The National Assembly passed the National Counter Terrorism Authority Bill 2013 on Friday that provides for setting up a nationwide anti-terrorism cell under the direct command of the Prime Minister. There is hardly any doubt that it augers well for the beleaguered country but this should have been done as the first priority, soon after the PPP government took office five years ago. Did it need all this massacre of innocent human life to persuade the MPs that a special law was inevitable? The concerns of the Supreme Court that kept underscoring the need for lawmaking of the sort only fell on deaf ears, while the innocent Pakistanis were being butchered in streets, towns and even in their homes.

In all conscience, that is procrastination of the highest calibre, which was nowhere to be seen when the political parties’ own stakes came under threat. Instances of Parliament showing bipartisan character where egocentric laws were drafted overnight to be passed in a matter of days are plenty. The slumber of the ruling setup has had a disastrous effect on national security that has allowed the miscreants both foreign and local to grow so strong that the security apparatus – meant to shelter the people from the attacks – finds itself in terrorists’ crosshairs. It is a matter of debate how they would to be rooted out or would they, God forbid! assume more power.