Finally, Mr Zardari has recalled that Balochistan too has a place in his scheme of things. He is scheduled to arrive in the province today where he would hold meetings with stakeholders. There has been little respite to the miseries of the people of Balochistan during the first year of the PPP-led government despite promises by its leadership to give priority to redressing the grievances of the province. Mr Zardari's spokesman would have us believe that Balochistan is high on the President's agenda and that he holds fortnightly meetings to resolve its problems. Little concrete has emerged out of these meetings beyond the release of Sardar Akhtar Mengal and the acquittal of Hyrbyar Marri. The so called Reconciliatory Committee of the PPP has not gone beyond producing more committees and holding a couple of talk shows. Both urgent and long term issues remain unaddressed. Baloch nationalist parties had agreed to talk to the Reconciliation Committee if some of the urgent problems were resolved. These included the release of scores of political activists, tracing out hundreds of missing persons in the illegal custody of agencies, rehabilitation of thousands of Balochis displaced by military action, stopping work on new cantonments and punishing those responsible for the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and Balach Marri. Talks could not be held because of the failure by the government to accept the demand. Meanwhile some of the basic issues being raised by Baloch nationalists have been ignored by Islamabad. These include the ownership of the resources of Balochistan, the constriction of Gwadar project, the large scale influx of workers from other provinces and the loot sale and allotment of land to outsiders and to military. Failure to make a serious move towards the resolution of current or long term problems has deepened the sense of deprivation in the province. The nationalist groups preferring solutions within the framework of the constitution are being gradually sidelined and their space is being occupied by extremists. Thanks the apathy on the part of Islamabad, Balochistan is in unending turmoil. Not a day passes without a news of sabotage activities that include attacks on gas pipelines, power distribution system, railway lines and paramilitary personnel and police. Meanwhile Quetta has turned into the most dangerous city in the country. Nobody is safe, be he Punjabi, Baloch, Pushtun, or Hazara. As in the case of John Solecki foreigners are on the hit list now. No area including the cantonment can claim to be outside the reach of the terrorists. Terrorists of all hues and colours, are active. There have been sectarian killings and attacks on settlers and on law enforcement personnel. While the government has bent over backwards to accommodate Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in FATA, it has consistently avoided to hold talks with the secular nationalist parties of Balochistan aimed at bringing peace to the province. If a three prolonged policy could be employed in Swat why is it not being implemented in Balochistan? For all intents and purposes Balochistan has been handed over for administration to security agencies who have no expertise to resolve political disputes. The agencies have diverted their total energies to target those fighting for the rights of Balochistan, turning moderates into extremists in the process. In the Great Game they believe they are involved in they have let the al-Qaeda and Taliban prosper. There have been reports over the last many years in local and foreign media regarding the Taliban leaders moving freely in Quetta. These reports were often ignored and sometime contradicted by Islamabad. Then Afghan and US commanders started claiming that Taliban leaders including Mullah Omar guided their commanders in South Afghanistan from Quetta. Recently Qbama administration seems to be worried over the activities of the Quetta Shura. Richard Holbrooke has made it clear that the number one problem in stabilising Afghanistan was Taliban sanctuaries in western Pakistan, including tribal areas along the Afghan border and cities like Quetta. Quetta appears to be the headquarters for the leaders of the Taliban and some of the worst people in the world, which he said includes the leader of the Pakistani Taliban Baitullah Mehsud There is talk about extending the CIA's remote control war to Quetta. In case American drones start attacking targets inside the thickly populated city or the crowded Afghan refugee camps outside, many innocent people would become the unintended targets. Balochistan, long punished by Pakistan's security agencies, is now likely to be the target of the US bombardment.