In the midst of growing uncertainty about the mutual bonds of trust and long-term common agenda on domestic and external policies, so vital to inspire the confidence of the nation and international community for building the required image of hope for the future of Pakistan as a democratic, forward-looking Islamic liberal welfare state, the Wednesday meeting at Islamabad comprising of heads of the political parties in the ruling coalition, concluded with a positive message of hope. The consensus amongst the participants regarding the present challenges faced by the nation reflects the statesmanship of the coalition leaders, which ended in a cordial environment of the marathon session. There were apprehensions by some who express them candidly. They complained for not being included in major policy decision making. They demanded PPP to honour the commitments made prior to and after the February 18 elections. This was perfectly in order as it should be in a democratic alliance and much more so in the case of a fragile alliance with different manifestos as in the present case. But it is gratifying to note that the combined leadership of the coalition government rose to the occasion, considering the gravity of the threat to Pakistan's national security. Hence no ultimatums were given by Mian Shahbaz, who represented the PML-N at the coalition summit meeting. Both key party leaders of the coalition namely, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, deserve profound appreciation of the 160 million people of Pakistan for displaying a genuine spirit of reconciliation in the best interest of the State of Pakistan thus saving the coalition from breaking up at this critical juncture. PM Gilani chaired the coalition leaders first formal meeting. PPP Co Chairperson Asif Zardari, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman, CM NWFP Amir Haider Hoti, Information Minister Sherry Rehman, Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik and MNA's from FATA attended the meeting. In the afternoon session, the meeting was joined by the COAS Gen Ashfaq Kiyani and other top security officials who gave a detailed briefing to the participants on the ground situation in the tribal areas and the nature of the on-going military operations. The important aspect of this meeting is that it centred round the serious threat to the very solidarity and future in the best interest of the federation rather than playing party politics and indulging in rhetoric of sorts including agitation in support of the lawyers' movement, removal of President Musharraf or Nafaz-e-Sharia as interpreted by certain quarters. The Wednesday meeting unanimously agreed that the immediate threat to the state was that of growing militancy, extremism and terrorism, whereas the other issues, though having their own importance and priority have to be looked into, in due course of time. The decisions arrived at the summit, therefore, paved the way for a long-term "indigenous policy which should be evolved with joint consultation to tackle not only the situation in the tribal areas but also all the other challenges facing the nation at home as and internationally. The follow up of the important short-term and long-term decisions of strategic nature are visible during various developments during the past few days since the Islamabad coalition summit meeting. While uncertainty and rumour mongering about the break-up of the coalition has finally come to an end and thank God for that. The news from the foreign office Islamabad as well as the meetings of our FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Washington, New York and London brings good news of better understanding of Pakistan's position in the West. Prime Minister Gilani's visit to the US and his meeting with President Bush will hopefully prove fruitful in tiding over Pakistan's basic crisis on the economic front. Let us hope that Mian Nawaz Sharif will soon return to Pakistan and the coalition parties will wholeheartedly join hands in managing the affairs of the state to dispel the perception of their internal dissension's which can only damage Pakistan and bring joy to our enemies. The writer is a president of the Pakistan National Forum E-mail: