PRIME Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani used his recent interview with a Turkish newspaper to explain the three-pronged strategy in dealing with the dual scourge of terrorism and extremism in the restive tribal region. And he reiterated his government's commitment to use force as a last resort and engage in talks the elements who had renounced terrorism, decommissioned themselves or had surrendered according to the customs of tribes. Mr Gilani meanwhile borrowed a phrase from President Zardari to describe General Musharraf as a 'relic of the past', but he avoided criticizing him for creating instability in the country by blindly supporting America's War on Terror. But his observation that the government would not make the former President's life tougher as long as he stays out of politics cannot go unnoticed. It can be interpreted as the PPP leadership's fear that Musharraf can become a threat to it if he becomes politically active. If so, the ruling party needs to do a lot of soul-searching on losing popularity among the masses that had swept it into power only eight months ago. By letting him off the hook and indemnifying the illegal acts he had committed to perpetuate his rule, the government will not only disappoint the nation, but will also draw criticism from its own members. Most of them want the former President to appear before Parliament and disclose details of his secret agreement with the Bush Administration, allowing the coalition forces to carry out attacks in our tribal belt. Those at the helm should not ignore the fact that lack of accountability had led army generals to scuttle the democratic process over and over again. Any attempt to spare Musharraf, despite his blatant violations of the Constitution, will send a wrong signal to those nursing Bonapartist notions. Now that the Army under Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is prepared to accept obedience to the elected government, it is time to empower Parliament instead of disregarding its call for strengthening the accountability process.