On January 20 history was made when Obama was sworn in as the first black President of the United States. Slogans of 'change' brought Senator Obama into the oval office. Now the question is will he deliver on his promise of bringing a real 'change'. There is no doubt that he is facing enormous challenges both on domestic and international fronts. The US economy is under immense pressure and hundreds of thousands of Americans are losing their jobs. Hundreds of billions of dollars of bailout and stimulus packages are being announced just to avoid a total collapse of the economy. This means huge fiscal deficit. That's why Obama stated: "Trillion Dollar Deficit" for years to come. The million dollar question or should we say: "The Trillion Dollar Question" is from where this deficit will be financed? The US is looking towards China and Gulf who have enormous foreign exchange reserves to help it out of this crisis. This will definitely limit the muscle flexing by the US on the international issues. Financial melt down at home will also affect the two wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan by the US. Obama's focus will shift from Iraq to Afghanistan. The democrats and Obama himself made it clear many times during the election campaign. The US policy makers have termed Pakistan as part of the Afghan War Theatre. President Obama himself acknowledged Afghanistan and Pakistan as "an ally in the war against terrorism and extremism." The seriousness of his statement has been proved by appointing Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. This development should be taken seriously by the policy makers in Islamabad as well. There will be consequences for Pakistan by declaring it as part of the war zone. The question for the Pakistani leadership is: how to deal with the new US administration? There are multiple power centres in the US. Their strategy for a country like Pakistan evolves after the inputs from various institutions but there will be individuals other than Obama who will definitely influence the policy regarding Pakistan. Let's start with Vice President Biden. He has served in the Senate for 30 years and was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is considered to be sensitive to the concerns of Pakistan. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is well informed about the developments in Pakistan. Continuation of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defence cast some doubts that there will be a fundamental change in the policy. National Security Advisor, General (retd) Jones who by some commentators is termed as the 'New Kissinger' is another weapon in the arsenal of US Administration. He will be one the main architects of American foreign and defence policies. Director CIA, Panetta who served as Chief of Staff to Former President Clinton will play important role in War On Terror especially the drone attacks inside Pakistan's territory. Holbrooke is famous for brokering Dayton Peace Accord. Some analysts suggest that he believes in using full force before negotiating any deal. We cannot ignore the fact that the US is considering an Iraqi style surge in Afghanistan this year. Admiral Mullen who visited Pakistan many times last year is well aware of the difficulties being faced by Pakistan. Last but not the least is Centcom's Chief General Petraeus. His strategy of surge and empowering the Sunni tribes in Iraq is considered to be successful and it seems like he is ready to apply the same in Afghanistan. Owing to the aforementioned prevailing new administration's priorities, Pakistan needs to readjust its policies. Pakistani political leadership needs to announce a ceasefire for at least a year to strengthen the domestic front. A clear cut homegrown policy backed by strong political will by taking all the stakeholders on board should be devised to deal with the current turmoil in NWFP and FATA. A consistent message should be conveyed to the Americans that drone attacks are detrimental to Pakistan's efforts against terrorism and US brand image in Pakistan. Policy makers in Islamabad should be aware of the developments of finding alternatives to the Pakistani route to provide logistical support for the NATO troops in Afghanistan. This might adversely affect the strategic value of Pakistan and its influence on NATO. Pakistan needs to take China, Iran and Saudi Arabia onboard to intensify peace efforts and encourage political dialogue in Afghanistan which is the main source of instability in Pakistan. Ultimately political dialogue and speedy socio-economic rehabilitation in Afghanistan and FATA will bring a message of 'change'. Growing Indian influence in Afghan affairs is a source of concern for Pakistan. US and Afghanistan must remain aware of our sensitivities if they are sincere in bringing peace in the region. The international community instead of managing conflict between nuclear armed India and Pakistan, should help in resolving the Kashmir dispute which is a nuclear flash point in this region. It is now high time for Pakistan to adopt proactive and aggressive diplomacy to protect its 'national interests'. The writer is a research coordinator at the Institute of Public Policy, BNU