HIGH ranking US officials, Special Envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm Mike Mullen, are expected in Islamabad shortly to exchange views with government functionaries here on the implementation of the new American AfPak strategy. They would be meeting President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Although our leadership welcomed, in indecent haste, President Barack Obama's speech that outlined the strategy, one hopes that by now a proper assessment would have been made and the points that go against the country's interests highlighted. We must continue the effort to bring home to the Americans that the drone strikes are not only hurting the sensitivities of the proud people of this country, but also damaging the very cause for which they were being made. There are almost daily reminders of the death of innocent civilians by pilotless planes, with vengeful terrorist attacks taking place across Pakistan. The reconstruction opportunity zones promised by President Bush three years ago would not serve the purpose, if drones were allowed to play havoc at the same time. Similarly, it would be nave to dissociate the renewed strength of militants from these attacks. Washington must also appreciate that Islamabad would not feel comfortable with New Delhi's designs against it in Afghanistan. It is a pity that the superpower had to bow before Indian pressure to exclude Kashmir from Holbrooke's mandate. It is a dispute that is a perennial source of people's suffering and outrage, and feeds the instinct to throw out the illegally occupying power with force if necessary. With the Valley burning and anger rising among Kashmiris and their sympathisers, it would be a hard task for the American strategists to ensure that trust between Indian and Pakistan take hold. The Americans need to be told these home truths, and should not expect Pakistan to lower its guard on the eastern border.