AS soon as the military operation against militants got under way in the Khyber Agency, Islamabad started playing host to American officials and lawmakers who spent a busy day on Monday meeting the Pakistani authorities and discussing with them the evolving security situation in the tribal areas. The issue figured prominently during Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher's interactions with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, PM's Interior Adviser Rehman Malik and National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani. President Musharraf separately briefed a five-member US congressional delegation on the ongoing operation and efforts being made to prevent the militants from entering Peshawar. But he also sounded a note of caution to the visiting Senators that Pakistan would not tolerate a recurrence of crossborder attacks on its troops in the restive region. The warning came around the time when a drone attack in Bara Town in the early hours of Monday left at least nine people dead and another 15 injured. The inevitability of the recently launched operation cannot be denied. There was probably no time to waste after the militants decided to suspend negotiation with the local authorities and started threatening suicide strikes in Punjab and Sindh. Soon after Baitullah Mehsud announced the scrapping of the peace deals, different militant outfits started regrouping their forces for renewed attacks. The latest indication came from North and South Waziristan where Mullah Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur groups, representing the local Taliban, agreed to jointly counter the military operation and fight against the coalition forces across the border. But what remains missing on the official front is coordination between federal and provincial agencies. Then there is some sort of ambivalence caused by conflicting views within the ruling coalition on how to deal with the situation. Mr Boucher's observation that the Government of Pakistan was not concentrating on the security situation because of a 'cold war' among the coalition partners came on the heels of PML(N) leader Ch Nisar Ali's statement that his party had serious reservations about the ongoing military operation since it had not been taken into confidence. Mian Nawaz had a point in telling Mr Boucher, who called on him in Lahore on Tuesday, that approval for launching military operation in the Khyber Agency should have been taken from Parliament. It is time the coalition leaders put their heads together and devised a comprehensive strategy for tackling the crisis rather than letting others set guidelines for us.