The latest developments, including owning by Pakistan that Ajmal Kasab is our citizen, has given rise in many quarters that the entire issue has not been handled as professionally and competently at different levels as required by the grave nature of this critical issue, both internally as well as externally. According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the National Security Advisor Mehmud Ali Durrani has been sacked for his "irresponsible behaviour for not taking the PM into confidence and lack of coordination on matters of national security." This is a very serious lapse at the highest level. Looking back at the manner of handling the Mumbai attacks from day one - the lack of coordination amongst different ministries and intelligence agencies resulting in not only confusion but even embarrassment at the highest level, while dealing with new Delhi, Washington and other friendly capitals which were trying to help in cooling down the situation - is gradually becoming obvious with the lifting of the fog covering the South Asian horizon. When the news broke about the Mumbai attacks, the international media labelled the event as India's 9/11. Like the Twin Towers in New York, the targets selected in India's financial hub, by the attackers, were of special significance. Islamabad could not possibly ignore the likely fallout of this tragedy befalling India, dragging Pakistan's involvement, in view of New Delhi's track record in the past. Pakistan's immediate response was in the right direction. President Zardari, PM Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, all condemned the Mumbai attacks in the strongest possible words. They also offered all possible assistance in the investigation of the Mumbai holocaust. The Indian government was initially at a loss as to how ten terrorists could take hostage such targets as the Taj Mahal and Oberai hotels, the railway station and the well-guarded Jewish centre. The terrorists held these places at bay for more than seventy-two hours, which was not possible without internal support by way of men and material. There are numerous theories accompanied by substantial evidence in support of local involvement and massive failure of the Indian intelligence agencies which led to the resignation of the Indian home minister and the Maharashtra chief minister besides many other senior officials of the government. It is understandable that instead of facing the harsh truth, the Congress government did not find itself strong enough particularly on the eve of the general elections in India. Therefore they found it more convenient to shift the burden to Pakistan, as per their old favourite practice. This situation provided a sympathetic ear to New Delhi and it suited everybody to bring Pakistan under pressure to accomplish their own respective goals in the region. I need not repeat the details of the allegations holding Pakistan's non-state elements responsible for the Mumbai attacks followed by accusing Pakistan's ISI and finally demanding the handing over of suspects to India for trial. Finally, the lone surviving terrorist, Kasab, became the eye of the diplomatic storm with New Delhi claiming him as a Pakistani citizen and Islamabad denying that claim. Till the evening of Tuesday last Islamabad stuck to the denial and on Wednesday Foreign Office spokeman M Sadiq revealed to the media that Kasab was a Pakistani citizen. This has given rise to a number of new questions regarding earlier denials by Pakistan because of different dignitaries of state and even unrelated high officials thought fit to make statements on sensitive issues not pertaining to their ministry/department. Earlier, it was rigidly enforced that no one shall venture into the foreign policy domain other than the president, prime minister, foreign minister, foreign secretary and lastly the Foreign Office spokeman. Now, if you pick up the newspapers and listen to the numerous TV channels during the past six weeks, since the Mumbai attacks, everyone takes joy in participating in diplomatic ventures making the existing confusion worst confounded. Better results could have been achieved by adhering to the initial strategy of offering every possible assistance in the investigations rather than pursue the policy of denial where such a denial was not ultimately sustainable. Pakistan is genuinely committed to wage a war against terrorism. We should honour this pledge in letter and spirit by leaving no stone unturned in wiping out this evil from our soil. This is the only way out in Pakistan's best interest. We have no other option. The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum E-mail: