IN the wake of the Data Darbar tragedy, the Punjab Chief Minister has committed himself to moving more forcefully against militant groups, especially the already banned ones and moves have already begun against 17 such groups. The use of intelligence agencies plus special anti-terror squads alongside the police forces is also a far better option than calling in the army. It has also been given out that a committee is being formed to look into the whole Rana Sanaullah (Punjabs law Minister) situation, since a number of quarters including the Sunni Ittehad Conference have called for his removal in the wake of his public appearance with the leader of a banned militant group some time back. The London Ulema have also added their voice to this demand. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister seems serious about calling an APC on terrorism, perhaps as early as next week, and work on the agenda for this has already commenced. This will be a positive first step in formulating a viable counter-terrorism strategy - if it can go beyond rhetoric and point scoring. The fatwa against suicide bombing given by a group of leading ulema from all major sects is also to be welcomed, but is also a beginning and needs to be woven into an overall anti-terrorism strategy. Unfortunately, some political quarters are already moving on the accusations and point scoring track. One religious leader has demanded that the military leadership also be invited while another has accused the Punjab Governor, and the Chief Minister for supporting terrorism while Interior Minister Malik has been accused of major security lapses - the latter point having at least a grain of truth in it. Not to be left out of the grandstanding, Ms Wahab has chosen to take up the dangerous theme of giving the terrorist problem a provincial colour by asking Punjab to stop patronising extremists. All these developments will only detract from the agenda of evolving a national anti-terrorism strategy which by definition has to be rooted in a national consensus. Such a consensus requires all political factions to resist the compulsion to hurl accusations against each other on the terrorism issue at least. There are certain national issues on which not only is a consensual approach required but a greater silence is also beneficial to the national security needs of the nation. Terrorism is one such issue. It cannot be dragged into the internecine political rivalries and point scoring because there can be no two views on the menace that this poses to our society. Differences may arise over the viability of differing strategies to counter this threat but these differences are best resolved through discussion and an informed debate rather than accusations and counter-accusations against each other by the political elite. We need to keep in mind the distinction between state and government and not target the state to get at the political leadership.