Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has called for a national conference for developing a counter-insurgency strategy. This is indeed a very praiseworthy step forward. The PM has invited all stakeholders to contribute towards a national effort against terrorism which shows the democratic culture is gradually taking hold in this country. This step should have been taken earlier but as they say, better late than never. The need to evolve a counter-insurgency strategy is a must because you cannot address this issue in one week. You have to have short, medium and long term plans, all with specified objectives. This moot would show seriousness of the government in fighting terrorism and would also act as a platform for all liberals of the country to come forward and advocate rational, liberal and innovative solutions to the problem we are facing. We must understand that this war cannot be won by tanks and guns alone. Its a battle of ideologies and it needs to be fought with patience. -YASIR QADEER, Islamabad, July 5.