The Fridays in-camera joint sitting of Parliament was memorable. The military top brass presented themselves before public representatives for questioning, and DG ISI Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha who had to answer for the intelligence failure in the bin Laden incident accepted, in unqualified terms, his accountability at their hands. This unprecedented gesture, in the context of Pakistans history, marred by prolonged rules of the army and the assertion of its power even during civilian governments, was an unmixed victory for democracy in the country. One must say that General Pasha showed grace enough to tender apology for the lapse and declared his readiness to clear himself before any forum and, if found guilty, to resign. He decided to resign soon after the Abbottabad incident but COAS General Kayani had stopped him from doing so. Prime Minister Gilani also deserves a word of praise for making four successful attempts to persuade leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to get back to the session every time he had left for his chambers, unhappy at the draft of the resolution. Later, its text was agreed upon and so was the constitution of an independent commission to go into the failure. The briefing of over 400 MPs could not keep to its mandate of remaining in-camera, as a plethora of details leaked out, though hardly much to add to what the public already knew. Notwithstanding the sharp and awkward questions by the parliamentarians, who blew hot and cold at times, General Pasha kept his cool and kept answering them. His words, It was due to the technological superiority that they managed to get in undetectedThe failure was not intentional, but I admit that it was a mistakeThe Parliament is supreme and I feel relieved after presenting myself before it, must have sounded disarming. Chaudhry Nisar, though, was unsparing in his trenchant, critical questions. General Pashas most reassuring remark was that there was no threat to our nuclear assets; they were under foolproof control and command. The resolution, passed unanimously, contained nothing but the legitimate expression of outraged feelings of a self-respecting independent state: it condemned the US unilateral action and termed it violation of Pakistans sovereignty, expressing the resolve to defend it as a sacred duty and at all costs; called the Abbottabad action and drone attacks a violation of UN Charter, international law and humanitarian norms, maintaining that they were unacceptable; and asserted that not heeding this call would invoke from Pakistan necessary steps, including the withdrawal of transit facility to NATO forces. The resolution also affirmed full confidence in the defence forces of Pakistan in safeguarding the countrys sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and in overcoming any challenge to security with full support of the people and the government. The public demand for revisiting and reviewing the terms of engagement with the US was reflected when the government was urged to undertake that exercise, while assuring that Pakistans national interests are fully respected and accommodated in policies of countering terrorism and achieving reconciliation in Afghanistan. While Islamabad must remain firm on these conclusions, it is also Washingtons obligation to ensure that its key allys sensitivities are not to hurt.