Mindless of the furore in Pakistan over NATO attacks on its Afghan border post at Salalah in the Mohmand Agency, NATO Commander General John Allen, in a show of typical superciliousness, has told the British daily Guardian that raids to take out terrorists ensconced in Pakistani territory cannot be ruled out in the future. The paper quotes General Allen as saying that plans have been prepared to eliminate militant groups, Haqqani network and Mulla Nazir and Gul Bahadur groups, in the coming two years. He maintains, as several top US military officials have done earlier, that Pakistan has been told that if it fails to get rid of terrorists on its soil, other steps will have to be considered. That both political and military circles in the US administration are desperately trying to salvage US-Pakistani relations after the disastrous NATO attacks did not appear to occur to the Generals bravado-imbued judgment. Nor has the alarm this assault, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, has generated, served to calm him down to a cautious approach. Similarly, the lasting harm the deliberate and unprovoked attacks have done to Pak-US relations failed to bring him around to thinking twice before issuing such a hostile challenge. Apparently, as a US General he is not bothered about General Kayani's orders to his troops at Pak-Afghan borders to retaliate with full force to any NATO interventions in the future, without waiting for permission from the high command. General Allens remarks would serve neither the cause of the war on terror, nor work to improve the climate of hostility presently existing between Pakistan and the US; rather that would tend to further exacerbate it. In any case, it provides enough ground for Pakistan to keep its powder dry to be able to repulse any intervention from the side of NATO. The Salalah outrage has undoubtedly provoked Islamabad to review the entire gamut of our relations with Washington, that it is supposedly doing right now, in a manner that leads to dissociating ourselves with the unholy war on terror. One wishes that our rulers had realised much earlier the mistake Musharraf had committed by single-handedly leading the nation to war that has cost us dearly: 35,000 sons of the soil, including 5,000 soldiers, killed, an ever-present sense of insecurity and a massive loss of $70 billion to the economy. Simply leaving the War on Terror is not going to herald the end of our troubles. It will however give us an opportunity to regroup, devote our focus to our own country instead of trying to help salvage a lost war in Afghanistan.