Asma Jahangirs recent venomous outburst on a television channel against the army and its senior leadership was unfortunate and uncalled for. Given her stature as a human rights activist, lawyer and President Supreme Court Bar Association, she was expected to conduct herself in a more dignified and responsible manner. While her performance surely shocked the domestic audience, she played well to galleries across the borders. The timing of the malicious propaganda unleashed against the armed forces and misperceptions created about the safety of Pakistans nuclear arsenal in the aftermath of Abbottabad and PNS Mehran debacles, by a few so-called Pakistani liberal intellectuals, is indeed regrettable. It appears to be part of a coordinated strategy to demoralise the military, lower the confidence of the people in their security institutions and create a civil-military divide. While criticism is everybody's democratic right, it should be constructive and be done with grace without undermining national unity and morale. Pakistanis are alarmed at the degree of inspiration and penetration of the external forces in some segments of our society. The willing support by certain quarters of our intelligentsia/media and the despair so created countrywide should bring limitless joy and satisfaction to elements inimical to Pakistans security and integrity. Who all benefited from the Abbottabad and Mehran attacks? President Barack Obama in particular desperately needed a 'success story to pull up his crashing domestic popularity and create justification to pull out the US troops from Afghanistan. The Osama operation provided him just that, though many in the US/West continue to question the authenticity of bin Ladens death in Abbottabad. Operation Geronimo enabled the CIA to partially avenge its humiliation at the hands of the ISI in post Raymond Davis, which busted its covert network and led to the exit of many of its operatives from Pakistan. The visas issue further intensified the ISI-CIA distrust. With the army and the ISI on the defensive in Parliament, and international media attempting to specially tarnish ISIs image as an undefeatable spy organisation, the Pakistani leadership found itself negotiating with Senator Kerry and Secretary Hillary from a position of weakness, rather than strength. Meanwhile, the Indians should be satisfied over the loss of Pak navys two P-3C Orions. The fact that the raiders only targeted the Orions and left the navys Fokkers or the PAF C-130s, which were also parked on the tarmac, hints at an Indian involvement in some form. Unfortunately, Interior Minister Rehman Malik was as usual too quick to directly blame the Taliban in his press briefing at PNS Mehran, and avoided reference to the Indian factor. The political ruling elite, however, have good reasons to be delighted with the national hue and cry in the wake of Abbottabad and PNS Mehran. It was a welcome respite for those on the Islamabad hilltop that the medias focus suddenly shifted from governance, corruption, price hike and loadshedding issues to security related aspects, with guns turned towards the armed forces and the ISI. With the army/ISI put on the back foot, at least temporarily, coupled with a divided and impotent opposition, Zardari finds himself and his party in a comfortable situation and all set to survive till 2013. However, given Pakistans most unpredictable and complex internal dynamics, an early morning 'breaking news cannot be ruled out. The May 14 parliamentary resolution called for review of terms of Pak-US engagement. But the nation has yet to be told about the contours of the new relationship, about the 'good times that Hillary promised for Pakistan, the 'list of actions and 'expectations on which Pakistan must deliver and the 'give and take agreed upon during her whirlwind visit. The nation expects that all aspects of the new relationship, including ISICIA intelligence cooperation, NATO logistic supply, grant of visas to US personnel, winding up drone attacks and the 'un-crossable red lines would be redefined in black and white. Pakistanis found it objectionable and insulting that Hillary and Admiral Mullen chose to brief the media in the US Embassy and not on our governments premises, along with their Pakistani hosts. Does this indicate that the visiting US leadership was clearly on the offensive and calling the shots with our top bosses who were unable to face the media that day? If media reports of an impending military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) and the preparations for over 50,000 IDPs are true, then one is led to assume that Pakistan may have finally given in to US pressure to launch a limited offensive in this highly volatile, militancy infested region. The Peshawar Corps Commander clarified, though, that this operation was not imminent and that the army would take the decision itself and will not be dictated by any outside power. His rejection of joint operations with USA does indicate that despite the Abbottabad setback, Pak army is determined to retain the initiative in dealings with America and will not allow its boots on ground in any circumstances. If going into NWA is inescapable, then like Operations Rah-e-Rast in Swat and Rah-e-Nijat, Parliament must authorise and own any military move into North Waziristan. The days ahead will require herculean efforts by the military and the ISI to counter internal and external security threats with support of the people of Pakistan. But beware Mir Jaffars and Mir Sadiqs may pose the most formidable challenge to our existence. n The writer is a retired Brigadier Email: