government to hold an APC to pause and ponder over the security situation in the country. The people are not only scared but also confused. They do not know who is Sufi Muhammad seen moving from one place in expensive jeeps with all the logistic support in the company of hundreds of devotees and how he is sustaining such a big movement. There are unconfirmed reports that he pays from his pocket to 4000 to 5000 people comprising his personnel army. But the question that comes to mind again and again is why Pakistan army and leadership are mute. What is stopping the army to take action against Taliban moving freely in the country? What is it waiting for? Is it waiting for the Taliban to regroup and increase its numbers before taking any such action? Already we learnt that they are recruiting more and more locals. Or the military leadership is waiting for final nod from the political leadership still taking time to assess the situation. Or is it waiting for some US military aid to start pursuing these people avoiding much collateral damage or it is in the process of moulding public opinion before going ahead with its operation halted in recent times. The pin-drop silence in the echelons of power too is worrisome for the people. But amid this dismal scenario and confusion the recent statement of Army Chief will definitely helped in lifting our spirits a bit. Time is fast running out. Already we are in now-or-never situation. E-mail: