AFTER an in-depth briefing on terrorism, what Parliament needs to do is to devise a consensus policy on the issue, which is posing a serious threat to the country's peace and integrity as well as to its economy. For this the joint session could be extended till the objective is achieved. Incidents like the attack on the Marriott Hotel, the bombing of a train near Bahawalnagar and the gruesome suicide attacks at the houses of ANP chief Asfandyar Wali and MNA Rashid Akbar Niwani have shaken the public, while they have had a highly negative impact on the country's economy. The state of uncertainty created by terrorist attacks has over the last few months driven away investors, both local and foreign, brought down the share market, led to a phenomenal reduction in the value of the rupee and downgraded the economy's rating. In a strongly-worded statement soon after his arrival from Saudi Arabia, PML(N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has said that terrorists are enemies of the country and nation and they do not deserve any concession. Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has also expressed similar views. There is, however, another aspect of the situation which the parliamentarians must not lose sight of. Instead of drawing the right lessons from its faulty strategy in Afghanistan, Washington is pressurising Islamabad to implement it in FATA. It is also blatantly violating Pakistan's airspace and has on one occasion conducted a ground attack inside South Waziristan. Parliament needs to consider both aspects of the situation when formulating a policy. The US has to be clearly told to stop violations of Pakistan's geographical sovereignty and, instead of prescribing quick fixes, let Islamabad deal with its problems in the way best suited to its national interests. With the increase in terrorist attacks on innocent and unsuspecting people, a realization has finally emerged among major political parties that what is at stake is the country's integrity, and something needs to be urgently done to put an end to acts of the sort. The PPP, PML(N), ANP and MQM have vowed to fight terrorism. The JUI(F) too has condemned such attacks. There is however no agreement yet on concrete measures that need to be taken. The briefing by the security agencies would hopefully help the parties to formulate a national policy. The government made the right move by inviting all heads of parties to the briefing, irrespective of whether they were members of Parliament or not. It is unfortunate that both Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Mr Imran Khan should have decided not to attend the in-camera session. By first boycotting the elections, and then not attending the briefing on a highly crucial national issue, they have provided their critics an opportunity to blame them for indulging in opposition for the sake of opposition.