Profile in Politics Of all the suicide blasts and other acts of terrorism inflicted upon the innocent citizens of Pakistan, over the past two years during the present democratic regime, the death and devastation following the suicide attacks at the Shrine of the most revered sufi saint, Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh Ali Hajveri, at Lahore, was a hair-raising shattering blow to the nation with a definite message from the hardcore terrorists who mastermind such acts of terror. The message is indeed loud and clear, considering the tragic incidents of a dozen of such suicide blasts in Punjab over the past few months. Whether one likes it or not, the harsh reality is that the terrorists have firmly dug themselves in their numerous strongholds and many underground hideouts under the protection of their patrons. Having gone through the usual rituals of public and private sector condemnation of such beastly inhuman and un-Islamic acts of barbarism, which no Muslim - even in his wildest dreams - can think of committing, we immediately conclude that the preparators of such acts of terrorism are non-Muslim foreigners who are working for RAW, MOSSAD, GRU and even CIA. Secondly, we tended to give a clean chit to any preparator of such acts of violence, whether from Punjab or the tribal belt of Waziristan, because they are our so-called Muslim brothers. Even if some of them have been misguided to indulge in such acts of terrorism, they do so under the belief of waging Jihad against the war on terror, which is definitely not ours and solely meant to serve the US designs. The bloodbath at the shrine poses the question: whether the time has come to review our stance about Pakistans direct involvement in this war, especially after so much blood of innocent men, women and children have been shed by the terrorists? There are however several lessons to be learnt from the Data Darbar holocaust. Lesson number one is that we have to do something about this war. We, especially the present leadership, just cannot get away by denying or by presenting lame excuses to avoid the foremost duty of the state which is to safeguard the life, property and honour of its citizens. The authorities, at both the federal and provincial levels, should take immediate measures to deal with the gathering storm of terrorism, before it is too late. Lesson number two is that all the stakeholders pertaining to the present state of affairs having failed to identify and pre-empt the threat to national security for the past many decades must wake up so that a proper roadmap can be undertaken with national consensus to deal with the threat facing Pakistan. Needless to say, this requires an institutional framework for which Parliament may have to enact laws and set up a new institution, at the public and private sector, for an integrated and developed programme of homeland security comprising various departments of the government, the civil society and the armed forces to work in a coordinated national effort to meet the emerging threat of terrorism. And the last lesson is that Pakistan has been forced into a state of war against terrorism which was thrust upon us by the US. So we have no other option now, except to face it. And with Allahs mercy we shall win it because our cause is just and righteous. In the end, I wish to congratulate the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, Mr Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, on immediately taking suo motu notice of the triple suicide attacks at the shrine of the Data Ali Hajveri; a step I have no doubt is the need of the hour. It will do a great service in filling the many gaps in our vital chain of national security. The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum.