The US offer to Pakistan that the drone attacks can be stopped if the country launches a military operation in North Waziristan constitutes a Hobson’s choice. Our experience with the Americans leave little doubt that they are adept at giving something with the one hand and taking it back with the other. According to a private TV channel it comes as a great relief that the Army Chief General Kayani has rebuffed this proposal. An operation in North Waziristan would further increase backlash against the government and armed forces leading to a spate of mass casualty attacks. This is also the time when efforts should be focused on finding out a negotiated settlement of the conflict by winning over the hearts and minds of the disgruntled groups. Top officials of the Obama administration have themselves started confessing that the Taliban are not the real enemy in Afghanistan: their military is engaging in peace talks with them. When the US is itself pursuing a political solution, it only reveals its true intentions when it eggs Pakistan on to open new avenues of war in its tribal areas.

It turns out it is using drone attacks as leverage to pressurise Islamabad into undertaking acts detrimental to national security. Stern action both on military and diplomatic fronts is now needed to put an end to the drone warfare since this is also what the Parliament’s resolution stipulates.