KEEPING in view the challenges confronting the nation at this point in time, especially the threats that have emerged to its ideology, the urgency to amplify the voices calling out for the defence of our homelands religio-political contours and general security was never more pronounced. The ideology once provided the bedrock for the soul and spirit of Pakistan and sketched its figure on the map of the world, The hope that there are torchbearers, who are still struggling to keep the flame that is the guardian of the spirit of the country and keeps the beacon of democracy alight, must have got a fresh lease of life from the views of speakers expressed at a ceremony held in memory of late Hameed Nizami, organised by the Nawa-i-Waqt Group. The eminent guests and scholars, who graced the occasion, rightly posited that among other things, democracy, jihad and the nuclear assets were indispensable guarantors of a strong and stable Pakistan. The conference also did well to underscore the urgency of ushering in a national mindset respectful of Islamic values in line with the vision and philosophy of the Quaid-e-Azam, who wanted Pakistan to be second to none in the comity of nations. Our salvation lies in the prescription that was offered at the meeting. A glance at the deteriorating state of affairs for instance on the political landscape, will make it clear that the absence of democracy, in the real sense of the word, has been causing so much turbulence since the countrys inception. Likewise, the juxtaposition of jihad within the tenets of Islam as a motivating force for the Muslims to progress ahead in such perilous times is also an important factor. It is also essential to take cognisance of the fact that with the passage of time the meaning of jihad has been distorted to suggest that it covers acts of terrorism. Last but not least, we must be mindful of the dangers that surround us in the South Asian neighbourhood. It is necessary for us to be on guard and keep a suitable nuclear deterrent. New Delhis ominous sabre rattling, including posing a nuclear threat, needs to be taken seriously. Islamabad would also have to watch out for the US, which has been eyeing our nuclear assets with the purpose of depriving us of our nuclear muscle. It is strange, therefore, that Islamabad should still be kowtowing to the US and being unnecessarily apologetic to New Delhi. The ruling circles must realise that the way forward lies in democracy and following the vision of the founding fathers of the nation.