WITH the US upping its ante against Pakistan, while trying to confuse the Pakistani leadership with a volley of statements being flung out of Washington, the increase in drone attacks has not come as a surprise. Yet the latest drone strikes have once again highlighted the civilian deaths that occur of innocent Pakistani citizens and this time round also 24 civilians were killed. The US is now investing in Pakistani analysts and NGOs to convince the citizens that drones are the most effective way of undermining the militant networks but facts on the ground prove otherwise - especially for Pakistan which has seen an increase in terrorist activities in the wake of the drones. As for terrorist networks, it seems more likely that recruits for the militants increase with every drone attack, given how there seems to be new waves of suicide bombers coming into play across the country. However, the drones also raise a more serious question of why the Pakistani leadership - civil and military - has allowed the US to use this means of butchering Pakistani citizens? Ironically, the Army gave out statement that it did not take dictation from outside the country just as the latest Pakistani civilian casualties to the missiles fired by drones were being revealed. So if the Pakistan Army does not take dictation from outside, does this merely confirm the view that it has consented to the drones and thereby to the killing of its own citizens? This is truly shameful and certainly does nothing to enhance the sense of security of the Pakistani nation. Perhaps this may yet be another instance for the hapless Pakistanis to seek justice from the Supreme Court, which presently seems to be the only state institution able to take up the cause of the ordinary Pakistani searching for justice. The drones are the single most hostile action by the US against Pakistan and its people and are against all norms and principles of international law. The US, of course, abandoned any commitment it may have had to international law post 9/11, but what about Pakistan? Has it also even given up the responsibility of protecting its citizens against external attack? The Parliament has already given a mandate to the government to stop the drones and it is time the Pakistani state did so one way or another. Finally, it is interesting to note that the Indians continue to exploit any opportunity against Pakistan and now their media has begun a new rumour that Mullah Omar has been arrested in Pakistan - thereby bolstering US unsubstantiated claims that Mullah Omar and now even Bin Laden are in Pakistan. This is the strategic Indo-US partnership at work - and the target is Pakistan.