WHEN General Ashfaq Kayani told the tripartite commission comprising representatives of the armed forces of Pakistan and Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Forces at Kabul on Friday that drone attacks on suspected targets of militants in the tribal region were proving counterproductive, it must be the umpteenth time that Islamabad had expressed its opposition to this ill conceived policy of the Pentagon. One reason, which the COAS also gave, is the backlash these airstrikes create when they kill innocent civilians and that is the case more often than not. The taking out of militants recedes in the background, and the so-called collateral damage causes deep resentment and anger not only among the tribesmen, who lose their kith and kin, but also the people across the country's social spectrum. In fact, the feeling grows that the local population is deliberately hit to make it doubly sure that it does not provide any sanctuary to anti-US elements. This is at least certainly assumed about the NATO forces' operation in Afghanistan where social get-gathers are routinely bombed and the version that they had misjudged a joyous gathering with enthusiastic resistance is hardly given any credence. The truth is that this unhelpful phenomenon in the conduct of war on terror cannot possibly be unknown to those sitting in the operations room. In the backdrop of public outrage at the aerial attacks, the task of the Pakistan government in rooting out militancy becomes all the harder. The second reason, equally important, is the violation of Pakistan's territorial sovereignty. It hurts the public pride and raises questions about the future of US-Pakistan relations when Washington's commitment of everlasting friendship is seen in the light of rejection of Islamabad's pleas against these missile strikes. It seems that contrary to General Kayani's efforts to convince his counterparts in the tripartite commission about the harmful effects of drone attacks, the hawks in the US have decided to go ahead with their strategy. As a result, there have been attacks during the past two successive days and in each several persons lost their lives. Can one hope that the establishment of centres on Pak-Afghan frontier for the purpose of intelligence sharing would finally put an end to this self-defeating exercise? The commission discussed these centres, one of which has already been set up. The sharing of intelligence about the whereabouts of militants would enable Pakistan to take action against them without doing harm to those not involved and, at the same time, preserve its sovereignty.