US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Adm Mike Mullen renewed the American call for an operation in North Waziristan Agency. While he made this statement ahead of his visit to Pakistan, thereby indicating that this is a demand that he intended to press during his visit, his making the statement to a group of Pakistani and American journalists accompanying him on this visit indicates that he wanted his message to go out, and that he knew that Pakistan does not at all like the idea. Admiral Mullen may have acknowledged that the timing of the operation depends on Pakistans COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, but he implied clearly that he would be pressing for the operation. This is even though no one knows better than Admiral Mullen that the US itself is trying to talk with the Taliban, because it wants to find a way out of Afghanistan, and thus by making Pakistan engage in an operation in the tribal areas, the US will embroil Pakistan in difficulties which will gain intensity after its departure from the region. There is no other motive for such a demand, unless the US sees some way in which an operation in Pakistan would somehow smooth the path of its impending departure. At this point, Pakistan must weigh its options carefully. Both the Musharraf and Zardari dispensations did the American bidding in the hope of benefits to their regimes which did not materialise. So far, it has resisted this American demand for an operation in the North Waziristan Agency, and should continue this refusal because it cannot afford to antagonize its own citizens just because the US wants them to. It must not forget that when the US has left the region, Pakistan will still be around, and the residents of FATA will still be its citizens. Only now, they would be disaffected. The government must prepare for the impending US departure by breaking an alliance about the uselessness of which there is now a consensus, instead of a dispute. That such a move would also win the government credit with the electorate, should be an important consideration.