THAT two drone attacks should take place in North and South Waziristan on the day when Gen Petraerus was to take command of the CENTCOM is rather ominous. These were conducted despite Ambassador Anne Patterson having been summoned to Foreign Office two days earlier to record a strong protest. She was also told that besides killing innocent non-combatants, acts of the sort undermined public support for Islamabad's efforts to uproot terrorism. The missile fired at a house in South Waziristan hit the followers of a known pro-Pakistan commander who had been instrumental in the removal of foreign militants from the area. The attack is likely to add to the difficulties of the government. What is disturbing is the justification given for the attacks by US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff who has brazenly claimed the right to conduct them. In his view sovereignty entails responsibility to ensure that a country does not become a platform for attacking other countries either willingly or out of inability. This according to him is all the more important for countries with ungoverned or ungovernable areas as terrorists cannot be allowed to plan attacks, set up laboratories, and experiment with chemical and biological weapons. Many in Pakistan would say that after 9/11 the US has developed a peculiar state of mind that makes it see enemies in every nook and corner and to overreact to situations. Those living in Pakistan's under-developed tribal areas might be capable of fighting invaders with whatever weapons were supplied by the CIA during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and some might even cross over to the Afghan side in support of their kinsmen. They however lack the scientific knowledge and the technical know how required to develop chemical or biological weapons, which explains why these have never been used in FATA or Afghanistan. The operation by Pakistan army has already reduced cross border movement as US officials also concede. After the unanimous parliamentary resolution, commitments are being sought from tribes to abide by the provision that expressly demands that Pakistan's territory will not be allowed to be used for attacks against any country. Continued drone attacks indicate that the Bush administration is bent upon pursuing the aggressive and unfriendly course it has chosen disregarding Pakistan's protests. What Islamabad needs to do is to realise the dangers that lie ahead for it on account of the policy of brinkmanship followed by Washington. While continuing to protest it should ponder over reviewing the logistic support to the US-led forces in Afghanistan. Meanwhile it should take all measures to eradicate extremism and terrorism from the tribal areas and bring them into the mainstream through social and economic development and political reforms.