TWELVE more people have died and many others wounded as a result of the US missile strike that destroyed a residential compound and a primary school on the outskirts of Miranshah in North Waziristan on Friday. It is shocking to learn about the death of six security personnel along with the rest. This is the fifth crossborder attack in just two weeks and lends credibility to the reports indicating that the US had extended its War to Pakistan's tribal region. Recently a report published in The New York Times revealed that the Bush administration had authorized such raids inside Pakistani territory and that its tribal areas were now treated as a war zone. The statement by US JCS Chairman Adm Mike Mullen just the other day also made it clear that a new strategy had been chalked out to take the war across the border. Regardless of what the US is doing, the question why the attacks continue to occur despite the government's strong opposition to them keeps coming to mind. COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, after a Corps Commanders meeting, categorically stated that no such air raids or ground assaults would be tolerated. Likewise Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani, along with a number of other voices from the political front, is joining the chorus in condemning the US missile strikes. But it is nonetheless quite strange to see the Americans simply ignore these proclamations by the leaders of a frontline state, and continue bombing its territory. One cannot help but think there was some sort of understanding or rather some secret deal between the two leaderships that is resulting into these raids. It is quite interesting to hear some US officials confirm to the media that Pakistan's government had 'privately assented' to ground assaults inside its area. What really transpired in a meeting between General Kayani and the top US commanders on a US aircraft carrier last month is also not known. It may be possible that the Americans were just informing the General about their plan to take the war into our western border region, because immediately after that the aerial attacks increased manifold. It bears repeating that the Angoor Ada raid, the first ground assault by US special forces, was also carried out soon after. The government would have to realise that military adventurism of the sort is an infringement of the country's sovereignty and should be prevented at all costs. There is also a need to be more clear about the rules of engagement between the two allies. The authorities need to take the people into confidence and spell out publicly its strategy of coping with the menace.