We must feel for Lahore, which this year has turned out to be a soft target for the militants amongst the millions who, it is said, have securely established themselves in the southern Punjab areas, within easy striking distance of a city unsecured against suicide and other bombers. We sympathise with the people of Lahore who never know where and when the Taliban and their allied groups may strike. We must also feel deeply for the people of Peshawar and its surrounding areas, who suffer constant attacks without much notice being paid, as apparently the nation and its media has become inured to Taliban killings in the NWFP and consider them not to be headline news. The May 16 car bomb which killed eleven was, in the main, overtaken by the Indian elections and drone activities, as were, by other more impelling news, the May 11 suicide bomber who killed ten at a check-post near Peshawar, and the three bombing incidents in April in that sad province that killed a total of over 50 civilians, police and army personnel. Meanwhile, the government in Pakistan seems to have adopted a say-much and do-nothing mode. It makes regular noises about what is going to happen, but little does happen. The battling in the Frontier region is very much the army's concern and the politicians are seemingly as much spectators as are we, the people. Their concern for the displaced persons extends to whether they should be registered, counted, stopped from going places or corralled, whilst it is other organizations that get on with the caring. The do-nothing mode has been termed one of the most exciting political possibilities. It simply involves keeping one's nerve and trusting that fate will intervene, changing the landscape in unforeseeable ways - in short coming to the rescue, and bringing either salvation or wisdom (which in our case it will not). The hope is that patient, resolute inactivity will attract its own rewards. Whatever news comes to us about Swat, or Buner, or Malakand, or more recently Waziristan which has apparently joined the battle zone, comes via courtesy of the ISPR men, led by Major General Athar Abbas, who release to us only news they wish to disseminate. We actually have little clue as to what really is happening, and the same is probably the case with the hapless government General Abbas recently discussed the Swat military operations with the Arab News. He is conversant with something that many of us have asked over and over again, seeking confirmation of our suspicions. Who is funding and arming the Taliban forces? Said General Abbas : "To the best of our knowledge and gatherings from intelligence outfits, every militant gets $6,000 to $8,000. They are mercenaries. We know who is masterminding their operations, but for several reasons at this moment, I cannot divulge who this is." Just when will the moment of enlightenment arrive? There is absolutely no media coverage of the fighting, even the international press can only quote ISPR sources. A May 27 briefing in Washington to the Pakistani-Americans was given not by the embassy press attach, but by the defence attach, and it reportedly "covered both the military and the political aspects of the militancy" whilst focusing on Swat and Buner. Side by side with the military battles being fought we have the nuclear issue which has obsessed both the domestic and foreign media. The US is apparently in an irrational panic about the Taliban grabbing the nukes. It is harried about the "unthinkable" - the loss of "the keys to the nuclear arsenal." It is hardly likely that the Taliban will take over Pakistan which they would have to do to get to the nukes. The panic prompted a spokesman of the Strategic Plans Division - keeper of the nuclear arsenal to speak to the press last week. The assets are 'protected' by a force of 10,000 professionals, they are manifestly safe. And besides, the SPD "has interaction with several countries, including the US, EU, Japan and the IAEA," Air Commodore Khalid Banuri, director of arms control and disarmament affairs, did not elaborate on the "interaction." This being the case, the US fears should be unfounded. But then reports such as a May 18 New York Times story about Pakistan's expansion of its nuclear arsenal probably do not help, as does not the expansion confirmation given by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen in a testimony before the US Senate when he said 'yes' when asked if he had seen evidence of an increase in the size of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. Equally unsettling to the wide world was the NYT report of a statement made by Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution. According to him, Pakistan has more terrorists per square mile than anywhere on earth. Wow, that's some sort of a record And in addition, Pakistan's nuclear weapons program is growing faster than any other country. Where lies the truth is not for us to ask.