Without a whimper and with only a singular exception (of Ayaz Amir), the entire Parliament of the nuclear-powered Pakistan, that otherwise tells the world what to do with itself with empty bluster, capitulated totally. Of the women legislators, the less said the better, which is might as well. After all, when our brave men let go of their honour, and the concept of nationhood, aspiration of the founding fathers, etc, etc, what could those poor, picture-perfect, window-dressed women do? And the MQM stayed true to form. Running with the hares; hunting with the hounds. Sounds of anti- Taliban fury for the public and then abstention from the vote. At the end of the day and where it matters they did not have the moral courage to stand up and be counted. On 20 February 2006, a Canadian, Paul Marek wrote an article titled, "Why the peaceful majority is irrelevant". An excerpt is worth repeating: "History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. The fanatics have made peace-loving Muslims irrelevant. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life". -DR MERVYN HOSEIN, Karachi, via e-mail, April 19.