In the past, our government has been issuing statements, with the usual bluster, that it is capable of settling the drones issue with the US government through diplomatic means. Looks like the endeavour has not met with much success because far from ceasing or even curtailing drone operations, the US government is planning to expand them to include even Balochistan, as is evident from a report in The Nation (September 27). Surprisingly, a big advocate for this is the US Vice President Joe Biden, on whom our government has been showering honours while hailing him as 'our man' in Washington. The American intentions do not come entirely as a surprise because the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates had ordered fifty more drones some months back, obviously, with something like this in mind. The story does not just end there. Even Afghan government is buying Israeli drones that would have to be operated by Israelis. In addition, the Australian government has also expressed a desire to buy Israeli drones for use of its troops in Afghanistan. So, if we are not careful, our skies could soon be overcast with drones, like kites flying in the Basant season. -S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, September 29.