A concise survey of the events interrelated to the forming of Osama bin Laden (OBL) Inquiry Commission lends some invaluable insights into the affair being inquired into. Subsequent to the May 2 incident, demands from various national sources, including the political parties in opposition, arose for a parliamentary debate on the issue of the US clandestine raid, demise of OBL and blatant violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan. Under such compulsions, the federal government arranged an in-camera joint session of Parliament on May 13. The unanimous resolution it adopted required the setting up of an independent inquiry commission to ascertain the May 2 related facts. The commission that should have been announced by the next day took nearly three weeks of procrastination. It was appointed by the PM without the propriety of consulting the prospective members in advance, with the result that it proved a scuttled exercise. Finally, it was constituted, it appears, with the nudging assistance of the Chief Justice of Pakistan on June 21. The two engaging facts brought before Parliament were that the guards at the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) became aware of the US operation when a helicopter involved in the raid crashed, and that Pakistan was capable of thwarting drone attacks if the government decided to do so. For the PMA guards, who were barely a kilometre from the site of raid, the crash of a raiding helicopter in the initial phase of the operation ought to have been an adequate alarm to inform their superiors. While, the clandestine action consumed 40 minutes, no retaliation was offered. This fact in conjunction with the absence of any response from the local police set-up in the city of occurrence indicates of a predetermined lack of response. In this perspective, the prevention of drone attacks totally depends upon Islamabads political decision, as dramatically emphasised by the Pak Air Chief during the parliamentary session by directly pointing this issue at the Prime Minister in person, to suggest that he is responsible for the lack of response from our security apparatus. Given the rigid hierarchical pattern of authority, especially in the national security domain, the authority in charge, or at the summit of the discipline, is to be consulted before any response could be made against a security breach, except in the instance of self-defence. This allows a vital inference to be drawn: A limited number, or handful, of security heads determine the outcome in security related matters. Former US President Richard Nixon in his book, The Real War, observed that only an extremely small percentage of the people in a state determine the outcome in matters related to defence of a state. In the instance of Pakistan, this number can be pared down to a limited few, which should be a matter of acute concern. For this reason, the commission has the sublime mission, in particular, to identify as well as authenticate the source responsible for the paralysis of national security apparatus. And make consequential recommendations that would rightly address the national concern for the streamlining of national security. Under the constitutional political setup, with parliamentary form of political dispensation in Pakistan, the prerogative for making final decisions in the affairs of the state, as a matter of conveniently acquired practice, resides with the President and PM, as both belong to the same political party. The credence is further lent to this view, in case if any is needed, that the DG ISI expressed during the briefing of parliamentary session on May 13 about the fact concerning Raymond Davis release. His release was brought about on the orders of President Zardari and PM Gilani, as categorically stated by the DG. With this in mind, the conditions attendant upon the national security failure on May 2 resemble with those of Davis release. The combined parliamentary session passed a unanimous resolution comprising 12 points. The resolution called upon the government, among other things, to earnestly constitute an independent commission to delineate responsibility related to May 2 raid; to consider halting NATO supplies if drone strikes did not stop; and to review the terms of its engagement with the US consonant with Pakistans national interests. The historical issue in this nation is the repeated infringement of the sovereignty of Parliament. Let alone the ruling political party, but also other component parties have evidently compromised this sovereignty in the present instance. An evident lack of conformity with the letter and spirit of the three already noted demands, contained in the resolution, by the government has been the source of its violation - the formation of an inquiry commission was deviously delayed. The JUI-F leader Fazlur Rehman on June 12 reneged on his partys support for the independent commission and offered two arguments in its favour, which are at best specious or misleading, and require no additional comments, for the commission is all set to proceed with its mandate. Similarly, the PML-Q leader Shujaat Hussain on June 23 also backtracked from his partys stand on the commission. These facts are merely reflections of the deviant national political culture, violative of the sovereignty of Parliament, and in evident need of reformation. The first term of reference for the commission includes the ascertainment of facts regarding the presence of OBL in Pakistan. Now the commission is expected to essentially include the interrelated assessment of OBLs unlikely escape from Tora Bora subsequent to the US invasion on October 7, and the evidence presented by the US incriminating OBL, but also Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. At the same time, a definitely relevant evaluation will be about the circumstances associated with OBLs arrival in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime in second part of 90s. The term of reference about the lapses of authorities, especially during the US clandestine raid on May 2, is intricately related to the similar dilemmas that have gnawed at the vitals of Pakistan. For the resembling enigmatic situations of the paralysis of state security system in 1971 during the former East Pakistan debacle - as so vividly reported in Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission report - in Karachi and interior Sindh for three days after December 27, 2007, following the assassination of former premier Ms Bhutto. The constitution of the OBL Inquiry Commission is a harbinger of an inestimable promise. For the unravelling of facts in the May 2 related OBL saga - wherein if he put the remainder world on tenterhooks then he awakened the Muslim world to Islamic militancy - is likely to prove landmark national as well as international revelations. n The writer is Chairman, Pakistan Ideological Forum Email: suhrabaslam@hotmail.com