PAKISTANS repeated pleas to the US to provide weapons needed to take on militants, only to be rebuffed, have come as no surprise since it reaffirms the perception about the superpowers tendency to ditch us in difficult times. Even our more loyal than the king Ambassador Haqqani could not help comment that it would have been easier for Pakistan to drive out the militants had the US provided sophisticated weapons. Now once more, Islamabad is pressing Washington to provide it the sinews of war. Among others, Apache, Cobra, Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters and drones constitute the wish list. These copters, it has been conveyed to the US, could play a central role in the upcoming operation silent surge in the tribal areas. The need for them is all the more urgent because at this point in time the military is hard pressed for more helicopters as it has no more than 26 of them, which, given the range of the ongoing operations, are but a drop in the ocean. Though the US knows that the military equipment Pakistan has demanded is more suited for counterinsurgency purposes than a conventional war, it is deliberately holding it back because it seems to be averse to boosting the fighting capability of the Pakistani forces. The US agenda is to weaken our armed forces, stretch them to the maximum along as treacherous a terrain as the hills of North and South Waziristan. In this backdrop, the straight option for the Pakistan Army is to give up its penchant for US military equipment and terminate the ongoing offensive. Contrary to the Western perception, Pakistans tribal population is peace loving and would welcome the withdrawal of forces. Chairperson of the UKs Conservative Party Syeda Warsi got it right when she asserted that she did not subscribe to Gordon Browns estimate that 70 percent of terrorists were from Pakistan. There are rabble-rousers and violent criminals, but let us not forget the support they get from hostile foreign powers out to destabilise Pakistan. Nailing them is a hard task but not out of the realm of possibility. Rather than using drones or depending on foreign weaponry, we should go for wining the hearts and minds of this alienated mass of people and break ranks with the US. Hasnt decades of our relationship with the US proved what it is capable of? It is a crying shame that while we have pitted the military against our own people, the US has given New Delhi a considerable amount of leeway in Afghanistan. It is the need of the hour that Indian subversive activities on our soil must stop; they must be tackled with an iron hand.