PURSUANT to a three-pronged strategy adopted by the government for tackling growing extremism, top military and political leaders have expressed their resolve to continue fighting the militants who are challenging the writ of the state and negotiate only with those prepared to lay down arms. During their meeting on Saturday President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani were found to be on the same page about not being lenient with the elements threatening national security. Governor NWFP Owais Ghani, who was also present along with Interior Adviser Rehman Malik and other concerned officials, briefed the participants about the latest move to engage tribesmen in dialogue and flush out foreigners from the restive region. But the government cannot rely too much on him since his role or lack of it in dealing with insurgency in Balochistan during the Musharraf era has been far from satisfactory. The troika met at a time when the parliament is holding an in-camera session to review the security situation and devise in its light a comprehensive strategy to effectively meet the threats to our sovereignty. The meeting also discussed the agenda for talks with US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher who reached here a month after a diplomatic row between Islamabad and Washington over stepped-up US attacks on the suspected terrorist hideouts in tribal areas. General Kayani's assurance to follow whatever policy the government prepares in this regard indicates the Army's submission to the civilian authority. The approach marks a departure from the past nine years when all important decisions were taken by the military-dominated National Security Council and the parliament was completely marginalised. As the army is ready to execute the official plan rather than interfere in the policymaking process the government must focus on developing a consensus on accepting the ownership of the raging war on terror. The government would be blamed for paying lip service to the impending dangers if it does not come up with a clear-cut policy to deal with the dual menace of extremism and terrorism. Mian Nawaz Sharif has a point when he calls for constituting a parliamentary committee comprising members from political parties across the divide and making it mandatory for all the heads of intelligence agencies to apprise it of the matters pertaining to the situation in tribal areas. It can be an effective forum to sort out the issue that remained unresolved after days of the in-camera session. But then the PML-N and other opposition parties will also have to do away with the traditional finger-pointing and contribute positively to develop a consensus on wiping out militancy spreading across the country.