Reports in the press about US officials hinting that Pakistan will be carrying out joint military operations with the US to hunt down the insurgents largely the Haqqani network along the tribal belt are being heard. The arrangement is rumoured to have been worked out between ISI Chief Lt-Gen Zahreerul Islam and CIA Chief David Petraeus. The impression was that his visit was meant to press for the cessation of the drone attacks. It turns out that rather than arguing in defence of our sovereignty, we have given in to another demand that will blow to pieces whatever was left of the argument against drones. Though sources in the Army have denied the report, a categorical denial from the ISPR has not come, which indicates that the plan could be afoot.

The fact that Pakistani and American commandoes are cooperating is welcome news, but the fact that operations will be carried out, even jointly with the help of the US Army will be received with much anger and disappointment. Further cause for concern is the Haqqanis themselves. Active mostly in Afghanistan, the Haqqanis are rumoured to have safe havens along the Pakistani side of the Durand Line. The Pakistan Army had protested long and vociferously of the unfeasibility of opening another front in the war, with troops spread too thin already. There is also the fear that antagonising the Haqqanis may mean antagonising future influential stakeholders in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, terrorist sanctuaries on Afghan soil allegedly supported by Kabul continue to shatter our peace and stability. US boots on the ground in Afghanistan have done no good. Pakistan cannot be the new ground for the latest US misadventure.