THE ongoing session of the Parliament is dealing with an issue, which has serious consequences for Pakistan's integrity and economic welfare. The parliamentarians have therefore to realize the importance of debating it with utmost earnestness so that a consensus is evolved over policy guidelines to improve the security situation. A failure on their part could be catastrophic. The phenomenal rise in the terrorist attacks has given birth to a widespread sense of insecurity and has had a highly negative impact on national economy. Both the government and the opposition owe it to the nation to work together to reach the much-needed consensus. As things stand the performance by both sides has left many dissatisfied and disturbed. As the importance of the issue under debate required briefing from the highest quarters i.e. the Prime Minister himself, he addressed the joint session on the subject on Wednesday. The opposition's longstanding demand to put before the Parliament the rules of engagement and secret agreements, if any, brokered with the US has yet to be met. The government has to explain if it continues to follow the policy devised by General Musharraf who being an arbitrary ruler did not consider himself answerable to the people of Pakistan. The government needs to be more upfront than it has been so far. It has to share all relevant information to seek the opposition's cooperation in evolving a home grown policy. Despite Mian Nawaz Sharif's remarks indicating his commitment to playing a positive role in evolving a consensus policy on the issue of terrorism, the conduct of some of the PML-N parliamentarians during the three in-camera sittings leaves much to be desired. Ignoring a decision by the party high command to fully participate in the proceedings, they declined to take part in the question-answer session after listening to the DGMO for two days. Expressing dissatisfaction with the format of the briefing, they demanded to be apprised of the government's umbrella strategy to deal with terrorism. Meanwhile what they told the media sent negative signals. The noisy protests after the Information Minister's briefing on government's policy created further dismay among the public. A perception is thus being formed that both the government and the opposition lack the spirit of accommodation required to hammer out a commonly agreed policy. The government must not try to dictate while instead of nitpicking the opposition should make positive suggestions.