PRESIDENT Zardari's strategy for a solution to the problems of Balochistan, expressed in a meeting with Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and other Baloch leaders in Quetta, might work His call to the Baloch resistance groups to give up their struggle against the state and his promise to bring them into the national mainstream could scale down the insurgency that plagues the region, paving the way for stability and peace to return. It was rather heartening to hear him say that efforts like effecting reconciliation with disgruntled groups, besides a plan for various development projects, would be taken up, which sounds good enough. There should be little doubt that Mr Zardari wants resolution of the province's problems on a priority basis. However, keeping in view the PPP-led set-up's performance, lacklustre by any means during the past one year in terms of practically alleviating the province's lot, it appears that President Zardari, who first tendered an apology to the Baloch for the wrongs done to them in the past has been long on rhetoric and short on action. The problems meanwhile remain unaddressed. The reconciliatory committee formed by the PPP has done nothing except form more committees and waste time in just debating the issue over and over again. Many of the missing persons picked up illegally from within the province, as confirmed by Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani earlier, remain behind bars. The government continues to make land allotments to foreigners on a fairly large scale. Thousands of people, displaced as a result of military operations in the Marri-Bugti area, are waiting for the government to compensate them. What is more, the demand to bring to book the killers of Nawab Akbar Bugti and Balach Marri also remains unfulfilled. Also, the PPP government has yet to take solid measures to control the law and order situation in the province. Incidents of target killing and kidnapping are common. The authorities' failure to recover kidnapped top UN official John Solecki raises many an eyebrow. Under the circumstances, there is a need on the part of the government to take solid steps to eliminate the economic backwardness of the province, for that alone could bring stability. The statement by State Minister for Ports and Shipping Nabeel Gabol the other day that the government, rather than employing foreigners in the Gwadar port project, must provide jobs to the locals, speaks volumes about the precarious economic situation there. In the short term, the government could do well by announcing a roadmap with CBMs in line with the wishes of the Baloch.