Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has chosen to defend himself on the issue of the assassination of Federal Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti by claiming that 'South Punjab is a hub of terrorism. Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who is responsible for the provinces law and order not just because he is its chief executive, but also holds its Home portfolio, reacted sharply, accusing Mr Malik of dividing the nation. This comes a day after Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani had assured PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif that the PPPs departure from the Punjab Cabinet did not affect the working relationship between the two governments. Mr Malik merely repeated the statement that Mian Nawaz had already complained of, in response to demands from members, including party colleagues, in the National Assembly, that he accept responsibility for not just Mr Bhattis murder, but also the overall decline in the law and order of the federal capital, which had seen only recently the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer as well as a murderous attack on Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, who since has resigned over the Haj scam. The backbench attack on Mr Malik was led by Jamshed Dasti, who himself had to contest a by-election because of a dodgy degree, and who himself belongs to the South Punjab which Mr Malik is so angry over. Mr Malik is the minister in charge of the police of Islamabad, and his refusal to take responsibility for its failures merely reflects the attitude of nonchalance that is to be ascribed to his being so close to the President. Mr Maliks refusal to take responsibility means that his announcement that Ms Fauzia Wahab and Ms Sherry Rehman, both PPP MNAs, were being targeted, but without announcing any security measures for them, was further playing to the gallery. His accusation about South Punjab still requires evidence, which cannot be said about his area of responsibility, Islamabad. It seems that Islamabad is more worth a raid than South Punjab, where so far terrorist incidents, particularly on high officials, have not yet been perpetrated. If Mr Malik does not intend to resign, and if the Prime Minister sees wisdom requires him not to ask, the very least that Mr Malik can do is keep quiet on the matter. The least the government can do is to learn from the bitter experience of losing a provincial governor and a federal minister, and provide security where it is needed, and not to assume that because there have been statements on the floor of the National Assembly those who were against the Blasphemy law are now rendered safe.