COAS Gen Kiyani has probably found out that refusing is actually quite easy. He told the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr Cameron Munter, that the army would not be carrying out an operation in North Waziristan as the USA was asking. The General told him that the army would take whatever action the government asked it to, but would not take any action it was not ordered to. This he conveyed to Ambassador Munter in the course of their meeting when the latter called on the former at GHQ on Wednesday. Though the refusal was couched in polite terms, it struck at the USAs strategy for an honourable exit from Afghanistan. As at present the USA believes that the Haqqani network is behind the fighting against its forces in Afghanistan, the constant call for an operation in North Waziristan is actually for one against the Haqqani network. Though it is something of a relief that the USA is not calling for an operation against Quetta, on the excuse that the Quetta Shura is there, the request itself shows first that the USA has not given up hope that Pakistan can be made to comply, and that it intends to leave Afghanistan on its own terms. That might explain why, since Mr Obama took over as President, the USA has launched an average of one drone attack every four days. So long as these pernicious attacks continue, the government must make clear to the USA, no operation is possible anywhere. Even then, once the drone attacks are stopped, Pakistan would only carry out operations, using minimum possible force, and that too if it is clearly in the national interest, such as if extremists are disobeying the writ of the state. While General Kiyani will see how his refusal will find favour with all patriotic Pakistanis, who have been watching with unease the surrender of national sovereignty in recent times. It is to be hoped that this refusal finds favour with the government, which remains under US tutelage. It is to be hoped that it learns from this episode what many countries know, having learnt from practical experience, that the USA is not all-powerful. With this in mind, the time is more than ripe for a break with the USA, especially in its so-called war on terror, and in its attempt to make India its regional counterweight against China. The government seems to have learnt something, which is shown by the refusal of visas to 12 US officials, supposedly diplomats. After all, there is still no explanation or clarification forthcoming of the diplomats, already with visas, who are supposed to be monitoring Pakistans nuclear arsenal.