KEEPING in view the recent developments in the US power circles, particularly the Pentagon and Congress, one can notice the waning popularity of Pakistan's new political dispensation. The rejection of aid, which would have come in millions of dollars by the Pentagon, clearly points to the US disagreement with the government's policy of dtente with the militants in the tribal areas. One wonders, is it the new approach towards militants by the new leadership, which took the US Government to come to the conclusion that the Pakistan Army had been unsuccessful in defeating terrorists in the tribal areas? However, the rejection clearly marks a break in the US policy and seems like a pressure tactic on the current dispensation to continue the policy of General Musharraf in the tribal areas. The coalition government is certainly not willing to resort to the use of force, instead it is trying to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict. Certain hawkish policymaking sections in the US, however, do not appreciate this approach. Needless to say, the US has a lot of stakes in the outcome of the War On Terror, which has been the centrepiece of its foreign policy as well. Since the main fault line lies in Afghanistan, Pakistan's support is crucial, to say the least. However, a number of years have passed and the use of brute force has not been fruitful, as is evident from Afghanistan, where incidents of militancy and terrorism have only multiplied. Such a policy had earlier backfired in Pakistan's tribal areas also. On the other hand, the coalition government's strategy of resolving the crisis through talks, has paid off. There has been a respite from the deadly wave of suicide attacks, which had earlier turned into a hydra-headed monster. There were also attacks on the security personnel and important establishment sites and the terrorists had cited the government's identification with the US policies as the reason for such attacks. Earlier, the release of Maulana Sufi Muhammad was hailed and his TNSM had promised to end its activities against the state. Similarly, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had also vowed to end activities against the government. It was especially the stance of the provincial governments in NWFP and Balochistan, in which the militants had expressed their confidence. In the past, one must remember that such US aid packages had been followed by missile attacks by the US-led coalition forces in the areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. The aid rejection therefore must not be a cause of worry for the Pakistani leadership, which should continue to pursue the policy of talks and establish peace even if it costs $80 million.