After all the hullabaloo about the civilian supremacy over the military, the parliament's joint session has ended up achieving the opposite of what leaked reports on the military and intelligence bosses being on the defensive might suggest.
The unanimous resolution passed at the end of the session has reaffirmed and validated Pakistan's flawed security discourse –espoused and led by the military and its supporters among politicians and media pundits: That the United States of America – in cahoots with India – is out to destroy Pakistan. What else can explain the worrying absence from the resolution of both Osama bin Laden and the terrorist organisations on the prowl across the country with their poisonous ideologies and lethal strategies to implement them?
Bin Laden was no ordinary criminal on the run from the law. He had been ordering, planning and sponsoring acts of terrorism across the globe using our territory. And in a gross violation of our territorial sanctity, the world's most wanted terrorist, whose organisation al Qaeda more than once declared war on Pakistan, has been living just outside the country's top military academy reportedly for years.
Still, the parliamentarians forgot to refer to the fact that by virtue of his visa-less stay in Abbottabad, he has been undermining Pakistan's sovereignty and subverting the sacredness of our borders as much as the American helicopters did when they invaded Pakistan to capture and kill him.
Whether this omission is deliberate or accidental, it confirms the most dominant view in our security and intelligence discourse that the roots of Pakistan's problems lie outside of the country and not inside. Besides the obvious demerits of this flawed approach which has exposed Pakistan to hostile neighbors on both its eastern and western borders, it allows the military, the government, the parliament and the intelligentsia the luxury to bury their heads in the sand as the chances of an implosion of the state and the society become increasingly imminent around them.
The problem with such smugness is that it wants an immediate end to drone attacks and is willing to go to any lengths to have them stopped but is willing to look the other way as terrorists - operating illegally out of our territory - continue to commit horrible crimes against humanity, within Pakistan as well as outside it.
The parliamentarians have not just underestimated the global anxiety over terrorism emanating from our own backyard, they have also undermined the sacrifices of 35,000 civilians and about 5000 security personnel who lost their lives to terrorist attacks. Or did they actually die fighting against some aliens descended on us through the American drones? By choosing to ignore these issues, the parliament looks like having answered this question in the affirmative.
Visibly hurt and overtly angry over the violation of Pakistan's territorial sovereignty by the Americans, the parliamentarians never asked the military and intelligence chiefs as to why the Taliban were captured in Swat in 2009 even though the security forces have been conducting operations against them in the same region since 2007?
Wasn't the terrorist victory right under the nose of the state authorities as big a security and intelligence failure as the violation of Pakistan’s airspace by the American helicopters? Why haven't we ever demanded and ordered an inquiry commission to investigate that failure in Swat? Or perhaps the parliamentarians believe the conspiracy theories that thousands of suicide bombers brainwashed and trained in Swat and the tribal areas are just the phantoms of imaginations of a security consultant working out of some Washington-funded think tank!
The resolution also has misplaced focus on Pakistan's image, pride, honour and self-esteem even when it ignores some harsh truths that we as a nation continue to sidestep. Despite all the self-glorification and bravado of our soldiers and intelligentsia, Pakistan is a third world country that - despite possessing nuclear weapons - is heavily dependent on other countries for keeping its military machine up and running. The Americans know this and can exploit this for their benefit, only cutting our bloated self-image to size. After all, the world's most powerful country and its military personnel have the technology as well as the political and military muscle to successfully breach our sovereignty and security.
What is really hurting our image and national honour is the question as to how a country with more than half a million standing troops has allowed rag-tag militant groups to operate from its territory for decades to the destruction of the domestic structures of state and society and to the horrors of the rest of the world. When we meet foreigners they do not berate us for possessing radars that cannot detect tech-heavy American helicopters. They avoid use because they see us as the sponsors and supporters of international terrorism.