PAKISTAN's commitment of unstinted help to the US military campaign in Afghanistan has brought the country to a pretty pass. With the passage of time the situation on the western front has markedly heated up. As Washington declared its intention of staying indefinitely in the occupied country rather than pulling out after its purpose of toppling the Taliban government had been achieved, and as it adopted ruthless measures, including indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, to crush Afghan resistance, there was unrest in Pakistan's tribal region. That unrest turned into veritable turmoil as Pakistan launched military operation in aid of the American objectives. The inability of the both, the US and Pakistan, to calm down the tribesmen's roused sentiments led the former to accuse the latter of failing to seriously honour its commitments as a key ally of the War On Terror. As a consequence, from making an occasional foray into Pakistan's territory to hit suspected Al-Qaeda and Taliban hideouts, the US forces in Afghanistan now seem to be freely attacking whenever and wherever they want, without much concern whether they destroy the government's checkposts in the process, kill its security personnel or ordinary people. The Americans have replaced the old line of denial of involvement or simple silence with plain declarations that they have the right and Pakistan government's permission to intervene. Islamabad is left with making puerile protests. President Bush's desire to score points during the last few months of his Presidency, that is littered with blunders, and salvage his position to whatever extent possible could be one reason for the US increasingly proactive role. This could also be a desperate attempt to get a high profile Al-Qaeda target (Osama bin Laden or Ayman Al-Zawahiri, for instance). There are reports of a shift in its strategy that would also include hot pursuit into Pakistan of those elements whom it perceives to be 'terrorists'. On the other hand, Pakistan appears to have stirred up a hornet's nest. The tribesmen's fury, therefore, is directed equally at the occupation forces in Afghanistan, which are massacring their co-ethnic Pushtuns, as well as Pakistan. One finds the areas in the north and west bordering Afghanistan ablaze. The retraction from peace deals under the US pressure has cost dearly, both in human terms and credibility of the official word. The Pakistan government has to act on two fronts simultaneously: persuading the US to give a timetable of departure and assuring the tribesmen of its sincerity in ending armed action. But first of all, the coalition forces need to mend fences and evolve a consensus on how to tackle the menace of militancy. Otherwise, strife and despair would continue to haunt the nation.