British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has declared UK support for the reconciliation process being initiated by the Pakistan government with militants willing to negotiate. But there is no letup in the pouring of reports about a US plan to launch unilateral attacks from across the border, taking the plea that Al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership are hiding in Pakistan and are planning a 9/11-like attack on the US. According to The New York Times, Bush administration's permission has been sought to attack Pakistani militants hiding in the tribal areas but so far these requests have been denied because of diplomatic considerations. It seems the US government is in a haste to launch an attack before Mr Bush ends his tenure. It is, however, advisable for Washington not to misread the reality on ground as, in Miliband's words, there is "no quick solution, either through military means or negotiations. There is no quick fix. This is a long, slow process that needs to engage hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of people". Mr Miliband also does not agree with the notion that the NWFP is unsafe. The newly elected Pakistan government has already declared that the country would tackle the threat in its own way. It is advisable that the US eschews the path of direct unilateral attacks on Pakistan, which seems like a ploy to secure a Republican victory in the forthcoming US elections. -TABENDA SHABNAM, via e-mail, April 22.