The APC called by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was not an exercise in futility, as was being perceived by some. Finally, political leaders of all the shades got together with the kings men to try and fix the flawed policies of Pakistan, ala Humpty Dumpty, in a manner that they stop causing embarrassment or cracks within our state structures. Just the sight of all those who tear each others policies and actions apart on a daily basis, sitting so civilly next to one another was good to see. This was one of those times where the cause of the country was larger than the power struggle. After all, one needs to have a country first in which to vie for power. The military leadership briefed the leaders and everyone was on the same page. The high of a unified stand, after nine hours of deliberations, came through exactly as the nation wanted. The unambiguous declaration stated that a new direction will be taken on the war on terror with a focus on achieving peace for the country. A collective stand also makes it easier to say 'no to the ever-increasing 'do more request. It has taken us so many years of trial and error to realise that speaking the truth is the wisest strategy. All our policies should be based on national self-interest. Just as marriages contracted for wrong and devious reasons fail, so do unequal international alliances. We would certainly like to be friends with America, but we would like to be friends with all the countries of our region too. It has also taken so many years for the military to realise that the 'bloody civilians have to be on board for any actual success to be possible and that their organisation is only one aspect of a whole and cannot, in the present century, lopsidedly carry the weight of the country on its shoulders. The draft of the resolution was rewritten mostly by Dr Shireen Mazari, in her capacity as PTIs Vice President in charge of security and foreign policy and Chaudhry Nisar of PML-N with Babar Awan mostly watching the legal phrase. Dr Mazari opted to type out the draft herself on a laptop and refused the services of a government stenographer. (If only educational levels of our elected leadership allowed it to work independently of the scores of helpers, writers, proof readers, general advisors etc, we would lessen so many burdens on the exchequer apart from achieving clarity of purpose, but thats a thought in passing). In the ultimate analysis, it was Imran Khans stand on rewording the resolution that brought about the better document. His five demands that Pakistan completely reassess its US policy, end all military operations, give up US aid, come clean on drones and ensure that all decisions taken at the APC are enforced was adhered to. The DG ISI, in his briefing on the reach and influence of the Haqqani network, denied that they have a base in North Waziristan or that they are supported by the ISI. While the APC was being conducted and no news was available as to what was happening inside the meeting room, there were a lot of us - the ordinary citizens - on the other side of the conference room, who were asking ourselves in all seriousness if we would like to be rid of the US influence. We were weighing up the consequences, in our minds, of there being no aid. We were reminded of the 11 years, prior to 2001, when we were sanctioned against and treated as untouchables. The verdict that most of us reached was that we will survive nonetheless. There was a realisation that even though things will be worse off financially, such an eventuality may bring about peace. And if you have peace, everything else is bound to fall into place. Postscript: There are so many assessments that have to be done in the way we conduct other areas of our lives too. The overloaded and long past its use-by date school bus, with an inexperienced driver at the helm which met with a tragic accident killing over 30 students of a Faisalabad school, is a case in point. Not enough is done to implement laws or regulations at all levels. In this one case, there are so many culprits - the school administration, the bus operators, the motorway police and the public vehicle licensing authorities. Even if a single organisation had been more vigilant from among so many and had heeded safety rules, the accident may have been prevented. All our modes of travel have become risqu because of the lack of attention to safety rules. We were still numbed from the sight of the horrific bus accident that there was news of a PIA plane making an emergency landing in Multan, while on a routine flight to Karachi from Islamabad. This may have just passed for unimportant news, if some members of Parliament had not been on board. The reason given was engine failure. This was the ninth such case, apparently, in the course of one year and probably some kind of a record for how not to be for an airline. All the three systems of travel - road, rail and air - have become dangerous to use. The sea is only at Karachi and Gwadar so doing boats, except in floods, is not an option. Minister of Communications, please take notice and action The writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com