Dr. Haider Mehdi We have asked the US to hand over the drone technology to us, so that we can carry out these strikes ourselves. - Prime Minister of Pakistan Recently, over 10,000 people in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar and another 2,000 tribesmen in Miran Shah protested against the drone attacks in the tribal areas. The banners carried by the protesters read: Stop drone attacks in Pakistan, No to American interference in Pakistan, Death for America, and Listen Obama, do not kill innocent Muslims. An overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are against the American drone warfare, and believe that a large number of civilians are being killed and maimed in the strikes. The governments own estimates claim that Pakistan has lost about $50 billion over the past 10 years, and thousands of civilians and security personnel have been killed or seriously injured, says an IANS report. Ironically, Pakistan officially protests the strikes as violations of its sovereignty, but the Pakistani security agencies are believed to secretly cooperate with the programme. Last year, the United States fired around 150 missile strikes into Pakistan in a major escalation of the campaign, reported the media. Amid this indiscriminate killing and wounding of the Pakistani civilians, the massive burden on the countrys resources, and the despicable violation of its national sovereignty, the Pakistani Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, owns the so-called war on terrorism as Pakistans war and, in his typical political arrogance, apathy to the national sentiment and political incorrectness, offers the following resolution to a dreadful and calamitous national problematic: We have asked the US to hand over the drone technology to us, so that we can carry out these strikes ourselves. Appalling, isnt it? Please, not in our name In two other related developments, unfortunate and counterproductive as they are, the Pakistani image-building gurus have started work to alternate rhetorical reconstruction of the 'war on terror terminology and its lexicon. Islamabad has decided to drop certain phrases: Descriptions like frontline state in the war against terrorism overcast the countrys positivities. Therefore, we are doing away with this phrase, a senior security official is quoted in the media. Insidiously pathetic, isnt it? Unmindful of the fact that a mere change in the lexicon and terminology does not alter the nature of the reality of the lethal consequences of war that is inflicting terror on this nation and its citizens, the Pakistani image-makers are now trying to hide behind meaningless and empty words. How far can a political absurdity be extended? This government has no resolutions to offer to the national problematics - it is clueless to the concept of the conflict-resolution strategic paradigm, and its incompetence in conducting and managing Pakistans foreign policy is quite obvious. This government does what it is told by its patrons in Washington DC and other capitals in the West. Consequently, the Zardari-Gilani regime has virtually surrendered Pakistans sovereignty to the policymakers in the US and West. Without a doubt, this government has demonstrated pathetically inarticulate capabilities to voice and promote Pakistans national interests vis--vis the US-NATO global objectives and their ever-growing interference in this nations affairs. And this is in spite of the fact that WikiLeaks and the Palestinian Papers have aptly cautioned people all over the world that the US-West leadership cannot be trusted - their entire political discourse is wrapped in deceptions and political manipulations. In another callously-managed foreign policy political engagement, Islamabad is poised to open yet another 'war on terror front on Moscows behest. In meetings with Russian officials, the government seems to bend over backwards to accommodate Russias tactical military-political demands, which are most certainly going to further deteriorate the already volatile political situation in northern Pakistan. Moscow suspects that Muslim extremists in the Pakistani sanctuaries have links with militants fromMuslim Russian regionsPakistan and Russia could cooperate in tracking down militants from Central Asia living in Pakistans tribal areas on the Afghan border, reported Reuters. Had Pakistan been in possession of its full faculties in independent foreign policy decision-making, ideally it would have at once pointed out to the Russian delegates that its relations with other nations are based on the universal respect for democracy, full and fair treatment of democratic aspirations of people, equal rights for minorities, self-determination, and non-violent and non-military settlement of political issues wherever they may be in any part of the world. Pakistans foreign policy managers would have also ideally contended that if the entire international community has agreed to a national referendum in south Sudan for a political settlement of an issue, why cant the same principle of peoples self-determination be applied in Kashmir, Palestine, as well as in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon and, of course, in the troubled Muslim regions in Russia where there are massive drives for democratisation through the peoples power. After all, the Russian strategic proposition of tracking down militants from Central Asia will be a military solution to a political problematic in absolute violation of international norms and democratic principles. Come what may, Pakistan cannot let the Russians violate its sovereignty in the same manner as the US and its western allies already have. It was Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State, who developed the conflict management rather than conflict resolution doctrine in international affairs, giving the US control over global politics with coercive methods in diplomacy. However, it is hard to imagine that foreign policy managers in Pakistans incumbent political establishment could be familiar with the negative fallouts of Kissingers doctrine. (It is so because these folks are not talented, visionary nationalists like Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, who is developing new concepts in international diplomacy.) And our leaderships foreign policy initiative is always ad hoc, with financial aid and the backing of the regime in Islamabad of paramount importance. The important point is that Pakistan due to its leadership is still stuck with Kissingers model of conflict management - thereby expanding, extending and continuing the political-military strife - while what the nation needs so urgently is a proactive and pre-emptive peace diplomacy on the Turkish Foreign Ministers developed model of conflict resolution, rather than the mere management of conflicts. It is only then that Pakistan can be saved from further destabilisation and ultimate political-economic destruction. American dollars have not helped yet, nor will Russian rubles resolve our problems. It is time to say no to the United States and no, thank you to the Russians. Pakistan has to assume zero tolerance for the US-NATO and Russian global and domestic political interests. The change in the lexicon or terminology will not make the conflict disappear in northern Pakistan, nor will the military-political cooperation with the Russians for further expansion of the conflict and the ensuing atrocities silence the resistance in Russia, Afghanistan and elsewhere, wherever that may be. Please do not plunge this nation into yet another personalised, misled and disastrous foreign policy crusade. Please, not in our name The writer is a professor, political analyst, and conflict-resolution expert Email: hl_mehdi@hotmail.com