In the reaction to Hakimullah Mehsud's death lies an indication of how there is no way to win hearts and minds in Pakistan. And it's all thanks to those shaping the popular rhetoric on the issue. Take a bow Choudhary Nisar, Imran Khan, and assorted other politicians of various shades of political opinion. For the sake of defending themselves against retaliatory attacks, or because it would grate against a manipulated popular understanding of the war on terror, or because they genuinely believe that Hakimullah and his ilk ought to be adopted into the fold...for some reason, the TTP head's death has been conveyed to be a national tragedy. Choudhary Nisar is livid, and has announced a review of US-Pakistan relations, over the death of a man on whose head his own ministry had a reward of Rs 5 crore until the day he was killed in a drone strike.

The opposition to drones is logical and just, but to confuse it with the opposition to the death of a declared terrorist is to do the nation the ultimate disservice. Ideally, the strike that killed him would have been one orchestrated by the Pakistani army. That it was not, has only served to provide justification to those who claim the war on terror is not our own.

There is also the question of the sudden interest in Hakimullah as a target by the drone campaign and it's operators. The question of timing strikes Choudhary Nisar as a conspiracy, but there is another explanation, that this may be indication of a revival of the relationship between the Pakistani and American intelligence agencies. This relationship has been historically murky, and seldom subject to civilian oversight, especially in Pakistan.

Insistence on talks has been a favourite crutch of this and previous governments. But what is publicly professed as a panacea, is privately disowned as wishful thinking. Having convinced the people and themselves that there is a chance for Pakistan to be a modern, progressive state as the result of talks with such elements, politicians have opted for complete denial of the fact that is fundamentally impossible. To insist on trying to adopt a regressive ideology as a measure for peace is to deny that this would fundamentally change the nature of society to an intolerant, unjust, regressive state. And it is in the refusal to understand this that politicians are undermining any possibility of peace or progress in Pakistan. Drones are utterly condemnable as a violation of sovereignty. Just as much as the TTP, an anti-Pakistan terrorist organisation that this nation must not embrace into its fold.