There is finally a consensus now among major political parties that terrorism has to be fought with all resources at the disposal of the Pakistani society in order to maintain its existence. After dilly-dallying over the issue for a fairly long time Mian Nawaz Sharif issued a clear-cut statement on Tuesday. He said terrorists are the enemies of the country and deserve no quarter. Further that no single party or government being in a position to cope with the situation, a joint stand needs to be taken by all political parties to eradicate the menace. He also said he would cooperate fully with the government in this respect. Chief Minister Punjab issued an equally strong statement saying that terrorism will have to be wiped out to remain alive. A myth has been advocated that terrorism in Pakistan is the result of the presence of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan and if that county had not been subjected to foreign occupation, Pakistan today would have been terror free. Those holding the view ignore facts. Terrorist groups were on the rampage in Pakistan long before Nine Eleven. Sectarian terrorists wreaked havoc in the country in the 80's and 90's, attacking mosques and imam bargahs with bombs and automatic weapons and killing hundreds of innocent people. In Punjab they also made an attempt on Mian Nawaz Sharif's life. In Karachi, terrorists of another kind tortured and killed and dumped dead bodies in bags on roadside bags for nearly ten years. They targeted politicians that included Zuhair Akram Nadeem, journalists like Salahuddin Ahmad and national figures like Hakim Saeed besides numerous others disliked by their leadership. With the Taliban in control of Kabul, the terrorists networks shifted their headquarters and training camps to the neighbouring country from where they continued to operate inside Pakistan. Attempts made by the government to persuade the Taliban regime to hand over the wanted terrorists to Islamabad bore no fruit. The Pakistani terrorist outfits ganged up with Al-Qaeda and they jointly used the host country as a staging post to launch attacks inside Central Asian states and China. A blatant disrespect for the international norms which were perhaps beyond the understanding of the madrassah students led most neighbouring countries to brand the regime as irresponsible. Finally, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a comprehensive resolution authorising use of force against terrorists and their political and military supporters. The short sighted clerics who ruled Kabul thus provided the US an opportunity that it was waiting for them to establish a foothold in Central Asia and the oil rich Caspian sea region. The US invasion of Afghanistan added to Pakistan's miseries. Gen Musharraf agreed to all US demands in return for international acceptance of his otherwise pariah regime. The brutal way the US and its allies suppressed the resistance, killing in the process thousands of non-combatants, women and children, naturally caused widespread resentment in Pakistan. With the same tribes often living astride the Durand Line, the war being fought inside Afghanistan primarily in pursuit of Washington's strategic aims gradually had its impact on Pakistan's tribal areas. Attacks by American Drones and missiles inside tribal areas led to horrendous consequences in places like Damadola and North and South Waziristan where scores of innocent people were killed. The situation was used by forces opposed to Pakistan who encouraged gullible young tribesmen to conduct attacks inside the country. Meanwhile the extremists elements tried to carve out a state within a state in the tribal areas by raising armed militias, establishing their own courts and local administration. They also torched schools, attacked businesses, government installations and security personnel. No country can allow a challenge to its sovereignty either from within or without. The Parliament needs to take into account the picture in its totality. While it should unanimously oppose violation of Pakistan's geographical sovereignty by the US and Nato it will also have to reject internal challenges to the writ of the state. What is required is a home-grown policy, as opposed to the one dictated by Washington that was followed by the Musharraf regime, regarding how to protect the life and property of the common man under attack from terrorists. E-mail: