Despite earlier reservations, the fortnight long in-camera briefing on national security by the government functionaries to the joint sitting of the Parliament yielded a consensus anti-terror resolution. The conflict of interest even amidst the various members of the ruling coalition was discouraging. The leader of one group demanded equal opportunity for the leaders of the terrorist groups to present their point of view to the Parliament. Another coalition leader has sought refuge in safer climes after an unsuccessful attempt on his life by a suicide bomber targeting his hujra while he was receiving well wishers on the occasion of Eid. All said and done, there is hope for democracy to prevail as the magnitude of the trauma facing Pakistan was finally grasped by the august members of the Senate and National Assembly, with the unanimous passage of the epoch-making a 14-point resolution bringing across to the government through Article 1, the need for an "urgent review of our national security strategy and revisiting the methodology of combating terrorism in order to restore peace and stability to Pakistan and the region through an independent foreign policy." Endorsing the anti-terror resolutions is only the tip of the iceberg. The political parties are on board, while the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani expressed the army's commitment to it while addressing the passing-out parade of 118 PMA Long Course. The real test begins now with the implementation of the anti-terror resolution, where it has been stressed through Article 2, that "the challenge of militancy and extremism must be met through developing a consensus and dialogue with all genuine stakeholders." The crux of the Resolution has been presented in Article 11: "That the state shall establish its writ in the troubled zones, and confidence building mechanisms by using customary and local communities (Jirga) and that the military will be replaced as early as possible by civilian law enforcement agencies with enhanced capacity and a sustainable political system achieved through a consultative process." Which is to be implemented through Article 14: "That a special committee of Parliament be constituted to periodically review, provide guidelines and monitor the implementation of the principles framed and roadmap given in this Resolution." The army has already made a propitious beginning by recapturing the strategically important Loisam area from the militants after almost two-and-a-half months of massive military operation in the troubled Bajaur Agency. The Resolution has definitely captured the spirit of the solution by emphasising on "dialogue" which "must now be the highest priority, as a principal instrument of conflict management and resolution." The rider clause has been carefully drafted: "Dialogue will be encouraged with all those elements willing to abide by the Constitution of Pakistan and rule of law." Dialogue is not confined to the tribal belt but also with dissidents in Balochistan and the NWFP. The next phase would be "development of troubled zones," the creation of "economic opportunities in order to bring the less privileged areas at par with the rest of Pakistan", and "the redressal of grievances and redistribution of resources." The implementation "mechanisms for internal security be institutionalised by: paying compensation for victims of violence; and rehabilitate those displaced from their homes as soon as possible; that spillover effects of terrorism be contained throughout the country." And herein lies the rub: "The nation stands united to combat this growing menace, with a strong public message condemning all forms and manifestations of terrorism, including the spread of sectarian hatred and violence, with a firm resolve to combat it and to address its root causes." Wisdom prevails however, in specifying "that public consensus be built against terrorism through media and religious participation." The most important part of the implementation process is that the will of the people must be behind it. Pakistan is already strife torn with food and energy shortage, continued power outages, unprecedented inflation, rising unemployment and the sinking feeling that the world is expecting it to continue to combat terrorism wholeheartedly but remains oblivious to the impending crash of its financial institutions, its swift plunge towards loan default and bankruptcy. Perhaps this is the "return to the stone age" allegedly threatened by Richard Armitage to arm-twist Pakistan's participation in the US-led war against terror in the wake of 9/11. The government itself must adopt austere measures, be cognisant of the pain and agony of the people who voted them to power but equally importantly, the world can only ditch Pakistan at this juncture at its own peril. The writer is a political and defence analyst