If the kind of a new start the US has been wishing for with the newly elected PML-N government apparent in the welcome speeches of President Obama, it is but natural that the chapter of drones which are one of the biggest irritants is closed once and for all.

According to reports in the press, Islamabad has decided to fight for their cessation during Secretary of State John Kerry’s forthcoming trip to Pakistan. That is a good opportunity. This time around, a new party heads the government in the federal capital; previously the PPP had made the habit of making perfunctory attempts to protest, while being accused of being willing to turn a blind eye, as reported in Wikileaks. The PML-N surely would like to avoid ending up at the receiving end of any such perception. But there is not the PML-N alone that is worried. Perhaps even more aggressive is the PTIs provincial setup in KPK whose Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak said on Sunday that diplomatic protest against the attacks was not enough. This is an indication that the PTI does not share President Zardari’s view that the drones are not falcons and hence cannot be shot down. We have to view the relations in their entirety, which are but badly affected at every level. And because of the backlash they generate in the form of deadly mass casualty attacks, our economy has been hit badly, while a crucial factor of foreign investment also has declined.

The US is in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan. Pakistan naturally has a right to assume that the end of the war should coincide with an end to the aerial warfare. Pakistan cannot indefinitely face the wrath of the tribesmen and continue to wage operations in Fata. Negotiations are good for the US but they are equally crucial for our survival as well. Islamabad must make every effort to convince Mr Kerry that the ongoing saga of killings and their fallout are neither productive nor ethically justified.