Persisting with the drone attacks on Pakistans territory and, at the same time, launching a public relations campaign in the belief that it would minimise the anti-American sentiments in the country would be an exercise in futility. The visit of Secretary Hillary Clinton, who, on a similar trip in the past, had failed to make a dent in the resentment existing against the US, and the appointment of specially qualified Richard Hall Glad as Deputy Head of Mission at Islamabad would be hardly likely to make a difference. The underlying causes of growing hatred would have to be removed to turn the tide. The offer to widen the scope of discussion but turning down the demand to put an end to the intrusion into Pakistani skies of these killing machines would not help. The US would have to pay heed to what almost everyone in Pakistan the government as well as the opposition, the armed forces and the common citizen have been telling it to do: bring these attacks to a halt to save innocent lives and show respect to the territorial sovereignty of a country it calls a key ally in the war on terror. It should not be difficult for its policymakers to understand that if they disregard Islamabads sensitivities on this vital issue, its cooperation that they acknowledge as crucial to the success of their objective would lack the inherent vigour that should otherwise be there. A basic point that CIA Director Leon Panetta, who has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal to have told ISI Chief Lt-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha that his fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, and he will not halt operations that support that objective, ought to have known that the Pakistani authorities also have the similar responsibility about their citizens. And the drones are known to have killed disproportionately large number of ordinary men, women and children compared with the number of Al-Qaeda activists they have eliminated, further fuelling the hatred that this aerial intervention creates against the Americans. The open charge, no longer possible to be dismissed as a myth, that the Pakistani authorities had allowed the CIA in the past to increase the frequency of the drone attacks would, it appears, have to be tackled in accordance with the views expressed by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, besides bringing down the attacking planes. The past agreements that run counter to national interests should be revoked, Mian Shahbaz counsels, and Islamabad refuses to go by the conditions attacked to the Kerry-Lugar Act as well as accept aid from the US. But for that the economy would have to be put back on the rails on a war footing. The nation and, indeed, the leadership would have to gird up their loins and practise austerity in the real sense of the word. Effective measures to curb corruption that has seeped from the top into lower rungs of society have to be taken to pave the way for the country to become economically viable and independent and, thus, able to frustrate the American designs. Given the will, it should not take long to change the current depressing scenario.