The scourge of terrorism is the prime challenge being faced by the world, while Pakistan, which is wholly committed towards combating this menace, is at times the object of international pressure. The recent statement by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, in which he had claimed that the United States had the right to take military action in Pakistan or Afghanistan without prior information, if it got reliable and concrete intelligence about the presence of top leadership of Taliban and Al-Qaeda, including Osama Bin Laden, is one such example. The Foreign Office spokesman, Muhammad Sadiq, in his weekly briefing, rightly took a strong note of the uncalled for declaration, by the US Admiral, reiterating that it is the responsibility of Pakistani troops to act against the terrorists inside Pakistan. Pakistan unconditionally joined the Global War On Terror (GWOT) just after the 9/11 episode, since it was in its own interest as the bane of terror was right at its doorstep and could have had severe repercussions on Pakistan, if it had been unchecked. Seven years on, Pakistan's track record depicts that it has contributed enormously towards eradicating the menace of terrorism. According to a local daily, Director-General ISPR, Major General Athar Abbas confirmed that 1,080 soldiers have been martyred since September 11, 2001 in the War On Terror, including the NATO air strikes on a Pakistani post near the Afghan border last month which resulted in the death of ten soldiers. Almost 3,500 militants have been eliminated while the number of injured amounts to more than 5,000 in all terrorist attacks since Pakistan joined the War On Terror. Pakistani security forces have apprehended over 600 hardcore terrorists but paid a heavy price through the loss of precious lives of its security personnel and civilians through attacks by terrorists and collateral damage. The international coalition to combat terrorism has deployed its forces in Afghanistan, while Pakistan has positioned over a hundred thousand of its armed forces and security personnel along the Pak-Afghan border. Unfortunately, the treacherous and difficult terrain along the Durand Line has made the border porous and enables miscreants and terrorists to sneak through to either side. Pakistan's proposal of fencing the Pak-Afghan border has not been acceded to by the Afghan authorities, nor has the coalition for GWOT confirmed sharing the colossal cost of the project, thus putting the plan into abeyance. The other coalition partners in the GWOT, frustrated by their lack of success in Afghanistan, at times tend to blame Pakistan for their shortcomings. This is uncalled for regarding a partner, which is not only wholly committed to the cause of fighting terrorism, but has paid a heavy price to combat the blight of terror. Forced by Baitullah Mehsud, Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, Haji Namdar, Commander Umar Khalid and Mangal Bagh Afridi's threat to security in the region, Pakistan security forces moved in the Bara area of Peshawar to crush miscreant activities. The stepped-up activity in northwest Pakistan comes as fighting has grown across the border in Afghanistan. At least 36 troops of the US-led NATO coalition have been killed in Afghanistan in June, including three US soldiers and their Afghan interpreter who died last week in a bomb attack in the central-eastern province of Wardak. The security forces of Pakistan participating in operation Sirat-e-Mustaqeem have smashed the hideouts of banned outfits in Tehsil Bara of Khyber Agency and arrested numerous miscreants. They were strained to take action also because there was concrete intelligence that foreign elements were present in the area, being a cause of clear and present danger to Pakistan. Since the war against terror is a serious challenge, it is imperative that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the western allies in the GWOT join forces, share intelligence regarding the location of miscreants and launch operations accordingly in their designated areas of responsibility. The Afghan National Army, NATO and allied forces should confine their operations to Afghanistan, while Pakistan, which is a sovereign state and fully capable of meeting the threat on its own territory, ought to heed any threat emanating on its side of the border. The affliction of terrorism is a severe threat and can only be eradicated through unity and clear understanding of the rules of engagement, rather than blaming each other for one's own shortcomings. The economic progress of the region is being held hostage to the terrorists and it is crucial that full cognisance is accorded to the threat, so that peace prevails in the region. The writer is a political and defence analyst