Casting aside the mounting US and Western pressure on Pakistan to relent on its stand adopted after the NATO attacks on its troops on November 26, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security has endorsed the decisions of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, which, in sum, mean the following. NATO supplies through the Pakistani soil stand discontinued with immediate effect; the Shamsi airbase to be vacated by the US within 15 days; and Pakistan not to participate in the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan. The parliamentary committee that met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Gilani on Friday came out with its full support of the armed forces in their defence of national sovereignty and independence. That, to all intents and purposes, bridges the chasm that had existed between the political leadership and the army top brass. And the critical time the nation is passing through demands such a unity. To be effectively heard in the world, our policy on national defence has to be enunciated with one voice; there should be no ambiguity in it. As an off-shoot of our boycott of the Bonn Conference, the tripartite talks of the 'core group on Afghanistan consisting of the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan which was supposed to endorse the Peace Formula to be presented at Bonn also stand torpedoed. The Bonn boycott is appropriate also because it was meant to rubberstamp that formula, which stipulates the stationing of US troops in their bases after the so-called withdrawal by 2014, a position that would be detrimental to the interests of the region, with far-reaching implications for the Central Asian States, China, Russia and other powers. In short, our presence at the conference was required to show to the world that we are on board and lend the document real substance and greater international legitimacy. According to reports, Pakistani military sources have made cooperation with the US in the war on terror conditional on the award of punishment to those responsible for the attack that killed so many precious lives of Pakistani soldiers and the tendering of a formal apology for that criminal act. Orders to respond with full force to any aggression in the future, without waiting for permission from the high command, already exist. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has told journalists that the FIA personnel were now at the Shamsi base preparing a list of those present. He declared that the promise made to the nation would be honoured and the base would be got vacated as per schedule already given. On the other hand, a senior US official has maintained that the US would not vacate Shamsi in the near future. The Obama administration, he said, was assessing the shift in Pakistans policy and has not yet reached a conclusion whether to vacate the base or not. This is the time for Pakistan not to bow before pressure or fall prey to any blandishments; we must stick to our guns.