THE past 24 hours have witnessed a tough fight between the government and the terrorists. Such was the intensity of attacks from both sides that it is indeed hard to figure out the winners from the losers. While the aerial attack on the militant hideouts in Swat killed 22 militants including two senior leaders, the miscreants were able to carry out a suicide attack on the friendship tunnel in Kohat killing five and injuring many. In yet another horrible incident two bridges were blown up on the Indus Highway. Though some satisfaction may be found in military spokesman Maj-General Athar Abbas's briefing that the militant's command and communication network had been destroyed, the fact is that the curse of militancy has been gradually getting stronger, spreading its tentacles throughout the country. The failure to rein in terrorists in Swat valley points to the gravity of the situation. According to reports the menace has now spread southwards in areas like Murree and Nathiagali, where militants are digging themselves in. Its economic fallout on these tourist resorts is another thing that should be given a serious thought. There should be little doubt that the government is doing all it could to contain the threat. Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen also showed his satisfaction over the measures taken by authorities here. However, the ground realities demand modification of our strategy. According to BBC, the government is likely to announce a 40-45 day ceasefire. It would worthwhile to utilize that period to bring militants to the negotiating table to convince them of the need for peace. However, the main pitfall of this policy is the fear that militants might be buying time and using ceasefire and peace agreements to their benefit. They could relocate themselves, reorganise and make new recruitments to make it harder for the security forces to clear the mess all over again. Nevertheless, the effort is must be made.