The distrubing news coming out of the settled district of Mardan is that some video cassette shops have been blown up by some suspected millitants this morning. Fortunately there hasn’t been any human casualty by the incident but the worrying thing is that millitancy seems to have been spreading towards the historically peaceful city of Mardan and its surroundings. It is said that letters of warnings were circulated by the millitants threatening the video shop owners of dire consequences if they continued to carry on their businesses which according to the millitants were against the injunctions of Islam. Now if we look at the overall security situation in the country, there seems nothing but this worrysome downslide. The state of Martial Law was imposed on a strong pretence of the volatile security situation in the country. But even after a lapse of almost 3 weeks, there appears no improvement in the scenario in hand, rather there is this constant deterioration in the situation of law and order throughout the country. One is further disappointed to see the governmental security apparatus busy bullying those who resent the governmental policies hence a deviation from their original job description of maintaining law and order in the country. The latest in Mardan is heart wrenching for me as I hail from the said city but if analysed in the larger context of the situation, one has to feel concerned because of the geographical position of the city. It is not very far from the provincial and federal capitals and an unstable Mardan might prove to be an indication of more troubled provincial and federal capitals. One can only hope for the restoration of peace and order in the country. Immediate Lifting of the state of martial law and holding a free and fair elections on part of the current regime might start a phase of Pakistan’s redemption but both of which seems highly unlikely. Let’s be a part of the ongoing struggle for the restoration of the constitution, free judiciary and free media. Otherwise we could only hope for a miracle and miracles don’t happen.