The CIAs revised policy on drones attacks has once again brought to the fore the disturbing question whether these pilot-less aerial strikes that have so far killed nearly 3,000 tribesmen, an overwhelming percentage of them innocent Pakistani citizens, are being carried out with the consent of our ruling leadership. As these attacks involve a sensitive issue of violation of territorial sovereignty, the people have been asking their government to come clean about the rules of engagement that the two countries have worked out in this regard, especially since the all parties conference and Parliament unequivocally demanded an end to them. Unfortunately, their call has fallen on deaf ears in Islamabad and Washington, creating a strong suspicion that WikiLeaks revelation about President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilanis surprising views about these attacks were not just kite flying. Mr Zardari is supposed to have told US security officials that the drone attacks and collateral damage did not bother him and Mr Gilani, endorsing the drone policy, remarked that the government would protest for the sake of countering the public pressure and then ignore it. These observations show a callous disregard of the public sentiment and, if true, are contrary to the basic principles of national sovereignty under any system of governance, and, in our case, also in contradiction to the APC and parliamentary resolutions. Prevarication only tends to reinforce the suspicion about our leaderships complicity. Reportedly, the hue and cry raised in Pakistan following the mounting death toll of civilians created differences between US diplomatic circles, the military and the CIA, with the former two stressing a review of this policy and the CIA sticking to its guns. Finally, President Obama had to intervene to resolve the issue. The change only relates to attacks that could jeopardise the lives of militants sympathisers along with militants themselves. It stipulates prior notice to Pakistan of these strikes, called 'signature attacks. The 'personality attacks i.e. which could entail the death of a militant would be privy to no such notice. Concerns about the violation of sovereignty thus still stand unaddressed. Pakistan must not hesitate to demand an end to all types of drone attacks. Another report also reveals a sharp cut, as much as of $400 million out of $1.5 billion, in the US civilian aid to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act. Without going into an examination of American logic behind this decision and its justification, or lack of it, we should be looking at it as an opportunity to rescue our economy from the addiction to aid. A country, rich in human and natural resources, can surely tap them given the will. What the Pakistani ruling classes need is that will